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Redskins #Authentic Fan NFL Draft Bracket: First Round Results

Redskins #Authentic Fan NFL Draft Bracket: First Round Results

March is the unofficial month of brackets.

With the 2018 NFL Draft approaching and with the Redskins obtaining the No. 13 pick in the Draft, NBC Sports Washington is asking you, the #AuthenticFan to weigh in and vote from a field of 16 to determine who the Redskins should take in the first round.

The first round begins on Monday, Feb. 26, with matchups being opened for voting every Monday and Thursday for three-day voting periods.

To vote, click on the embedded Twitter links and follow the instructions.

Should the Redskins draft a wide receiver or a lineman in the first round? Should they look to bolster the offense or defense? Should the Redskins tap back into the Alabama pool? It's up to you to decide.

Vote in the NBC Sports Washington Redskins #AuthenticFan Draft Bracket first round.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

Redskins #AuthenticFan Draft Bracket: First Round

ROQUAN SMITH (Georgia) VS CALVIN RIDLEY (Alabama)

Voting Period: Mon. 2/26 7am - Thurs. 3/1 10:59am
Matchup Breakdown: Roquan Smith is a 6-1, 225-pound Georgia linebacker who could very well be the defensive boost that the Redskins need coming into next season.

As a projected first-round draft pick, the SEC standout has been turning heads with his explosive athleticism and exceptionally disciplined awareness on the field. In Smith's last season as a Bulldog, he recorded over 10 tackles in the Rose Bowl, SEC Championship, and the National Championship combined.

The Redskins could also play their cards right with the projected first round wideout in Calvin Ridley. The 6-1, 190-pound Alabama wide receiver has been lauded for his unmatched speed after catches and amazing route running ability. 

Voting Results: Roquan Smith def. Calvin Ridley, 125-71.

 

JOSH JACKSON (Iowa) VS MAURICE HURST (Michigan)

Voting Period: Thurs. 3/1 11am - Mon. 3/5 6:59am
Matchup Breakdown: Josh Jackson has truly established himself as a lockdown artist on the field. The 6-1, 192-pound cornerback out of Iowa led the FBS in interceptions with 8 and finished No. 1 in pass coverage with 18 pass breakups and 24 forced incompletions.

On the other hand, Michigan lineman Maurice Hurst is a force on the defensive line with quick feet and shockingly fast speed after the ball is snapped.

The 6-2, 282-pound first-round prospect was an All-Big Ten first team selction and winner of the Defensive Player of the Year award. 

Voting Results: Maurice Hurst def. Josh Jackson, 57-26

 

BILLY PRICE (Ohio State) VS DA'RON PAYNE (Alabama)

Voting Period: Mon. 3/5 7am - Thurs. 3/8 10:59am
Matchup Breakdown: Ohio State center Billy Price has proven to be powerful blocker and versatile in the face of defensive rushes and blitzes. His 6-4, 312-pound frame can be just the right addition to the Redskins offensive line.

On the defensive side of the ball, Da'Ron Payne, a highly touted prospect and one of the most respected leaders on both sides of the ball at Alabama, has tremendous natural strength and is known to suffocate the offensive line with his rushing ability. 

Voting Results: Da'Ron Payne def. Billy Price, 124-20

 

JAMES WASHINGTON (Oklahoma State) VS TAVEN BRYAN (Florida)

Voting Period: Thurs. 3/8 11am - Mon. 3/13 6:49am
Matchup Breakdown: Wide receiver James Washington has been giving cornerbacks problems since he landed at Oklahoma State with his build up speed and nose for the ball wherever it's thrown. The 6-0 senior ranks nationally among the best, with 1,549 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns and both All-American and All-Conference honors.

Florida's Taven Bryan is an explosive defensive tackle gifted with natural athletic ability and great lateral quickness. Many scouts project him to be a long-term starter and he has drawn comparisons to Cam Jordan.

