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Need to Know: Who were Scot McCloughan's best late-round picks?

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Need to Know: Who were Scot McCloughan's best late-round picks?

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 25, five days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Nickel coverage

A week from today it will be Day 3 of the NFL draft. This is the time where GM’s and scouting departments really earn their money, finding late-round contributors. While he was the GM in San Francisco for the 2005-2009 drafts he had some solid finds on Saturday, although he didn’t find any breakout gems. Let’s compare what McCloughan drafted in rounds 4-7 to who the Redskins took in the same rounds in the same drafts.

Best Players (by AV)

McCloughan: S Dashon Goldson (AV 42, 4th round, 2007), DE Parys Haralson (37, 5th, 2006)
Redskins: DL Kedric Golston (26, 6th, 2006), S Reed Doughty (22, 6th, 2006)

You had probably had heard of Goldson even before he came to the Redskins; he was the first-team All-Pro safety in 2012. Haralson, drafted in the fifth round in 2006, was still in the league last season, starting 12 games and picking up three sacks for the Saints. The 49ers got seven seasons, 68 starts, and 21.5 sacks from him. Golston is still on the Redskins’ roster, although he may be on the bubble after all of the free agent acquisitions on the defensive line.

Players with at least one season as a starter

McCloughan: 10
Redskins: 5

With three seasons as a starter Golston is the only player in this group for the Redskins who has more than one year as a starter to his credit. The 49ers have Goldson and Haralson with six, DB Tarrell Brown with four, and TE Delanie Walker and WR Josh Morgan with three each. One of Morgan’s seasons as a starter came after he signed a free agent contract with the Redskins.

Players with 75 or more games played

McCloughan: 10
Redskins: 2

Only Golston (125) and Doughty (107) have played at least 75 NFL games. Among the 49ers who have that many games under their belts is recently-signed Redskin Ricky Jean Francois.

Players who played in an NFL game in 2014:

McCloughan: 8
Redskins: 2

In addition to Goldson the only other Redskins player in this group who played a snap in 2014 was QB Jordan Palmer, a sixth-round pick in 2004. He mopped up in one game for the Titans last year. None of the 49ers in this group played in San Francisco last year but the fact that they are still active is rather impressive in itself.

Just to compare that last stat for McCloughan with some other teams around the league who have reputations for drafting well, three members of the Giants drafted on Saturday from 2005-2009 were still active, five from the Ravens are, 12 Packers, seven Patriots, eight Steelers, and four Seahawks.

If you want to see more details of the drafted players that we’re discussing here, go here for the 49ers and go here for the Redskins.

Timeline

—It’s been 118 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 141 days until they play another one.

Days until: 2015 NFL Draft 5; Redskins minicamp starts 52; Redskins training camp starts 96

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

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.