The Washington Redskins entered the 2018 NFL Draft with the 13th overall selection and filled a much needed hole with the pick. What is generally known among Redskins fans is this…the team simply needed help on the defensive side of the ball.
During the 2017 season, the Redskins had the 32nd ranked run defense with opposing teams averaging 134.1 rushing yards per game, leaving Redskins fans and players clamoring for help. In fact, according to an article by John Keim, ESPN staff writer, safety DJ Swearinger stated via a recently deleted tweet, “Soo Like I’ve Been Saying We Had The 32rd Ranked Run Defense Last Year! (Embarrassing) Why Would We Get A Db With That 1st Pick –?!?! He cant Put His Hand In The Dirt! It’s Only Logic To Get Help Where You Hurt Right Or Wrong?!?!?”
To help fill this genuine and critical need, the Redskins selected highly regarded defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne from the University of Alabama with their first round pick. At 6-foot-2 and 308-pounds, the defensive lineman progressed quite well through three seasons with Alabama. He played in only 8 games as a freshman and recorded just 13 tackles, but finished the 2017 season with 53 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 interception in 14 games. With the Redskins piling up on Alabama players the past two drafts, Payne joins several recent Alabama players, including defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, who was selected by the Redskins in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, linebacker Ryan Anderson, who was selected by Washington in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft, and linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton who the Redskins selected in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL draft.
With their second round pick in 2018, the Redskins traded down to acquire a third round pick, while also selecting a potential impact running back, Derrius Guice. Guice accumulated more than 2,500 combined rushing yards over the past two seasons with Louisiana State University and was Washington’s highest-drafted running back since the team picked Ladell Betts at 56th overall in 2002. Other players drafted by the Redskins include offensive tackle Geron Christian, safety Troy Apke, and defensive tackle Tim Settle.
The author, Carl Buhler, has served his country for nearly 30 years in the Air Force. Beyond his professional pursuits, Carl Buhler is a passionate fan of the National Football League’s Washington Redskins. He believes 2018 will be a very bright season for the Redskins.