Tony Pauline Mailbag: Should Redskins draft Andrew Thomas over Chase Young?

Time to once again dive into Tony Pauline's mailbag to discuss the latest NFL Draft news and notes, including his thoughts on DeVonta Smith's future, the top offensive linemen in the draft, and Anthony Gordon. But first - is Chase Young a lock to be the second overall pick?

Every week, I open up the mailbag for anyone to send me their questions on the current college football season, the NFL, or the 2020 NFL Draft. As the college football bowl season winds down, this week’s mailbag is packed with NFL Draft news and notes on DeVonta Smith, a pair of Alabama offensive tackles, Anthony Gordon, and much more. But we kick things off with some thoughts on what the Washington Redskins should do with the second overall pick.

Do you have a question you want to send to me? Send it to, and we’ll be sure to include it in an upcoming mailbag column.

The Tony Pauline Mailbag

Is Ohio State’s Chase Young a “generational talent” that the Redskins really can’t pass on (rather than selecting a player like Georgia OT Andrew Thomas)? I feel a franchise left tackle like Thomas is more valuable to the Redskins right now than Young would be to the Redskins.

I believe Chase Young is a great pass rusher and an athletic talent who is effective making plays in space but really needs to develop a complete game. He needs to get stronger and improve his play against the run. I do not feel Young is a “generational talent” – and being someone who really values the left tackle position, I absolutely feel that a case can be made in favor of the Redskins selecting Andrew Thomas over Young with the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Will DeVonta Smith declare for the NFL Draft?

I think it’s less than 50/50 right now that Smith enters the draft. As I stated a few weeks back, a story that has since been confirmed by other outlets, Saban has recommended most of the Tide underclassmen return as they are not getting the early day one draft grades that many predicted they would receive.

How do you rate Alabama’s Jedrick Wills and Iowa’s Tristan Whirfs in this draft? Do you think the Jets will have a shot at either of them or Andrew Thomas? Or would they rather have a wide receiver like Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb?

I grade Wills a distant fifth or sixth after Andrew Thomas and Tristan Wirfs. I grade his teammate and fellow Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood much higher than Wills.

The Jets will have no shot at Andrew Thomas. If Wirfs enters the draft, there’s less than a 50% chance he falls to the Jets. They will have a chance to snap up Leatherwood, though, who would be an immediate upgrade at left tackle.

Who are a few players currently flying under the radar who may end up being first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft?

It depends on your definition of “flying under the radar.” Guys who are not getting first-round mention at this point that could slide into the late part of round one include:

Damon Arnette/CB/Ohio State
Kenneth Murray/LB/Oklahoma
Prince Tega Wanogho/T/Auburn
KJ Hamler/WR/Penn State
Austin Jackson/T/USC

Do you see Anthony Gordon following the path of former Washingon State quarterback Gardner Minshew to have a chance to become a developmental quarterback who could one day start in the NFL? Or is that just a Pac-12 football fan’s hope?

Gordon is a developmental quarterback who needs a lot of work on his game. Minshaw was a better passer with more moxie and more of the “it” factor one year ago when comparing the two. Gordon has better physical skills but his game is not nearly as rounded as Minshaw a year ago.

The Senior Bowl is a huge opportunity for Gordon.

Tony Pauline is Pro Football Network’s NFL Draft Analyst and Insider. Follow him on Twitter @TonyPauline. Follow PFN on Twitter @PFN365

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