The first night of the draft couldn’t have ended any sweeter for Bruce Allen and the Washington Redskins.
The Redskins may have lucked into the best pick in the draft, and the one that is sure to raise the most support from the hometown fans, when DL Jonathan Allen from Alabama fell to them at the 17th pick in the first round.
After a somewhat bitter offseason has seen the team lose some of their top players, engage in a public contract war with franchise quarterback Kirk Cousins, and the surprise firing of GM Scot McCloughan, most of the Redskins fans were probably dreading what could go wrong with the draft.
The unrest ahead of them, including several trades from teams chasing their quarterbacks of the future, along with some injury concerns, led to arguably the most talented player in the draft falling to the Redskins at 17.
Allen completes his odyssey after traveling to Alabama for college and winning a championship as well as several awards. There aren’t too many better stories in the draft than the hometown kid coming back to play for his childhood favorite NFL team.
Allen ended his college career by winning the 2016 Chuck Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s top defender on the nation’s top defense in 2016. In 2016, he amassed 69 tackles, 16 tackles for loss (TFL), and led the team with 10.5 sacks.
The old addage that big players make big plays in big games holds true for Allen, who tallied 7 tackles and a sack in the national championship game against Clemson.
One scouting report had Allen rated as the number two defensive end in the draft, and the number five overall player. It is believed that he is one of the most versatile defensive linemen in the draft, capable of playing either in the 4-3 or 3-4.
The Redskins next pick at 49 in the second round. The best remaining players that may fit the Redskins are: RBs Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon or the darkhorse pick Marlon Mack from South Florida.
Rumor has it that the Redskins are actively shopping former third round pick Matt Jones, so they should be looking to upgrade the position through the draft and continue to build around Kirk Cousins. Now if they could only get Cousins a long-term contract and bring some stability there too.