Redskins

Quick Links

Need to Know: The five best offensive linemen drafted by the Redskins

mark-schlereth.png

Need to Know: The five best offensive linemen drafted by the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 1, seven days before the NFL draft.

Nickel coverage

Yesterday we looked at the five best offensive linemen who have been drafted in Round 2 since the start of the common draft in 1968. Let’s bring it a little closer to home with the top five O-linemen drafted by the Redskins (per the career Approximate Value metric used by Pro Football Reference).

Russ Grimm, Round 3/overall pick 69, 1981 (Career AV 76)—He’s the only one on this list who is in the Hall of Fame. An original Hog and a first-team All-Pro selection three times.

Mark Schlereth, 10/263, 1989 (CAV 69)—His story is pretty well known due to his post-playing career at ESPN. Although he is usually identified as a Bronco he did split his 12-year career evenly, spending six years each in Denver and Washington.

Raleigh McKenzie, 11/290, 1985 (CAV 64)—His longevity got him onto this list. McKenzie, who started at all three interior line positions, never made a Pro Bowl but he managed to stay in the league for 16 years, the first 10 of which were with the Redskins. As a member is the second iteration of the Hogs, he started for two Super Bowl winners in Washington.

Mark May, 1/20, 1981 (CAV 62)—This just goes to show you that where you’re drafted doesn’t always matter; May was the second-best lineman the Redskins took in this draft (see Grimm above). He was drafted as a tackle but moved inside to guard after his rookie year.

George Starke, 11/272, 1971 (CAV 69)—It says something here that of the five players on this list, three were drafted in rounds that no longer exist in the draft today. It says that the organization has been able to find late gems but perhaps they don’t put much value in the position. You also have to be alarmed by the fact that none of the players on this list were drafted in almost 25 years.

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

Timeline

—Former Redskins receiver Gary Clark was born on this date in 1962.

—It’s been 123 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 129 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.

Days until: NFL Draft 7; Training camp starts 83; Preseason opener Patriots @ Redskins 99

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Need to Know: Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons for the Redskins

foles.png
USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 22, 51 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 43
—NFL Draft (4/26) 94
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 230

Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons the Redskins can learn

Quarterback matters: We had the setup of the three castaway and ridiculed quarterbacks leading their teams into the NFL’s final four. But, the two who survived were one of the greatest of all time and one who found his groove and had 10.7 yards per attempt and a 141.4 passer rating. Yes, Tom Brady and Nick Foles had a lot of help and we’ll get into that in a minute. But, without excellent play from their quarterbacks, it may have been a different story for the Eagles and Patriots. This doesn’t mean that the Redskins need to send truckloads of money to Kirk Cousins’ house, but if they don’t, they do need a quality alternative. You won’t win with Bortles-level play.

Defense matters: The Vikings rolled right down the field on their first possession and it looked like the Eagles defense was going to have a long night. But then Chris Long got pressure on Case Keenum leading a pick six that apparently energized the Philly defense. Rookie Derek Barnett knocked the ball out of Keenum’s hand when the Vikings were threatening to make a game of it. Minnesota came up empty in its last eight possessions. As the Eagles offense started to build a lead, their defense played faster and more aggressively. At this point, the Redskins don’t have the personnel or the mindset to play that way on defense.

Does running really matter? It’s a small sample size here but in the two games yesterday it did not. The Patriots ran for all of 46 yards. The Eagles got 110, but at the point in the third quarter where they took a 31-7 lead, they had 202 yards passing and 40 yards rushing. Running the ball was not decisive in either game. Offensively, the games were won in the air. Jay Gruden’s “pass happy” approach can be a winning approach.

Stay aggressive: At times during the year, Cousins expressed some frustration in the Redskins’ inability or perhaps unwillingness to keep the pedal mashed to the floor when they had a lead. I hit on the Eagles’ aggressiveness on defense, but their offense didn’t slow down either. They were up 21-7 when they got the ball on their own 20 with 29 seconds left in the first half. In that situations, the Redskins—and, in fact, most other teams—would run a draw, throw a short pass, and let the clock run out. But Doug Pederson was having none of that. Passes for 11, 36, and 13 yards got them down to the Vikings 20 and they kicked a field goal to close out the half. If the game wasn’t over then, it was early in the third quarter when Pederson called a flea flicker and Foles hit Torrey Smith for 42 yards and a touchdown.

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

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

 

Quick Links

What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

usatsi_10558417.jpg

What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

For Redskins fans, it's probably a tough pill to swallow that the Eagles are in the Super Bowl. Making matters worse, Philadelphia got to the championship game without their star quarterback Carson Wentz.

Beyond the feelings that fandom incites, which are real and severe, what does the Eagles' breakthrough season mean for Washington? Let's take a look. 

Perhaps the most incredible part of the Eagles' success is that wunderkind QB Wentz is not at the helm. The second-year player was an MVP candidate all season but got injured late in the year. Nick Foles, the Philly backup, took over and played well in both Eagles' playoff wins. 

Does that mean much, if anything, for the Redskins? 

Some will argue it means Washington should not look to invest top dollar in QB Kirk Cousins. Foles is not considered a top-flight quarterback and still was able to maneuver his squad to the Super Bowl.

Whether or not that argument makes sense, Redskins fans should prepare to hear a lot of it over the next two weeks. 

There is also a theory that the Redskins should eschew spending at QB in favor of spending on defense. 

That may very well be the right move, but don't look to the Eagles to support the theory. 

Philadelphia spent $47 million on the defensive side of the ball in 2017. On offense, they spent $56 million.

What is definitely true?

The Eagles played terrific football in the postseason, and catapulted through the NFC by playing the underdog role.

Redskins fans might hate it, but the Eagles absolutely earned their Super Bowl appearance. 

That doesn't mean Redskins fans have to like it. 

Philadelphia has never won a Super Bowl. 

Now, standing in the way of their first Lombardi Trophy: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. 

Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!