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NFL Mock Draft 11.0: McCloughan's love connection

NFL Mock Draft 11.0: McCloughan's love connection

The parlor game sweeping the DMV this month involves trying to figure out which prospect possibly available with the 21st pick best defines Scot McCloughan's definition of "football player."When asked during a recent interview whether he knew which player he wanted at 21, the Redskins general manager said, "Yeah, I think. Hopefully he's not gone. But I'm adding the same kind of guy. Toughness, smarts, competitiveness, team. The whole thing."

McCloughan pulled back on the notion of one prospect rising above all others when he was asked about the pick Monday during his pre-draft press conference at Redskins Park.

CLICK HERE TO LAUNCH NFL MOCK DRAFT 11.0

“Hopefully we’ve got a couple of them," said the chuckling GM. "But yeah, it’s a strong draft, it really is on both sides of the ball. Of course I’m not going to say names or anything like that. ... I’ll take the lesser height/weight/speed guy for the more consistent football player, that you know exactly character-wise, toughness, competitiveness that they bring to the Redskins.”

The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Some run-stuffing lineman or red-zone threatening receiver or heat-seekng missle of a safety or edge rusher or an interior offensive lineman or inside linebacker has likely caught McCloughan's heart. The GM is also right when he says there will be options. 

That's not just a matter of math as the Redskins have the 21st opportunity to select one hundreds of prospects. It's a case of Washington being in position to legitimately add just about anything other than a tight end, offensive tackle, starting quarterback and probably cornerback and help if not improve the current situaton. It's a case of quality options at those need positions being worthy of selection in that range.

So many choices could lead some to paralysis by overanalysis. So many choices makes pinning down which player McCloughan will pick at 21 a confounding task. Here's a sample of prominent mock drafters and who they have going to the Redskins.

CLICK HERE TO LAUNCH NFL MOCK DRAFT 11.0

Peter King, MMQB.com: Vernon Butler, DL, Louisiana Tech

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia

Rob Rang, CBSsports.com, Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama

Charley Casserly, NFL.com: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama

Charles Davis, NFL.com: A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

Mel Kipeer Jr., ESPN, Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

Walter Cherepsky, WalterFootball.com: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, DL Robert Nkemdiche

The primary similarities among these picks? Defensive line and the University of Alabama. There are other mocks out there that match the a prospect or three selected here. The larger point is that even with the low odds of correctly projecting any pick this deep into round one, the odds this year are even lower. There is indeed more than one viable option at 21. That's perhaps the biggest reason for a trade down and not just because that's a standard default option when pondering the draft. 

That's a good thing because what McCloughan also said during the run up the draft is that he'd like 12 picks this year. Washington doesn't have to trade out of the first round to achieve that goal. Based on the amount of options, it seems rather clear moving back a bit isn't a bad idea. Unless of course McCloughan gets his one true love.

CLICK HERE TO LAUNCH NFL MOCK DRAFT 11.0

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201