Draft Analysis

NFL Draft Needs: NFC East

by NBC Sports EDGE Staff
Updated On: April 18, 2020, 2:28 pm ET

The Rotoworld Football crew’s Ian HartitzNick MensioJohn Daigle and Hayden Winks are breaking down every team's biggest needs, division by division, and Josh Norris offers potential solutions in this month's NFL Draft.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

Washington Redskins

Notable Offseason Additions: CB Kendall Fuller, OG Wes Schweitzer, LB Thomas Davis, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, RB J.D. McKissic, S Sean Davis, OT Cornelius Lucas, TE Logan Thomas, QB Kyle Allen, RB Peyton Barber, TE Richard Rodgers, WR Cody Latimer, CB Ronald Darby

Starting Offense

QB: Dwayne Haskins

RB: Derrius Guice

WR1: Terry McLaurin

WR2: Kelvin Harmon

WR3: Steven Sims

TE: Jeremy Sprinkle

LT: Cornelius Lucas

LG: Wes Schweitzer

C: Chase Roullier

RG: Brandon Scherff

RT: Morgan Moses

Starting Defense

DE: Montez Sweat

DE: Ryan Kerrigan

DT: Jonathan Allen

DT: Daron Payne

MLB: Thomas Davis

OLB: Cole Holcomb

OLB: Kevin Pierre-Louis

CB: Fabian Moreau

CB: Ronald Darby

SCB: Kendall Fuller

S: Sean Davis

S: Landon Collins


Team Needs

Hartitz’s Analysis

Offensive line: Dwayne Haskins (3.72 seconds to attempt, PFF) proved much better at holding off sacks compared to Case Keenum (2.91). Still, Washington was one of just eight teams to average fewer than two yards before contact per rush attempt. This entire unit needs help regardless of how the Trent Williams and Alex Smith sagas play out. RG Brandon Scherff received the franchise tag, but LG Ereck Flowers and LT Donald Penn have been replaced by Wes Schweitzer and Cornelius Lucas, respectively. Nobody really deserves the benefit of the doubt here.

Pass catcher: Terry McLaurin's rookie season was nothing short of spectacular, as his average of 9.88 yards per target ranked 12th among 127 players with at least 50 targets in 2019. Meanwhile, each of Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Paul Richardson are gone. Other than McLaurin, Steven Sims was the only other pass catcher to really flash all season.

Secondary: Washington was a bottom-10 pass defense by most metrics in 2019. They were particularly incompetent against opposing TEs, ranking 31st in DVOA and allowing the fourth-most PPR per game to the position. The Josh Norman era is over, while upgrading from FS Montae Nicholson (PFF's seventh-worst safety) would also be nice. Still, the focus needs to be on the CB room. Trading Quinton Dunbar to the Seahawks and then replacing him with Kendall Fuller is a net loss in my book.


Redskins' 2020 Draft Picks

Norris’ Options

1 (2). EDGE Chase Young, Ohio State - While it isn’t a listed need, all signs point to Washington selecting Young based on uncommon talent. Young won in every way imaginable at the college level. He seems to have a counter to the offensive tackle’s counter. Washington certainly invested plenty on the defensive side of the ball in recent years, but Young might be on another level. However, it’s not irrational for fans to wonder if it is the right selection. There’s a growing sentiment that coverage is more connected to winning football than pass rusher, so is Jeffrey Okudah the correct pick? Or is a trade down to select an offensive tackle the right move?

WATCH NOW: See who our experts believe the Redskins will select with the second overall pick in our First Round Mock Draft Show! 

3 (66). OT Matt Peart, UConn - Trent Williams has made it clear he will not return to the team. Without a second-round pick, the Redskins might miss out on the top talents at the position. Luckily, Peart has starting upside. He is fluid and athletic enough to hold up on a pass rushing island and gives great effort in the running game.

4 (108). WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan - Ron Rivera and Scott Turner seemed to gravitate to athletes at receiver in their final few years in Carolina. On Washington’s side, Terry McLaurin posted one of the best athletic profiles in last year’s class. Peoples-Jones’ profile projects in the 99th percentile and shouldn’t come at the cost of a top two round pick.

4 (142). TE Devin Asiasi, UCLA - The Redskins lack a real receiving threat at tight end despite it being a mainstay of a Turner offense. Asiasi recorded 44 receptions last season, averaging over 14 yards per catch. All in a frame that can hold up inline.

5 (162). G Cameron Clark, UNC Charlotte - Not only do the Redskins need at least one starter along the offensive line, but they also lack depth. Clark played left tackle but might learn to operate inside in order to fill the utility role on an NFL roster.

7 (216). WR Darnell Mooney, Tulane - It’s always a longshot for late round receivers to hit, but Mooney might be my favorite dart. He’s a legitimate vertical threat who frequently operates at a different speed than his opposition. Despite his smaller frame, Mooney was super competitive on contested catches.

7 (229). RB Jason Huntley, New Mexico State - Washington could still be on the lookout for pass catchers out of the backfield despite signing J.D. McKissic. Huntley has nearly 40 catches to his name in each of the last three seasons.

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