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Need to Know: Would the Redskins draft Derrick Henry in the second round?

Need to Know: Would the Redskins draft Derrick Henry in the second round?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 30, 29 days before the NFL Draft.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 80 days ago. It will be about 165 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 19; 2016 NFL draft 29; Redskins training camp starts 120

Hot topic

Yesterday, after news that Anquan Boldin is visiting the Redskins came out, Mike Giardi of our corporate brethren at CSN New England put out a tweet that shed some light on why Boldin is making his first visit almost three weeks into free agency.

“Still out there not because of lack of interest, but $$$ demands,” wrote Giardi.

This is not just the answer to why Boldin hasn’t visited anywhere before yesterday. It also possibly is the answer to “Why aren’t the Redskins interested in (fill in the blank with your favorite free agent safety, running back, tight end, or other position of need)?”

It’s not always a matter of the Redskins not recognizing that this player could help them or thinking that he can’t play. It’s often a situation where the player’s price tag is too high and they want to wait until it drops to a point where they might be able to agree on a reasonable contract.

Sometimes the reason why a team doesn’t show interest in a free agent is because of the lack of a scheme or character fit. But more often than not it’s a matter of money.

Fan question of the day

Not to be too obvious about it, but two things would need to happen for the Redskins to draft Henry in the second round. For one thing, he would have to be there when the Redskins pick at No. 53 overall. I don’t think that the Heisman Trophy winner will be a first-round pick so he likely will be there on the second day of the draft. But will he make it past 21 other teams, several of which have needs at running back, to the Redskins pick? It’s hard to say how a draft will play out but I’d say that chances that he is there are less than 50-50, maybe way less.

If he does make it to No. 53 will the Redskins take him? I don’t see it for a couple of reasons. The word is that they want a faster back, a guy who can score from anywhere on the field, to pair with Matt Jones. And I think that Scot McCloughan will believe that he can find his second running back later in the draft.

With all of that said, you can’t rule it out completely. McCloughan likes big players and at 6-3, 247 Henry certainly qualifies. By all indications he is a high-character player who has the work ethic that the Redskins are looking for. Still, the odds seem to be against it.

(Hit me up on Twitter with #NTK @Rich_TandlerCSN or here in the comments to submit a question)

Stat of the day

Kirk Cousins threw at least one touchdown pass in all 16 games last year.

The Redskins’ 2015 opponents threw at least one touchdown pass in all but two games (@ Atlanta, vs. Dallas). They lost both of those games.

In case you missed it

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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.