Washington entered the NFL Draft in a less than ideal situation. With Alex Smith’s future up in the air due to health, the Redskins needed to target a young quarterback to give their franchise a sense of direction. Drafting in the 15 slot and knowing that Kyler Murray would be taken first overall, the odds of a top quarterback prospect falling to them seemed slim.
Well, as fate would have it, the Giants reached for Daniel Jones and allowed Dwayne Haskins to fall into the Redskins lap. After seeing Montez Sweat fall further than expected due to medical checks, Washington surrendered a 2020 second-round pick to move back into the first-round and draft him. The combination of Haskins and Sweat was the best haul for any team through Day 1 of the NFL Draft, but Washington was just getting started.
Round 1, Pick 15: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Round 1, Pick 26: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Round 3, Pick 76: Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State
Round 4, Pick 112: Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
Round 4, Pick 131: Wes Martin, IOL, Indiana
Round 5, Pick 153: Ross Pierschbacher, IOL, Alabama
Round 5, Pick 173: Cole Holcomb, LB, UNC
Round 6, Pick 206: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
Round 7, Pick 227: Jimmy Moreland, CB, James Madison
Round 7, Pick 253: Jordan Brailford, EDGE, Oklahoma State
Even looking past the Redskins top two selections, they secured value with nearly all of their picks. Terry McLaurin was Haskins’ best target at Ohio State, and he’ll stretch the field with speed while providing excellent route running.
Day 3 picks such as Cole Holcomb, Kelvin Harmon, Jimmy Moreland and Jordan Brailford all provided value because with their upside. Holcomb is an elite athlete for the linebacker position, proving that at his pro day by running a 4.48 forty-yard dash and posting an 11” broad jump. Kelvin Harmon had no absolutely business being available past the 3rd round, but Washington selected him in the 6th. Moreland is a usable nickel cornerback who only fell due to size concerns, not on-field ability. Lastly, Brailford produced 10 sacks in 2018, mostly due to his ability to convert speed to power and collapse the pocket.
Best Pick: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Landing one of the the two best quarterbacks in the NFL Draft at pick 15 provides excellent value. In my opinion, Haskins was one of just two future franchise quarterbacks in the entire draft. In most drafts, teams will need to trade up to secure a quarterback prospect of Haskins’ caliber. Washington didn’t have to surrender any other draft capital and still landed their quarterback of the future.
Worst Pick: Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
This isn’t even a bad pick, but one of them had to be “worst.” I was a bit lower on Love than where he was taken, but I understand the fit. With Derrius Guice able to bring the power, Love’s long speed will be the lightning to his thunder. I would’ve preferred them to take a speed running back a bit later considering positional value, and Love comes with injury and long-term concerns.
Favorite Day 3 Pick: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
Drafting Kelvin Harmon in the 6th round was the best pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Enjoy your future WR1.
Overall Grade: A+
Draft grades are mostly speculation, but for my money Washington was the biggest winner of the NFL Draft. The Redskins were able to accomplish the following:
• Secured their QB of the future and resurrected their team’s direction after Alex Smith’s injury
• Added two future starters at wide receiver
• Drafted Montez Sweat to round out their pass rush, which now has the potential to become the best in the league
• Added multiple interior offensive lineman to compete at left guard, a position of need
• Added a needed complimentary piece to their backfield
• Took prospects with outstanding athletic potential on Day 3 in Holcomb and Brailford
• Drafted one of the standouts from Senior Bowl week in Jimmy Moreland
They weren’t even done adding talent, as undrafted safety JoJo McIntosh has a reasonable path to making the roster. All in all, there is no grade other than A+ to give to the Redskins.