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Need to Know: Checking in on the Redskins draft picks after roster cuts

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Need to Know: Checking in on the Redskins draft picks after roster cuts

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, September 4, eight days before the Washington Redskins open their season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Off day, no availability

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 238 days ago. It will be eight days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 14; Browns @ Redskins 28; Redskins @ Ravens 35

Checking in on the Redskins’ draft picks

WR Josh Doctson (1st round)—He is now off of the active/PUP list because there isn’t one after the cut to 53. The wide receiver is now eligible to practice for the first time since OTAs. But that doesn’t mean that he will. We won’t really get a read on that until Thursday, when the Redskins issue their first injury report.

LB/S Su’a Cravens (2nd)—He was all over the place during preseason games. Although he played inside linebacker during those games, it wouldn’t surprise me if they have been carving out an additional role for him during the practices that have been closed since after the second game. Cravens may not always be where he's supposed to be but he does make plays.

CB Kendall Fuller (3rd)—There were concerns about his knee coming in but he was very nearly a full go from the moment he arrived for the offseason program. He appears to be in competition with Dashaun Phillips for the nickel cornerback role. For the moment it looks like Phillips is ahead but it could be decided in practice this week.

DL Matt Ioannidis (5th)—The only draft pick to get cut today, he has to qualify as a disappointment, at least in these early stages. It’s possible that he could land on the practice squad, work on his fundamentals, and land back on the roster as a productive player whether it’s later this year or in 2017. But for now, I'm looking at  a defensive line that got no help from the draft and at all of the wheeling and dealing for future picks that Scot McCloughan did around the fourth and fifth rounds in the draft and wondering if he could have done better. He was the third highest drafted player to get cut.

QB Nate Sudfeld (6th)—It’s a good thing he wasn’t being judged by his preseason numbers. Sudfeld completed just 52.8 percent of his passes and gained 4.5 yards per attempt. But he didn’t throw an interception and that along with his steady improvement in practice since OTAs likely helped convince Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan that he is worth trying to develop.

LB Steven Daniels (7th)—Daniels suffered a shoulder injury early on in camp and landed on injured reserve. He was a project and may not have made the 53 even if he had been healthy. Daniels will get a year to go to meetings and the injury happened early enough so that there is a good chance that he will be ready to go for the offseason program.

RB Keith Marshall (7th)—We’ll never know what he would have done with his chance to make a case for a roster spot during that third preseason game against the Bills because he suffered a sprained elbow on his first carry. Marshall has the physical tools to be a good back but he has to learn to stay on the field.

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2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

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USA Today Sports Images

2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

LOS ANGELES — Some years, the December talk is of playoff tiebreakers.

Other years, it’s about draft position.

This is one of those “other” years.

The Redskins’ current skid of four losses in their last five games has knocked them out of playoff contention but into more favorable position in the 2018 NFL Draft, which is scheduled to take place in late April.

The Redskins' record is 5-8 through Week 14,  and if the season ended today, Washington would be picking either 11th or 12th in the first round.

Here’s the big picture: As of Monday, there are eight teams that have fewer wins than Washington. All of them would be picking ahead of the Redskins. 

The Bengals and Jets also have eight losses so the one and only draft order tiebreaker would be applied.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

This does not work out well for the Redskins.

The NFL Draft tiebreaker is strength of schedule with the teams with the weaker schedules getting the better picks. I am sure you have heard about how tough a schedule the Redskins have all year long. It was a point of pride for many fans. But now it comes back to bite them.

The Jets (opponents winning percentage .488) and the Bengals (.444) have faced weaker schedules than the Redskins (.574). That pushes Washington back to 11th.

RELATED: FEW UPS, MANY DOWNS VS. CHARGERS

But there is a Week 14 game pending. The Dolphins, who have seven losses, play the Patriots on Monday Night Football. If they lose and join the eight-loss group, they would jump ahead of the Redskins based on the SOS tiebreaker, pushing Washington back to 12th.

Of course, the season doesn’t end today and a lot can happen.

But if the bottom doesn’t completely fall out it seems likely that they will end up somewhere between 10th and 12th in the first round.

We will be looking at what that might mean for the Redskins in the coming days and weeks as the offseason comes early for the Redskins one more time.

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NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

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USA Today Sports

NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

The NFC Playoff picture is no clearer in Week 14 than it was in Week 8.

Throughout the 2017-18 NFL season, the NFC in particular has been a gauntlet. So much of a gauntlet that one of the league’s best in the past five years, the Seattle Seahawks, sit outside of the postseason with an 8-5 record.

As of the conclusion of Week 14’s action, only the Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) have locked up a postseason spot.

The Eagles claimed the NFC East for the first time since 2013 with a win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The will clinch a first round bye with a win and losses by the Saints and the Panthers this weekend.

The Minnesota Vikings (10-3) with their loss remains second in the conference, still within striking range over the overall No. 1 seed.

With losses to the two teams ahead of them, the Rams (9-4) have a tough hill to climb to claim a first-round bye, but first they need to get back in the win column.

For the WildCard berths there was a wrench thrown into many teams plans with the Atlanta Falcons (8-5) defeating the New Orleans Saints (9-4) on Thursday night. Atlanta owns a tiebreaker over pretty much every team chasing them for the final playoff spot.

For the five remaining unclaimed spots in the postseason, 10 teams are still alive.

After Week 15 though, that number could dwindle down significantly.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

NFC Playoff Picture Week 15

NFC PLAYOFF BRACKET PROJECTION:
— #1 Philadelphia Eagles* (11-2) vs. BYE
— #2 Minnesota Vikings (10-3) vs. BYE
— #3 Los Angeles Rams (9-4) vs. #6 Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
— #4 New Orleans Saints (9-4) vs. #5 Carolina Panthers (9-4)

NFC TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT:
— Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
— Detroit Lions (7-6)
— Green Bay Packers (7-6)
— Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
— Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

NFC TEAMS ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF PICTURE:
— Washington Redskins (5-8)
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)
— Chicago Bears (4-9)
— San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
— New York Giants (2-11)

SEEDING NOTES:
— Eagles own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Panthers.
— Vikings own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Saints, and Falcons.
— Saints own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Panthers.
— Rams own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints.
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Vikings.

WILD CARD NOTES:
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions.
— Falcons own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions, Packers, Cowboys, and Seahawks.
— Lions own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
— Packers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seahawks, Cowboys.
— Cowboys own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.

Week 15 NFC Games With Playoff Implications:

Sat., Dec 16: Bears at Lions (4:30 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Bengals at Vikings (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Jets at Saints (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Eagles at Giants (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cardinals at Redskins (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Panthers at Packers (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Rams at Seahawks (4:05 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cowboys at Raiders (8:30 p.m.)
Mon., Dec 18: Falcons at Buccaneers (8:30 p.m.)