Washington Redskins NFL Draft Recap/Grade – 2018
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Washington Redskins Draft Picks (2018)
Key Positional Needs Entering Draft
- Wide Receiver
- Interior Offensive Line (G)
With their first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft the Washington Redskins selected Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne and word on the street is they were actually targeting DT Vita Vea who was picked one spot ahead of Washington by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Payne should slide right into the starting lineup next to former Bama teammate and last year’s first rounder, Jonathan Allen. Payne gives the Redskins a player that can use his power to push, pull, disrupt, displace and cause all kinds of issues up front for opposing offensive linemen. Not known for his pass rush skills, but that has some to do with his role in Alabama’s scheme… while not expected to put up double digit sack totals Payne can consistently affect the passer. In the second round they got one of my favorite running backs who actually fell to them for whatever reason in Derrius Guice of LSU. A first round talent in the second round at any position is tremendous value. Some don’t believe Guice can catch out of the backfield or that he will stay healthy. The former is a misconception. Guice had little opportunity (playing for the unimaginative LSU offense) to make plays in the passing game. However, the latter is a legitimate concern stemming from his size and the way he runs. Guice is a back who can convert speed to power in an instant, has subtle movements when approaching would be tacklers, has a helluva jump cut and can score from anywhere. With all the injuries that were sustained along the oline last year the Washington Redskins couldn’t pass up on a super athletic offensive tackle, with fantastic measurables in Geron Christian from Louisville. With long arms and great feet he will most likely be a swing tackle and be groomed to be a starter down the road. This next pick is one that I really like and this is one of those picks where I didn’t know much about the prospect until after the combine in safety Troy Apke from Penn State. He had an amazing combine and when I watched the tape he plays at that same pace. He is best coming downhill with devastating closing speed. Apke has no issues locating the ball whether it be in the air or the ground. From what I can tell Apke and college teammate Marcus Allen were used interchangeably which suggests versatility. I don’t much care for comps but this kid’s PLAY STYLE reminded me of another Troy who played the same position in Pittsburgh some years ago. When he is done developing watch out. Going back to the well (DL) in the fifth round the Washington Redskins scooped up Virginia Tech DT Tim Settle, a two down player who doesn’t offer much in the pass rush department. What he does bring to the table is the ability to clog lanes and consistently win at the point of attack allowing second level defenders to flow unimpeded to the ball-carrier. In the sixth round Washington selected linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton who hasn’t done whole lot due to injury but from a pedigree and developmental stand point this was a genius move. Hamilton can get healthy all while sitting and learning the position. I can see a scenario where he consistently shows up on Special Teams. With their fist seventh rounder the Redskins drafted Virginia Tech cornerback Greg Stroman who had 9 interceptions. At the end of the day you can’t deny that kind of production. Their final pick may end up being the most significant in SMU wide receiver Trey Quinn who was super productive after transferring from LSU to SMU. Word is Jay Gruden and his staff love this kid.
One would think that my favorite pick here is my 2nd ranked running back in the 2018 NFL Draft Class, Derrius Guice. But no, it’s actually the safety Troy Apke who I believe has a chance not only to be a starter but to be a star. There’s nothing quite like when a prospect actually plays to the speed that is shown on film and Apke does just that. That ability to find the ball through all the muck when coming downhill with such precision and quickness is something to behold. Let’s not forget about his coverage skills which being in a zone may fit him best for now until he can hone those man-to-man skills. His lack of experience is the only reason I believe he went as late in the draft as he did. Washington’s safeties aren’t anything to right home about so Apke should get his shot sooner than later.
Fantasy Football Implications
I wanna know who is the #1 WR for the Washington Redskins? I was extremely high on Jamison Crowder last year while others preferred Terrelle Pryor. Heading into 2018 Trey Quinn is a guy I am extremely extremely high on and I believe he is going to burst onto the scene and showcase his skill-set both in the return game and playing the receiver position. The fact that he was smart enough to transfer from LSU and do what he did at SMU 114 catches with 13 touchdowns tells me he is a guy who knows what to do with opportunity and will be a deep sleeper in fantasy leagues as it stands now.