The Redskins gained the pick via a trade with the Los Angeles Rams earlier in the day. Washington sent the No. 205 and 231 picks to the Rams for No. 197 and No. 256, and took Alabama linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton at No. 197.
The Redskins previously selected defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne (Alabama), running back Derrius Guice (LSU), tackle Geron Christian (Louisville), safety Troy Apke (Penn State) and defensive tackle Tim Settle (Virginia Tech) and linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton and cornerback Greg Stroman (Virginia Tech).
More Hokie help: The Washington Redskins selected Virginia Tech cornerback Greg Stroman in the seventh round of the NFL Draft, No. 241 overall. He joins defensive tackle Tim Settle as the second player from Virginia Tech to be taken by Washington on Day 3.
Stroman (5-foot-11, 182 pounds) had 20 tackles last season, with a team-high four interceptions and 11 pass breakups and was named first-team all-ACC in 2017. He’s also a dangerous punt returner with four punt-return touchdowns during his career.
“Just a playmaker,” Stroman said about himself. “A guy that’s just going to go out there and make plays. A guy that’s going to study film and know what’s going on before the play starts. And just finish plays. Catch interceptions and take punts to the house.
The Redskins previously selected defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne (Alabama), running back Derrius Guice (LSU), tackle Geron Christian (Louisville), safety Troy Apke (Penn State) and defensive tackle Tim Settle (Virginia Tech) and linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton (Alabama). The Redskins hold the final pick in the draft at No. 256.
Tide stays high: The Washington Redskins selected Alabama linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton with the No. 197 pick in the NFL Draft after trading up with the Los Angeles Rams. He becomes the fourth Alabama player selected by the organization in the past two drafts.
The Redskins sent the Nos. 205 and 231 picks to the Rams for No. 197 and No. 256. The organization will get Mr. Irrelevant with the 256th pick, the last of the draft. The Redskins’ other seventh-round pick is No. 241.
The 6-foot-0, 228-pounder had 40 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, and 2.5 sacks in nine games. A fractured right kneecap ended his season after nine games. Hamilton was a team captain.
Hamilton, who also tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2016, is cleared to do all football activities and continues to rehab. He put himself at 85-90 percent and said he’ll be full speed by training camp.
The Redskins previously selected defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne (Alabama), running back Derrius Guice (LSU), tackle Geron Christian (Louisville), safety Troy Apke (Penn State) and defensive tackle Tim Settle (Virginia Tech).
Help from a Hokie: Washington selected Virginia Tech defensive tackle Tim Settle with the No. 26 pick of the fifth round, No. 163 overall. He’s the second defensive tackle Washington selected in hopes of shoring up a run defense that ranked last in the league last season.
The 6-foot-3, 329-pounder was named second-team all-ACC and had 36 tackles, 12.5 for loss and four sacks in 2017. NFL.com projected Settle as a second- or third-round pick.
Redskins add safety depth: Washington selected Penn State safety Troy Apke with the No. 10 pick of the fourth round of the NFL draft on Saturday, No. 106 overall.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder ran the fastest 40-yard dash among safeties at the combine in 4.34 seconds. He had 55 tackles, 3.0 for loss, one interception and six passes defended in 2017.
The former receiver, known for his athleticism, describes himself this way: “I’m aggressive. I think I can get into the box and not afraid to hit someone. I’m fast, I can cover the field. I’m tough, that’s how I like to play. I won’t back down from anyone.”
Apke ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at the combine.
“My speed will help with everything,” he said. “I’m going to make a name for myself on special teams first and then after that, just make my way into playing safety there.”
The Redskins made a shrewd trade that worked out perfectly Friday that brought the best player available to the team at a position of need.
The organization traded down with the San Francisco 49ers from the No. 44 slot to No. 59 and picked up running back Derrius Guice, who many believed would go in the first round. It didn’t have a third-round pick when the day began, but got the No. 74 pick from the 49ers and used it to draft Louisville tackle Geron Christian.
Guice’s slide appears to be due to off-the-field character concerns, but coach Jay Gruden said there were no issues that bothered the team.
Washington still needs a guard and cornerback and could use another pass rusher. Safety and receiver depth could also be in play.
The team addressed its two primary needs in the first round with Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne at No. 13 and Guice in Round 2.
Redskins add to offensive line depth, take Geron Christian in Round 3: After a season in which pretty much every member of the offensive line received some sort of significant injury, Washington added to the unit with the Louisville tackle.
The Redskins didn’t begin the day with a third rounder after sending it and Kendall Fuller to the Kansas City Chiefs for Alex Smith. But Washington traded back from the No. 44 pick to get the 49ers pick at No. 59. LSU running back Derrius Guice was the selection at No. 59.
The 6-foot-5, 298-pounder from Ocala, Fla., started all 13 games as a junior and was named All-ACC honorable mention as a junior. Christian started every game since his freshman season and named all-conference each season as he blocked for former Heisman winner Lamar Jackson.
