When you take a glance at Las Vegas’ 2020 NFL win total odds, the Jacksonville Jaguars are the early favorites to have the worst record in football. If this scenario were to play out, you can pencil in Trevor Lawrence to the Jaguars with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The team with the second-lowest win total, 5.5 games, is the Washington Redskins. In this scenario, Lawrence would be off the board, and the Redskins would be on the clock with the second overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Let’s take a look at three players who would be perfect options for the Redskins if this scenario were to come to fruition.
Before we talk 2021 prospects that would be good fits, we must take a look at Washington’s team needs. The Redskins are a team with many needs, coming off the heels of an abysmal 3-13 season. In the 2020 NFL Draft, they were able to bolster their pass-rush with the selection of Ohio State edge defender Chase Young.
While adding a premier player such as Young should pay huge dividends for the Washington defense, the team still has a number of holes. The plentiful list of team needs for the Redskins includes offensive tackle, wide receiver, cornerback, linebacker, and quite possibly quarterback.
Lucky enough for them, the 2021 NFL Draft board offers talent that fills Washington’s needs quite well. Players such as Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II would be good selections. However, there are three players that would be great selections if the team were to match its predicted win total, including the uber-talented quarterback Justin Fields.[sv slug=mocksim]
Three players the Redskins should target in the 2021 NFL Draft
Justin Fields, QB Ohio State (6’3″, 228 pounds)
The most important objective for the Washington Redskins 2020 season is to find out if Dwayne Haskins is their franchise quarterback. Washington selected Haskins with the 15th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Last season he started seven games, throwing 7 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, completing 58.6% of his passes, and leading the Redskins to a horrific 2-5 record. Washington showed enough faith in Haskins to pass on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the 2020 NFL Draft, but if he doesn’t start winning soon, their patience will run out.
If the Redskins do what Las Vegas predicts, that means Haskins has failed, and it’s time to go quarterback shipping. Originally, the sensational 2021 Draft prospect Justin Fields committed to Georgia, but after the Bulldogs refused to turn the keys to the castle over to him, he transferred to Ohio State.
In 2019, Fields was one of the best players in all of college football, producing an insane stat line that consisted of 3,273 passing yards, 41 touchdown passes, and only 3 interceptions. Fields, the best dual-threat quarterback in the nation, also ran for 484 yards and 10 touchdowns. If he can put up similar production in 2020, he is an early odds-on favorite to win the Heisman.
Fields has impressive size, possessing an NFL-ready frame. His arm has a lot of juice, allowing him to make all the necessary throws needed to be a dangerous passer at the next level. Due to his amazing athleticism and elite ability to get yards with his feet, many will unfairly label Fields a “running quarterback”, but he can hurt you with his arm as well. He is an aggressive downfield passer, which puts a lot of stress on opposing defenses.
His ability to extend plays is unparalleled in this draft class, as he is extremely fast and can make defenders miss with ease. He has a live arm, possessing more than adequate arm strength and the ability to fit the ball into tight windows. The clip below highlights Fields’ ability to throw with touch and velocity.
— Draft Genius (@_DraftGenius) June 14, 2020
While Lawrence is the headliner of the 2021 quarterback group, do not sleep on Fields. He is a top-five pick in almost any draft and has the skill-set to thrive in today’s NFL. Redskins fans might not agree, but if the Redskins are drafting this high, Fields must receive consideration.
Penei Sewell, OT Oregon (6’6″, 330 pounds)
If Washington decides to go against taking a quarterback, protecting Haskins must become their top priority. The Redskins were not able to smooth things over with All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams, leading to him being traded to the San Francisco 49ers. This created a massive hole at left tackle, which doesn’t bode well for Haskins, who was sacked 29 times in his seven starts. The club did spend a fourth-round selection on LSU’s Saahdiq Charles, but he comes with some baggage and could wind up moving to left guard if he doesn’t succeed at left tackle.
“It’s no secret that Sewell is the best prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft class not named Lawrence. In NFL circles, scouts are gushing over Sewell as a prospect. According to PFF, in 466 pass-blocking snaps this past year, Sewell allowed just seven pressures and no sacks. His play in 2019 was nothing short of brilliant, and there is nothing in the way of him having an encore in 2020.”
Some of Sewell’s clips show at what point he is a dominant player.
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) September 23, 2019
Not only does Sewell solve the issue at left tackle for the Redskins, but he will quickly become the NFL’s best blindside protector. If the Redskins wanted to give Haskins one more chance to prove himself, adding an elite left tackle to protect his blindside is paramount.
Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU (6’0″, 208 pounds)
So, if it’s not a quarterback or left tackle, the Redskins must add a dynamic weapon to their offense. Currently, outside of Terry McLaurin, the cupboard is bare when it comes to providing Haskins with reliable pass-catching targets. When you take a look at the current list of wide receivers on the Redskins’ roster, the group includes Kelvin Harmon, Cody Latimer, Steven Sims, Emanuel Hall, and Antonio Gandy-Golden. You will be hard-pressed to find a less talented group in the entire league. How is Haskins going to succeed when he has no one to throw to?
The 2020 and 2021 wide receiver groups are historically good and the best player from either class is LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase. Chase was absolutely absurd in 2019, accumulating 84 receptions for 1,780 and a mind-blowing 20 touchdowns. The best part of Chase’s game is his ability to save his best football for the biggest stage, In last year’s national championship game, Chase exploited the Clemson defense, catching 9 passes for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns and absolutely abusing 2020 first-round pick A.J. Terrell.
Chase is a manufacturer of big plays. Last season, he had an astonishing 46 plays of 15 or more yards, which is the most since 2014. The clip below will provide an example of his big-play ability. Watch as he hauls in a 52-yard touchdown pass from Joe Burrow in last season’s national championship game.
— From the Stands (@FromTheStandsUS) January 14, 2020
Not only would the LSU wide receiver be a perfect complement to McLaurin, but he would also give Haskins a bonafide number one receiver, which is something he has lacked during his professional tenure. If the Redskins aren’t going to replace Haskins, they must surround him with talent that will elevate his performance.