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Linemen dominate latest Redskins mock draft roundup

Linemen dominate latest Redskins mock draft roundup

The Redskins have a first-round pick for the first time since 2012 and not since 2011 has there been some doubt about the player the Redskins will take with that top pick. That means that Redskins fans have not been able to have fun with the mock draft game for four years. Let’s take a spin around the World Wide Web and see what the more well known draftniks have to say about who the home team will take with the fifth overall pick.

(Note: Quoted comments are excerpts, click the link to the site for full evaluation.)

[RELATED: Mock draft roundup 01.26.14]

Dan Kadar, SB Nation
La’el Collins, OT, LSU
The best comparison for Collins coming out of LSU is actually Trent Williams. He could slot into the right tackle spot for Washington and give them a pair of physical, bookend tackles up front.
Josh Norris, Rotoworld
Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Washington fans might know better than any other fan base how detrimental poor safety play can be to a defense.
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report
Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
It may be trendy to mock an outside linebacker here, but the team spent a second-round pick on Trent Murphy in last season's draft to pair him up with Ryan Kerrigan. Others will say the addition of Morgan Moses in the 2014 draft makes this pick unnecessary, but Scherff is a legitimate All-Pro talent who is versatile enough to play left tackle, any guard spot or right tackle.
Chris Burke, SI.com
Scherff
In a draft class swimming with pass-rushing talent, Washington could nab one of the better prospects, particularly if Brian Orakpo's D.C. days are done. Scherff is the choice at No. 5 instead due to Washington's dire need along a porous offensive line.
Scott Wright, Draft Countdown
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
. . . The Redskins can turn their attention elsewhere and they might look to the trenches. Washington DT Danny Shelton checks in at 6-2 and 339 pounds and excels at occupying space and stuffing the run. Shelton isn’t a typical nose tackle though because he’s much more of a playmaker than you would expect from the position. In fact, Shelton’s uncommon athleticism, quickness and motor helped him register an impressive 16.5 tackles for a loss and 9.0 sacks as a senior. Shelton would be a perfect fit as the anchor of the Redskins new defensive scheme . . .

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

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.