Here is how each draft pick fits with the Redskins:
Chase Young, DE, Ohio State (first round, No. 2 overall)
Young separates himself from previous top edge-rushing prospects — Myles Garrett, Khalil Mack, the Bosa brothers — because of his versatility. Young not only can rush the passer but also drop into coverage against short passing routes. The 21-year-old is about 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds — and still growing, according to his trainer Martin Gibson, who said the Youngs have a history of late growth spurts.
He is expected to start immediately for the Redskins and form an edge-rushing rotation with Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat. New defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio wants his edge defenders to rush more than drop into coverage in the team’s new 4-3 scheme, but Young could allow him to get creative in certain situations, especially on third down.
This would add a layer of complexity to a Redskins defense that did a solid job of pressuring the quarterback without blitzing last year but allowed 27.2 points per game, sixth most in the NFL. The Redskins hope an improved line can mirror the San Francisco 49ers’ improvement from last season after choosing Young’s Ohio State teammate Nick Bosa with the second overall pick.
Antonio Gibson, RB/WR, Memphis (third round, No. 66 overall)
Draft analysts describe Gibson as an electric, versatile offensive presence who is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. The Memphis wide receiver/running back had 94 touches last season on offense and as a returner, and he scored on 13 of them. He had 38 catches for 735 yards, as well as 33 carries for 369 yards.
Vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith called Gibson “a Swiss Army knife” who could line up in the backfield or as a slot receiver. Rivera compared Gibson’s skill set to that of the Carolina Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey, whose versatility made him the highest-paid running back in NFL history this offseason. Gibson is bigger than McCaffrey at 6-foot, 228 pounds, but he did not shy away from the comparison.
“That’s exactly what I want to do,” Gibson said of McCaffrey, adding, “I feel like I can dominate wherever they put me.”
Realistic expectations for Gibson as a rookie, Rivera said, would be as a role player in select offensive packages and as an immediate contributor on special teams.
Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU (fourth round, No. 108 overall)
The 20-year-old Charles is raw, according to scouting reports, but he has the type of talent to suggest he could have a chance eventually to replace Williams as the Redskins’ left tackle.
Charles was regarded as a top-50 talent and top-five tackle prospect in this draft class. He was suspended twice at LSU, including for the team’s entire nonconference schedule last season for a violation of team rules.
Not only does Charles have good size at 6-4, 321 pounds, but he provides the flexibility important to the Redskins’ new coaching staff, starting mostly at left tackle for LSU but also seeing time right tackle and right guard. He could compete for the left tackle job right away with 2018 third-round pick Geron Christian and veteran swing tackle Cornelius Lucas.
Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty (fourth round, No. 142 overall)
The 6-4, 223-pound wideout doesn’t have elite speed — he ran a 4.6-second 40 yard dash at the NFL scouting combine — but he profiles as a big, physical outside threat. Gandy-Golden produced in college with 231 catches, 3,722 yards and 32 touchdowns in four years, and he figures to compete for a sizable role on offense right away given Washington’s lack of high-end receivers beyond Terry McLaurin.
Keith Ismael, C, San Diego State (fifth round, No. 156 overall)
Washington continued to fortify its interior offensive line by drafting Ismael, a 6-3, 309-pound junior who declared for the draft early because he felt confident in his play last season. He said after his selection that he believes he can play center and either guard spot, but it’s possible the Redskins could keep him at center. Starter Chase Roullier is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and last year’s fifth-round pick, center Ross Pierschbacher, is still developing.
Khaleke Hudson, OLB, Michigan (fifth round, No. 162 overall)
The 22-year-old Hudson is undersized for a linebacker at 5-11 and 224 pounds, but he played safety as well. Hudson said he believes he can play linebacker or deep safety in the NFL, and he backs up those words with speed: He ran a 4.56-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine. Hudson could help in coverage as well as on special teams, where he showed a knack for blocking punts in college.
Kamren Curl, S, Arkansas (seventh round, No. 216 overall)
The 21-year-old Curl broke out as a sophomore and was a two-year starter at strong safety for the Razorbacks. He could back up starter Landon Collins at the position, but scouting reports are down on what else he can do. Analysts see him as too slow to play free safety or slot corner and not big enough — 6-1, 206 pounds — to hold up against the run as a linebacker.
James Smith-Williams, DE, North Carolina State (seventh round, No. 229 overall)
Smith-Williams called himself a “traditional 4-3 defensive end” who is excited to get back to the edge after playing in a different scheme last season for the Wolfpack. Off the field, Smith-Williams spent the past two summers interning for IBM, and the technology company has promised him a job after football. He figures to add depth for the Redskins but seems unlikely to be more than a rotational player.