Redskins coach Ron Rivera said they need an impact player, whether they draft someone with the second pick or trade back.
The Redskins are widely expected to select Ohio State defensive end Chase Young if they stay at No. 2.
"If you're going to make a trade and you're going to go back," Rivera said on a video conference call, "that guy you take at that spot has to be able to make the kind of impact you need to validate missing an opportunity to take a player that's a high-impact guy."
Many draft analysts, including ESPN's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr., consider Young the most talented player available. He recorded 16.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss in 12 games last season. He has drawn favorable comparisons to his former college teammate Nick Bosa, the pass-rusher drafted No. 2 overall by San Francisco last season.
Bosa recorded nine sacks for San Francisco as a rookie. In 2018, the 49ers ranked 23rd in sacks per pass attempt, but improved to third last season. And they went from 21st on third-down defense to a second-place tie.
"If Player A is going to play for you for 10 years and Player B may not, then did you really get value or just a whole bunch of picks?" Rivera said. "So you've got to be able to sit there and say the next guy I'm going to take is that high-impact guy."
With months to prepare, and by picking second, the Redskins' plans have crystalized - at least for them.
"I'd like to believe in the back of my mind, I know what we want to do," Rivera said.
Miami has been rumored as a possible trade partner, depending on whether or not the Dolphins wanted to move up for a quarterback. The Dolphins have three first-round picks and the Redskins would be unlikely to consider a trade unless it's for the highest of their two picks -- the fifth and 18th -- in addition to more, one league source said.
But while Young would fulfill their desire to add an impact player, Rivera said he's not the only one who could do so. Rivera didn't mention anyone by name, but other possible impact defenders include Ohio State corner Jeff Okudah and Clemson's Isaiah Simmons. It's possible neither one falls to the fifth pick if Washington traded with Miami.
The Redskins have done their homework on the quarterbacks, notably Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa. With an unprecedented offseason because of the coronavirus pandemic preventing prospects from visiting teams -- and getting checked out by medical staffs -- it could reduce a team's desire to make a bold trade, one league source said. But if there is one, Rivera knows what he wants.
"We need a guy that's going to come in and really change our team," Rivera said. "To me there are a few guys on that board that are those kind of players."