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Every position is a draft need for the Redskins

Every position is a draft need for the Redskins

Both Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden have said that the Redskins’ draft selections will be determined by the player with the best grade, not by needs. However, no matter what position the Redskins draft with any of their 10 picks a case can be made that the player will fill a need.

Let’s go through position by position and see where the needs are.

Quarterback—Kirk Cousins’ future is very much in doubt with the team seemingly reluctant to come up with the money that would be needed to re-sign him. Colt McCoy is a backup and staking the team’s future on Nate Sudfeld would be a huge gamble.

Running back—Rob Kelley can get them 1,000 yards on the ground but that’s not the mark of a great back. And his pass-catching ability is questionable. Behind him, Matt Jones doesn’t seem to have what it takes.

Wide receiver—Terrelle Pryor is on a one-year contract. Josh Doctson has a ton of potential and great size but he is very much an unknown quantity. The Redskins could very well be looking for someone to line up next to Jamison Crowder in 2018.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 8.0

Tight end—It’s a given that Jordan Reed won’t play in 16 games and there has to be concern that a concussion could put him out for an extended period of time. Vernon Davis is a capable backup but he is 33 and we all know the thing about Father Time being undefeated.

Offensive tackle—Right tackle Morgan Moses is in the final year of his contract and although the Redskins likely want to sign him to an extension there is no way of ensuring that will happen until pen is put to paper. Ty Nsekhe, who will be a restricted free agent in 2018, is a good backup but can he start 16 games? And if he can, who is the backup?

Interior offensive line—Shawn Lauvao is in the last year of his contract and there are plenty of doubts that Arie Kouandjio will be able to step in for him either this year or next. Center Spencer Long is also in the last year of his deal. While he was adequate last year there could be an upgrade in the draft.

Defensive line—I don’t think any further explanation is needed here.

Inside linebacker—The Redskins go three deep here but Will Compton, Zach Brown, and Mason Foster are all slated to be free agents in 2018. They also could use a burst of athleticism if a good ILB is on the board.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins seven-round mock draft

Outside linebacker—Yes, the Redskins have four players with double-digit sack potential. But Junior Galette was a question mark even before his arrest last weekend, Preston Smith is maddeningly inconsistent, and Trent Murphy is a 2018 free agent who likely will be suspended the first four games of the season. Oh, and you can’t have too many good pass rushers.

Cornerback—Josh Norman is set on one side but the draft could have an upgrade to Bashaud Breeland, who is in the last year of his contract. Behind them, Kendall Fuller struggled mightily at times last year and converted WR Quinton Dunbar is a nice story but his ceiling is as a fourth or fifth corner. Oh, and you can’t have too many good cornerbacks.

Safety—There is hope that D.J. Swearinger and Su’a Cravens can be an effective safety tandem but it’s still a roll of the dice. The depth behind those two is aging (DeAngelo Hall, Will Blackmon) or very green (Deshazor Everett).

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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Need to Know: Redskins to face Eagles’ clutch Carson Wentz, productive Zach Ertz

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Need to Know: Redskins to face Eagles’ clutch Carson Wentz, productive Zach Ertz

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 20, three days before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles for Monday night football.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky news conferences, open locker room, after practice approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 9
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 16
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 34

Injuries of note:
Not practicing
: OT Trent Williams (knee), OT Ty Nsekhe (core muscle)
Limited: CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle), OLB Ryan Anderson (back), S Stefan McClure (knee). OL Tyler Catalina (concussion protocol).
It was encouraging that Breeland and Norman practiced although Jay Gruden noted that they both took place only in individual drills. See the full injury report here.  

First look at Redskins vs Eagles

Number that pops out—LeGarrette Blount, who had a career average of 4.4 yards per carry coming into the year, is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, fourth in the NFL. Not bad for a guy who is supposed to be a lumbering power back. The key to stopping him is the same as it always has been, getting the north-south runner to go east-west. The Redskins did a solid job against him in Week 1, limiting him to a 3.3-yard average on his 14 carries.

The clutch gene? Carson Wentz is the MVP favorite right now and the thing is that his stats are very good but not very impressive. He ranks 10th in net yards per attempt, 25th in completion percentage, eighth in yards per game, and seventh in passer rating. But he gets it done when it counts. Seven of his 16 touchdown passes have come on third down. His passer rating of 130 on third down is 10 points better than the second-best in that category, a guy named Tom Brady. As a result, the Eagles get first downs on 53 percent of their third-down passes, also best in the league.

Third down passing the key—The Redskins allow conversions on 35.7 percent of third-down passes, 16th in the NFL. If this game ends up with third downs near the Redskins’ season performance they will be in good shape. If the Eagles convert half of their third downs or more, the visitors will be in trouble.

Protecting Kirk Cousins—The Eagles have 14 sacks on the year. They got four against the Redskins in the season opener so they have 10 in their five games since. Their leading sacker is Brandon Graham, who has four on the season. Two of those came in the opener so he has two in the other five games. He will again be lined up against Morgan Moses, who had one of his worst games since becoming a starter against Philly. If Moses plays as well as he has since Week 1 Cousins could have time to have one of his usual big games against the Eagles.

Yes, Ertz is a pain— This is kind of hard to believe but Zach Ertz, who has been in the league since 2013, is third all-time in tight end receptions against the Redskins with 54. He’s behind only Jason Witten and Jackie Smith and ahead of Jeremy Shockey, Mark Bavaro, and Jay Novaeck. Ertz has played nine games against Washington; Witten has played 28 and Smith played 27. So if it seems like Ertz is always a thorn in the Redskins’ side, it’s because he is.

Potpourri: Wentz is the Eagles’ second-leading rusher with 133 yards on 32 carries . . . The Eagles have the third-best special teams DVOA in the league. On punt returns, they are averaging 16 yards per and giving up an average of 5.6 yards. That’s a lot of hidden field position.

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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From the locker room

Josh Norman talking about how it felt when he put some stress on his broken rib during practice on Thursday.

Posted by Rich Tandler on Thursday, October 19, 2017

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Kirk Cousins is real nice - and 3 other things we learned from the 49ers game

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Kirk Cousins is real nice - and 3 other things we learned from the 49ers game

Kirk Cousins got mic'd up during the Redskins win over the 49ers last Sunday, and well, it confirmed a few things Washington fans already knew about their quarterback. 

For starters, Cousins is a nice guy. A real nice guy.

On one play, Cousins completes a pass downfield while facing a bit of pressure. As soon as he throws the ball, he starts shouting to his offensive line, "Good pocket! Great pocket!"

He keeps going, "Hey that was you guys. I took forever, I took forever. Hey nice job."

NFL quarterbacks like to thank their offensive lines, but not always immediately, even while the play is going on. Kirk is a nice guy.

Some other things learned from the mic'd up session:

  • Josh Doctson has a nickname. It's "Papa Doc." No idea if that's an 8 Mile reference. 
  • Trent Williams believes Kirk Cousins' shoulder is worth $200 million. And he might be right. 
  • Kirk Cousins wants to stay aggresive. He laid it out to QB coach Kevin O'Connell. Cousins explained during the Redskins early lead:

"Sometimes I get in a weird place, you get a lead like this. Where you start playing conservative, not to lose. It’s smart to do that but it also kinda hinders your ability to just go play."

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