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Redskins draft countdown: RB Nick Chubb can grind for yards inside or outside

Redskins draft countdown: RB Nick Chubb can grind for yards inside or outside

Redskins draft countdown

Nick Chubb

Running back
Georgia

Nick Chubb ran for nearly 2,500 yards in two seasons after suffering a devastating knee injury in 2015. While the injury seems to have cost him some explosion, he still has plenty of power. Maybe Chubb is not going run away from defenders like he could as a freshman but he isn’t going to get taken down with an arm tackle, either.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 228
40-yard dash:4.52

Projected draft round:2-3

How he fits the Redskins: Jay Gruden said that he wants a running back who can gain yardage between the tackles and catch passes. Chubb certainly can do the former, combining power and good vision to blast for gains up the middle. Georgia rarely throws passes to running back so the Redskins will need to project that skill. 

Film review: vs. Tennessee, vs. Mississippi State

—You name the way that a back can gain yards after contact and Chubb has it in his toolbox. He gets his pad level low, keeps his legs driving, maintains his momentum, and moves the pile at the end with sheer determination. 

—Chubb will need plenty of work on pass protection. He usually was taken off the field on passing downs. When he was asked to pass block, he didn’t always look good. On one play action pass, he stayed back and looked confused at the QB got sacked.

—He is a grinder. Against Tennessee, he twice got three yards up the middle when there was nothing there. Then he got eight yards up the gut, again with little push from the line. 

—Chubb is not unstoppable. He got tripped up at the line with ankle tackles a few times; he could use some work on keeping his feet moving. 

—But he is nimble enough. Against Mississippi State, he took a quick pitch, kept his feet through some traffic, executed a jump cut to the outside and easily scored on a six-yard run.

—Chubb took a couple of direct snaps in Georgia’s “Wild Dog” formation. On one he saw running room off of the edge and showed good burst getting to the open field and he rolled for 26 yards and a TD. The other direct snap was just as impressive as he had to jump to field a high snap. Chubb gathered himself and dodged a tackler to pick up three yards and a first down. 

—Chubb seemed comfortable working behind a fullback in the I formation, lined up behind the quarterback in a single back look, and running out the shotgun. 

Potential issues: Georgia did not throw much to running backs. Chubb had 18 receptions as a freshman and a combined 13 his next three seasons. Even though Chris Thompson will remain the third-down back, they would like a running back taken in the top 100 to have some versatility. The Redskins will have to project Chubb’s pass-catching ability. 

The knee injury he suffered in 2015 seems to be fine, although certainly the medical information from the combine will be scrutinized carefully. The positive news out of the injury, if there is such a thing with an injury involving multiple ligament and cartilage tears, is that his ACL emerged intact. 

Bottom line: The Redskins are going to draft a running back and they want to make sure he is an upgrade over what they have. Chubb is an upgrade but is he worth a second-round pick? The lack of a third rounder hurts the Redskins here; they would not hesitate to pick him there. 

But they could take him with their second-round pick, the 44th overall, if they think he can be the guy to improve the team’s struggling running game. 

Redskins draft countdown

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

 

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Need to Know: Setting the final odds on the Redskins first-round draft pick

Need to Know: Setting the final odds on the Redskins first-round draft pick

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 23, three days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Setting the odds on the Redskins’ top pick

We have just three days left until the draft and it’s time to make the final predictions. For the last time before this draft, we’re going to break out the $100 in imaginary poker chips and see who is the favorite to be the Redskins’ top pick. 

Before we get started, all of these odds are set with the Redskins staying at No. 13. With a separate stack of chips, I’ll put $20 on them trading down, $80 on them staying put. There just isn’t an obvious team to deal with or a player that would be on the board to make a team want to move up. 

DT Vita Vea, $30—I would have this a little higher but I’m becoming less confident that he’ll be on the board when the Redskins draft at 13. Normally nose tackle isn’t a high-value position but this is an odd draft and Vea is a freakish talent. He has to get past the Raiders picking tenth and the Dolphins at No. 11 and I’m not sure they will. 

