Everyone has been saying the 2020 NFL Draft starts with the Lions' pick at No. 3. That's because the Bengals are widely expected to pick Heisman winner Joe Burrow No. 1 and the Redskins are projected to pick Ohio State All-American Chase Young at No. 2.
Whether you believe it's true or a smokescreen, Ian Rapoport threw a wrench into that idea when he said the Redskins have started receiving calls from teams that want to trade up. If that happened, it would completely alter the draft as whoever moves up to No. 2 is presumably doing so in order to select their QB of the future. Or perhaps they see what everyone else does-- that Young has the pedigree of a generational pass rusher. Either way, it would set off an avalanche of moves that would alter the NFL for years to come.
Since their heyday in the 1990s, the Redskins have been among the most dysfunctional franchises in the NFL. Forget the fact that they've only made the playoffs four times in the last 20 years, and won only one playoff game in that span. Everything else they've done has seemingly been the worst decision possible, from their handling of player health (RGIII, Trent Williams), to horrible trades (Jason Cambell, RGIII) to bad free agent signings (Albert Haynesworth).
Based on that history, perhaps they would do something crazy here and trade back in the draft to pick up a few extra picks, especially considering they don't have one in the second round this year. They have a need at offensive tackle with Trent Williams sitting out last season and continuing campaign to be traded this offseason, so trading back and getting one of the top guys in this deep offensive-line draft isn't completely unthinkable. But passing up the chance to pick Young is.
The two most important positions in the NFL today, outside of quarterback, are pass rush and offensive line. Washington has a need at both positions. They can get an offensive lineman later in the draft. Or they can trade for one like Joe Thuney. They can't get a guy like Young through either method.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound prospect had 16.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss at Ohio State last year alone. He has a rare combination of power and speed, and although he didn't shine in the Buckeyes' loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinals last season, he made two big leaps at Ohio State over the last two years with potential to still be realized. The Redskins were 10th in the NFL in sacks per game last year and Young could transform their defense into one of the elite units of the NFL, much the same way the 49ers improved in 2019 with the addition of Nick Bosa.
The Redskins have been known to make boneheaded decisions in the past. If they did trade the No. 2 pick, it would alter the NFL Draft and leave teams scrambling to move up and get the player they want. But even they aren't crazy enough to pass on Young, a mistake that could torment them for a decade.