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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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In case you missed it

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No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants improvement 

No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants improvement 

MOBILE -- Jay Gruden is making jokes about Kirk Cousins again, and that's good news for Redskins fans that worried about a fracture between coach and quarterback. 

It all started in the weeks following the Redskins dreadful Week 17 loss to the Giants as Gruden and Cousins seemed to be throwing slight jabs at one another.

Gruden, in his end of year press conference, explained that while Cousins "showed flashes" in 2017, when the team goes 7-9, the coach can't say any player was outstanding: 

You know when you’re 7-9, you know it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ You know there’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent when he played was Pro Bowl type, Brandon when he was healthy was 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. He did some great things, threw for over 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns I believe. So, I think he’s a very, very good quarterback without a doubt, but as far as getting us over the hump from 7-9 to winning a division with all the injuries that we had, I think he competed and did some good things.

Cousins, in his year-end radio appearance with 106.7 the Fan, explained that he wants the team to do better but doesn't think the 7-9 record should fall on his shoulders alone. (Quote via Washington Post)

What I gathered from the comment was 7-9 and the quarterback play are causally related and that quarterback play is 7-9, 7-9 is the quarterback play. I saw that and I thought, ‘I think it’s slightly more complicated than that.’ I think there’s a few more dynamics in play as to what your final record is. … At the same time, his job is to evaluate. That’s a big part of his role and his position. In that comment, he’s just doing his job, he’s evaluating the position and he has the right to say what he wants to say.

Both comments were fairly innocuous, but also clearly at odds. Combine that dialogue with the undercurrent of another offseason contract negotiation, and it seemed things between coach and quarterback weren't quite right. 

On Tuesday, speaking at the Senior Bowl, Gruden cleared the air. Asked directly about tension between he and Cousins, the coach was blunt. 

"No." 

Gruden went on to explain his answer about Cousins 2017 play, the now infamous 7-9 line.

"When I say 7-9, if I say one player played great that means I'm saying everybody else was not very good," the coach explained (full video above). "I think we all have to stick together, we all have to improve from a 7-9 season, coaches, players, everybody."

Cousins was good in 2017, throwing for more than 4,000 passing yards for the third straight season. He also showed that he can produce offensively without a great supporting cast, as injuries robbed the Redskins of many of their best passing game threats and seriously damaged the offensive line. 

The quarterback did play two terrible games in the last month of the season, however, including a three interception stinker in the Week 17 finale.

It's possible that Gruden had that fresh in his mind when he spoke in early January, and with the benefit of a little time, his assessment mellowed by late January. 

Either way, Gruden joked about Cousins deserving a vacation, and even said the QB needs a tan. Gruden often uses humor to defuse touchy situations with Redskins players, and maybe he just did it again. 

Want more Redskins? 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!

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Redskins have begun contract talks with Zach Brown, but free agency looms

Redskins have begun contract talks with Zach Brown, but free agency looms

Redskins fans want Zach Brown back. Bad. And for weeks there had been no news about contract talks between Washington and Brown. 

Now that's changed.

"We've been talking to his agent," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said on Tuesday. 

Gruden, speaking from the Senior Bowl, explained that the team would like Brown back in 2018 but Washington also understands that the linebacker might want to explore the free agent market. 

"It’s a process," Gruden said (full video above). "These guys have a chance to be a free agent, they had a good year and they want to check what the market is sometimes. If we can get them before they get to free agency, great, but if not, the bidding wars will begin."

For Brown, free agency will look different in 2018 than it did last season when he signed a one-year. bargain deal with the Redskins. 

Prior to injuries forcing him to miss the final three games of the season, Brown led the NFL in tackles. For two straight years, 2016 in Buffalo and 2017 in Washington, Brown has proved to be a tackling machine and arguably the fastest linebacker in the NFL. Brown also signed new representation last offseason, Jason and Michael Katz of CSE Football, and should Brown hit the free agent market the Katz brothers will aggresively market their client. 

Washington Senior Vice President of Football Operations Eric Schaeffer will handle the contract discussions for Washington, and is known as a shrewd negotiator. 

Like many business deals, this will come down to money. Brown established himself as a fit in Washington, both on the field and in the locker room. Interior linebackers do not command top dollar like pass rushers do, but Brown will still expect to be compensated appropriately. 

Further complicating matters for Washington, the Redskins only have Josh Harvery-Clemmons, Zach Vigil and Martrell Speight under contract for 2018. 

It's too early to predict what "it's a process" means from Jay Gruden, but Redskins fans should draw some encouragement that talks have begun with Brown. 

Want more Redskins? 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!