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Take Chase Young or trade for more picks: The Redskins draft paradox

Take Chase Young or trade for more picks: The Redskins draft paradox

Many NFL experts rank Chase Young as not just the best defensive prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft, but the best prospect overall. The Ohio State pass rusher logged absurd numbers in 2019, including 16.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss in only 12 games. As far as disrupters go, Young is one of the most devastating edge players to emerge in the draft in some time. 

Despite all of that - all of it - some will still make the case that the Redskins best move is to not take Young with the second overall pick. 

The argument isn't what Young can do, because it's explosive, but what trading the No. 2 spot could do for the Redskins. 

A report from CBS Sports showed that there is growing consideration by the Washington brass about looking to trade back in the draft and securing more picks, particularly in the first round. The most plausible trade candidate is Miami, a team loaded with draft capital that includes three first-rounders. 

The real question is simple: Do the Redskins need one great player or a bunch of good players?

Washington went 3-13 last year and fired most of their organization. Ron Rivera took over to start this year, and he's at the helm of a full reboot of the club, culturally and on the football field. 

While some fans exist in a delusional space that believes the Redskins are loaded with talent, the reality is the roster has more holes than a Par 3 golf course.

Cornerback. Tight end. Left tackle. Free safety. Middle linebacker. Wide receiver.

The Redskins have needs at all those positions, some of varying importance, but all still rank as needs. Even with some moves in free agency to address the holes, many of the new players are on one-year contracts and don't look like a part of a long-term rebuild. 

If Washington can trade back, they can almost undoubtedly help their team more than by taking Young. If they hit on every pick. And if Young isn't the next Von Miller. 

Hypothetically, if the Redskins moved back from No. 2 to No. 5 and gained an additional first-round pick, the team could realistically land Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah or Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons, and then add a top-flight left tackle, linebacker or wideout. That would nail down two starting spots in 2020, and if things break right, for the next four seasons as well. All on a team-friendly rookie contract. 

On the other hand - Young. 

Nothing makes a secondary better than a dominant pass rusher. Nothing. Young has all the tools to be that guy, speed and power. If Young plays like many expect, his impact could be worth more than any trade for additional draft picks. 

The problem for Washington is there is no way to know, but it's quite obvious the team needs lots of help. 

"We need playmakers," one Redskins decision maker said to NBC Sports Washington during the NFL Scouting Combine. 

He was telling the truth, and everyone knows it. One problem in this debate, however, is that to trade down the Redskins need a trade partner. 

For more than a year the Dolphins have been rumored to want Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, and for Washington's sake, that could be excellent news. The Redskins need a QB-desperate team, and the two best options appear to be Miami and the Chargers. The Raiders could make things interesting, and as the draft inches closer there will always be more teams that get connected with quarterback prospects. It's not just Tagovailoa either as Oregon QB Justin Herbert looks like a Top-10 pick as well. 

Between Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen, the Redskins appear set at the quarterback spot. Both are young and under team control, and both have shown flashes of real potential. Haskins has the driver's seat on the starting job, but Allen will push. 

Considering that, the more teams get hot and heavy in pursuit or a rookie passer - Tua or Herbert - helps Washington. The only way to guarantee selecting one of those QBs comes with the second pick. 

It's no sure thing a trade partner emerges.

It's entirely possible the Dolphins and Chargers can just wait and grab quarterbacks with their picks at 5 and 6, respectively. Joe Burrow will go No. 1 to the Bengals. Write that in permanent marker. After that comes Washington, Detroit, and the Giants. None of those teams need a quarterback.

If the Dolphins and Chargers can wait, they could get their rookie passer without giving anything up. But like Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part. Other teams could jump up and grab Tua or Herbert, and expect those rumors to ramp up as the draft comes closer. 

So, for the Redskins, is it about the team or the player. Young is the player. That's not for debate. But the team needs help, lots of it, and a trade might bring more in return. 

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Ron Rivera's first meeting with Redskins: Nick Sundberg, Tress Way share details

Ron Rivera's first meeting with Redskins: Nick Sundberg, Tress Way share details

Ron Rivera spoke to roughly 130 people on Zoom last week — including players, other coaches and support staff — in what was his first truly team-wide meeting with the Redskins.

