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Opportunities Lost

Opportunities Lost

The NFL is a merciless business. If you have a weakness, the other team will exploit that soft spot immediately and often.

The Redskins went into Sunday’s game in Seattle with a glaring weakness. They have one of the league’s best receivers in Santana Moss. The receiver that lines up opposite Moss is merely filling a roster spot. When he was in the lineup, James Thrash was an excellent special teams player but not much of a threat as a receiver. Taylor Jacobs can’t get separation from anyone and, in the rare times that he does get open, he makes you long for Rod “50/50” Gardner when it comes to hanging on to the ball.

If a team can take away Moss and not have to pay for devoting so many resources to that task, the job for the opposing defense becomes that much easier. For a while during the season-ending five-game winning streak, Chris Cooley was a viable option and he made some plays yesterday, but having an H-back as a threat is not the same as having someone who is capable of getting open deep down the field.

Yesterday the Seahawks were able to pack the box with eight and nine defenders with relative impunity. That led to a string of three and outs in the early going, a stretch during which the Seahawks were finding their bearings offensively and adjusting to the absence of league MVP Shaun Alexander from their lineup. It was an opportunity lost for the Redskins as they had just a 3-0 lead before Seattle got it going on offense.

The offensive problems weren’t all about the lack of a second receiver; Ray Brown missing some time due to cramps didn’t help either. Cory Raymer, a center, was clueless during a critical series in the third quarter. One of the reasons he stuck around as a backup with a seven-figure cap number was that he supposedly could provide depth at both interior line positions. At least on this critical day, that wasn’t the case.

And, certainly, while the quarterback gets too much of the blame in losses, the play of Mark Brunell has to be called into question. He was wild high all day, missing Cooley and Moss in critical situations. While he has said frequently that his right knee, injured in the win over the Giants, had nothing to do with his problems, there is no question that it did. Kudos to Brunell for not making excuses, but it’s no coincidence that his play deteriorated considerably in the three games after the injury.

The quarterback and receiver positions will be addressed this offseason. In the latter category, another receiver will be brought in via free agency or the draft, perhaps both, to provide depth and push David Patten for the second receiver spot.

At quarterback it will be primarily a matter of distributing existing assets. It appears that Brunell goes into the offseason as the starter. He is less than a full year younger than Brett Favre, the NFL’s oldest starting quarterback. But as we saw in 2005, there could be plenty of twists and turns in the quarterback story before the 2006 season opener and as the season unfolds

The view here is that it’s not a certainty that Patrick Ramsey will be traded. If Gibbs is not yet comfortable with Jason Campbell starting games—and at Brunell’s age the chances of him making it through 16 games are extremely slim--he may decide to forgo the third-round pick he might be able to get in exchange for Ramsey.

It was a disappointing end to the season because of the missed opportunities. But there is little question that this team went as far as it deserved to in terms of the talent on the roster. A modest upgrade there, along with playing a third season under the same coaching staff, should help the Redskins take the next step.

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The Redskins fill a need with Da'Ron Payne as their first-round pick

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The Redskins fill a need with Da'Ron Payne as their first-round pick

The Redskins went into the draft with everyone talking about their need to upgrade their defensive line. And despite the presence of two other intriguing defenders on the board, they went with the big guy. 

Da’Ron Payne, a defensive lineman from Alabama, was the name that Roger Goodell read off of the card when the Redskins’ turn came up with the 13thoverall pick in the draft. 

Here is our analysis of Payne from an earlier NBC Sports Washington post about him:

Stuff the run in the middle of the line? Check. Get outside to stop stretch plays? Check. Get after the passer? Check. Yes, Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne checks all the boxes the Redskins are looking for on the D-line.

He can be the immovable object, taking on double and triple teams, and he also can chase down the quarterback. At 311 pounds he could be the Redskins’ nose tackle in base and move outside in nickel.

At 6-2, 311, the Redskins likely will use Payne in the middle of the line as their nose tackle in their base defense. Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula will work with him to improve his pass rushing ability. 

Payne has been talked of as the Redskins pick since early in the draft process. As the draft unfolded, it turned out that there were two defenders, safety Derwin James and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who most analysts had rated considerably above Payne, still on the board. As it turns out, the Redskins apparently made the need pick and went with Payne. 

