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Just two teams got fewer snaps from their rookies than the Redskins

Just two teams got fewer snaps from their rookies than the Redskins

The players that the Redskins selected in the 2016 NFL Draft will be hoping that their second impression next season is better than their first impression from a year ago.

According to ESPN's Bill Barnwell, only two teams — the Cardinals and the Vikings — received fewer snaps from their first-year pros than Washington did. Those three franchises, along with the Bills, were the only four in the league to see their rookies play less than 1,000 snaps.

Here's the full breakdown from Barnwell:

And here are a handful of reasons that the Redskins' number is so low:

  • 2016 first-rounder Josh Doctson (Achilles issue) didn't play after Week 2, missing the season's last 14 contests.
  • Second-rounder Su'a Cravens missed five full games due to injury, while third-rounder Kendall Fuller was inactive for three and then was in and out of the secondary rotation, never really nailing down a consistent role.
  • Fifth-rounder Matt Ioannidis also had trouble breaking through on defense, sixth-rounder Nate Sudfeld never left the bench, and seventh-rounders Steven Daniels and Keith Marshall didn't even make it to the final roster after rough preseasons.

Yes, injuries did limit the Burgundy and Gold, and if Doctson and Cravens were allowed to play the year from start to finish, the Redskins would've finished higher. However — and feel free to read this in your best head coach's voice — being available is a skill, and so far, it's a skill this bunch needs to develop. 

On top of that, aside from a few glimpses courtesy of Cravens, none of the other rookies did much to seize bigger roles or give coaches a reason to play them more often (undrafted guys Robert Kelley and Maurice Harris did, but none of the April selections really popped). So while health is certainly a reason for the low finish on Barnwell's list, so, too, is ineffectiveness.

It's true that rookie playing time and reaching the playoffs didn't seem to have a huge correlation in 2016, considering seven playoff teams sit in the top half of the rankings and five reside in the bottom half. With that being said, the Redskins' future feels much murkier because of questions surrounding guys like Doctson and Fuller, and a back half of the 2016 draft that lacks potential contributors.

And because of the underwhelming production, two groups will be feeling pressure in 2017: This past class, as they hope to take a leap from where they are, and this coming class, as they hope to avoid the position their predecessors now find themselves in.

MORE REDSKINS: EIGHT PLAYERS WHO MAKE SENSE FOR WASHINGTON IN THE FIRST ROUND

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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. 

MORE 2018 NFL DRAFT:
- 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

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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.