The Washington Redskins 2019 NFL Draft class has officially been decided, as Bruce Allen and company looked to add some talent and build a contender for the present and future. At the end of the day, Washington ended up making 10 picks.
- First round, 15th overall: Dwayne Haskins, quarterback, Ohio State
- First round, 26th overall: Montez Sweat, edge defender, Mississippi State
- Third round, 76th overall: Terry McLaurin, wide receiver, Ohio State
- Fourth round, 112th overall: Bryce Love, running back, Stanford
- Fourth round, 131st overall: Wes Martin, guard, Indiana
- Fifth round, 153rd overall: Ross Pierschbacher, center, Alabama
- Fifth round, 173rd overall: Cole Holcomb, linebacker, North Carolina
- Sixth round, 206th overall: Kelvin Harmon, wide receiver, North Carolina State
- Seventh round, 227th overall: Jimmy Moreland, defensive back, James Madison
- Seventh round, 253rd overall: Jordan Brailford, edge defender, Oklahoma State
Washington Redskins 2019 NFL Draft Grade: 8.9/10
Washington Redskins 2019 NFL Draft Grades
The Best Player: Montez Sweat
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins is the most valuable pick, but Monez Sweat is the best at what he does. Initially projected as a top-10 selection, Sweat fell all the way to the end of the first round. Washington took advantage of his fall, trading back into the first round and grabbing the talented edge defender.
Sweat has a heart condition which may have led to his draft fall, but it’s reportedly a non-issue. The Mississippi State product is something of an unfinished product on the field but boasts nearly unmatched athleticism. Sweat has double-digit sack potential if Jay Gruden and the coaching staff can maximize his potential. Pairing him with Ryan Kerrigan could give the Redskins one of the best pass-rushing duos in the league.
The Head-Scratcher: Bryce Love
Bruce Allen loves to draft running backs, so it’s no surprise that the Redskins drafted yet another running back. It was surprising to see who they selected. Bryce Love is a good running back when healthy but suffered an ACL injury late in the 2018 season. There’s no guarantee he’ll be back for the start of the season and will miss a sizable portion of the off-season training.
Both Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson are coming off serious injuries, so it’s no surprise Washington selected a running back to serve as an insurance policy in case either isn’t ready for the start of the season. Still, selecting a guy coming off an ACL tear as a safety net is an interesting strategy.
The Surprise: Kelvin Harmon
How Kelvin Harmon was on the board in the sixth round is anyone’s guess. The North Carolina State product was the 81st player on the Pro Football Focus draft board, ahead of players like Miles Sanders and Irv Smith Jr. Getting him as a late-round pick was a great move for a player who could immediately contribute in a depleted wide receiver room.
Harmon is the big, physical wideout the Redskins so desperately need. At 6’3” and 213 pounds, Harmon has the ability to win at the point of attack and catch passes at the high point. While he struggles to gain consistent separation, Harmon has the ability to be a good red zone and short-yardage option.
The Steal: Dwayne Haskins
It’s rare to get a steal with the 15th overall pick, but that’s exactly what the Redskins did. Dwayne Haskins was arguably the top quarterback prospect in the nation at the start of the 2019 NFL Draft process. However, Arizona’s infatuation with Kyler Murray and the Giants’ weird obsession with Daniel Jones made Haskins the third quarterback off the board.
Haskins is coming off a fantastic season at Ohio State, completing 70% of his passes for 4,831 yards, 50 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He’s a pure pocket passer but has the chance to develop into the long-awaited franchise quarterback the Redskins haven’t had in forever. The cherry on top is that Washington didn’t have to trade up to get him.
Most Likely to Turn Heads During Training Camp: Terry McLaurin
Saying Dwayne Haskins again is boring, so let’s turn to his wide receiver. McLaurin played alongside Haskins at Ohio State, so the two should already have an advanced rapport. McLaurin was a fantastic deep threat during his time at Ohio State, averaging 20.03 yards-per-reception. His 4.35 40-yard dash tested in the 91st percentile, meaning his deep speed should translate to the NFL level.
Washington’s offense was one of the most conservative units in football last season. While the Redskins will still want to run the ball as much as possible, McLaurin’s presence should open up the deep part of the field. Look for McLaurin and Haskins to demonstrate their advanced chemistry early and often during training camp.
Despite his fourth-round status, Wes Martin could compete to start right off the bat. The Redskins currently have Erik Flowers penciled in at right guard, and Martin could easily usurp the veteran. Worst comes to worst, he’s a great depth option who can play all three interior positions in a pinch. Ross Pierschbacher is Wes Martin lite. While he probably won’t start, he can also play all over the interior.
Cole Holcomb is fast for an inside linebacker and should make an immediate home on special teams. Barring injuries, he probably won’t see much time with the defense. Jimmy Moreland was a fantastic player while at James Madison, but he’ll need to prove his coverage abilities can translate to the NFL stage. Jordan Brailford a speed rusher off the edge who lacks NFL size and weight. If he can add 15 pounds of muscle without sacrificing his speed, he could develop into a solid situational pass rusher.
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