The Redskins need to rebuild their roster and new head coach Ron Rivera knows that not having a second-round pick in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft leaves his team with a major hole.
"I think that’s going to be a burden, just because of where that second round pick was too," Rivera said. "That’s the hard part, you wish you had all your picks."
Washington would have held the 34th pick in this year's draft but traded it away in a 2019 move to grab Montez Sweat. The Redskins gave the Colts their 2019 and 2020 second-round picks to move up to 26th overall and grab Sweat.
At the time the trade was widely congratulated. Sweat had a tremendous performance in the Senior Bowl and broke out during the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine with a rare blend of size and speed.
As a rookie last year Sweat started slow but finished strong, registering seven sacks. He missed time in training camp with a minor injury and seemed to be playing catch up the first month of the season. With the scheme change to a 4-3 and Rivera’s insistence that pass rushers actually rush the passer, Sweat could be poised for a breakout year.
So while the move to go get Sweat last year still makes sense, it doesn’t help Rivera’s rebuild this year.
"You wish you could get all your picks back, but at the end of the day we have to react to what we have now," Rivera said, speaking on the Redskins Talk podcast last week in Indianapolis.
There are some ways Washington could get a second-round pick, most obviously by trading back from the second overall selection the team currently holds.
That might not happen, and if it doesn’t, Rivera will just have to accept sitting out the second round and his team only holding two selections in the first 100 picks.
Free agency could make that pill easier to swallow. The Redskins are in desperate need of a starting-caliber tight end, and of the rookie crop, the best project as late first and early-second round prospects. Without a trade, the Redskins won’t be there.
Multiple reports including NBC Sports Washington expect the Redskins to be in heavy pursuit of Falcons tight end Austin Hooper when he hits free agency in a few weeks.
If Washington can get Hooper, that might make the sting of no second round pick a little easier. Of course, the price tag in free agency will be much higher than the draft.
Like Rivera said, the Redskins wish they had all their picks. They just don’t.
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