Rapoport: Rivera 'does love him some Tua'

Chris Lingebach
April 09, 2020 - 2:10 pm

You won't find many people who believe the Redskins will do anything other than select Chase Young with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft.

In fact, 106.7 The Fan columnist Rick Snider believes head coach Ron Rivera's comments this week suggest it's a virtual lock the Redskins are taking Young.

But the possibility remains, however slight, that Washington could surprise everyone by drafting Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. As NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday evening, "Ron Rivera does love him some Tua."

"The Washington Redskins made a little bit of noise during the scouting combine saying very publicly that they would in fact consider a quarterback at number two," Rapoport said in a video posted to Twitter. "And obviously Joe Burrow seems to be the odds-on favorite to go number one."

"That would mean the Redskins could potentially take Tua Tagovailoa, causing Chase Young to slide a little bit. Interesting thought process," he said. "And yes, Ron Rivera does love him some Tua, but here's my understanding of the situation surrounding the sack master Chase Young."

"He has been in conversations with the Washington Redskins, a little bit with the Detroit Lions, and that's really it," Rapoport continued. "Teams past the three spot – past the Detroit Lions – really haven't engaged hardly at all in Chase Young. There's a couple things that could be at play.

"Maybe a team is lying in wait trying to conceal their love for the pass rusher from Ohio State. Possible. Or, probably more likely, teams know that Young is gonna be gone at the very latest by number three. They know they got no shot at him, so they're simply not going to waste their time. All these questions are gonna be answered in late April."

"And yes, Ron Rivera does love him some Tua, but..." It's hard to know what to make of this remark, which comes as a segue into Rapoport's larger point, that Young is unlikely to slip past number three. It's just sitting out there like a sore thumb, without any real purpose other than to show it exists.

Let's revisit what Rivera said about what the return would have to be in order for the Redskins to move back in the first round.

"So you've got to be able to sit there and say that the next guy that I'm going to take is going to be that high impact guy," he said. "And that's what I'm looking for, that's what I believe we need. We need a guy just to come in and really change our football team. To me, there's a few guys on that board that are those kind of players."

Everyone rightly assumed Rivera considers Chase Young, an actual generational talent, to be one of those "few guys." But it takes more than one to make up a few. So who is the other, or others? Burrow is likely one of them, and while he'll almost assuredly go number one, that doesn't mean Rivera wouldn't count him as a high impact player on the board.

Jason La Canfora reported last week the Redskins have "fallen in love" with versatile Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons. Could he be in the mix?

Lastly, we come back to Tagovailoa, because after all, "Ron Rivera does love him some Tua." While Young remains the safe bet when the Redskins are on the clock, there remains a chance – until the pick is made – that the Redskins could shock the world on draft day by taking Tua, throwing the rest of the first round into complete upheaval.

Lest we forget what Rivera's longtime pal Michael Silver reported back in February.

As Rapoport notes, all these questions will be answered in the draft.