Rivera's goal that day was to establish the kind of culture he's aiming to build in Washington, and while he clearly would've preferred to lay that foundation in person, he still hoped everyone came away from the meeting with a solid idea of his vision.

Well, according to Tress Way and Nick Sundberg, the coach accomplished that — and much more. 

"I think I ran downstairs and I might’ve tackled my son Beau at two years old," Way told the Redskins Talk podcast during a long interview that also featured Sundberg. "It was like six or seven minutes and it was just intense."

Rivera's voice, Way explained, never became too loud as he addressed multiple levels of the organization. What he lacked in volume, however, he made up for with his message and the conviction he delivered it with, stressing to those in the conference that the Redskins would control their attitude, preparation and effort as long as he was leading the franchise.

"Now everybody knows the standard that is set," Way said. "And I’m telling you, in and out, this dude went through a few slides, there was no ifs, ands or buts. There was no confusion. You could not have misunderstood."


Sundberg agreed with Way's assessment.

"That is exactly how he comes across in person, too," the longest-tenured Redskin said. "Super nice guy, easy to talk to, you can sit and tell stories and laugh and that sort of thing. But when it comes to talking shop, he’s honest and I appreciate that about him. I want to know exactly what you’re looking for from me and how you want me to do it. If I can’t do it, that’s on me. But at least give me the opportunity to tell me every single thing that’s expected of me."

Rivera will be Sundberg's third full-time coach with the Burgundy and Gold, following Mike Shanahan and Jay Gruden. Because the long snapper didn't leave the area until February, he had the chance to interact with Rivera face-to-face in the building. Those run-ins, as well as what Sundberg's seen online, have invigorated him.

"Any time you get new leadership," Sundberg said, "it should motivate you to look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘Was I a part of the problem or am I part of the solution?’"

In this virtual offseason, the two experienced specialists have actually found themselves acting like rookies at times. While both typically get to every team function early, they're making sure to really stay on top of that now. Way is even doing what he can to spruce up how he looks in front of his laptop.

"Five minutes before that meeting was supposed to start, I logged on, made sure my lighting was good, made sure there was not anything going down on this side," he said.

"He definitely gets that out of people," Sundberg added. "They want to make sure everything is perfect because they don’t want to come off the wrong way."

Rivera's job with the Redskins is going to be a demanding one. Washington is starting this decade on the heels of one of its worst ever, and he's being trusted to right the entire operation. 

Judging by these reviews, though, he's already pulled off one extremely challenging task, and that's holding a smooth Zoom meeting where what was supposed to be communicated was successfully communicated. If he can do that, then the whole winning football games thing should be a breeze.


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Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins' workouts are taking place at his parents' house

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins' workouts are taking place at his parents' house

With the coronavirus pandemic putting a wrench in the NFL offseason and keeping team activities on hold, players have had to get creative with their workouts. 

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is among that population. Despite being a starter in the NFL and making millions of dollars, the former Redskin is now staying in shape in a very ordinary way: workouts at his parents' house.

In a story by ESPN, Cousins explained that his family relocated to his parents' house in Orlando, Florida with the league still waiting to resume. The move has been beneficial as it allows Cousins' and his wife, Julie, to have an easier time caring for their two young children. However, living in his parents' house has made it challenging to train the way an NFL quarterback needs to.

Cousins told ESPN that he's traded in a standard gym with machines and large amounts of equipment for his parents' driveway and backyard. He still has everything he needs to get sessions done, including WiFi to video chat with his trainer, but the setting is an interesting one.

Out on the driveway, the quarterback never knows who may pass by on a daily basis.

"I like my privacy, so being out in the driveway, on display for the whole neighborhood to see is probably less than ideal," Cousins told ESPN. "But desperate times call for desperate measures."

"[Every car will] see me doing my shuffles across the driveway, or my cariocas, or doing the jump-rope or different plank exercises, core work, medicine ball, lunges -- whatever it may be," he added. "And different people honk or wave, so it's kind of fun."


Honks and even the occasional "Go Pack, go!" at Cousins in the middle of his workout bring a smile to his face as he navigates the new situation. Cousins may have been a Pro Bowler in 2019, but the current situation of the world has him and many other athletes heading back to their humble beginnings. If he finds success on the field in 2020, his parents' driveway and front yard will be part of the equation. 

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