Christian spent the last two days with friends and family watching the draft. He had seven visits, five workouts and several meetings with teams. Christian said he really had no clue where he would be selected.
“I feel like I’m a smart, athletic player who works hard,” Christian said. “I’ve always believed in myself. I always pretty much kind of knew I would be in this position, as far as going to the league, even coming out of high school. Winning my position as a freshman and getting all those starts under my belt and just playing a lot, then it really came to light. Going into this season I pretty much had a good idea of what I needed to do to put myself in a position to obtain those goals.”
Coach Jay Gruden said the plan is to keep Christian at tackle, particularly after injuries ravaged the position in 2017. The Redskins were thought to be more in need of a guard, but the team has repeatedly touted Arie Kouandijo as someone ready to step in on the left side as Shawn Lauvao is not expected to return.
“We need depth at tackle,” Gruden said. “He’s a great young tackle. He’s one of the best pass-blocking tackles in this draft, in my opinion. He plays left and right side and provides ample depth for that position. A position you can never have too many of.”
Washington takes Derrius Guice at No. 59 after moving down: The Washington Redskins selected LSU running back Derrius Guice, No. 59 overall, in the second round Friday.
The team was still able to get the running back it was connected to in many mock drafts despite trading out of the No. 44 slot. Washington received the No. 59 pick and No. 74 to get back into the third round after the original third-rounder was moved to Kansas City, along with Kendall Fuller, for Alex Smith.
Some believed Guice would be a first-round pick, but character concerns seemed to grow in recent days. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that teams described Guice as “high maintenance” and “immature” with some unreported off-field issues at LSU. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said there’s an ongoing incident that could be embarrassing for the Guice and a team. Guice said he did not know what story might be coming out, saying “I have no idea what’s going on.”
“These last two days have been really nerve-racking and just a lot of family time and a lot of emotion,” Guice said after his selection. “Just not knowing what’s going on and how this whole process works. Just knowing it’s all over the place. I’m so grateful to be a part of this organization.”
Running backs Saquon Barkley (Penn State), Rashaad Penny (San Diego State), Sony Michel (Georgia), Nick Chubb (Georgia), Ronald Jones (USC) and Kerryon Johnson (Auburn) all went off the board before the 59th pick.
“It did surprise me because a lot of things came out of nowhere and weren’t true,” Guice said. “I just didn’t understand, why me of all people because I’m great to everybody. I have a great personality and I just didn’t understand why everything hit so hard with me out of everybody. …
“I’ve been talking to [my representatives] the whole time either and this is all news to them as well. It’s all hitting them and me off guard and out of nowhere and we just don’t know where it’s coming from our how it happened. It just kind of happened.”
Guice fills an immediate need as the Redskins were the 28th-ranked rush offense in 2017 at 90.5 yards per game. The Redskins haven’t had a run game ranked above 19th since 2013.
Both coach Jay Gruden and senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams repeatedly talked about adding a running back during the offseason in the last few months.
The 5-10, 212-pounder led LSU with 1,251 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns despite a lingering knee injury throughout the season. His 104.25 rushing yards per game ranked No. 2 in the SEC. He also caught 18 balls for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Guice’s 4.49 40-yard dash was the fifth-best among running backs at the NFL combine. In 2016, he ran for an SEC-best 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns. There was little drop-off in production from the LSU run game after Leonard Fournette became the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 draft.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote: “While Guice has some elusiveness and long speed, much of his success comes from his furious running style and ability to create yardage after contact. Guice’s yards per touch was two yards higher over his first two seasons compared to last year. Like Leonard Fournette the year before, teams may be willing to lock in on his sophomore tape to create their evaluations and grades. Guice’s running style could lead to a shorter career, but he has a chance to make a big splash early.” — Kareem Copeland
How he fits: Derrius Guice fell much further than most expected, but he’s a perfect fit for what the Redskins need at running back. He combines great athletic ability with a physical, violent running style that enables him to outrun defenders to the edge while also being able to run through tackle attempts. On talent alone, he was worthy of being in the conversation at the 13th pick, but the Redskins get great value having him fall late in the second round.
Guice’s physicality is his standout trait. He has incredible contact balance and is rarely brought down by the first tackler. He doesn’t just break tackles though, he will often seek out contact and lower his shoulder, running over smaller defenders like corners and safeties. He played hurt in 2017, which prevented him from running with his full burst and acceleration. Look back to his 2016 tape and he displays great burst and acceleration that makes him a legitimate home run threat if he finds the open field.
At LSU, Guice ran a variety of different schemes, which should help him transition from college to the NFL. The Redskins use multiple schemes such as; wide zone, tight zone, power, sweeps, duo and many others. Guice has experience running all of these and ran them effectively, meaning he’s a terrific fit in Washington from a schematic stand point. He understands the different paths each type of run requires and will make subtle adjustments to avoid defenders while remaining on the correct track for the run.
