Rivera adds offensive firepower with first draft class


PORTSMOUTH (WAVY) – It goes without saying that edge-rusher Chase Young out of Ohio State was the jewel of the Redskins’ 2020 draft class, and could be a star for years to come.

But Ron Rivera’s first class also included some potent offensive pieces, starting with wide receiver Antonio Gibson. Taken with the second overall pick in the third round, the Memphis wide out is as versatile a player as anyone in the draft.

The six-foot speedster spent time at receiver, running back, kickoff returner, and even said he wouldn’t mind playing defense for coach Rivera. Where exactly would he fit in Washington?

“Everywhere,” said Gibson. “But, to answer your question it would be running back. The way the game is going today, a lot of running backs can play receiver. I feel like that is the reason that they love me so much is just being able to do both.”

Over the weekend, the Redskins traded perennial all-pro left tackle Trent Williams to the San Francisco 49ers. Coach Rivera may have found Williams’ replacement in Saadiq Charles. The early fourth-round pick out of LSU brings size, versatility (can play left tackle or left guard) and talent. He also had his share of discipline issues in Baton Rouge.

“I’m one of those that do believe you do give guys opportunities, especially if they show that they want it and this is a young man that wants it,” said Rivera. “He’s going to be watched, he’s going to be on a short leach.”

Rounding out Rivera’s offensive choices, the Redskins drafted wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden out of Liberty with the 36th pick in the fourth round. While most experts say Gandy-Golden won’t wow anyone with this speed, he’s a big target (6-4, 220 pounds) with big-play ability, and set school records with career catches (240), receiving yards and touchdowns.

“I’ve tried to model my game, personally, after [Cardinals WR] Larry Fitzgerald and [Falcons WR] Julio Jones, those are my two favorite receivers,” said Gandy-Golden. “I just love their game. I’ve always tried to pick, little bits and pieces off of them, trying to add it to myself.”

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