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Need to Know: The Redskins' top five late-round draft picks

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Need to Know: The Redskins' top five late-round draft picks

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 30, the day of the fourth through seventh rounds of the NFL Draft.

Timeline

At FedEx Field: Josh Doctson, Su'a Cravens, Kendall Fuller news conference during draft day party.

At Redskins Park: Conference call with Redskins’ draft picks soon after each one has been made; Scot McCloughan talks to the media after the Redskins’ final selection.

—The Redskins last played a game 111 days ago. It will be 135 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 13; OTAs start 24; Redskins training camp starts 89

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Pay attention to these last four rounds of the draft today. The Redskins have found some pretty good players there. Since 1980 the Redskins have drafted 221 players in Round 4 and later. Here are the five best among those who played most of their careers in Washington.

G Mark Schlereth (Round 10-1989)—He actually split his career between the Redskins and Broncos even though he generally remembered more in Denver. But he played six seasons and went to one Pro Bowl in each city. Two of his Super Bowl rings come from the Broncos, one from Washington.

OL Raleigh McKenzie (11-1985)—Here’s another one that the Redskins drafted in a round that no longer exists. McKenzie might be one of the least-remembered Hogs but he did start for two Super Bowl winners. By the way, he’s currently a scout for the Raiders where he works for his identical twin brother, Oakland GM Reggie.

DE Dexter Manley (5-1981)—He remains the team career sack leader with 91 and with Ryan Kerrigan the active team leader with 47.5 he could be the career leader for quite some time. Manley could have more sacks but they weren’t an official stat until 1982, his second year in the league. In addition, his battles with substance abuse cost him a lot of games.

RB Stephen Davis (4-1996)—He could have threatened John Riggins’ career rushing record of 7,472 yards if Norv Turner had figured out what to do with him sooner. Davis languished on the bench and played some fullback for his first three seasons in the league. When he was made the starter in 1999 he responded by rushing for over 1,400 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns. In seven seasons in Washington he rushed for 5,790 yards before finishing up his career in Carolina and St. Louis.

QB Mark Rypien (6-1986)—Ah, the old days when a quarterback carried a clipboard for a while before being allowed to touch a football during a regulation game. Rypien spent two full seasons learning before replacing an injured Doug Williams in 1988. The rest, as they say, is history. His peak was short—he started 16 games in just two seasons. One of those was 1991 and he was good enough to lead the Redskins to one of the best seasons an NFL team has ever had including the Super Bowl, where he was the MVP.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was-Cousins' value, the Redskins' top pick

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was-Cousins' value, the Redskins' top pick

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 20, 53 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 45
—NFL Draft (4/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 232

The Redskins week that was

Jags big win could spell bad news for Kirk Cousins—If the Jaguars’ accomplishment of getting to the AFC championship game does indeed make Blake Bortles’ job safe, the laws of economics say that the amount of money that Cousins can command in a free agent contract should go down. It’s the demand part of supply and demand and if demand goes down, prices should, too. But the NFL quarterback market doesn’t follow the laws. If the Lions see fit to pay Matthew Stafford, a quarterback under whom they have had very limited success, a contract with an average annual value of $27 million without any team bidding against them, that sets the price.

Setting the odds on what happens with Kirk Cousins—Despite his happy talk at the 106.7 The Fan event earlier this month, the possibility that Cousins will play in a Redskins uniform in 2018 does not warrant a large bet of imaginary casino chips. If you missed the post, take a look and let me know what you think of my assessment.

Don't freak out about latest Zach Brown tweet—It’s that time of year. A player sends out a tweet with no context and fans assign the worst possible meaning to it. In Brown’s case, a tweet about not getting respect was interpreted as a sign that contract negotiations with the Redskins were not going well. But JP Finlay found out that the tweet was about Brown being upset that another alternate getting selected to the Pro Bowl and not him. It still is unclear if Brown will return to the Redskins but at least there are no indications of rocky negotiations at this point.

Bang for the free agent bucks for the Redskins? Brown was a solid free agent acquisition for the Redskins last year. Terrelle Pryor, not so much. Take a look at the post for the other hits and misses in free agency.

Tweet of the week

Even though the draft is over three months away there are plenty of opinions out there as this tweet drew a ton of reaction. On the offensive side of the ball, the suggestions ran towards quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield although some want a running back. It will be interesting to see how those two non-conventional quarterbacks look after they spend the next few months under the microscope of the NFL draft process. The defensive name that kept coming up was Washington defensive lineman Vita Vea, a large specimen who could play the nose in base defense and move to three-technique in nickel.

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.

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Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Redskins fans were frenzied when Scot McCloughan said that Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback, but not a special one. The #KirkHive shuddered and the Kirk Haters celebrated.

McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who's wildly popular with fans, explained what few people will say publicly: Cousins is a skilled player but probably not deserving of the money he might make in free agency. 

Let's start with the obvious: Cousins is good.

He's a durable passer in a league that doesn't have enough of them. He's started the last 49 games for the Redskins and thrown for more than 4,000 yards each of the past three seasons. 

Now more obvious: He isn't great.

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Bleacher Report's Chris Simms, speaking on the #RedskinsTalk podcast, said Cousins ranks about 12th among NFL passers. It's top half of the league, but it's not Top 5 or even Top 10. 

Cousins has had tremendous games with the Redskins, like a near perfect performance against Oakland in 2017 or a dominant performance against Green Bay in 2016. 

Cousins has also been awful, as recently as Week 17 in New York a few weeks ago, or an equally stinky Week 17 game against the Giants two seasons ago. 

While some might view McCloughan's statement as controversial — "He’s a good player. Is he special? I don’t see special," he told Denver radio station 104.3 the Fan — it's not. 

Plenty of people agree with McCloughan, including some in Redskins Park. Last year, a source told NBC Sports Washington that the team believed they could get nearly as much production from Colt McCoy as Cousins provided. 

Even this year, Washington head coach Jay Gruden offered lukewarm praise of his quarterback.

When the season ended, asked to evaluate Cousins' play, the coach said, "When you’re 7-9, it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ There’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent [Williams] when he played was a Pro Bowl-type and Brandon [Scherff] when he was healthy was a Pro Bowl-type guy. Kirk had his flashes where he was really good. From a consistent standpoint, over the course of 16 games, you know, we’re 7-9."

That quote made headlines when Gruden said it, much like McCloughan's comments now are circulating faster than Beltway traffic. 

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Truth is, it's not new. And it's not news.

There are coaches that think Cousins is only scratching the surface of his capabilities. Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay come to mind, but both of those coaches have other QBs likely for the long-term future. 

Cousins might end up being paid like a Top 3 quarterback in the NFL, and that might be the right move given the demand at the position. Will that make him a special passer?

Not if special is defined as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. Even Cousins wouldn't argue with that.