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Enemy Intel: Can Redskins produce vs. Jets' defense?

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Enemy Intel: Can Redskins produce vs. Jets' defense?

Since free agency opened March 10, front offices around the league have been busy retooling rosters and preparing for the upcoming season. Here at CSNWashington.com, we’ve kept a watchful eye on the moves made by teams that appear on the Redskins’ 2015 schedule. Who’s gotten better? Who’s slipped a bit? Let’s take a closer look.

Up today…

New York Jets (Week 6)

2014 record: 4-12.

Key additions: CB Darrelle Revis (Patriots), WR Brandon Marshall (Bears), DE Leonard Williams (1st round/USC), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (Texans), CB Antonio Cromartie (Cardinals), G James Carpenter (Seahawks), CB Buster Skrine (Browns), RB Stevan Ridley (Patriots), S Marcus Gilchrist (Chargers), LB Joe Mays (Chiefs), LB Jamari Lattimore (Packers) and TE Kellen Davis (Lions).  

Key departures: WR Percy Harvin (Bills), S Dawan Landry (unsigned), QB Michael Vick (unsigned), RB Chris Johnson (unsigned), FB John Conner (Bills), LB/special teams) Nick Bellore (49ers), CB Phillip Adams (Falcons), CB Kyle Wilson (Saints) and DE Kenrick Ellis (Giants).

Best move: Drafting Williams. Considered by many to be the top prospect in this year’s draft, the Redskins made the somewhat surprising decision to pass on the USC product, allowing him to fall to No. 6. At the time, the Jets didn’t have a pressing need at the position. But they do now with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson suspended for the first four games of the season.

What it all means for the Redskins: With Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick expected to battle in training camp for starting quarterback duty, it’s hard to imagine the Jets’ offense, which ranked 28th in points per game last season, making a huge leap in 2015—even after adding five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Instead, the issue for Washington could be Robert Griffin III and Co. putting up points against a much-improved (on paper, at least) New York defense.

{MORE REDSKINS The top five wide receivers the Redskins will face in 2015

Richardson, who was reportedly banned for marijuana use, is eligible to return against the Redskins. Assuming he does, the Jets will have arguably the league’s best defensive line on the field. Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson were ranked by ProFootballFocus.com as the second and third best 3-4 ends in the game last season behind J.J. Watt. Nose tackle Damon Harrison, meantime, was ranked as the 14th best tackle in the game.  

The Jets’ secondary is pretty formidable, too. In addition to signing Darrelle Revis, PFF’s fourth ranked corner, to the richest deal ever at his position, GM Mike Maccagnan also inked corners Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine as well as safety Marcus Gilchrist.

Assuming this group remains healthy, I don’t think there’s much doubt that the Jets’ defense could be one of the league’s best units by the time the Redskins visit MetLife Stadium on Oct. 18.

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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

In case you missed it

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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