Voting Results: Taven Bryan def. James Washington, 80-27 

 

TREMAINE EDMUNDS (Virginia Tech) VS MARCUS DAVENPORT (Texas-San Antonio)

Voting Period: Mon. 3/12 7am - Thurs. 3/15 10:59am
Matchup Breakdown: At 6-5 and 250 pounds, Tremaine Edmunds has a unique (and constantly growing) body type that makes him a nightmare of a linebacker on the defensive end and a first round dream for NFL scouts.

Coming out of Virginia Tech, he has proven to be a disruptive rusher and highly efficient tackler from anywhere on the field.

Yet another potential first rounder, Marcus Davenport, can be a true X-factor for the Redskins defense.  With his 6-6, 255-pound build, he is known to consistetnly disorient offensive lineman and can move exceptionally well laterally. 

Voting Results: Tremaine Edmunds def. Marcus Davenport, 63-17

 

ARDEN KEY (LSU) VS DERRIUS GUICE (LSU)

Voting Period: Thurs. 3/15 11am - Mon. 3/19 6:49am
Matchup Breakdown: As a projected first-round pick, LSU's Arden Key possesses an unorthodox way of moving on the field that allows him to slip past blockers with ease and do a great deal of damage defensively. At 6-6, his length could be very scary for offenses down the line of his NFL career. 

LSU unning back Derrius Guice has tremendous field vision, athleticsm and amazing footwork that will allow him to break tackles consistently at the next level. 

Voting Results: https://twitter.com/NBCSRedskins/status/974299355938246656

 

MIKE HUGHES (UCF) VS RASHAAN EVANS (Alabama)

Voting Period: Mon. 3/19 7am - Thurs. 3/22 10:59am
Matchup Breakdown: Mike Hughes is the small but mighty cornerback out of UCF who has a high level of aggresiveness that halts wide receivers in the beginning of their routes and ridiculous chase down speed. His stout body frame may place him as a projected second-round pick, but he may be a sleeper choice nonetheless.

Projected first-round pick Rashaan Evans possesses the skills and body type of the ideal NFL linebacker. Between his explosiveness, raw agility, and range, not too many teams will no what to do with the Alabama linebacker at the next level offensively. 

Voting Results: 

 

DERWIN JAMES (Florida State) VS VITA VEA (Washington)

Voting Period: Thurs. 3/22 11am - Mon. 3/26 6:49am
Matchup Breakdown: Florida State safety Derwin James is the complete package in the locker room and on the field. After delivering 84 total tackles and 11 deflections in 2017, James has made a name for himself very quickly amid scout conversations.

Vita Vea, a strong defensive tackle out of Washington, poses as a power heavy threat on the defensive end, with a lot more untapped potential in his package. At 6-4, 344 pounds, Vea uses his momentum effectively and his violent hands make him pass rush machine. Vea is projected to be chosen in the first round.

Voting Results: 

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Ron Rivera says 'it's way too early' to predict what will happen regarding the 2020 NFL season

Ron Rivera says 'it's way too early' to predict what will happen regarding the 2020 NFL season

The NFL has operated as close to business as usual as possible this offseason, still holding free agency and the draft as originally scheduled. But make no mistake, there's plenty of uncertainty surrounding the 2020 NFL season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A report surfaced early Tuesday morning the Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross believes that NFL games will "definitely" happen in 2020, and the only question that remains is whether fans will be in the stands or not.

Ron Rivera was asked about Ross' comments on Tuesday's edition of NBC Sports' Lunch Talk Live with Mike Tirico, and the head coach explained that "it's way too early for anybody to really predict what's going to happen."

However, the Redskins head coach did express optimism that the league has a much more positive outlook than it did several weeks ago, and hopes that by the time the season rolls around, they'll be good to play the 2020 campaign as scheduled.

"But if things continue to trend in the right way and we continue to develop and learn more and more about the situation and circumstances, understand what's expected of us in terms of how we have to act and behave, I think we can hopefully get ourselves back into that position," Rivera said.

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Just moments before Rivera's interview, Yahoo! Sports' Charles Robinson reported that head coaches could be allowed to return to their team facilities as early as next week and that there is a chance teams could hold minicamps in mid-to-late June (the NFL put out a statement in response saying they are "not putting dates" on a potential return).  

