The Redskins traded for Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen on Monday, a move that makes plenty sense for both sides.
Allen reunites with his former head coach, Ron Rivera, and enters an offensive system he already knows under offensive coordinator Scott Turner. He's just 24 years old and capable of starting, giving second-year passer Dwayne Haskins some competition for the starting gig - something Rivera has wanted since taking the job.
But in exchange for Allen, the Redskins sent a fifth-round pick to Carolina, a move some Redskins fans were not happy with, especially with quality veteran options still on the free agent market. The Redskins only have six selections in the 2020 draft after this trade, a number that many would like to be higher for a team entering a rebuild.
Looking back on previous Redskins drafts, Washington has found a decent amount of talent in the fifth round, too.
A year ago, the Burgundy and Gold had two fifth-round selections, nabbing linebacker Cole Holcomb and offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher. Holcomb had a strong rookie season, playing in all 16 and starting 15 for Washington. He finished with over 100 tackles and proved he's a foundational piece for Washington's defense moving forward. Pierschbacher saw limited action as a rookie but will have the chance for a larger role in his second season with Ereck Flowers heading to Jacksonville.
Additionally, the Redskins have found two solid defensive linemen in the fifth-round over the past five years. Washington selected Matt Ioannidis in 2016 and all he's done is improve each season. Ioannidis earned himself a nice three-year extension during the 2019 offseason and was named a Pro Bowl alternate a season ago after turning in the best campaign of his career. Tim Settle, the team's fifth-round pick in 2018, has been a valuable rotational piece during his first two seasons, playing 31 of a possible 32 games for the Redskins.
In 2013, Washington found themselves a fifth-round gem in running back Chris Thompson. After fighting for a roster spot and spending time on the practice squad as a rookie, Thompson found himself in an important role within the Redskins offense for a number of years. Primarily serving as the team's pass-catching back, Thompson turned in five straight seasons of 35-plus receptions and was arguably the team's most dynamic weapon on offense in 2017.
Injuries have derailed Thompson the past two seasons, but he has still found a way to be productive. After seven seasons with Washington, he's currently a free agent, with a return to Washington unlikely after the team signed J.D. McKissic to fill the pass-catching back role.
A year after drafting Thompson, the Redskins found a decent wideout in the fifth round in 2014 in Tulane product Ryan Grant. Grant, a favorite of former Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, appeared in all 64 games over the first four seasons of his career. His final year in Washington was his best, where he totaled a career-high in receptions (45), receiving yards (573) and touchdowns (4). His play earned him a multi-year deal with the Ravens in 2018, but Grant failed his physical and ended up signing a one-year deal with the Colts.
Not all of Washington's recent fifth-round picks have been slam dunks, however.
The Redskins selected tight end Jeremy Sprinkle with their fifth-rounder in 2017, and the tight end has failed to amount to much of anything through three seasons. Sprinkle was given the opportunity to be the team's top tight end a season ago, as both Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis missed significant time due to injury. Sprinkle started 13 games and appeared in all 16, but only notched 26 receptions for 241 yards and one touchdown. Entering last season, Sprinkle had just seven career receptions for 54 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers just won't cut it.
In 2015, the Redskins took athletic middle linebacker Martrell Spaight with their fifth-round pick. After missing almost his entire rookie season due to a concussion, Spaight was given multiple chances to establish a role for himself in Washington over the next two seasons. He appeared in 29 games from 2016-2017 with seven starts but did little to stand out. Washington released him during final roster cuts in 2018, and after a pair of short stints with the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars, Spaight retired from football.
The jury is still out on Pierschbacher, too. While just one season is too early to give up on the Alabama product, his limited play in 2019 should not give Redskins fans hope that he'll turn into a late-round gem how many of these players on this list did.
While the Redskins landed a quality backup quarterback who may compete with Haskins for the starting gig, it's okay for Redskins fans to be upset about ditching a fifth-round pick; the team's track record says so.
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