The Redskins’ first-round pick is in and they got a player they didn’t think they would have a chance to draft.
Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, who was considered by many to be a top-five talent in this draft, is staying home.
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He is from Ashburn, Virginia and the Redskins picked him with the 17th pick of the draft.
The reason why the 6-3, 286-pound Allen was so highly regarded is that he can be an asset both against the run and against the pass.
He fell in the draft due to concerns about the health of his shoulders; some think issues with them may shorten his career.
But the Redskins apparently thought that the ability he has was worth the risk.
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Starting Tuesday, all 32 NFL teams will have a chance to asses some of the best talents in the upcoming draft at the NFL Combine. However, one of the better safety prospects available will be noticeably absent in Indianapolis.
University of Alabama safety Deionte Thompson will reportedly not participate in combine activities after having surgery on his wrist Friday to mend a torn ligament, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. Rapoport did mention that the injury is not believed to have a serious impact long-term.
Thompson is coming off a junior season at Alabama in which he recorded two interceptions and 78 tackles while earning Consensus All-America honors.
As the draft approaches, the safety is being regarded as one of the better secondary options available for teams. In NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig's latest mock draft, Thompson is projected to go 24th overall to the Oakland Raiders.
Though the projection doesn't have Thompson ending up as a member of the Burgundy and Gold, he is still a realistic option for the Redskins. With a few questions marks in the secondary following the departure of D.J. Swearinger Sr. and the unclear future of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Redskins could very well see Thompson as a viable target at No. 15.
If Thompson's impending recovery time leads to his draft stock falling, there is a slight chance he may even be available in the second round when the Redskins pick at No. 46.
Currently, there is no timetable for his return. Alabama is scheduled to host its Pro Day on March 19, which could be the next time Washington and other teams will get a chance to evaluate Thompson.
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It's a very small consolation, but on Friday, the Redskins finally picked up their compensatory third-round pick for losing Kirk Cousins in free agency last year.
That's not the only new selection they now have in their arsenal for the 2019 NFL Draft, though.
In addition to that third-rounder, Washington also netted a fifth-rounder, a sixth-rounder and a seventh-rounder, too. The four picks is a bit of a surprise, as most expected the Burgundy and Gold would be awarded with only three.
Bruce Allen has explained in the past how the 'Skins value compensatory picks, which teams receive based on the contracts their own free agents sign with new franchises. Last offseason, the Redskins saw Cousins, Ryan Grant, Spencer Long and Trent Murphy all cash in on the open market.
In total, Washington now has nine picks in the upcoming draft, with two each in the third, fifth and seventh rounds. They traded away their fourth-round spot for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Losing homegrown players like Cousins and Co. is certainly not ideal, but by letting those types of guys depart, the Redskins do set themselves up for more swings in April.
That part of the strategy has paid off. The next step? Making those picks count.
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