Expect Guice to come in and win the starting job on first and second-down, carrying the heavier workload while Chris Thompson retains his third-down back role as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Guice is a capable route runner and has solid hands, but was rarely used due to LSU’s offense. On paper, that works out perfectly for Washington, allowing one of their top playmakers in Thompson to resume his role while still getting strong production from the position when Thompson isn’t in the game. — Mark Bullock
Redskins trade back in Round 2: With three running backs going off the board — Nick Chubb, Ronald Jones and Kerryon Johnson — to start the second round, but LSU’s Derrius Guice still on the board, Washington traded out of its position in the second round. The Redskins sent the No. 44 overall pick, as well as the 142nd pick, to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for picks No. 59 and 74.
The trade gives the Redskins a third-round pick, an asset they had been without after sending their own third-rounder to Kansas City, along with cornerback Kendall Fuller, for Alex Smith.
The trade came just after Johnson was selected by the Detroit Lions, who traded up with the New England Patriots to take the Auburn running back.
The 49ers selected Washington receiver Dante Pettis with the Redskins’ pick.
Running back could still be in play for the Redskins due to a deep draft class. Saquon Barkley, Rashaad Penny, Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, Ronald Jones and Kerryon Johnson are all off the board. At the time of the trade, Nyheim Hines (N.C. State), Royce Freeman (Oregon) and John Kelly (Tennessee) are all still available.
The Redskins could also use a guard, but interior linemen flew off the board early in the second round as well. That also could have contributed to the trade decision.
The 2018 NFL draft kicked off on Thursday, with the Redskins selecting an Alabama defensive lineman in the first round for the second straight year. Below is analysis on what Da’Ron Payne brings to Washington, plus a look at the players the team could target in the second round on Friday, and the team’s pre-draft needs. — Kareem Copeland
What went down: The Washington Redskins found themselves in a perfect position Thursday night during the NFL draft. A run on quarterbacks and a pair of offensive linemen taken in the first 12 picks left the organization with plenty of options at No. 13.
The decision seemed to come down to the best player available versus addressing an immediate need.
At 6-foot-2, 311 pounds, Da’Ron Payne should immediately help a run defense that allowed 134 rushing yards per game and ranked dead last in the league.
“We really like Da’Ron,” said Coach Jay Gruden. “Coming out as a junior, he’s only 20 years old. A big, strong, physical guy. You see what’s going on in our division with Saquon Barkley, [Ezekiel] Elliott and Philadelphia, they way they run the ball,” he added, referring to the Giants’ second overall pick at running back and the Cowboys’ star rusher.
“Our ranking on defense wasn’t quite up to speed at 32nd and we feel like Da’Ron paired with Jonathan Allen and the rest of the guys … I think is a perfect fit.”
The Redskins took Payne over the top safety in the draft, Florida State’s Derwin James, and the elite athleticism of Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.
“There were quite a few guys that were worthy of that pick, quite frankly,” said Gruden. “But for what we were looking for and the fit, I think Da’Ron is perfect for us. … I think the room was unanimous on who we should take.”
The Redskins are scheduled to have just one pick on the draft’s second day after they traded their third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs for quarterback Alex Smith. The expectation is for the organization to go with a running back with the No. 44 pick.
Payne said he’s glad to be in Washington with the opportunity to play with former teammates — Allen and 2017 second-round pick Ryan Anderson, an outside linebacker. Payne also liked the “vibe” he got from the organization and said it felt like a family.
“At Alabama, I won a bunch of games,” Payne said. “I can take that winning mind-set and the whole mentality it takes to be a winner and just take it to the Washington Redskins.”
How he fits: The 6-foot-3, 311-pound defensive tackle fills the Redskins’ biggest need along the defensive line at nose tackle. Coming from Nick Saban’s Alabama program, Da’Ron Payne has benefited from quality coaching that has led him to play with fundamentally sound technique. He’s incredibly stout and can take on double teams while not giving ground and maintaining gap integrity. He also uses active hands to fight for position and leverage to not only control blockers, but to beat them.
As a pass rusher, Payne has plenty of potential. During the regular season, he was inconsistent with his rush, although he would flash a good rep a couple of times a game. But in the playoffs and particularly in the championship game, Payne took over and dominated the line of scrimmage in all aspects. He showed a good first step and different moves, including an effective club-swim combination that enabled him to skip by blockers quickly.
Payne will have to become more consistent in that area and prove he’s able to sustain pressure over the course of the season instead of just getting hot in one or two games. But those dominating performances came in the biggest games of the year for Alabama and played a huge part in winning them the championship. While that side of his game develops, Payne is ready to start as a run defender right away. He shows quickness in the run game to penetrate and the ability to play more conservatively with leverage and occupy blockers to open lanes for his linebackers to flow through.
For the Redskins, Payne will fit in naturally alongside former Alabama teammate Jonathan Allen as the base nose tackle. Meanwhile, his pass-rush upside will enable him to play in nickel sub-packages and be part of a young rotation of interior rushers that includes Allen, Matt Ioannidis and Anthony Lanier. That’s a talented group of defensive linemen for coach Jim Tomsula to work with and develop.
What do you want to know about the Redskins draft? Leave your questions in the comments.