The 2017 NFL Draft provided the Washington Redskins with a group of promising young stars. This year, the Redskins were given the 17th pick after a mediocre 9-7 season. Despite the above .500 record, the Redskins were unfortunately not able to make the postseason in 2016, just a year after winning their division for the first time in 3 seasons. Despite having a reasonably strong roster, the Redskins were overshadowed by their division rivals the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. They hope to turn this around in the 2017 season with a handful of newly signed free agents and a surprisingly strong draft class.
By many standards, the Washington Redskins had one of the best drafts of any NFL team this year. The draft, which took place from April 27-29, comprised of 7 rounds spread throughout the three days. The 2017 draft was in Philadelphia, the home of Washington’s bitter rivals, the Eagles. Having a relatively good season meant that the Redskins had one of the lower draft picks. However, the Redskins were able to snag Jonathan Allen, a 22 year-old defensive end, who arguably should have been a top 5 pick. Washington fans were ecstatic, as was Allen, who had grown up as a fan of the team. It was a moment of redemption for the Alabama star, who had taken a somewhat disappointing fall to the 17th pick in the draft. Allen will strengthen the team’s pass rushing corps significantly. In the 2nd round, the Redskins selected another Alabama defender, 22 year-old Ryan Anderson. The 6”2’ outside linebacker is often criticized for his average athletic ability in comparison to other linebackers, but he is a very good playmaker nonetheless who was voted first team All-Conference by the media. One of the most impactful players of the Redskins’ draft was Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine, who recently set the all-time Oklahoma rushing yards record. Washington had a rather weak season in terms of rushing, finishing 21st in the category while never having a truly consistent starter. Perine should complement the Redskins’ already dominant passing offense by providing it with another threat that opponents will have to look out for.
After the 2017 draft, the Washington Redskins have reasserted themselves as a truly dominant team in the NFL. With new threats such as Jonathan Allen, the team has developed a menacing defense to go along with an offense that ranked 3rd in total yardage last season. Despite being in arguably the most difficult division in the league, the improved Redskins have the necessary components to have a successful 2017 season after a promising draft and offseason.