The Redskins are without a first-round draft pick this year as they pay the final installment in the Robert Griffin III trade. For that reason they should be happy with the NFL’s announcement that 102 players were granted early entry into this year’s draft.
That is a 37.9 percent increase over last year, when 73 players entered the draft early. That was the previous record.
The Redskins’ first pick is in the second pick in the second round, the 34th overall selection. A draft pool that is 29 players larger than it was least year will, in theory, push more first-round talent back into the second round. And players who may have gone in the second round in a thinner draft pool will wind up going in the third (the Redskins have the 66th overall pick).
You can carry that all the way through the draft and say that some players who would have been drafted will go undrafted, giving the Redskins the opportunity to sign talented players in the undrafted pool.
This same dynamic is at work for the 31 other NFL teams, of course, so the Redskins don’t have a huge advantage over their competition. But when the Redskins don’t have a quantity of picks the other teams have (they have six selections, one each in rounds 2-7), perhaps an increase in the quality of the players available will help compensate.