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This isn't the draft to demand Redskins draft early round defensive tackle

This isn't the draft to demand Redskins draft early round defensive tackle

The Redskins defensive line has struggled for a number of years, but the 2017 NFL Draft may not present the opportunity for the quick fix many fans want.

While this year's college crop has a lot of depth in positions that will help the 'Skins, defensive tackle does not appear to be one of them. 

"That's not talked about all that much, defensive tackle. I don't think it's a very good defensive tackle draft," NFL Network draft evaluator Daniel Jeremiah said on a conference call with reporters. 

There is one can't miss D-tackle prospect: Alabama's Jonathan Allen.

At 6-foot-3 and 286 lbs, Allen dominated for the Crimson Tide, and would be a tremendous fit for Washington.

One problem, however, there is virtually no chance Allen lasts around until the Redskins pick at No. 17. 

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After Allen, the next highest graded defensive tackle comes from the Big Ten in Michigan State's Malik McDowell. He has all the tools, but plenty of questions.

Jeremiah on McDowell:

He's tough for me. I think you're trying to guess on which Malik McDowell you're going to go to get. Do you get the guy I watched against Notre Dame that was explosive, was making plays all over the field, was playing hard, showed active hands. He was impressive. You see the quickness, the explosiveness, the want-to. Then you watch some other games, it's like he didn't want to be out on the field.

Projections are all over the place with McDowell, and it would not be a surprise to see Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office pass on the former Spartan at 17. 

Beyond Allen and McDowell, there is not another consensus first-round D-tackle talent. So for fans demanding the 'Skins take a defensive tackle, take a deep breath. 

Edge rushers will be available at 17, and the 'Skins can certainly use help in that area. In the pass happy modern NFL, no team can have too many edge rushers. 

After the first round, when the draft gets to Friday night and the second and third rounds, that's when Washington should absolutely look to boost their D-line.

Players like Florida's Caleb Brantley, Auburn's Montravius Adams, Michigan's Chris Wormley and plenty of others would bolster the Burgundy and Gold defensive front. 

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Maybe the Redskins aren't as banged up on defense as we thought they were

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Associated Press

Maybe the Redskins aren't as banged up on defense as we thought they were

The Redskins’ defense may not be as banged up as we thought it was.

On Thursday, the first day of serious preparation for their Monday night game in Philadelphia, injured defenders CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), and S Deshazor Everett (hamstring) all practiced on a limited basis.

Norman was inactive against the 49ers after suffering a broken rib against the Chiefs on October 2. Breeland injured his knee against San Francisco. They are the starters, and if they both can play against the 5-1 Eagles it would be a huge boost to the defense.

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It should be noted that both cornerbacks only took part in individual drills, so it is no sure thing that either will be ready to play in Philadelphia. But having them at practice was a good start.

Everett is a reserve safety and a key special teams contributor. His presence in the latter area could be important as the Eagles’ performance on special teams is among the best in the league.

LB Ryan Anderson (back) and S Stefan McClure (knee) both practiced on a limited basis.

Also practicing was S DeAngelo Hall. He has been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of training camp rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in 2016. The team now has a 21-day window during which they can activate him. However, he must sit out at least one more game.

On offense, Trent Williams (knee) did not practice. That is not ideal but he was able to play last Sunday after being out of practice all last week.

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Jay Gruden announced roster moves that had been reported previously, with K Dustin Hopkins (hip) and DE Jonathan Allen (foot) going on injured reserve. First-year player Nick Rose will handle the place kicking duties and A.J. Francis will take Allen’s roster spot.

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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A.J. Francis promoted to Redskins' 53-man roster

A.J. Francis promoted to Redskins' 53-man roster

The Redskins put Jonathan Allen on injured reserve and brought in a familiar face to replace him on the roster.

Jay Gruden announced that the team has signed former practice squad member A.J. Francis to take the place of Allen, who suffered a Lisfranc injury last Sunday in the game against the 49ers. Francis spent part of last season on the Redskins practice squad and he was on the 53-man roster for a couple of weeks, although he did not appear in a game. Francis also was on the team this year before being released in the cut to 53 on September 2.  

The former Maryland standout has played in three NFL games, all in 2015, appearing in two for the Seahawks and one for the Dolphins.

RELATED: MORE ON ALLEN'S INJURY

In all, Francis has been a part of 22 transactions, starting when he signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

Allen has undergone surgery to repair the foot already. The normal schedule for a Lisfranc calls for a player to stay off of the foot for 6-8 weeks and then start rehabbing, which can take a month or possibly a lot longer.

He would be eligible to be activated off of injured reserve after missing eight games, which means he technically could play in Week 15 against the Cardinals. But that would be an extremely optimistic timetable for such an injury.

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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.