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Danny Kanell says it's a 'no brainer' for the Redskins to take Chase Young

Danny Kanell says it's a 'no brainer' for the Redskins to take Chase Young

As soon as the 2019 season concluded and the Redskins landed the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the photoshops of Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young in a Redskins uniform appeared everywhere on social media. With LSU's Joe Burrow the consensus No. 1 overall pick to Cincinnati, Young to Washington seemed all but a sure thing.

But what the Redskins should do with the No. 2 pick has become a hot topic of discussion during Super Bowl week.

NBC Sports' Peter King believes the Redskins can "remake their franchise" in just one year by dealing the pick. Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin was asked about Young, his former Ohio State Buckeye teammate, and raved about the pass rusher. Chris Simms doesn't believe Washington should lock in on Young. There are plenty of pros and cons to both sides. 

Former NFL quarterback and longtime analyst Danny Kanell joined the Redskins Talk podcast, and his opinion what the Redskins should do with the pick was easy.

"I think 1 and 2, with [Joe] Burrow and Chase Young, are no brainers," Kanell said. "The Cincinnati Bengals take Joe Burrow, and you don't think twice. I think the same thing with what the Redskins should do is take Chase Young and don't even think twice."

Kanell's statement is music to the ears of many Redskins fans. Even with a talented defensive line, Washington struggled to get pressure on the quarterback in 2019. With the addition of Young, many feel the defensive line will be able to transform similarly to how San Francisco's did this season with the arrival of Nick Bosa.

While Young would certainly improve the Redskins defense, Kanell said Washington would be "doing a disservice" if they didn't at least entertain any team that comes calling about trading for the No. 2 overall pick.

"What has been the trend lately? Teams overdraft," Kanell said. "They are desperate to find quarterbacks. If you find a team that is desperate enough to give you a stupid trade, then you have to listen."

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, who is expected to be a top-10 selection, just earned Senior Bowl MVP honors last week. His stock is only going to rise, and might put pressure on a team like the Dolphins at No. 5 or the Chargers at No. 6 to trade up in order to secure the signal-caller. 

Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa was also expected to be a high selection, maybe even the No. 1 overall pick, before he dislocated his hip in November. But Tagovailoa still declared for the draft, and doctors expect him to make a full recovery. He could be another quarterback teams consider trading up for.

But unless the Redskins get an amazing offer, one that likely will require the other team to give up multiple first-round picks, Kanell believes the Redskins should stay put and take Young.

"But outside of any stupid offer that's just silly, you take Chase Young and you don't even think twice," he said.

In just 12 games, Young finished with 16.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss as a junior, despite constantly being double- and triple-teamed. But in his final three games, Young failed to record a sack and had just 1.5 tackles for loss.

While Young's production fell off towards the end of the season, Kanell isn't worried about his translation to the next level.

"Chase Young I think is going to translate," Kanell said. "There was some concern that he somewhat disappeared late in the season. But in my mind, when I watched him, I think he was protecting himself somewhat. [He's] three to four months away from being a multi-millionaire, it's human nature."

Additionally, he mentioned that teams were specifically game-planning for Young, due to him being significantly more difficult of a matchup than his counterparts. But in the NFL, there's too much talent for teams to gear in on just one player.

"Teams were doubling him, game-planning specifically for him. You can get away with that in college," Kanell said. "But in the NFL, they'll do it a little bit, but there are other talented pieces around you. They'll try, but he's that good that it will be a no brainer and it will work."

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Kyle Allen was 'surprised' by trade to Redskins but thrilled to reunite with Ron Rivera

Kyle Allen was 'surprised' by trade to Redskins but thrilled to reunite with Ron Rivera

Kyle Allen was in his car on Monday, driving home from a workout when his phone started to ring.

The 24-year-old quarterback answered, and just moments later, found out he had been traded from the Carolina Panthers to the Washington Redskins. Allen, who started 12 games for Carolina a season ago, was not expecting the move at all, despite seeing the Panthers sign quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and P.J. Walker in free agency.

"It's a shock. I wasn't expecting it," Allen told Redskins Nation. "I signed a contract with Carolina two weeks ago. But I know contracts don't really mean anything."

Over the 24 hours that followed after the trade, Allen started to process it all. He quickly realized how much sense the move made, and the situation he would be walking into in Redskins Park was something he was plenty familiar with.

Allen reunited with head coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner, who were both in Carolina the past two seasons. With the NFL offseason full of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic, Allen has a ton of familiarity with Turner's offensive system. Although Rivera told a radio interview on Wednesday that the team plans to enter training camp with second-year passer Dwayne Haskins as the starter, Allen was brought in to compete with him, too.

"I got to think about it a lot the past 24 hours, and I'm excited to be back with coach Rivera and coach Turner," Allen said.  "The more I sat down and thought about it after the call, the more it makes complete sense. I think the continuity of the system, being with them before, the coaches, the need for that spot on the team, I think it's perfect. The more I think about it, the more I get excited about it."

The third-year passer has had plenty of twists and turns during his football career. As a true freshman at Texas A&M, Allen started 10 games for the school. But as a sophomore, the passer was forced to split time with another talented quarterback, current Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray. Allen transferred to Houston following the 2015 season (Murray would transfer as well), and was forced to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules. Allen started just four games for Houston in 2017 before being benched. Unhappy with his situation, Allen forewent his final year of eligibility and declared for the 2018 Draft.