Rivera, who's entering his first season with Washington, was asked how being able to hold just one offseason in-person session prior to training camp would benefit the Redskins.

"I think it would make a great difference," Rivera said. "Again, if we can see where we are and what we have, and we can also explain to the players what we are trying to do before we start training camp. That would be very beneficial to the new coaching staff."

In the meantime, Rivera emphasized that it would be wise for everyone to follow current regulations in order to continue to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus.

"Hopefully within time, there will be enough testing," Rivera said. "Who knows when the vaccine will be found. But for the most part, we've got to continue to practice the social distancing, follow the rules from the CDC and do things the right way."

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How Nate Kaczor expects to use Antonio Gibson's varied skill set on special teams

How Nate Kaczor expects to use Antonio Gibson's varied skill set on special teams

Just moments after the Redskins drafted Antonio Gibson in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the running back/wide receiver hybrid was asked what position he plans to play in the NFL.

Gibson's answer was simple: "I view myself as a weapon."

The 21-year-old is officially listed as a running back, and the No. 24 jersey that he will wear backs that up. But Gibson plans to contribute in a lot more ways than just as a rusher, and his versatility and experience on special teams is Nate Kaczor is excited about.

Kaczor, Washington's special teams coordinator, believes that the combination of Gibson's size and speed will allow him to make an impact for the Redskins specials unit in a variety of ways. 

"He's big and fast," Kaczor told the local media in a Zoom call on Tuesday. "He [is] 220-ish pounds, some people had him in the low 4.4's, high 4.3 area. Regardless of what time he's prescribed to, he's fast. He's not only a returner; he can bring some protection and speed and coverage."

A year ago, the Redskins found a gem in undrafted wide receiver Steven Sims. The Kansas product became Washington's starting slot receiver by the end of the season, but Sims first made an impact as an NFL player on special teams.

Kaczor believes the combination of Gibson and Sims gives the Redskins a lot of flexibility in the return game.

"In an ideal setting, if you have a legitimate returner [Sims] and your off-returner [Gibson], who is 30 pounds bigger than your returner, if he doesn't get the ball he becomes a blocker," Kaczor said. "And he weighs 220 [pounds]. That's a really good situation. If they don't really want to kick it to one guy and they want to kick it to your other one and he's really good, then you have a heck of a situation there."

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The special teams coach emphasized that Gibson has the skill set to make an impact in other ways on special teams, too, even if he's not the primary returner for the Burgundy and Gold.

"He could be on the punt team and play a slot, which is very conducive to running backs skill sets, where the block rushes and then release and help contain," Kaczor said. "Quite often on the punt team in the NFL, you will see a starter or two on offense or defense being used. He's more versatile because he is a returner, he is big enough to play in the return game as a blocker, as an off-returner."

As a senior at Memphis in 2019, Gibson was the team's primary returner, and the third-round pick was a home run threat every time he touched the ball. He notched 23 total returns on the season, averaging close to 29 yards per attempt and even took one kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown.

That kickoff return touchdown came in an upset victory over then-ranked No. 15 SMU last October. That game was truly a coming-out party for Gibson, who finished with 386 all-purpose yards on 12 total touches. In addition to scoring a touchdown via kick return, Gibson found the end zone twice more in two different ways: a 50-yard TD reception and a 78-yard TD run.

Florida State head coach Mike Norvell, who was Gibson's coach at Memphis at the time, told the Redskins Talk podcast that Gibson's outing that evening "was probably the finest performance I’ve ever been a part of from a single game."

Kaczor is excited to get to work with Gibson in the near future, but knows that the running back's value could be best displayed in other ways.

A year ago, Washington drafted Terry McLaurin in the third round, who at the time was known just as much for being a special teams ace as he was a wide receiver. Well, it didn't take long for Kaczor to realize that McLaurin could be an excellent wideout at the NFL level, and that the then-rookie was too valuable as a pass-catcher to be used on special teams.

“Well geez, the more [Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner] uses [Gibson], the less we can," Kaczor joked.

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