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2018 NFL Draft: New Year's Day prospects

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2018 NFL Draft: New Year's Day prospects

For many New Year’s Day means three things: Hangovers, resolutions and college football. We’ll focus on the latter and specifically the 2018 NFL Draft prospects playing in five games. More overtly, here are the names of prospects that could make sense for the Washington Redskins.

Let’s start with the three non-playoff games: Outback Bowl (Michigan-South Carolina), Peach Bowl (Central Florida-Auburn) and Citrus Bowl (Notre Dame-LSU)

Maurice Hurst, defensive tackle, Michigan

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 282 pounds

Projection: First round

Need: The Redskins may have struck gold with last season’s first rounder Jonathan Allen, but the current defensive line options are more about rotation pieces than playmakers.

Analysis (USA Today): “An explosive force at the point of attack, Hurst uses his quickness and well-rounded skill set to make frequent trips into opposing backfields. Hurst has the versatility to line up in multiple spots along the defensive line, and will be valuable at the next level, regardless of scheme.”

Quenton Nelson, guard, Notre Dame

Measurables: 6-foot-5, 329 pounds

Projection: First round

Need: Starting left guard Shawn Lauvao is heading into free agency after another injury-plagued season. Washington likely looks for a new option. That could be keeping free agent Spencer Long and moving him from center back to guard.

Analysis (Albert Breer, SI.com): “Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson is probably the most agreed upon prospect that I’ve discussed with scouts. When I told an exec last week that I’d probably write that Nelson was “maybe a better guard prospect than ex-teammate Zack Martin,” he told me to take the “maybe” out of there. In 2014, Martin, you may remember, became the first rookie linemen to make first-team All-Pro in 57 years. I had Nelson going fifth in my mock.”

Derrius Guice, running back, LSU

Measurables: 5-foot-11, 212 pounds

Projection: First round

Need: Injuries certainly hampered the ground game, but Washington’s running attack didn’t wow anyone outside of a handful of games in 2017 and remains a question mark entering 2018.

Analysis: Guice battled a nagging leg injury late in the season, but he will play in the Bowl game. Arguably the No. 2 running back in the 2018 class behind Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, Guice rushed for over 2,500 yards combined the past two seasons with 26 touchdowns. Caught 15 passes in 2017 after 14 total during his previous two seasons.

Carlton Davis, cornerback, Auburn

Measurables: 6-foot-1, 195 pounds

Projection: 1-2 round

Need: Starter Bashaud Breeland is headed to free agency and the bidding war could knock the Redskins out of the mix assuming they are interested in keeping him.

Analysis (WalterFootball.com):” (Davis) is a good corner with size, speed and length. The junior can battle big wideouts as he is a physical defender who really competes. Davis can have issues with coverage downfield and deep speed like many big corners. Some sources believe he could end up being a first-round pick, but others aren't as high on Davis.”

Others: Auburn edge rusher Jeff Holland, Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson, Central Florida cornerback Mike Hughes, Notre Dame left tackle Mike McGlinchey

Next: Prospects playing in the college football playoffs

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Looking at cheap, reasonable and expensive wide receiver scenarios for Redskins

Looking at cheap, reasonable and expensive wide receiver scenarios for Redskins

Most NFL teams usually carry at least six wide receivers, but going into the 2018 season, only Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Maurice Harris and Robert Davis hold signed contracts with the Redskins.

That means Washington must consider adding receiver help via free agency, especially considering Harris and Davis rarely played in 2017. Terrelle Pryor and Ryan Grant both played with the Burgundy and Gold in 2017, and while Grant has a solid chance to return, it would seem Pryor will head elsewhere after a disappointing season in D.C. 

Like every year, a number of receivers will be available via free agency, but what guys make sense for Jay Gruden's team? Let's take a look at three different scenarios, knowing Washington likely needs to add at least one free agent wideout. 

RELATED: MOCK DRAFTS LINKING 'SKINS TO BAKER MAYFIELD

  • Expensive: Jags WR Allen Robinson - A second-round pick in 2014, Robinson posted a 1,400-yard season in 2015 and has shown the ability to be a true No. 1 wideout in the NFL. He's 6-foot-3 with speed and leaping ability. In 2016, his numbers dipped to less than 900 yards receiving, but that season the Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles struggled significantly. Here's the thing: Robinson blew out his knee in the NFL opener in 2017, and that might make his price tag drop a bit. Word is the former Penn State star should be fully cleared by early March from the injury, and just 24 years old, he will be intriguing. Washington showed they would spend for a wideout in 2017 with the Pryor signing, but they did so on a one-year deal. If Robinson finds the free agent market not as robust as he wants, maybe a similar short-term deal could be reached?
  • Reasonable: Colts WR Donte Moncrief - A third-round pick in 2014, Moncrief also had a big sophomore season in 2015. He grabbed 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns. That was his only full 16-game season, as injuries have continued to be an issue for the 6-foot-2, 220 lbs. wideout out of Ole Miss. In 2016, only playing in nine games, he still contributed with seven touchdowns. In 2017, his numbers slipped big-time, and he posted less than 400 yards receiving in 12 games. Moncrief's problem isn't talent, it's health. That means he could be relatively cheap, and at just 24 years old, that contract might bring a strong return. 
  • Wild Card: Jets WR Eric Decker -  The Redskins have lacked a true veteran wideout since DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon left the team following the 2016 season. Decker will turn 31 in March and would give Washington a different presence in the WR meeting room. He posted two 1,000 yard seasons playing with Peyton Manning in Denver and went to the Super Bowl in 2013. In 2015, while teamed up with Ryan Fitzpatrick playing for the Jets, Decker again hit the 1,000-yard mark and hit the end zone 12 times. Throughout his career, Decker has been a solid red zone threat and has shown the ability to win on tough routes. He will need to take a big pay cut from the $4.5 million, one-year deal he signed in Tennessee in 2017, but that has to be expected considering his paltry production. In 16 games with the Titans, Decker logged 563 yards and only one TD. Decker might make sense, though the cost would need to be low. 

There are plenty of other names to watch, guys like Seattle's Paul Richardson or Buffalo's Jordan Matthews. Free agency opens in mid-March, and some connections between the Redskins and wideouts will start prior to that.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

ELITE 8 RESULTS

The Elite 8's first matchup is underway. Vote now:


FIRST ROUND RESULTS

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

You'd think a turkey hat would be enough to capture a W, but not in this one:

January 17: Round one, matchup eight

The Elite 8 is now set with this showdown going to the retweets side: