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Need to Know: Who will be the Redskins' top pick on Thursday?

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Need to Know: Who will be the Redskins' top pick on Thursday?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 29, one day before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Setting the odds on the top pick

Yesterday, my man Ben Standig put up a post on CSNwashington.com with his idea of who the top 10 possibilities for the Redskins’ top pick are. Let’s take his top five possibilities, get out an imaginary $100 in casino chips, and lay them down according to the chance I think each one of them has of being the Redskins’ top pick. Please note that the possibilities include players who would be taken only if the Redskins trade down from their top pick at No. 5.

—OLB Dante Fowler, $35—I’d put even more chips down on Fowler if I was sure he is going to be on the board. The talk of the Jaguars taking him with the third pick makes sense and it seems to be more than a smokescreen. If he’s there I think it will take a trade offer that Scot McCloughan can’t refuse to keep him from turning in the card with Fowler’s name on it.

—OL Brandon Scherff, $25—I don't think the tough, nasty Scherff is a possibility with the fifth pick but he is a trade-down possibility if the Redskins don’t go too far back. A trade with, say, the Falcons, who pick eighth, could end up with the Redskins landing the Iowa product. If he was a sure-fire tackle, even a right tackle, I might have some more chips on him.

—DL Leonard Williams, $15—My big question about the Redskins taking Williams used to be centered on his availability. But on Monday it sure sounded to me like Scot McCloughan was practically begging teams to call him if Williams is still on the board when Washington picks. One way or the other the chances of Williams ending up in burgundy and gold look pretty slim.

—OT Ereck Flowers $15—McCloughan used the word “big” about a dozen times while describing the type of players he likes so if they trade back to the middle of the first round they could take one of the biggest players available. Flowers needs a lot of polish to his technique but he could step in at right tackle right away and if they have trouble getting Trent Williams re-signed he could eventually take the left tackle spot.

—OLB Vic Beasley, $10—His Redskins stock dropped some on Monday. In order to be a top prospect as a pass rusher, “You need to have speed and you need to have quickness but you also need to have power,” said McCloughan. “If you get all three, now you’re talking about a really good prospect.” Beasley lacks the power. There likely is some interest in Beasley but probably not at No. 5.

Timeline

—It’s been 122 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 137 days until they play another one.

Days until: 2015 NFL Draft 1; Redskins minicamp starts 48; Redskins training camp starts 92; Redskins @ Giants 148

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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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, NBC, 8:30  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 7
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 17
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 24

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants

Look out for Eli—There are many reasons why the Giants are 2-8 but Eli Manning is not one of them. He isn’t nearly the turnover machine he has been for much of his career. His interception percentage this year is 1.6; he hasn’t been under 2.3 percent interceptions this decade. Manning only has 14 touchdown passes but considering that Odell Beckham, who went out in the fourth game of the season, still leads Giants wide receivers in touchdown receptions, that’s not bad.

Running game stuck—What makes Manning’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t get much support from a running game. The Giants are 26th in the league with 920 yards. They have gained some traction lately after installing Orleans Darkwa as the starting running back; he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season and 71 yards per game over the last three games. The Redskins certainly don’t want to let him get going tonight.

Reverting to reality—The Giants ranked 32nd in total defense in 2015. They dropped millions on free agents such as Janoris Jenkins, David Harrison, and Olivier Vernon and jumped to 10th. Now, this year they are 31st and equally bad against the pass (29th) and the run (30th). Health hasn’t been a huge issue, although Vernon has missed a few games and Jenkins was suspended. Redskins fans know full well that spending sprees don’t necessarily make for permanent improvements and Giants fans are learning it this year.

Keys to winning

  • Run the ballThe Redskins are 4-2 this year when rushing for 90 yards or more.
  • Continue to protect the ball—The Redskins have turned the ball over just twice in their last three games.
  • Don’t give them hope—The Chiefs let the Giants hang around last week and New York stole a win. The Redskins need to get on top early and mash down on the gas pedal.

Prediction—It’s hard to see a scenario where the Redskins lose this one. Even in their injury-depleted state they are battling every game and the same can’t be said for their opponents today. The weather forecast is for cold temperatures but not much wind, ideal conditions for Cousins to throw for 300 yards. For once, the Redskins get up early and keep going.

Redskins 31, Giants 13

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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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.