The NFL Draft is over and the work to get all the rookies ready for the NFL begins. For the Washington Redskins that means first round pick Jonathan Allen and nine other players selected in the 2017 draft. The same scenario exists for the other 31 NFL teams of which the Redskins will face 13 including each NFC East rival twice. Let’s begin taking a look at the interesting matchups and scenarios involving the new guys.
Who: Arizona Cardinals
When: Week 15: Sunday, December 17 at 1 pm on FOX
Where: FedEx Field
* 1st round — Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
* 2nd round — Budda Baker, S, Washington
* 6th round — Johnathan “Rudy” Ford, S, Auburn
Major matchup: Yet another player that was linked to Washington during the early mock draft process, Reddick’s athleticism and versatility helped him shoot up draft boards despite being a non-Power 5 conference talent. Reddick could push Markus Golden for starting playing time or primarily backup Karlos Dansby as he completes a conversion from college defensive end to NFL outside linebacker. Regardless, he will be getting after Kirk Cousins plenty, but he will have to go through Trent Williams or Morgan Moses first.
Keep an eye on: Despite three safeties coming off the board in the first round, Jamal Adams, Malik Hooker, and Jabrill Peppers, Arizona found Baker fall to the points that they decided it was well worth two fourth round picks to move up nine spots for the potential steal. By this point in the season, Baker may have surpassed Antoine Bethea for starting playing time and form a dynamic duo pairing with Tyrann Mathieu, which will be a force to be reckoned with, which will be tough for Washington receivers to get over the top of.
Don’t forget: Despite being the Cardinals last draft pick in 2017, he was a solid three-year starter in the SEC and a strong tackler with some pop in the run game. His lack of quick acceleration may mean he starts primarily on special teams, but he could start pushing Tyvon Branch for playing time on defense as well.
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