The rumors had been floating around Washington D.C. for weeks leading up to last night’s opening round of the NFL Draft that they may be using their 13th overall pick to trade back and regain the 3rd round pick given up when they acquired quarterback Alex Smith. They would use the extra pick to select both a running back and a defensive player of need, just in a later round. The counter argument to trading back was that, at 13, there was likely to be a game-changing defensive player available. Maybe the phone wasn’t ringing at Redskins Park due to the recent coverage of Redskins top football executive Bruce Allen, as the Redskins stayed quiet amid several trades early on, and they stuck with pick number 13.

Redskins beef up their defensive line

The two most talked about players for the Redskins first round pick were both defensive linemen. The potential selections were Vita Vea, who played at Washington and Da’Ron Payne, who played at Alabama, a program known for turning out starting-caliber defenders in the NFL.

Both players are considered elite run-stoppers, a position of great need for the Redskins. The team was the worst in the NFL at stopping the run in the previous season after their top defensive draft pick from last year’s draft, Jonathan Allen, went down with a season-ending injury. Jay Gruden’s offense was limited in their chances to take the field, late in games, as opposing teams ground down the clock with successful running attacks against the Redskin’s woeful defensive line.

What highlighted the need for drafting young run stopping players even more in the coming season was the New York Giant’s top draft pick, elite running back Saquon Barkley. Now, all three NFC East opponents of the Redskins will have elite running offenses.

Tampa Bay makes the pick easy for the Redskins

At pick number 12, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Vita Vea, stud defensive lineman from Washington, and the Redskins made the unsurprising pick at number 13 of Da’Ron Payne, who will join his former Alabama teammate Jonathan Allen, selected last year by the Redskins.

The hope is that improvement in the run stopping game will make the Redskins more competitive both inside and outside their conference.

Regardless of what they do in the rest of the draft, the Redskins addressed a key need and the fans seem to have agreed.

The consensus on social media is that the pick was both a good one and a necessary one. Next up to address in the draft, the Redskins lack of a running game.