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NFL Combine - Day 2

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Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera joined The Kevin Sheehan Show on Wednesday morning and revealed that the team had a first-round offer for disgruntled tackle Trent Williams before last season’s trade deadline but that the deal didn’t go through.

Williams was instead traded to the San Francisco 49ers during the 2020 draft. Washington only received a fifth-round pick this year and a third-round pick in the 2021 draft for the Pro Bowl player.

Starting with what he said about Williams, here are five of the biggest takeaways from Rivera’s interview.

On Trent Williams’ trade value:

  • “I know this much, there was an opportunity last year just before the trade deadline, he was worth a first-round pick. For whatever reason, that deal wasn’t done. Because he didn’t play last year, somehow, that number changed.”

This won’t do much to help Washington Football Team fans’ lingering bitterness with former team president Bruce Allen. Williams is considered an elite talent at a premium position in the NFL and to only walk away with two mid-round picks for a player of his caliber is disappointing.

Since Williams has been dealt, Washington currently doesn’t have a clear cut starter at left tackle. Rookie Saahdiq Charles and free agent Cornelius Lucas are expected to be in the mix. Veteran Donald Penn played 16 games at LT for the Washington Football Team last year, during Williams’ holdout, but he remains unsigned.

On impressions how much Cam Newton he sees in Dwayne Haskins:

  • “The thing I always went back to, when it was the two-minute situation, he seemed to exhibit a little bit more poise and things seemed to slow down. It really did remind me of Cam Newton … when things got frenetic, when things happened very quickly, he seemed to be most comfortable and that’s what I saw in Dwayne.

Much was made about Rivera not coming in and naming Dwayne Haskins the starting quarterback from day one. Since then, Rivera has sprinkled his sophomore signal-caller with praise at every opportunity.

Haskins struggled at times during his rookie season, throwing seven interceptions to go with seven touchdowns while only winning two of his seven starts.  By pointing out Haskins stepping up and performing well in critical situations shows optimism that the young QB will continue to grow and develop.

Remember that the previous coaching regime did Haskins no favors when it came to grooming him to become the eventual starter. The then-rookie wasn’t given first-team reps until mid-season and was essentially thrown into the fire when the veteran QB’s above him were either injured or proved ineffective.

Whether Dan Snyder asked for Haskins to be the starting QB:

  • “No. He put it on me to go out and evaluate the roster. Nothing was pushed on me, that’s what I want everyone to understand. It was an opportunity for me to come in, evaluate, and decide.”

Many observers and fans advocated for the Washington Football Team to consider Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 2 overall pick. This notion was usually followed with a suggestion that owner Dan Snyder wouldn’t allow this to happen because Haskins was the guy he wanted to be the starting QB. Rivera does his part to put that assertion to rest here and say that moving forward with Haskins as the presumed starter is his decision.

Ron Rivera on how Kyle Smith handled his audition for General Manager:

  • “He did a very good job. Seeing how he handled things, watching him do his thing, was solid. I really liked his approach and I liked the way he handled it. He’s a very talented young person that’s learning and growing.”

After Ron Rivera was hired, there were wholesale changes made to the coaching staff and the front office. One of the few holdovers was Kyle Smith, who was the director of college scouting. Not only did the new regime keep Smith, but they promoted him vice president of player personnel. In addition, it was suggested that the 2020 draft would be a trial period for Smith to prove he can eventually become the team’s general manager.

Any draft class generally takes three to five years to evaluate but it certainly seems like Smith’s bosses are pleased with his performance this spring. Rivera goes on to say that it will ultimately be Snyder’s decision to give out any titles but the new head coach didn’t hold back in his praise for Smith.

What he thinks about his No. 2 pick, Chase Young

  • “As an athlete, he’s off the charts. He’s got the right demeanor, he’s got the right personality. Now it’s a matter of us developing him and bringing the rest of his game out of him so that when he starts playing for us, he’s that guy that we believe he can be.”

Beyond his ridiculous game-tape and his trophy case full of awards, one of the most universal takeaways from anyone who has sat down with Chase Young is his demeanor. Often described as locked in and focused, the 21-year-old has the type of attitude that you would want in someone that is being labeled the future face of the franchise.

Ron Rivera: Washington Football Team had a first-round offer for Trent Williams last year  was originally published on