The top 5 Washington draft choices for Ron Rivera: No. 1

This week (Monday-Friday) Commanders Wire has revealed in ascending order the top-five draft choices Ron Rivera has made in his three earlier drafts. Consequently, none of the 2023 NFL draft will be eligible for this list, seeing they have yet to play in the NFL.

Further, initially keep in mind that it is still much too early to know what Jahan Dotson, Phidarian Mathis, Percy Butler and Sam Howell are going to provide from the 2022 class.

Honorable Mention:

Chase Young also does not make our top five list because of virtually no productivity from the 2021 and 2022 seasons. But because of his high productivity in 2020, he nearly made the list and deserves an honorable mention.

Other honorable mention draftees during the Rivera era: Darrick Forrest and John Bates.

So here goes the list of the top five draft choices by Ron Rivera during his three seasons here in Washington (2020-22).

No. 5: Brian Robinson Jr., RB Alabama, 2022

No. 4:  Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota, 2021 

No. 3: James Smith-Williams, DE, NC State, 2020

No. 2 Antonio Gibson, RB, Memphis 2020

No. 1 Kamren Curl, S, Arkansas, 2020

With the 216th selection of the 2020 NFL draft, the Washington Redskins selected Kamren Curl, a safety from Arkansas.

Curl has been the most consistent performer for the Washington secondary his last two seasons. In fact, Pro Football Focus voted Curl a top-5 safety in the NFL for 2022.

When Curl injured a thumb during a Kansas City preseason game, he missed the first two games of the 2022 season. The defense really suffered throughout the Week 2 loss at Detroit, giving up multiple large gains by the Lions.

Again, Curl was injured late in the season, missing the games against the 49ers and Browns. The Commanders lost both games and subsequently were eliminated from the NFL Playoffs.

Though a seventh-round selection, both Curl and defensive end Chase Young were named to the 2020 Pro Football Focus All-Rookie Team.

Curl enters the last season of his rookie contract. If he has another good season, there is little doubt he will be one of the more coveted safeties on the market in the next free-agency signing period.

The Commanders would do well to commit to begin talks with Curl, to get him re-signed and guaranteed to be wearing burgundy and gold the next few seasons.

Consequently, as we’ve shown in this five-part series this week, looking at the top five draft choices of the Ron Rivera era in Washington, we amazingly find that three of the five choices were in Rivera’s first draft (2020). Antonio Gibson (3rd round), Kam Curl 7th round and James Smith-Williams also in the 7th round.


Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire