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Need to Know: RB McCaffrey to visit Redskins but will he be there at No. 17 if they want him?

Need to Know: RB McCaffrey to visit Redskins but will he be there at No. 17 if they want him?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, April 7, 20 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 10
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 35
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 47
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 147

Friday three and out

1. It looks like Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey is going to be visiting the Redskins.

Rapoport is alluding to talk among some analysts that there is a growing belief that McCaffrey will be a top-10 draft pick. He reportedly has visited the Panthers, who pick at No. 8.

Carolina has been linked to LSU RB Leonard Fournette ever since the draft order was set in January. But the word is that may want to go with the more versatile McCaffery. If the Redskins do want to get one of the three top backs in this draft, they may have to take Dalvin Cook, who has explosive ability but some fumbling and off-field issues.

2. I still can’t shake the feeling that the Redskins might take a quarterback in the first, with the loss of Cousins as a free agent in 2018 looming. Some mock drafts have Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson going in the top 10. But this one by Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Media has every quarterback in the draft available to the Redskins at No. 17.

The knocks against the quarterbacks in this class are that they will take at least a year to develop. To a team that needs an immediate starter they are not the answer. But could Watson or Trubisky get the job done after developing for a year behind Cousins? It’s something the organization must think about.

3. While drafting a quarterback in the first round might have some howling I don’t think anyone would object to an interior defensive lineman at No. 17. The problem is that when the Redskins are on the clock there might not be one on the board who is worth the 17th picks. Look at this prospect ranking on CBSSports.com. DT Jonathan Allen of Alabama is ranked fourth. Then you look down the list and there isn’t another interior defensive lineman until you get to Malik McDowell at No. 23.

Assuming Allen is gone, the solution for the Redskins may be to trade back. Per the draft trade value chart, they could pick up a third-round pick for moving back from No. 17 to No. 23. That would give them four of the top 81 picks. The obvious potential problem here is that you need to have a team that wants to trade up.

Of course, each team’s board is different and the Redskins may well have a higher grade on a given D-lineman than the outside analysts do. But the point is that there may well be a dry hole when it comes to the defensive line at No. 17 that could force the Redskins to reach, try to trade back, or go with another position.

 Out—By my count, 21 of the Redskins who are currently under contract are set to be unrestricted free agents in 2018. That’s a lot but it may not be as bad as it sounds. I count eight who are either on the bubble for making the roster this year, players like Phillip Taylor and Derek Carrier, or who are unlikely to be offered contracts next year, like Shawn Lauvao or DeAngelo Hall.

They should have some cap space to work with, especially if they aren’t paying a quarterback a lot of money (perhaps a good reason to draft their 2018 starting QB this year). Looking at how things stand currently and figuring in some for the draft picks who will be under contract in 2018 the Redskins should have in the neighborhood of $50-$55 million in salary cap space.

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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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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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.

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS 26, 49ERS 24

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.

RELATED: IN A MUDDLED NFC WHY NOT THE REDSKINS?

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.