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Need to Know: Will all seven Redskins draft picks make the roster?

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Need to Know: Will all seven Redskins draft picks make the roster?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 5, eight days before the Washington Redskins hold their rookie minicamp.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 116 days ago. It will be 130 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 8; OTAs start 19; Redskins training camp starts 84

Hot topic

Last year the Redskins drafted 10 players. Out of that group, six made the initial 53-man roster. WR Evan Spencer was waived-injured, they tried to get CB Tevin Mitchel on to injured reserve but the Colts claimed him, ILB Martrell Spaight went to injured reserve, and C Austin Reiter was released and later signed to the practice squad.

This year they selected seven players. Can all seven of them make the 53-man roster?

I don’t think that we have to go into any heavy analysis on the Redskins’ first three picks. WR Josh Doctson, S Su’a Cravens and CB Kendall Fuller are all automatically on the roster just like every other player picked in the first three rounds will be around the league.

Scot McCloughan traded out of the fourth round so their next pick was DL Matt Ioannidis in the fifth round. They certainly seem to have plans for him. “In base, we’re looking at him more at nose, but he can still play the three [technique],” McCloughan said at a press conference this week. “But in sub, which we’re in a lot more than base, he can move around the line.”

Words spoken in May do not necessarily translate to a roster spot and a significant role on the defense in September. But I think it’s fair to say that Ioannidis is about a 90 percent lock to make the roster.

It will be interesting to see what happens to developmental quarterback Nate Sudfeld, taken in the sixth round. Unless he bombs completely he is likely to be employed at Redskins Park this fall. But will he be the third quarterback on the active roster or will he be on the practice squad? If he is showing some promise and looks good in preseason games the organization might not want to risk getting him through waivers to make the practice squad. But if the preseason games end and it looks like he needs a lot of work still the practice squad might be the place for him.

They had two seventh-round picks. ILB Steven Daniels joins a somewhat crowded position with Will Compton, Mason Foster, and Perry Riley vying for starting jobs, Terrance Garvin signing on as a backup who also will help in special teams, and Spaight competing for a roster spot. If Daniels can provide a spark on special teams, something needed by the team following the departures of special teams regulars like Darryl Young and Jeron Johnson, he will have a very good shot at sticking around.

There is an opening for the other seventh-round pick, RB Keith Marshall. The Redskins still haven’t filled the roster spot vacated by Alfred Morris so he will have an opportunity. But it’s hard to see the Redskins making Marshall their only option. It seems likely that a veteran will be signed to compete for the job and one or two promising undrafted players could as well. Marshall may have to fend off some competition from a few players in order to land a spot on the 53.

Looking at the big picture, while all seven have a legitimate shot at the roster I don’t think that they all will. I’ll put the over/under at 5.5.

Stat of the day

The 2015 Redskins outscored the opposition by 57 points in the first halves of their regular season games (212-155). In the second half (including overtime), however, they were outscored by 48 points (1 76-224).

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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.