The Redskins hold the second overall pick in April's NFL Draft, and a rough consensus has emerged that Washington should take Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the pick.
Not everyone, however, agrees.
Former Redskins running back Clinton Portis thinks Washington should look past Young and target Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons.
"I’m taking my chances with Isaiah Simmons," Portis said on The Team 980 Tuesday morning. "I would have to, I would take Simmons at number 2."
Portis' suggestion makes plenty of sense. Simmons is a very compelling prospect.
He's got 4.39 speed but at 6-foot-4 and 240 lbs. He has the size and strength to play linebacker. He can help an NFL team all over the field, cover tight ends and players out of the backfield while still playing physical football.
Last season at Clemson, Simmons made 104 tackles with eight sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions. He can do it all.
Portis explained his logic this way:
That's no disrespect to Chase Young, I just feel like Chase Young is a get-to-the-QB guy or maybe he gives you something in the run game. That's a maybe. You know he can get to the quarterback but Isaiah Simmons can get to the quarterback, he can cover tight ends, he’s disruptive, he doesn’t mind laying that lumber. He’s a beast when it comes to contact and playing in space and he can still get to the QB.
Redskins head coach Ron Rivera talked plenty about liking versatile players, and so far in free agency, Washington has targeted players that line up in multiple roles. Simmons is the ultimate versatile player, as he can line up in the box at linebacker, on the edge as a pass rusher, and has the speed to play deep.
Ultimately for Portis, his decision to go after Simmons over Young comes down to the defense's need for creating turnovers.
"I think you need a playmaker, which this is one of the few playmakers in the draft," Portis said of the Clemson star. "We’ve been needing for quite some time someone to create turnovers, and I think [Simmons] can be the guy."
Portis' comments come via The Kevin Sheehan Show. Listen to the full interview here.
The Redskins have lots of holes all over their roster and don't have a ton of draft picks to fill them. After the second overall pick, Washington doesn't pick again until the third round after a 2019 trade sent their second-round pick to the Colts. If the Redskins moved back from No. 2, the organization could add plenty more picks, likely at least another first-round selection and probably more.
Miami seems the most obvious suggestion as a trade partner as the Dolphins are loaded with draft picks and have long been rumored to want Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. It's possible Miami could grab Tua with their current pick, No. 5 overall, but things get crazy on draft night. If Miami really, really wants Tua, the No. 2 pick is the best place to be.
The flip side of this is Young could be a game-wrecker for Washington. Plenty of talent evaluators think he's the best pass-rushing prospect to enter the NFL in years, and that includes recent stars like Myles Garrett and Joey and Nick Bosa.
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