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Jay Gruden what led the Redskins to cut Kai Forbath


Jay Gruden what led the Redskins to cut Kai Forbath

Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said the decision to cut kicker Kai Forbath on Monday was due to his lack of leg strength, particularly on kickoffs.

“Kai was a good kicker for us for a few years now, very accurate, obviously inside of 40,” Gruden said. “But I think moving forward, you look at the total package [of] what a kicker needs to bring to your football team, and we were looking for a little bit of a stronger leg, especially on kickoffs. That’s the bottom line.”

The Redskins worked out and signed former Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins, who was drafted by the Bills in 2013 and spent this past two offseasons with the Saints. Interestingly, Hopkins, 24, was squeezed out in New Orleans by Zach Hocker, whom the Redskins drafted in 2014 and cut.

Hopkins has yet to kick in a regular season game, but he had a strong tryout at Redskins Park on Monday. More than anything, Gruden said, the 6-2, 193-pound Florida State product showed that he’s got a big leg.

“We think that the new kicker, if he can be close to [Forbath] in accuracy on field goals, the kickoffs will put him over the edge as far as being a little bit better,” Gruden said.

Forbath connected from 45 yards out in the Redskins’ 17-10 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, but he also missed from 46. On kickoffs, Forbath recorded one touchback on three attempts—and it rolled out of the side of the end zone.

Gruden scoffed at the notion that Forbath, who is an accurate field goal kicker, was being made into a “scapegoat” for the team’s continued struggles on special teams.

“That’s funny,” Gruden said. “We’re not making Kai a scapegoat. That’s insane. All we’re trying to do is improve our kickoff cover team and we’re trying a young kicker who worked out here extremely well today. That’s the only reason. We feel like he was a very successful kicker in college. He made the Bills at one time and kicked well for New Orleans in the preseason.” 

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins to make a change at kicker

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Late push for McGlinchey, Landry and Davenport would help Redskins at 13

Late push for McGlinchey, Landry and Davenport would help Redskins at 13

For months, draft conversation suggested that there wasn't an offensive tackle to pick in the Top 10. And after Bradley Chubb, there wasn't an edge defender worth a Top 10 pick either. 

All of a sudden, that conversation is changing. 

Late charges from Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey, Boston College defensive end Harold Landry and University of Texas San Antonio pass rusher Marcus Davenport are starting to influence mock drafts.

On Wednesday, NFL Network's Peter Schrager predicted the 49ers to take McGlinchey with the ninth overall pick. Charley Casserly, in a mock draft with NBC Sports Washington on Monday, predicted the Chicago Bears take Davenport with the eighth overall pick. Reports on Landry are all over the place, but some guess he could break the Top 10 as well.

The thing to remember about the NFL: It's a passing league. Positions tied to the quarterback are the most important, and that means protecting the QB and getting after the QB is in high demand. No position will ever get over-drafted like quarterback, but it's not a surprise that teams might reach for players at tackle or edge rusher.

What does this mean for the Redskins holding the No. 13 pick?

It means great news. 

Washington will already benefit from four QBs going in the Top 10. That will likely push down an elite talent to their draft spot.

If McGlinchey, Davenport or Landry also crack the Top 10? Even better.

The Redskins need help at just about every position group on the defensive side of the ball. It's well documented how the team struggled against the run in 2017, but the defense also lost Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller this offseason. 

There will be a number of weapons available for Washington at 13, and that could include players like Minkah Fitzpatrick or Derwin James in addition to Vita Vea or Da'Ron Payne. It might mean Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith lasts to 13 too. 

For the Redskins, Fitzpatrick or James at 13 seems like a steal. Both players present elite potential at the evolving position of nickel cornerback. They can play some corner, some safety, and James might even be able to play some linebacker. 

Regardless of the eventual destination for James or Fitzpatrick, if more surprise players sneak into the Top 10 on Thursday night, the better Washington's options become. And that includes the possibility of trading down, Vea or Payne, Smith or Edmunds.

More elite options at 13 only helps the Redskins. 

Redskins fans should be rooting for Mike McGlinchey, Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport early Thursday night. The folks in Ashburn will be. 

- Mock Draft 9.0: Almost draft day
- Top Prospects: RB options for the Redskins
- Top Prospects: WR options for the Redskins
- Need To Know: Rich Tandler's Seven-Round Redskins Mock Draft
- Mega-Mock Predictions: DC Media choose No. 13 pick

Want more Redskins talk? Of course you do. Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Once undrafted, how Trey Edmunds found his way as a rookie in a crowded backfield

Once undrafted, how Trey Edmunds found his way as a rookie in a crowded backfield

NBC Sports Washington’s four-part digital series ‘E-Boyz’ -- chronicling the illustrious past, decorated present and bright future of the Edmunds family -- is NOW LIVE. Check out a new episode daily, leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Watch the third episode above and more here.

A position change. A school change. A season-ending injury. 

Those are the kinds of things that prevent an NFL career from ever starting. But none of those things stopped Trey Edmunds from reaching the league and contributing for the Saints as a rookie in 2017.

Trey, the oldest brother in a family that features 2018 prospects Tremaine and Terrell, came out of high school as a linebacker, but became a running back after enrolling at Virginia Tech. After three productive seasons with the Hokies, he transferred to finish up his career with Maryland, yet his senior season was cut short after fracturing his foot five games in to the schedule.

That injury was a big reason why the 2017 NFL Draft came and went without a phone call for Edmunds, so he signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent in May. There, he played spot duty on special teams for much of his rookie campaign before his breakout moment in November:

Now, heading into his second pro year, Edmunds will reportedly have to fight for a roster spot in New Orleans again. But hey, adversity is something the 23-year-old is very familiar with, so don't bet against him.