The Redskins draft an Alabama defensive lineman for the second straight year. Last year they took Crimson Tide defensive tackle Jonathan Allen with the 17th pick in the draft. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

 

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NFL Draft 2018 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2018 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

The 2018 NFL Draft is finally here. It's time to file away the mock drafts and frame your big boards for memory.

Tonight, Thursday April 26, the best college football players in the country will learn which franchise they will begin their professional football careers with.

The NFL Draft is the biggest non-sporting event on the sporting calendar, and the 2018 edition is no different. Taking place at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, the 2018 NFL Draft is sure to be bigger than ever, with four quarterbacks and a freakish running back all vying for the top pick.

The Cleveland Browns are on the clock, and will make the first overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft around 8:30 p.m. tonight.

The Washington Redskins have the No. 13 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and won't make their draft pick until around 9:45 p.m. ET.

But we are keeping you up to date on all things NFL Draft with our life blog and draft tracker.

NFL Draft 2018 Redskins First-Round Tracker and Live Updates:

10:49 - So D.J. Moore is the first wide receiver? There were some rumors that he could fall back to the second, looks like that was clearly not the case. 

DRAFT PICK: No. 24 - CAROLINA PANTHERS draft WR D.J. MOORE, Maryland

DRAFT PICK: No. 23 - NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS draft G ISAIAH WYNN, Georgia

10:35 PM - Yikes, somehow this trade got blurred in our draft coverage. Oakland loading up on tools for Derek Carr. 

DRAFT PICK: No. 22 - TENNESSEE TITANS draft ILB RASHAAN EVANS, Alabama

10:20 PM - TRADE: Baltimore continues to slide back, they give up their spot to Tennessee. Right now the Ravens are at No. 25

DRAFT PICK: No. 21 - CINCINNATI BENGALS draft C BILLY PRICE, Ohio State

DRAFT PICK: No. 20 - DETROIT LIONS draft C FRANK RAGNOW, Arkansas

DRAFT PICK: No. 19 - DALLAS COWBOYS draft ILB LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH, Boise State

10:14 PM - Of course Jerry Jones takes his sweet old time getting this pick in... 

DRAFT PICK: No. 18 - GREEN BAY PACKERS draft CB JAIRE ALEXANDER, Louisville

10:04 PM - TRADE: Green Bay decides to now move back up, taking the No. 18 pick away from the Seattle Seahawks and giving them the No. 27 pick Green Bay got from New Orleans

10:03 PM - Okay we get it Bruce Allen, this is a good pipeline to be a part of:

10:01 PM - Go ahead and take a look as well at Rich Tandler's draft profile on Da'Ron Payne, the "immovable object"

9:59 PM - Get to know the Redskins first-round pick Da'Ron Payne, filling a need on their D-line.

DRAFT PICK: No. 17 - LOS ANGELES CHARGERS draft S DERWIN JAMES, Florida State

DRAFT PICK: No. 16 - BUFFALO BILLS draft OLB TREMAINE EDMUNDS, Virginia Tech

9:51 PM - TRADE: This time it is Baltimore making moves, they move down to make room for the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo now at No. 16 and Baltimore at No. 22

DRAFT PICK: No. 15 - OAKLAND RAIDERS draft T KOLTON MILLER, UCLA

9:45 PM - Sorry to leave you all hanging. Interesting to see that the Redskins chose to go on the line with Derwin James and Tremaine Edmunds on the board. 

DRAFT PICK: No. 14 - NEW ORLEANS SAINTS draft DE MARCUS DAVENPORT, UT San Antonio

9:33 PM - TRADE: New Orleans jumps all the way from No. 27 to No. 14 using this year's and next year's First Round picks. Green Bay looking good. 

DRAFT PICK: No. 13 - WASHINGTON REDSKINS draft DT Da'Ron Payne, Alabama

9:28 PM - Annnnddddd the Washington Redskins are on the clock.

9:25 PM - Welp, so much for choices. 

