Why Washington Redskins Must Trade into 1st Round of NFL Draft

Dilan Ames@@DilanAmesNFLCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2014

Jan 9, 2014; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden speaks as general manager Bruce Allen looks on during a press conferences at Redskins Park Team Auditorium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins will enter the May 8th draft with many needs that will require fulfilling and may be looking to move up a few picks to get a better player. Given that their would-be first-round pick belongs to the St. Louis Rams, their first chance to draft a player currently sits at 34th overall.

According to WalterFootball.com, the Redskins believe there will indeed be a player worth trading up for in the No. 30-32 range, meaning they could be looking to strike a deal with one of the teams in the bottom three of the draft. 

It would likely take their 34th overall pick along with a fourth- or fifth-rounder to move up to one of those spotsa reasonable price for a player at that position.

Players Washington Could Potentially Target, Trade Up For
Brandin CooksWR
Zack MartinOT
Allen RobinsonWR
Morgan MosesOT
Odell Beckham Jr.WR
Walter Football

Another good reason for Washington to trade up in the draft is the new rookie contract option under the new CBA. Ever since the current CBA was ratified three years ago, the drafting team reserves the right to extend the player’s standard four-year contract to a five-year contract.

This may seem like a small benefit, but given how easily a player can be whisked away in free agency, keeping a talented guy around for that extra year would give the team at least one more season with his services and buys it more time to work out a new contract

Washington lacked continuity and consistency last year, and now that it's building a new regime, it'll need to draft well and ingrain those players in the franchise.

This makes the fifth-year option that much more valuable.

Of the positions that the Redskins should address early, offensive line and wide receiver stand out as having glaring holes that need mending.

It's possible they hold wideout as a more important position to address, meaning they will likely be looking to move up a few spots to grab a receiver before the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks grab one of their potential targets.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah noted that the last three teams in the first round are in need of a wide receiver and thus may snatch up someone that Washington has its eyes on.

Oct 26, 2013; Corvallis, OR, USA; Oregon State Beavers wide receiver Brandin Cooks (7) catches a pass while being covered by Stanford Cardinal cornerback Wayne Lyons (2) during the 2nd half at Reser Stadium. Stanford defeated Oregon State 20-12. Mandatory
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller recently pegged the 49ers to draft the speedy Brandin Cooks, someone who would fit into the Redskins offense nicely. He may go before or after that pick, but there is a chance that Cooks—or any other receiver Washington may targetwill be gone by the time the team is on the clock.

While the Redskins could very easily target a worthy receiver after making a trade up into the first round, they could just as easily zero in an offensive tackle.

They do boast an All-Pro blocker in left tackle Trent Williams, but the performance at the right tackle position has left much to be desired over the past couple of seasons.

Notre Dame’s Zack Martin would fit into Jay Gruden’s offense very well, especially given his balanced skill set in blocking schemes and fluid kick-step. He’s a confident blocker that has good measurements, but wins with his technique instead of relying on strength and size alone.

It may not seem like a huge difference for Washington to leapfrog a few teams to the 30th-32nd pick from its current spot, but there will be a big enough difference in talentnot to mention the contractual benefits I mentioned earlier.

Losing a fifth-round selection will be worth the extra bit of talent that will be gained from trading up a few spots and grabbing someone who might otherwise be gone.

There's no guarantee that a player will be there after anyone's pick regardless of their position in the first round. Any other team could trade up ahead of Washington, leaving the Redskins with the interesting option of trading up themselves and grabbing a targeted player.

There are clear benefits to trading up and Washington must consider them as draft day approaches.