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After drafting 10 players, needs remain for the Redskins

After drafting 10 players, needs remain for the Redskins

The Redskins checked off a lot of their needs boxes during the three days of the draft but even with 10 picks they are still left with some holes. Here are the team’s remaining needs.

Nose tackle—This is a copy and paste job here from just about every season since 2010, when they first started running the 3-4 defense. Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, a 6-1, 331-pound load out of USC was available until early in the seventh round. But they bypassed the defensive line entirely after taking Jonathan Allen in the first round. Maybe Phil Taylor can revive his career after missing the last two seasons. Or perhaps they will try to sign Dan Williams, the 330-pound veteran who was let go by the Raiders last week. But it seems that they are headed towards playing with no true nose tackle, a strategy that resulted in the Redskins allowing a league-high 5.0 yards per carry on first down.

RELATED: Grading the Redskins 2017 draft

Inside linebacker—The word is that if Allen was off the board when the Redskins first-round pick came around, inside linebacker Rueben Foster was on the short list of players they would have taken. But after taking Allen they stayed away from the inside linebacker position the rest of the way. They could have taken Zach Cunningham in the second round but they went with outside linebacker Ryan Anderson instead. While the Redskins could have used a young, talented addition to the group they will be OK at the position in 2017. It may be a different story in 2018 when Zach Brown, Will Compton, and Mason Foster are free agents.

Free safety—The plan to have D.J. Swearinger play free safety is dicey. He is more of a natural strong safety and although he played free some in Arizona last year, doing it in spots and doing it 1,000 snaps a year are two different things. They don’t have much choice now. It seems unlikely that Montae Nicholson can fill the role, at least not without a year or two of seasoning. Desmond King of Iowa, who may be able to play sooner, was on the board until early in the fifth round. It’s going to be up to Swearinger to hold down the last line of defense.

MORE REDSKINS: Five Redskins who could lose their jobs to draft picks 

Interior offensive line—The Redskins did take one interior O-lineman in Chase Roullier and he could develop into a starter or at least a reliable backup. But the situation at the position may have called for more. Both backup centers are gone as Kory Lichtensteiger retired and John Sullivan left as a free agent. Starters LG Shawn Lauvao and C Spencer Long are both set to be free agents in 2018. It’s possible that Arie Kouandjio can step into Lauvao’s job but that’s not something they can bank on. This was an extraordinarily weak draft for the offensive line so it’s understandable that they didn’t find anyone else.

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

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Redskins leave Philadelphia with more injuries than they came in with, somehow

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AP Images

Redskins leave Philadelphia with more injuries than they came in with, somehow

The Redskins went into Lincoln Financial Field somewhat banged up. They left in worse shape than they were when they arrived.

The most significant injury seemed to be to guard Brandon Scherff. Coach Jay Gruden said that he had an MCL injury and that he will get an MRI on Tuesday. He left the game late in the third quarter and did not return. Scherff rarely takes plays off and the feeling is that he could have a significant injury. He headed to the team bus to the airport with a brace on the knee.

OT Trent Williams came into the game with a patella injury in his knee and he aggravated it late in the game, missing the Redskins’ last couple of possessions. He did not practice all week to rest the injury. We will see as the week goes by if the injury will allow Williams to continue to play.

OT Morgan Moses sprained both ankles and he returned to the game after each injury. He undoubtedly will be very sore tomorrow and we will see how he recovers.

MORE: FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM A DISCOURAGING LOSS

The other reported injuries were more minor in nature, although they could cost the players some games. CB Fabian Moreau had a hamstring strain and he left the game. OLB Preston Smith, who has been one of the team’s best pass rushers this year, left the game with a groin strain. He attempted to return but he had to go back out. CB Josh Holsey had a chest contusion and he returned after going to the locker room to be examined.

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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Five takeaways from the Redskins' discouraging 34-24 loss vs. the Eagles

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USA TODAY Sports

Five takeaways from the Redskins' discouraging 34-24 loss vs. the Eagles

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 34-24 loss to the Eagles:

The Redskins have to keep the hammer down—They scored the first time they had the ball and then they had a few empty possessions. Washington took a 10-3 lead but the Redskins then got into the cycle of short, ineffective offensive possessions getting their defense back on the field too soon. The way Carson Wentz is playing, if you give him enough chances you will pay for it.

They won’t win if they don’t run—The running backs carries 14 times. Sure, the game got away in the second half, reducing their opportunities, but the rushing game was an issue throughout. In the first half they had a pair of third and ones and a third and two and they passed all three times. All three were incomplete, which led to the issues in the first item here. If the Redskins have a balanced offense they have a shot at beating almost anyone. If they don’t run the ball enough the odds are against them.

MORE: REDSKINS OFFENSIVE, DEFENSIVE MVP FOR PHILLY GAME

Redskins fans have the Cleveland Browns to thank for 10 years of Wentz—The Browns played Moneyball and traded the rights to draft Wentz to the Eagles. Like just about everything the Browns do, it didn’t work out. Now the Redskins, Giants, and Cowboys will pay for the Browns’ mistake for years to come. That run out of the pack of rushing linemen was both amazing and critical. It turned a punt back to the Redskins, who were down by seven, into a first down and an eventual touchdown.

The defense needs to get itself off the field—It’s easy to blame the offense for the problems with possessing the ball. But the defense could do its part, too, by getting itself off the field. At times, it feels like the Redskins’ defense is better than it has been in years but they gave up touchdown drives of 81, 80, 80, and 75 yards. At some point you have to show you’re better and get a takeaway or just make a stop to get off the field. Until then, the group has not improved in a meaningful way. I should note that the injuries have something to do with it, for sure. Dunbar did not play poorly but they pay Josh Norman $15 million per year for a reason.

There is a lot of season left to be played—The Redskins are 3-3 and two games away from the midway point to the season. They would have to rely on an Eagles’ collapse to win the NFC East but it’s entirely possible that they could. All but one other second-place team has three losses and the Redskins get their shot at the Seahawks in a couple of weeks. Fans have every right to feel frustrated after this loss but it’s not the end of the line. There still is plenty for this team to play for. Some of the injured players aren’t coming back but if they can round into reasonably good health in the next few weeks they still have a lot that they can accomplish.

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.