Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 4, 20 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
Question of the day
It’s one thing to recognize a personnel need on an NFL. It’s quite another to be able to fill it. There are many situations where the demand for players at a particular position exceeds the supply. As anyone who took Econ 101 knows, this drives up the price in terms of either free agent dollars or high-round draft picks.
There are a few different areas where supply and demand will hamper Scot McCloughan’s efforts to rebuild the Redskins. I touched on one of them earlier this week in discussing the Redskins’ tight end situation. They are fine in the pass catching department with Jordan Reed and Niles Paul. But they could use a blocking tight end. Problem is, colleges just aren’t producing them like they used. Spread offenses don’t use blocking tight ends, preferring to go with four and five wide receivers. NFL teams that have tight ends who can block and catch don’t let them go.
Look for Tom Compton to continue reporting as an eligible receiver.
Another area that will be hard to fill is safety. The Redskins can get by for now with Dashon Goldson (although he might need to adjust his $8 million salary), DeAngelo Hall, Kyshoen Jarrett, and Jeron Johnson. But you can bet that McCloughan will keep an eye out for safeties on the draft board and if a good one drops in the middle rounds, maybe even the second, he won’t hesitate to grab him so he has someone for when Goldson and Hall are gone. The better college defensive backs are playing cornerback, because defenses need more of them to cover spread attacks and the corner position pays better in the NFL.
Also hard to fill is nose tackle. There is a lot of talk that the Redskins won’t e-sign Terrance Knighton and that will leave a large hole in the middle of the defense, both literally and figuratively. Good nose tackles are hard to find. Some call it the Planet Theory—there are very few people on the planet with both the size and athletic ability to play NFL nose tackle. It makes me question the wisdom of letting Knighton walk but we will see how it works out.
—The Redskins last played a game 25 days ago. It will be about 220 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL Combine 20; NFL free agency starts 34; 2016 NFL draft 84
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