The Redskins managed to find someone to fill many roles.
Memphis receiver/running back/and maybe tight end route runner Antonio Gibson was chosen by Washington with the 66 overall selection on Friday. It was a pick out of nowhere of a player noted by some experts as one of the draft’s sleepers.
There was a run on receivers and offensive tackles to deplete those options for Washington. Cornerback could have been a possibility. But Washington needs some offensive playmakers and found a hybrid who will help the receiving corps the most. And, that helps quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ chances of success.
This could be the player that earns Kyle Smith the general manager title. The selection required heavy research while showing the draft is more of an art than science. We’re not talking some experimental dual-position player like Su’a Cravens, but an offensive playmaker capable of helping the Redskins in several spots, including kick returner.
Gibson most likely spends most of his time at receiver, but it’s nice to know if Adrian Peterson finally shows his age or Derrius Guice can’t stay healthy the Redskins have a plug-in for the backfield. Gibson looked sharp in Memphis’ backfield in limited time, but his role should be receiver. With 4.38 speed, he has the quickness and size to get passes often thrown to tight ends that the Redskins lack. Offensive coordinator Scott Turner is gonna love designing plays for Gibson.
With no second-round pick after failed talks with several teams, including Minnesota that opted to select an offensive tackle, the Redskins couldn’t peddle Trent Williams to get back into the draft before the early third round. That stings a little because Washington is still looking for a needed left tackle and tight end.
But this was a solid pick of a player known only to serious college fans given Gibson barely played before last season. The Redskins found some mid-round magic last season in third-round receiver Terry McLaurin so Gibson could certainly provide a boost somewhere. Options are a good thing for an offense that will look one more time at free agents accepting show-me deals that might pay off.
The third day of the draft too often brings only backups and camp cuts. The Redskins are now largely set for training camp whenever that occurs and Gibson gives them something to anticipate. Maybe something good.
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Rick Snider is an award-winning sports writer who has covered Washington sports since 1978. He first wrote about the Redskins in 1983 before becoming a beat writer in 1993. Snider currently writes for several national and international publications and is a Washington tour guide. Follow Rick on Twitter at @Snide_Remarks.