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Need to Know: Redskins' McCloughan outlines his draft pick expectations

Need to Know: Redskins' McCloughan outlines his draft pick expectations

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 16, 12 days before the NFL Draft.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 97 days ago. It will be 149 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 2; 2016 NFL draft 12; Redskins training camp starts 103

Hot topic

Here are five of the most popular posts of the Redskins week that was from here and www.CSNmidatlantic.com/Redskins.

Redskins running back suspended indefinitely without pay—Silas Redd may have had a hard time making the Redskins’ 53-man roster but he at least would have had a chance to get some preseason carries and get some good tape out there for the rest of the league. But now his NFL future is in limbo as he’ll be sidelined for at least a year before he can apply for reinstatement. He’s a good guy to talk to, hopefully he will start making smart decisions.

NFL Mock Draft 9.0: The post Titans-Rams trade edition—I’m not so sure about Ben Standig’s first-round pick for the Redskins here. Not that I don’t like the player but I think that a combination of an injury and the value of the position might make McCloughan shy away. I do think it would make a lot of fans happy, however.

Who will start at center for the 2016 Redskins?—A lot of fans have the notion that finding a new starting center should be a huge priority for the Redskins. I’m not under the impression that the organization views it quite that way. I think they know they need to upgrade at some point but they can get by with what they have if they need to.

McCloughan knows who he wants to draft at No. 21—This was a very interesting comment at the end of a very interesting McCloughan interview with Bleacher Report. He said that the player he hopes is there in the first round has all of he key traits—“toughness, smarts, competitiveness, team.’ If you want to know what that's about, McCloughan suggests you look at last year's top pick, Brandon Scherff.

Redskins depth chart will undergo some shuffling in the next month—The Redskins started their process of adding and subtracting players in the last few days when they signed CB Greg Toler and cut OLB Jackson Jeffcoat. Between now and the start of OTAs in late May there will be plenty more roster churn; check the details on what to expect in the post.

In case you missed it

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Redskins activate K Dustin Hopkins, waive K Nick Rose

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins activate K Dustin Hopkins, waive K Nick Rose

After missing the last eight games, the Redskins brought back place-kicker Dustin Hopkins from the injured reserve and waived Nick Rose.

Hopkins became eligible to return from the IR this week and took part in practice all week. Jay Gruden wouldn't commit to one kicker or the other when he spoke earlier in the week, but the decision came down on Saturday.

Rose played well in Hopkins' absence, making 10 of 11 field goals including a 55-yarder. The rookie Rose had some struggles with extra points, missing two of his 20 attempts, though neither snap/hold combination was totally clean either. 

RELATED: REDSKINS-CARDINALS PREVIEW

Hopkins has the stronger leg and is capable of booting the ball out of the end zone on seemingly every kickoff. With Rose as kicker, at times the Redskins deployed a different strategy where kicks were aimed for the goal line, forcing a return. 

Washington's kicker for parts of the last three seasons, Hopkins has a career 84 percent field goal conversion rate and 94.6 percent conversion rate on extra points in 36 games. 

The Redskins sent Hopkins to the IR after a Week 6 win over the 49ers with a right hip rotator muscle injury. 

MORE REDSKINS: SLOW STARTS HAVE BEEN KILLING THE REDSKINS

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Week 15 Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: Show up, or get blown up

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Week 15 Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: Show up, or get blown up

For the second consecutive game, the Redskins got blown out on the road. First in Dallas, then in Los Angeles, Jay Gruden's team is reeling with mounting questions and pressures about 2018 and beyond. 

The best way to calm down the flames? Get a win.

Washington will have that chance on Sunday at 1 p.m. (full coverage on NBC Sports Washington at noon) when they host the Arizona Cardinals. Getting the victory won't be easy, however, no matter how bad the Redskins need it. 

  1. Turn the page - The Redskins have lost their last two games by a combined score of 68-27. The results have been terrible, and the outcome in Los Angeles could have been much uglier had the Chargers not pulled starting QB Philip Rivers. Still, those games are over, and Washington needs to focus on the Cardinals. Gruden spoke this week that his team cannot "wallow" in the past two losses. If the Redskins are looking back at their lost season, instead of looking squarely at Arizona, another blowout loss is likely to come. 
  2. Get it going - Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense had by far their worst statistical output last week in LA. The offense must get back on track, and that means a better performance from Cousins and the 'Skins run game. Against the Chargers, Washington generated only 201 total yards and just nine first downs. Nine, their second worst total since having only 15 first downs against the Cowboys the week before. At this stage of the season, the Redskins defense will not win this team any games. The offense must do it, and that means improved play from the line, the quarterback and the skill positions. 
  3. Make a play - Turnovers can win or lose games, and in their last two blowout losses, it's no surprise the Redskins have been on the wrong end of the ledger. Washington has five turnovers in their last two games, and has generated only one takeaway in that span. (It can be argued that shouldn't even count, as it came on an interception from Chargers backup Kellen Clemens in the final minutes of a blowout.) Washington ranks dead last in the NFL in points per game allowed, and that won't improve with linebacker Zach Brown out this weekend. Generating turnovers, particularly against Arizona QB Blaine Gabbert, should be the defensive focus. 

Quote of the Week: Jay Gruden, asked about preparation before the Chargers game-

We didn't spend last week playing checkers.

News & Notes:

  • Gabbert has been sacked 15 times in the Cardinals last two games. Washington comes into Week 15 with the 13th most sacks in the league.
  • The Cardinals defense ranks in the Top 10 in yards per play, yards per game, and rush yards per game. Despite that, Arizona's defense ranks 25th in points allowed. 
  • D.J. Swearinger, who played for Arizona last season before signing in Washington as a free agent, is tied for fourth in the NFC in interceptions.
  • Jordan Reed won't be playing this week, or the remainder of the season. Washington moved Reed to the injured reserve this week. 
  • Arizona coach Bruce Arians was a college quarterback at Virginia Tech from 1972 to 1974.

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