NFL Draft 2020: Redskins took first steps toward brighter future

NFL Draft 2020: Redskins took first steps toward brighter future

They have a new head coach in Ron Rivera, but past coaching changes haven’t offered any assurance the Redskins will finally get their act together.

The trade of longtime left tackle Trent Williams on Saturday, which raised eyebrows around the NFL, was more about good riddance than a good return. While those who root for the Burgundy and Gold might be disappointed by the end result of an overly drawn-out process, ending the drama surrounding Williams was important for the Redskins to get on with their future.

It’s a future that finally looks a bit promising with the arrival of Rivera and the second-overall pick in the draft Chase Young. If the can’t-miss- edge rusher from Ohio State lives up to expectations and a few of their other draft picks pan out, the Redskins might finally become a contender and add intrigue to the NFC East.

The Redskins dealt Williams, one of the league’s best left tackles, to the 49ers for a fifth-round pick this year and a third-rounder next year. On the surface, that’s not much of a return for Williams — a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, team leader and face of the franchise. But Williams’ relationship with the Redskins had soured to the point that he sat out the entire 2019 season in a contract dispute and needed to be moved. Rivera didn’t need the baggage.

While Williams goes to 49ers to replace Joe Staley, who announced his retirement on Saturday after 13 seasons, the Redskins drafted LSU tackle Saahdiq Charles in the fourth round on Saturday. It continued what has turned out to be an intriguing draft for the Redskins, who finished 3-13 last year after Jay Gruden was fired following a 0-5 start.

Trent WilliamsAP

Rivera, who spent nearly nine seasons at Carolina, was brought in to change the culture in Washington after the firing of both Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen. Taking Young was a no-brainer. The impact pass rusher figures to be an instant headache for the defensive coordinators in the NFC East.

The Giants had to draft Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, knowing that he’ll have to match-up against Young at least twice a year for the next decade.

“I believe we’ve taken the guy that will impact not just his position group, not just the linebackers, not just the [defensive backs], but I think the entire football team,” Rivera said of Young.

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