Quick Links

Need to Know: Will the Redskins take a cornerback in the first round?

Need to Know: Will the Redskins take a cornerback in the first round?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, April 14, 13 days before the April 27 NFL draft.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 3
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 28
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 40
—Training camp starts (7/27) 104
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 149

Could the Redskins draft a cornerback in the first round?

When you look through lists of Redskins draft needs, cornerback is rarely near the top of them if it appears on the lists at all. However, the Redskins are not in a position to reject talented players at any position.

The Redskins have Josh Norman as one starter. He is in his prime and under contract for four more years and there is no reason to think that he will need to be replaced any time soon. But beyond him, there are plenty of question marks.

Bashaud Breeland is in the last year of his contract. Kendall Fuller struggled last year and while there is hope he will live up to his potential he might not ever develop into a starter. Quinton Dunbar is a nice fourth corner but he’s not someone you want to rely on 1,000 snaps per year. Redskins are not on the short list of NFL teams that couldn’t use a quality cornerback.

This draft is deep in cornerbacks and the quality starts in the first round. There are four cornerbacks who could get first-round grades:

Marshon Lattimore of Ohio State is very quick and a good run defender in addition to having elite pass-defending skills in both press and off coverage.

—In what was supposed to have been an off year for the Buckeyes, they could have both of their corners go in the first round, maybe in the top 20. Gareon Conley needs some more polish, particularly against the run, but he has good ball skills and has the potential to be a good one.

—LSU has produced a few good defensive backs and Tre’Davious White could be the next one. He improved tremendously from 2015 to 2016.

—Another SEC product, Quincy Wilson of Florida, also is a good bet to go in the first round. At 6-1, 211 he has good size and he puts it to good use with his physical style. He also uses it to make this spectacular, one-handed interception against Kentucky.

With so many good cornerbacks in the first round the chances are good that one will be the player with the best grade when they are on the clock. When I did a mock draft for the Redskins recently pick No. 17 came on the board and the top three players on the board looked like this:

This illustrates a dilemma that teams face all the time early in the draft, when you don’t have a great need at a position but you fear you will regret bypassing a player at a premium position. We may see how the Redskins handle it on April 27.

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

Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman


Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.

Quick Links

Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan


Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan

The Week 12 fantasy football rankings are out -- but when it comes to Thanksgiving Day, everyone wants some player regardless of where they slot overall. Don't overthink it and take a lesser player, but for those on the fence or simply looking for Thursday action, here are some recommendations for all three games.

Vikings @ Lions

Obvious: Vikings -- Wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs... running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon are in the RB2/Flex discussion for most, but good luck picking between them; Lions -- Wide receiver Golden Tate and ... wide receiver Marvin Jones works in three-WR formats while quarterback Matthew Stafford is No. 14 among passers this week.

Start: Case Keenum averaged 19.3 points over the last four games while the Lions have allowed ample points to fantasy quarterbacks in that stretch, though only three touchdown passes. Having Thielen and Diggs up the potential for Keenum, who is QB17 in the Week 12 rankings. That's comparable with Matthew Stafford (QB14), Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett and ahead of Derek Carr.

Add: Not sure there's any fringe skill player worth taking a flyer on so take a look at Vikings kicker Kai Forbath. He's attempted at least three field goals in four of his last five games and he kicked five extra points in the lone exception. ... Some will start Ameer Abdullah based on their options, but just know the Vikings allow the second fewest points to fantasy tight ends this season.

Chargers @ Cowboys

Obvious: Chargers -- running back Melvin Gordon and wide receiver Keenan Allen; Cowboys -- Wide receiver Dez Bryant, running back Alfred Morris and... quarterback Dak Prescott, though his production is down without running back Ezekiel Elliott and left tackle Tyron Smith.

Start: This hasn't been a vintage Philip Rivers season, but he's coming off his best performance (251 yards, two touchdown passes) since Week 5. The Cowboys aren't that special in the secondary and have surrendered two touchdown passes in three consecutive games. At QB13, he's on the cusp of QB1 status in 12-team leagues. 

Add: Kickers Nick Novak (Chargers) and Mike Nugent (Cowboys) are 15th and 16th respectively. So, there's that. 

Giants @ Redskins

The obvious: Giants -- tight end Evan Engram and... running back Orleans Darkwa is a viable RB2 option against a Redskins defense giving up gobs of yards on the ground; Redskins -- quarterback Kirk Cousins, tight Vernon Davis and...running back Samaje Perine is RB12 this week, though listed as questionable on the injury report with a finger issue.

Start: Jordan Reed is out for a fourth consecutive game, meaning Vernon Davis once again is Washington's main tight end. While he hasn't provided wow performances like Reed at his Pro Bowl best, Davis has been good for a solid 8-11 since taking on a larger role starting in Week 3. This could be his best statistical week of the season. The Giants allow the most points to fantasy tight ends on the season. Opposing tight ends scored a touchdown in each of the first 10 games before the streak snapped Sunday.


Add: Josh Doctson is only owned in 55 percent of leagues on CBS even though he's moved into the role of Washington's top outside receiver. The second-year player had four receptions for 81 yards in Sunday's overtime loss, though all the production came in the first half. Consistency is the next step, but Kirk Cousins is showing more and more confidence in the 6'3" target especially on 50-50 balls. Doctson is WR36 in my Week 12 rankings, meaning he's worth starting consideration in three-WR formats regardless.