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Need to Know: The Redskins' draft could hinge on their middle round picks

Need to Know: The Redskins' draft could hinge on their middle round picks

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 2, 25 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 15
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 40
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 52
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 104
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 152

Looking for impact in the middle rounds

As of now, the Redskins have two picks in the fourth round and one in the fifth. If they don’t make any trades, those picks will represent 30 percent of the 2017 draft class (they have a total of 10 picks). Hitting on those picks could make or break this draft.

Nothing about the draft is easy, but the chances of getting reasonably productive players in the first three rounds are pretty good. It’s not guaranteed by any stretch but picks in the top 100 should be money.

On the other end of the draft, it’s not that sixth- and seventh-round picks are worthless but you must be very fortunate to get more than a backup or special teams player out of players picked there. Of the 237 players picked in the sixth and seventh rounds in the last three drafts, only 52 have started three games or more and just 20 have started at least 10 games.  Even the best talent evaluators are hard pressed to come up with a highly productive player after the first 175 have come off the board.

That means that the real work in the draft gets done in the middle rounds, the fourth and fifth rounds

Who are the best players the Redskins have taken in those middle rounds (4-5) recently? Looking at their performances with the Redskins only, here are the top five taken since the 2000 draft (you can see all of them here):

*Currently on the Redskins roster

QB Kirk Cousins* (Round 4-2012)—A fourth-round pick who becomes a quality starting quarterback for two years is going to top the list of mid-round picks every time.

ILB Perry Riley (4-2010)—Not a high impact player but Riley did a good job from when he took over as the starter midway through the 2011 season until he was released after the 2015 season.

DL Anthony Montgomery (5-2006)—For a while it looked like he was going to be a real draft steal but he didn’t keep it going. Kedric Golston, drafted in the sixth round the same season, lasted seven seasons longer.

CB Bashaud Breeland* (4-2013)—This is another position of value so he’s on the list after intercepting seven passes in three seasons.

Jamison Crowder* (4-2002)—Crowder and Cousins have contributed to each other’s success. In two seasons Crowder has 126 receptions and nine touchdowns

Among other mid-round players, the Redskins got some production from are RB Roy Helu (4-2011), TE Robert Royal (5-2002), RB Chris Thompson* (5-2013), and TE Niles Paul* (5-2011).

The Redskins currently have nine players who they drafted in the fourth and fifth rounds on their roster. In addition to those listed above they have G Arie Kouandjio (4-2015), WR Ryan Grant (5-2014), DL Matt Ioannidis (5-2016), and ILB Martrell Spaight (5-2015).

The Redskins would be very happy if they can end up with a fourth- or fifth-round player who is as immediately productive as Crowder was as a rookie (at any position), a guy like Breeland, who can hold down a job while still learning, someone like Paul, who can contribute right away on special teams, and perhaps a Spaight, who can do a spot start here and there.

That’s the best-case scenario. The reality is that one or two of their mid-round picks won’t contribute much of anything but the team hopes to acquire some impact early on Saturday afternoon.

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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Redskins getting thin at receiver with two more injured wideouts out on Sunday

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Redskins getting thin at receiver with two more injured wideouts out on Sunday

In August, Redskins fans would freak out if they heard Jordan Reed and Terrelle Pryor would both miss a November game.

In November, that news doesn’t carry much worry.

Washington coach Jay Gruden announced that Reed and Pryor, along with center Spencer Long, won’t play Sunday against the Saints.

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Reed hasn’t played in a few weeks as he is dealing with a hamstring injury. It seemed he might have returned last week before a setback slowed down his progress.

In his place, Vernon Davis has proved to be a sturdy backup capable of some big games.

Long injured his knee and while he played last week, he did not practice this week.

Not having Pryor is a bit of a surprise. His ankle injury popped up this week and he will see a specialist next week to examine the joint. In the middle of a disappointing season, the Redskins offense won’t lose much with his absence.

Elsewhere on the injury list, a number of players will be questionable for Sunday’s contest against the 7-2 Saints.

Perhaps most important, Trent Williams is questionable but will probably play.

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Receivers Ryan Grant and Brian Quick are expected to play after undergoing concussion protocol, but that will leave the Redskins with only three fully healthy wideouts: Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson and Maurice Harris.

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Redskins' Josh Norman earns Week 10 NFLPA community MVP

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Redskins' Josh Norman earns Week 10 NFLPA community MVP

Redskins' Josh Norman is using his platform as a professional football player to help those in need, and this week it earned him NFLPA's community MVP.

The cornerback has been raising funds for youth enrichment programs in the D.C. area, as well as starting a campaign to help those affected in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria. 

Norman's foundation, Starz24, provides backpacks and school supplies for children in need and creates initiatives for students at Jefferson Middle School Academy in D.C.. He recently raised almost $100,000 for Starz24's Imagination Team Rooms, a STEM-based "makerspaces" that will be placed in several inner city middle and high schools. 

Then, when Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria back in September, Norman started a social media campaign to help those affected. The campaign brought in $150,000. Norman also donated $100,000 of his own with part of the money going to the Boys & Girls clubs in Puerto Rico.

I look at it as I’m on this earth to help people and help them be the best that they can be,” Norman said. “I have the means to do so. I’m going to do that.

Every week during the regular season, the NFLPA selects a NFL player who is making a difference in their community. They are going to be making a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or a charity of his choice in addition to an in-kind donation on behalf of their supporting partner, Delta Private Jets.

I am so honored to be recognized by the NFLPA for my work in the community,” Norman said. “All of this work is bigger than football. I want to make an impact in the lives of children who need it most and to help develop those children to help change the future.