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The Redskins aren't big on analytics but the numbers are likely to influence their top draft pick

The Redskins aren't big on analytics but the numbers are likely to influence their top draft pick

There are always surprises in the NFL draft, but the 2018 edition may be the most unpredictable in years. There are a few factors at play here and they will affect who is available to the Redskins in the first round and who they end up drafting there. 

One factor is analytics. Not all teams have a big analytics department but all 32 are aware of the trends in the game. One is that teams no longer emphasize establishing the run early in games. Teams pass in the first quarter on about 57 percent of the snaps. That run-pass ratio is about the same as it is during the other three quarters. It’s still a passing league from the opening kickoff until the clock hits 0:00. 

So why, then, is Vita Vea, a pure nose tackle who likely will be of limited help against the pass, a possible top-10 pick who the Redskins reportedly would like to take at 13? 

The way it looks now, Vea is going to be one of the best available players with a significant drop off to any players associated with the passing game except quarterbacks—wide receiver, left tackle, edge rusher, and outside cornerback. 

The Redskins might rate Vea as more valuable than other teams because of how weak their rushing defense is. Teams ran at them on 47 percent of first-quarter plays, taking advantage of the weakness. This kept up through all four quarters; teams ran against the Redskins on 46 percent of the plays compared to 42 percent of all plays league-wide. Washington’s vulnerability against the rush may push Vea and probably Da’Ron Payne up on their draft boards even if they are of limited utility in the nickel defense. 

Here is one more example of the numbers and talent affecting this draft. Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick played a variety of positions in Alabama’s secondary. The consensus opinion is that his best NFL fit is slot corner. Traditionally, that is not a first-round position because it’s has been a role, a part-time position. 

But the view is shifting. Offenses take 62.6 percent of their snaps with three or more wide receivers on the field. That number only counts true wide receivers, so you can add a percentage point or two in for when a running back or tight end lines up out wide. As you would expect, a comparable number of defensive snaps (65.3%) are with five or more defensive backs on the field. The Redskins were in line with this. Slot corner Kendall Fuller played nearly 66 percent of the snaps last year. 

Since you will utilize your slot corner on nearly two-thirds of your plays, if you can get a good one with the 13th pick you shouldn’t hesitate just because of the old view of the position. When you add in the fact that Fitzpatrick can play safety and outside corner as well the Redskins could well pull the trigger if he’s still there. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft Predictions: Pundits, analysts project Redskins pick

Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft Predictions: Pundits, analysts project Redskins pick

The 2018 NFL Draft is almost here.

It is time to finalize your final mock drafts and finish fine-tuning your big boards.

The NFL's biggest offseason event takes place in Dallas  in a little under 48 hours, there's still a lot of uncertainty about what the Redskins plan to do with their first-round pick.  

With that in mind, the guys of Redskins Talk podcast decided to ask those who follow the team closest - local media - to take a guess at who the team will take with the No. 13 overall pick.

40 different media members chimed in with their picks, and here's who they see going to the Burgandy and Gold: 

Final 2018 NFL Draft Redskins Predictions

— Larry Michael, Voice of the Redskins: Defensive player or trade down
— John "Cakes" Auville, 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU - "Guice will look nice in a Redskins uniform"
— JP Flaim, 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
— Jason "Lurch" Bishop, 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies: Derwin James, S, Florida State - "could be the Sean Taylor of this draft"
— Eric "EB "Bickell, 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies:: Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
— Matt Valdez, 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
— Matt Cahill, 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies: Derrius Guice
— Craig Hoffman, 106 The Fan: Vita Vea
— Chad Dukes, 106.7 The Fan's Chad Dukes vs. The World: Derrius Guice
— Brock,106.7 The Fan's Chad Dukes vs. The World: Derrius GuiceVita Vea
— Chris Russell, 106.7 The Fan: Tremaine Edmunds
— Nick Ashooh, 106.7 The Fan: Vita Vea
— Andy Pollin, 106.7 The Fan: Vita Vea - "if he's a bust, we can call him 'oy Vita Vea'"
— Adam Epstein, 106.7 The Fan: Vita Vea
— Chris Cooley, The Team 980:: Trading down for Da'Ron Payne
— Kevin Sheehan, The Team 980 Radio: Da'Ron Payne
— Scott Linn, The Team 980: Vita Vea
— Bram Weinstein,The Team 980: Vita Vea
— Brian Mitchell, NBC Sports Washington: Da'Ron Payne
— Chick Hernandez, NBC Sports Washington: Vita Vea
— Santana Moss, NBC Sports Washington: Da'Ron Payne
— Michael Jenkins, NBC Sports Washington: Da'Rony Payne or Vita Vea
— Rich Tandler, NBC Sports Washington: Vita Vea
— JP Finlay, NBCSW Redskins Insider: Vita Vea
— Pete Hailey, NBC Sports Washington: Minkah Fitzpatrick
— Mitch Ticshler, NBC Sports Washington: Vita Vea
— Troy Machir, NBC Sports Washington: Vita Vea
— Ajay Atayee, NBC Sports Washington: Da'Ron Payne
— PFT Commenter, Barstool Sports: Vita Vea
— Barstool Nate, Barstool Sports: Trade up to take Baker Mayfield -"all eyes have to be on us, that's the Redskins way"
— Brent, Burgandy Blog: Minkah Fitzpatrick
— Sherree Burruss, Sports reporter, NBC4 Washington: Tremaine Edmunds
— Diane Chesebrough, USA Today: Vita Vea
— Kareem Copeland, Washington Post: Vita Vea
— Erin Hawksworth, WJLA: Minkah Fitzpatrick
— Jake Kring-Schreifels, Redskins.com: Vita Vea
— Lake Lewis, USA Today: Vita Vea
— Moises Linares, NBC Telemundo: Tremaine Edmunds
— Thom Loverro, Washington Times: Derrius Guice
— Ken Meringolo, Hog's Haven: Vita Vea
— Matthew Paras, Washington Times: Vita Vea - "he's a very large human, and the Redskins need one of those"
— Michael Phillips, Richmond Times Dispatch: Tremaine Edmunds
— Chad Ryan, Redskins Capital Connection: Derrius Guice - "he might have a higher ceiling than Saquon Barkley"
— Fred Smoot, former Redskins CB: Vita Vea
— Rick Snyder, Washington Post: Vita Vea
— Dimitri Sotis, WTOP: Derrius Guice
— Marc "Nigel" Sterne, producer at Tony Kornheiser Show: Shane Tripuka, P, Texas A&M
— Matt Terl, Washington City Paper: Darrius Guice -"and I will be miserable"
— George Wallace, Sports Director at WTOP: Vita Vea
— Ben White, Chief Economic Correspondent at Politico: Minkah Fitzpatrick
— Chris Worthy, REDSKINS GM (@chris_worthy): Vita Vea

You can listen to the whole podcast here:

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