Quick Links

Need to Know: Will the Redskins go offensive line in round one?

Need to Know: Will the Redskins go offensive line in round one?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 5, 22 days before the April 27 NFL draft.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 12
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 37
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 49
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 149

Will the Redskins go for an offensive lineman in the first round?

The Redskins will have some interesting options with the 17th overall pick. They could justify drafting at just about any position on defense. We all know about the line, where holes abound despite the signing of two free agents. The top three inside linebackers are all likely to be free agents in 2018. You can’t have too many good edge rushers and you can say the same about cornerbacks. Nobody is sure if the Redskins have a free safety on the roster, with both D.J. Swearinger and Su’a Cravens both possibly better suited to strong.

On the other side of the ball there has been plenty of chatter about taking a running back in the first, some of it coming from the head coach. With Terrelle Pryor on a one-year deal a wide receiver could be under consideration. And if the Redskins are certain that Kirk Cousins won’t be back in 2018 they have to look hard at a first-round quarterback.

The offensive line is another story. The tackle spots are set with Morgan Moses and Trent Williams with Ty Nsekhe as the swing backup. Brandon Scherff may not miss a snap at right guard for the next five years. They seem to like Spencer Long at center.

And while I could see the Redskins using a draft pick on someone to be Shawn Lauvao’s successor at left guard I strongly doubt it will be the first-round pick.

There are a few reasons why. For one, Jay Gruden might punch someone if the Redskins take a guard in the first round. The day after last season ended, Gruden lamented the lack of impact the team has received from first-round picks in his tenure in Washington.

"We’re getting there, but we’ve had, what, two first-round picks since I’ve been here? One of them hasn’t played a down, or played one game, and the other one is a guard," he said. "We have got to utilize our picks."

The word “guard” was said rather dismissively, almost disdainfully. He certainly likes Scherff but guard is simply not a high-impact position. Of the eight guards who were picked for the Pro Bowl last year, two of them, Scherff and Zach Martin of the Cowboys, were taken in the first round. The other six were taken, on average, in the third.

If you can get a good guard either late on Friday night or on Saturday, why take one in the first?

You mention Lauvao’s salary as a factor in taking Forrest Lamp. But the No. 17 pick in the draft will get a deal that has a $2.1 million cap hit in 2017. Cutting Lauvao would save $4 million so you’re saving just $1.9 million this year. That’s not insignificant but it’s only about 1.1 percent of the $167 million cap.

Over the course of the four years that first-round pick’s contract will rise to a $3.7 million cap hit. On the other hand, a third-round guard will carry a $670,000 cap hit as a rookie and the entire value of his deal over four years will be $3.2 million with the cap hit never going over $1 million in any season.

The better course of action would be to find a mid-round guard who can take over for Lauvao in a year. I have to think that this would be Gruden’s preferred course of action and he has a loud voice in the draft room.

With all of this said, I also was dubious that they would take Scherff fifth overall two years ago. Perhaps I am making the mistake that many analysts make in assuming the organization views my way of thinking is common sense, so why would they do otherwise? But the way Gruden said “guard” in that press conference gives me some confidence that I will be right this time around.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

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


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

USA Today Sports Images

Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.