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Best-case and worst-case scenarios for the Redskins' 2014 draft picks

Best-case and worst-case scenarios for the Redskins' 2014 draft picks

As the Redskins’ eight draft picks take the first steps in their NFL careers there is plenty of optimism about the career prospects for each of them. But history tells us that some of them will work out and some of them will not. Here is how I see the best-case scenario for each draft pick and what the worst that could happen during their NFL careers (barring injury in both cases).

OLB Trent Murphy

Best—Murphy has a steady part-time role on defense, gets four sacks, and becomes a key special teams player. In 2015 Brian Orakpo moves on and Murphy becomes a starter, eventually becoming an eight to 10 sack per year player, making several other big plays each season.

Worst—He really can’t get a foothold on defense and plays just a few dozen snaps during the year. That’s not enough production for the organization and they spend big to bring Orakpo back. Murphy develops into a special teams demon but only gets a few sacks a year due to an irregular role on defense.

OT Morgan Moses

Best—Moses beats out Tyler Polumbus for the starting job at some point before the second half of the season. He becomes a very solid player and while fans annually wonder why he’s not picked for the Pro Bowl but the truth is that he’s not quite good enough. Moses and Trent Williams are bookends on the line for the next six seasons.

Worst—Polumbus holds on to the starting job and Moses plays very little. Polumbus leaves as a free agent after the season but the Redskins don’t quite feel that Moses is good enough to slide into the right tackle spot. They use their first-round pick on a “sure thing” at tackle and Moses is a reserve for his career.

OL Spencer Long

Best—One of the interior lineman misses a few weeks of training camp with an injury, Long steps in, and can’t be unseated. His relentless play and nasty streak makes him a fan favorite for the next 10 years.

Worst—Long doesn’t get an opportunity to get on the field this year and the interior of the line plays well. The starters are all under contract through 2015 and Long can’t crack the lineup.

DB Bashaud Breeland

Best—Tracy Porter can’t stay healthy and Breeland steps in to the nickel role. After a couple of years, DeAngelo Hall retired and Breeland takes over as the starter.

Worst—His physical style of play leads to him getting too many penalty flags thrown against him. Special teams play keeps him in the league for a while but he never earns a steady role on defense.

WR Ryan Grant

Best—He makes the 53-man roster and after being inactive for a few weeks his ability to get open during practice makes it impossible to keep him off the field. Grant lines up in some four-receiver sets. Throughout his career he’s one of those guys who doesn’t make very many catches but it seems that every catch either comes in a critical situation or is worthy of a SportsCenter highlight.

Worst—His smarts can’t overcome his lack of speed. He spends on 2014 season on the practice squad and he can never establish himself on the 53-man roster.

RG Lache Seastrunk

Best—He performs well enough in training camp and the preseason to warrant getting several carries per game. Between now and the 2015 season he learns pass protection and receiving well enough to become a solid third-down back for the next several years.

Worst—His big-play ability is negated by his inability to perform his role when he doesn’t get the football. Seastrunk spends his career as more of a novelty than a consistent weapon.

TE Ted Bolser

Best—He is, in the words of Jay Gruden, a true “war daddy” on kick coverage and that gets him a spot on the 53. He develops into a passable alternative to Jordan Reed for the occasional game that Reed might miss due to injuries.

Worst—Bolser spends the 2014 season on the practice squad. In the second round of next year’s draft the Redskins take a tight end that is just too good to pass up and Bolser rarely plays on offense.

K Zach Hocker

Best—He consistently booms kickoffs out of the end zone and the team has to carve out a spot on the 53-man roster for him. Kai Forbath sufferers another leg injury during the season and Hocker does well filling in for him. Next year, Hocker wins a full-out kicking competition.

Worst—His kickoffs are good but some injury situations at other roster spots make it impossible to keep him on the roster. He gets an occasional tryout and is in training camp with NFL teams for the next couple of years but he never really catches on.

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Need to Know: If Kirk Cousins leaves, with the Redskins rebuild or retool?

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: If Kirk Cousins leaves, with the Redskins rebuild or retool?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 16, 57 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 49
—NFL Draft (4/26) 100
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 236

Nickel coverage—Five Redskins questions

Taking a look at some of the key questions surrounding the Redskins, sometimes coming up with more questions in the process. Yes, it's going to be that kind of offseason. 

