Washington Redskins: Kyle Smith and Ron Rivera Mark the Draft

The 2020 NFL Draft has concluded. The makeup of all 32 NFL franchises is now different. For the Washington Redskins, the new regime that Dany Snyder employed made big strides with their first draft. The selection of those players shows that Kyle Smith and Ron Rivera have built a great relationship early. In saying that, we look at the players from the 2020 NFL Draft that are the mark of Smith and Rivera.

First Round

Chase Young – DE, Ohio State

Young is carrying the label of being the best pure athlete in this draft. Bringing him into the mix of this defense gives the Washington Redskins one of, if not, the best defensive lines in the NFL. Pairing him with Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat – last year’s first-round pick – adds a significant pass rush to the Redskins. Add in Da’Ron Payne, Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Ryan Anderson, and others to give the Redskins a front line with four number one picks.

Young is a scheme buster. If offensive coaches do not scheme for him, he will ruin the game plan. With a young offense, this will be the side of the ball that the Washington Redskins will lean in on early in the Rivera tenure.

Third Round

Antonio Gibson – RB, Memphis

Gibson is drawing NFL comparisons to Carolina Panthers RB, Christian McCaffrey. Rivera coached C-Mac during his time as the headman in Carolina. With the career of Adrian Peterson winding down and the health of Derrius Guice still in question, the Redskins added Gibson to this squad. Gibson has breakaway potential every time he touches the ball. Without re-signing Chris Thompson, Gibson could come in right away and contribute on third downs at a minimum.

Round Four

Saahdiq Charles – OL, LSU

Charles is a multi-positional offensive lineman. He can play either guard or tackle. With the trade of Trent Williams, there is speculation that Charles could be his replacement for the Washington Redskins. However, his body type is more conducive for guard in the NFL. His NFL development will be key to what position he plays.

Antonio Gandy-Golden – WR, Liberty

Golden may find it hard to make the active roster. The youth at this position is unvalued. Outside of Cody Latimer, the most veteran WR is Trey Quinn (2018). For this offensive to develop they will need to see excelled growth from the youth at this position. Adding a veteran WR, even a second-tier, may benefit this group. We will see how Kyle Smith and Ron Rivera handle this going forward for the Washington Redskins.

Round Five

Keith Ismael – OL, San Diego State

Ismael adds more versatility to the offensive line. This was one of the neediest areas of this team, in my opinion. They often lacked depth at one of the most important positions on the field. The Washington Redskins’ inability to run the football often allowed teams to tee off on QBs. Especially when second and third-string players were playing. Many out of position. This pick by Smith and Rivera adds quality depth for the Redskins.

Khaleke Hudson – LB, Michigan

High production early on in college. Became more a quality special teamer as his college career progressed. Hudson could make his way on this squad on special teams. He will need some work to play LB on the Redskins. Nonetheless, this addition by Smith and Riverboat Ron gives the Redskins that piece on the third squad aka special teams.

Seventh Round

Kamren Curl – S, Arkansas

Curl started three years for Arkansas. Of course, his senior season was his best season. He is very smooth on the backend of the defense and has the ability to read the ball in flight. This allows him to adjust his coverage on the wide receiver to make a play on the ball. With the abilities that Curl displays, Smith grabbed good value with this addition in the seventh.

James Smith-Williams – Edge, NC State

Smith-Williams is a workhorse. The type that first in and last out of the facility. Smith-Williams is coming off a lower-body injury (unknown) in 2019. This limited him to just seven games during the season. His injury history may be what hinders his NFL career. If he can overcome his injury history, Smith-Williams can make his mark in the NFL.

Kyle Smith is well on his way to being a GM in the NFL. His relationship with Ron Rivera has grown exponentially since the Washington Redskins reorganized their front office. This 2020 NFL Draft is just the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Or so it seems.

How do you feel about the Washington Redskins 2020 NFL Draft? Leave a comment below.

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Sean Naylor
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