S Derwin James, $20—If Vea is gone then there is a good chance that James will be there at 13, assuming that the four quarterbacks everybody thinks will go in the top 12 are indeed selected. Although the Redskins have D.J. Swearinger and Montae Nicholson at safety, the versatile James could find snaps all over the field, as a third safety to cover tight ends and perhaps even at slot corner. 

DT Da’Ron Payne, $15—It’s starting to look like he’ll be a reach at 13; his real value may more in the late teens or early twenties. But the analysts’ consensus doesn’t necessarily match up with what the Redskins think. If they believe that Jim Tomsula can coach some pass rushing ability out of him, they could well have him graded high enough to go ahead and fill the need with the first-round pick. 

LB Roquan Smith, $10—His size may concern enough teams to leave him on the board until the Redskins are on the clock. I’m not sure that the Redskins would take him because the just re-signed Mason Foster and Zach Brown. But he is fast, hard hitting, and he may be too good to pass up. 

DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, $10—Many project him to be a slot corner in the NFL. A few years ago, many teams would hesitate to take a nickel corner in the first round. But today, with teams lining up with three or more wide receivers on 63 percent of the snaps a slot corner is much more than a role player. Add Fitzpatrick’s ability to move back to safety and you have a player the Redskins should covet if he drops to 13. 

CB Denzel Ward, $10—I don’t give much of a chance of being on the board when the Redskins pick but stranger things have happened. He would be a steal at 13.

RB Derrius Guice, $5—I don’t think that this will happen, but I can’t look at all of the attention the Redskins have given to him and believe that there is a zero chance of them taking a running back this high in an RB-rich draft.  

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.

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Timeline  

Days until:

—Rookie minicamp (5/11) 18
—OTAs start (5/22) 29
—Training camp starts (7/26) 94

The Redskins last played a game 113 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 139 days. 

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Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 22, four days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five safe picks for the Redskins

Sometimes teams try to hit home runs with their draft picks. They may hit a few but they also will strike out a lot. Teams often are better off trying to hit solid singles and doubles. Here are five picks who would are unlikely to make many Pro Bowls but the Redskins would not regret the pick if they turned in the cards with their names on it. 

RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn—I’m starting off here with a player who would be a safe pick in the third round. Of course, the Redskins don’t have a third right now but if they do swing a trade and get one, Johnson would be a good pick. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, which is one reason why he might be available in the third. He is a grinder who will be an upgrade over Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley. 

DL Vita Vea, Washington—There is plenty of hand wringing over whether Vea is a three-down player or just a base defense nose tackle. But even if he can’t rush the passer very well his floor is a player who can go a long way towards helping the Redskins stop the run, a chronic weakness. This is why a lot of fans and media are urging the Redskins to not overthink this and take a player that will, at a minimum, bolster one of their weakest areas. 

OL Billy Price, Ohio State—He started 55 games for the Buckeyes, the most of any player in the storied history of the program. He did suffer the partial tear of a chest muscle in the combine but that will be fully healed by training camp. When he’s ready, he’s an explosive, smart, and powerful player. Just plug him in at left guard and the Redskins’ O-line is set with all home-grown talent. 

LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State—He doesn’t have the ceiling that the more heralded Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds have. However, he may have a higher floor. Smith is undersized, and Edmunds will be highly drafted based more on potential than on production. At 6-4, 256, Vander Esch has plenty of size, and he racked up 141 tackles last year on his way to defensive player of the year honors in the Mountain West. 

 CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado—The All-Pac-12 selection has the size and athleticism that add up to a safe pick in the second round. He needs some work on technique, but he has enough natural athletic ability—he competed in the decathlon—to be a productive cornerback right out of the gate. One other plus that fans will appreciate is that his strength is press coverage, not off man. 

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

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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 30
—Training camp starts (7/26) 95
—Redskins @ Cardinals (9/9) 140

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