Unsurprisingly, Allen went undrafted. But it was Rivera who gave him a chance to compete, bringing him into Carolina as an undrafted free agent. After injuries to both Cam Newton and Taylor Heinicke, Allen made his first career start in December of 2018, leading the Panthers to victory. After another Newton injury early last season, Allen emerged as the team's starter. Just a year and a half after going undrafted, Allen started 12 games for Rivera's club.

Once again back with Rivera, Allen could not be happier.

"It's awesome. It's incredible to play for Ron Rivera," Allen said. "I've told a lot of people, he's my favorite head coach I've ever played for, and I've played for my fair share."

Allen then went into detail about his respect for the Redskins head coach, and how Rivera gave him an opportunity when no one else did.

"He's always there for you. He's a player's coach," Allen said. "Wins or losses, he was always at my locker after the game, talking me through it, helping me through it. He always had that confidence in me, he always believed in me, and he gave me such a great opportunity. I was undrafted two years ago, and he saw something in me. Even after they cut me, he brought me back and gave me the opportunity to make a name for myself. Can't ask for anything more from him, he's been an incredible coach every time I've been with him."

Coincidentally, Allen's final game working with Rivera was against the Redskins, a Washington victory this past December. Rivera was let go by Carolina two days later. Now, they're back together.

"I'm not too fond of that memory, to be honest with you," Allen joked. "I'm glad I'm on the other side now."

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Rewatching 'All Or Nothing': Young Redskins will get their chances under Ron Rivera

Amazon Prime

Rewatching 'All Or Nothing': Young Redskins will get their chances under Ron Rivera

Pete Hailey is rewatching Amazon's All Or Nothing, a behind-the-scenes look at the 2018 Panthers, to learn about Ron Rivera and other key people who are now a part of the Redskins. Here's his review of episode four, "Look Good Play, Good."

After he was fired by the Panthers and before he decided to take over the Redskins, Ron Rivera studied a handful of Washington games to evaluate the team's roster. While doing so, one aspect jumped out at him in particular.

"For the most part, the way they play, the way they fought, some of these young guys didn’t know any better," the coach explained during his first presser back in January. "They showed up and they played hard. That was impressive to me."

Rivera has since reiterated that the Burgundy and Gold's collection of young and hungry talent was a key reason he chose to land with the Redskins. When you check out their depth chart, it's easy to see what he means.

Currently, the following players are all between 22 and 26 years old: Dwayne Haskins, Daron Payne, Derrius Guice, Tim Settle, Steven Sims, Kelvin Harmon, Cole Holcomb, Montez Sweat, Terry McLaurin, Jonathan Allen, Fabian Moreau, Ryan Anderson, Landon Collins, Matt Ioannidis and Chase Roullier. 

Every name on that list figures to factor in to whether Rivera is able to right the Redskins. They better be prepared for that effort, too, because he's likely going to lean on them often, even through their mistakes. 

In episode four of Amazon's 2018 All Or Nothing show, which followed Rivera's Panthers, DJ Moore has a very forgettable afternoon (ironically, in a game at FedEx Field). The then-rookie fumbles twice, once on a punt and once after a catch, and those turnovers lead to 10 points for the hosts. In the end, Carolina falls to Washington, 23-17. 

Afterward, a reporter asked Rivera how he balances showing a struggling, unseasoned pro he's still on his side versus punishing that pro when he continues to slip up.

"This is all about building confidence," he answered. "DJ is going to be a part of what we do for a long time and we’ll stick with him."

It was a simple answer and one that hinted at a simple philosophy: If you're suiting up for Rivera, he's going to trust you to contribute and also stand by you if those contributions don't come right away, because he knows that could make the difference in the long-term future.

That should most excite those who want to see Dwayne Haskins succeed. A quarterback with little NFL experience such as Haskins is going to have days where the interceptions stack up and the yards don't. It sounds like Rivera will ride out those days in order to see the ones where Haskins breaks out.

It's a mindset that'll apply everywhere else, too. Whatever draft picks the Redskins end up with in April, some of the free agents he's already acquired and the rest of the 26-and-under group outlined above should be in line for lots of snaps and lots of chances to grow. The goal is that the majority of them will improve in that action and form the core Rivera so badly wants.

Of course, even a leader with as much time as Rivera has to correct a franchise will run out of patience. Plus, he's made a point to keep veterans like Adrian Peterson and bring in others like Thomas Davis to ensure there's a crew of established options to call on in 2020 — a season he'd no doubt like to end with a trip to the playoffs.

But realistically, the Redskins will enter 2020 coming off of a 3-13 campaign, meaning expectations should be modest at best. One thing fans can expect, though? Seeing young Redskins on the field in main roles every weekend.

Look for Rivera to prioritize building their confidence immediately in hopes of building a winner eventually. Year 1 could be a slog because of that, but the years that follow could very much be worth it.

Links to past reviews:

Episode 1: Rivera doesn't flinch after adversity hits

Episode 2: Rivera shows his feelings on distractions

Episode 3: Special teams truly mean something to Ron