After finishing the 2019-20 season with a 3-13 record, Washington will have the second pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. This year’s draft features many top tier players, including LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and Ohio State’s Chase Young — who both will have high value at the top of the first round. With so many holes to fill, it’s important Washington gets it right. Here are their three options.
Take Chase Young
The simplest and possibly smartest choice comes from the premier pass rusher in the Draft, Chase Young. With a huge hole at quarterback, the Bengals are likely to take Burrow with their first pick. This leaves a plethora of options open for Washington’s football franchise, with the frontrunner being Young. He is one of the best edge rushers coming out of college since Khalil Mack in (year). In his three years at Ohio State, Young had 30 sacks, 40 tackles for loss, and nine forced fumbles.
Young was a force on both sides of the line who could confidently take on any offensive tackle in college football. Young is arguably the single best player in the draft, and edge rusher is one of the most valuable positions. Though Washington’s biggest necessity isn’t an edge rusher, Ryan Kerrigan will eventually need to be replaced. That allows for Chase Young to be the perfect fit for Jack Del Rio’s 4-3 defensive scheme. It will be a tough decision to pass on Young if he is still available at pick two.
Here’s where the draft starts to get interesting. Even if Burrow is taken for the first pick, there are still other valuable quarterbacks available that could be attractive. Tua Tagovailoa, Jordan Love, and Justin Herbert all have the potential to be franchise cornerstones if implemented into the right systems. Though it’s unlikely Love or Herbert are valued as high as number two picks, Tagovailoa is likely a top-five pick this year.
Teams such as the Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis Colts, and the Miami Dolphins are candidates to trade up. Though Washington may value the pick more than what teams are willing to offer, it is not impossible for them to trade back. Miami has a surplus of draft picks they may be willing to trade, and a player like Tagovailoa may be exactly what they need. Washington would likely be able to obtain two first-rounders — or more, even— in return for the number two pick.
Picking Someone Entirely Different
The third and least likely scenario that may happen with the number two pick is seeing Washington pick someone besides Young. Whether the Bengals decide to take Young or Washington decides to pick based on best fit, the burgundy and gold may take a completely different player. If they were to pick based on best fit, three players come to mind: Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas, Clemson linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons, and Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah.
Thomas is the best tackle in this year’s draft, and Washington has a big problem at that position. No one knows what’s going to happen with Trent Williams, and 36-year-old Donald Penn is not a long-term solution at the position. Simmons is another intriguing prospect. He is seen as a hybrid linebacker or safety who can play anywhere on the field. He took snaps at Clemson as a deep safety, boundary corner, slot corner, and in the box as both a linebacker and safety. H
e’s the most versatile player in the draft, but there are concerns about him not having a true position to commit to. He could transition very well into Washington’s system. With Washington transitioning to a 4-3, the team needs a SAM linebacker to pair up with Reuben Foster and Cole Holcomb. The last player that could be taken is Jeff Okudah from Ohio State. With Josh Norman likely being cut in the offseason, the team could use a solid corner alongside Fabian Moreau. Okudah is one of the best cornerback prospects since Jalen Ramsey in 2016, and Washington needs all the help they can get in the secondary.