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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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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

In case you missed it

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

More Redskins

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.