Washington Redskins: Potential 2018 NFL Draft First Round Targets [Opinion]

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The Washington Redskins are heading into an incredibly important offseason. Kirk Cousins is hitting the free agency market and re-signing him will not be a sure thing. Plenty of teams will line up with offers for Cousins when free agency opens up and losing him would devastating for the franchise.

While losing Cousins could happen, it certainly isn’t the most likely outcome. Washington will do everything they can to re-sign him and it is likely that he will want to remain with the Redskins if the contract is right.

According to a report from CBS Sports, Cousins would even seriously consider playing for the Cleveland Browns.

Looking ahead to the 2018 NFL Draft, the Redskins are set to draft No. 13 overall. They were not expecting to pick that high, but it will give them a chance to pick up a young impact player in a deep draft. Washington could go many different ways with the pick and it will be interesting to see what they end up doing.

Washington has the talent to be a playoff team next season if they can keep Cousins. They have built well through the draft and free agency and will simply add to that this year.

All of that being said, which prospects should be viewed as potential targets for the Redskins with the No. 13 overall pick in the draft?

Derwin James, Safety, Florida State

Bringing in a talented safety like Derwin James would be an ideal pickup for the Redskins. He would bring hard-hitting and playmaking to the Redskins’ secondary. James may not be available at No. 13, although some mocks do have him falling close to that area in the draft.

Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Another perfect target for the Redskins would be Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley. It was painfully obvious throughout the 2017 season that they needed a legitimate No. 1 target for Cousins. Ridley would be able to provide that kind of target for the Redskins and would be a major upgrade at the wide receiver position.

Quenton Nelson, Offensive Line, Notre Dame

Adding Notre Dame offensive lineman Quenton Nelson would be a great move by the Redskins as well. Standing in at 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds, Nelson is a freakish athlete for his size and would fit nicely with the Redskins’ current line. He would help open up the ground game and is an excellent pass blocker as well and well worth the No. 13 pick if they decide to go with a lineman.

Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Georgia

Washington also needs to make an addition or two at the linebacker position and Roquan Smith could be the guy they need. Smith was the leader of Georgia’s defense this season and would be an immediate leader for the Redskins in 2018 if they draft him. He has true superstar potential and should certainly be in consideration at No. 13.