What will the Redskins do at left guard? It would be better for the Redskins to find their left guard in the draft, but assuming that the successor is picked after the second round, they will want someone to start until the rookie is ready. That could be Arie Kouandjio or maybe a veteran free agent.

Can the Redskins make do with what they have at running back? The short answer is no. The running back situation needs attention. It’s hard to picture Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley forming a formidable tandem, or even a very good one. I’m wary of spending a high draft pick on an RB, but the success of the likes of Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette have to be factored into the thinking.

Are the Redskins OK with Zach Brown and Mason Foster at inside linebacker? For the time being they are, assuming that they are able to sign both of the unrestricted free agents, however the Redskins need to continue to build that position. That means continuing to develop Josh Harvey-Clemons to use in nickel situations and spending draft resources there. Even if Brown and Foster are back, the Redskins might be smart to grab Roquan Smith out of Georgia if he’s there in the first round.

If they are without Kirk Cousins, will the Redskins rebuild or retool? This is a key question for the organization. If Cousins leaves, do they just try to plug in the best available/affordable quarterback they can find and roll on with the same basic personnel with which they have hovered around .500 the last three years? Or will the make other changes, perhaps moving on from Josh Norman and Jordan Reed to save cap money for future seasons and give their younger players a chance to establish themselves? The latter might be the better way to go but this organization rarely considers short-term pain for long-term gain.

If Junior Galette leaves, who replaces him? While Galette did not light it up in the sack department, he put plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He is likely to leave since he would remain behind Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan on the depth chart if he re-signed in Washington. Can they rely on 2017 second-round pick Ryan Anderson to take a giant leap in his sophomore season? Will they try to lock up free agent Trent Murphy and hope that he can bounce back from an ACL injury he suffered last August and regain his nine-sack form of 2016? I don’t see how they can rely on Anderson to suddenly provide pressure after recording zero sacks this past year. Whether it’s Murphy or another free agent, someone with a better track record has to be in the picture. If Anderson improves enough to move ahead of that player on the depth chart, so much the better.

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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Where does Stefon Diggs' remarkable catch rank among some of the best NFL playoff walk-offs?

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Where does Stefon Diggs' remarkable catch rank among some of the best NFL playoff walk-offs?

There is nothing quite like January playoff football and Sunday night's Vikings vs. Saints game further proved this point.

In case you have been off the grid the past 12 hours, the Minnesota Vikings literally got a last second win against the New Orleans Saints.

With 10 seconds left in the fourth and facing a 3rd and 10, quarterback Case Keenum heaved the football near the sideline to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who dodged two defenders while managing to stay inbounds for a 61-yard touchdown as the clock expired. 

It was one of the most remarkable playoff walk-off wins, if not the most remarkable one, in football.

So, where does it stand among the others?

RELATED: FORMER TERP PLAYS HERO IN VIKINGS' MIRACLE PLAYOFF WIN

Broncos vs. Steelers 2011 AFC Wild Card game: Remember Tim Tebow's 80-yard overtime touchdown to Demaryius Thomas during the 2011 Broncos vs. Steelers AFC Wild Card game? It was the first and last snap of overtime and it was wild.

Mile High Miracle: On third and three with 43 seconds left in the game, Ravens' Joe Flacco launched one towards wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who got in front of the Broncos receiver and ran the ball in for a 70-yard game-tying touchdown. The Ravens would eventually go on to win the game in double overtime. Some could argue it was the defining moment in the Ravens' Super Bowl run. 

Cardinals vs. Steelers Super Bowl XLIII: Under the brightest lights of all, Ben Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds in the fourth in the back of the end zone for a toe-dragging, Super Bowl-winning catch. 

RELATED: WHAT REDSKINS CAN LEARN FROM THIS WEEKEND'S PLAYOFF GAMES

Saints vs. 49ers 2012 NFC Divisional game: Sunday's loss wasn't the first time the Saints have experienced a fourth quarter letdown. Back in 2012, Alex Smith threw one to the endzone on 3rd-and-three with 14 seconds left that sealed a win.

While these are only a few, we can't wait to add more to the list in years to come.