DRAFT PICK: No. 12 - TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS draft DT VITA VEA, Washington

9:20 PM - The first name associated with the Redskins is gone, still Vea, Payne, James, and Edmunds available

DRAFT PICK: No. 11 - MIAMI DOLPHINS draft S MINKAH FITZPATRICK, Alabama

DRAFT PICK: No. 10 - ARIZONA CARDINALS draft QB JOSH ROSEN, UCLA

9:11 PM - I like 'em odds

9:08 PM - Another trade, the Arizona Cardinals have acquired the No. 10 pick from the Oakland Raiders, per Ian Rapoport.

DRAFT PICK: No. 9 - SAN FRANCISCO draft T MIKE McGLINCHEY, Notre Dame

DRAFT PICK: No. 8 - CHICAGO BEARS draft LB ROQUAN SMITH, Georgia

8:57 PM - We're just over halfway to the Redskins pick, three of the top four QBs have been taken. Will anybody from behind the Skins try and make a deal to move up?

DRAFT PICK: No. 7 - BUFFALO BILLS draft QB JOSH ALLEN, Wyoming

8:51 PM - First trade of the night, Buffalo (No. 12) jumps up to No. 7. Redskins remain at No. 13.

DRAFT PICK: No. 6 - INDIANAPOLIS COLTS draft G QUENTON NELSON, Notre Dame

DRAFT PICK: No. 5 - DENVER BRONCOS draft DE Bradley Chubb, NC State

8:37 PM - If anyone says the had Denzel Ward at No. 4, they're lying. It looks like the seas are starting to open up for the Redskins, someone is going to fall

DRAFT PICK: No. 4 - CLEVELAND BROWNS draft CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State

8:35 PM - Okay Nick, we think you are around Chris Russell too much. The world does not need to burn today.

DRAFT PICK: No. 3 - NEW YORK JETS draft QB Sam Darnold, Southern Cal

8:24 PM - Playing Zeke and Saquon Barkley twice a year? Nope RIP to the Redskins D-line. 

DRAFT PICK: No. 2 - NEW YORK GIANTS draft RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State

8:18 PM - So yep, Baker was taken first overall. Cue the madnesss for the rest of the draft and here is your Rich Tandler take: 

DRAFT PICK: No. 1 - CLEVELAND BROWNS draft QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

8:13 PM - They're really going to take the whole time for this first pick aren't they

8:11 PM - There is a Scot McCloughan sighting in the Cleveland Browns war room.

8:03 PM - Before we get started, a reminder here are the Redskins picks for the draft, for now... :

1st Round: 13th overall
2nd Round: 13th pick
4th Round: 9th pick
5th Round: 5th pick
5th Round: 26th pick
6th Round: 31st pick
7th Round: 13th pick
7th Round: 23rd pick

8:00 PM - And the Cleveland Browns are officially on the clock. The 2018 NFL Draft is underway.

PreDraft Coverage:

7:48 PM - Green Bay picks right after the Redskins... this could get real interesting real fast.

6:38 PM - On draft night, Vernon Davis is doing Olympic things, but he's still able to check-in and say hi.

5:05 PM - We did a bracket challenge for Redskins fans, giving you the chance to vote on who the Redskins should take at No. 13. If it were up to Redskins fans, Georgia LB Roquan Smith would be the choice.

4:45 PM - Since we are on the subject of the Edmunds brothers, let's ask and answer this question: When and where will both Tremaine and Terrell go?

4:30 PM - One option for the Redskins at No. 13 is Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds. He just so happens to be the focus of an exclusive NBC Sports Washington webseries. "E-Boyz" takes a look at draft prospects Tremaine and Terrell Edmunds, as well as their brother Trey, a running back for the Saints and their father, Ferrell, and former two-time Pro Bowl tight end for the Dolphins.

E-Boyz — Ep. 1: The Players
E-Boyz — Ep. 2: Ferrell
E-Boyz — Ep. 3: Danville
E-Boyz — Ep. 4: Celebration

4:10 PM - The first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft won't be announced for another four hours. But we have a lot to prep. Let's get started with draft music. Players in the green room get to select their walkup music. Josh Jackson deserves to be the No. 1 overall pick. 

4:00 PM - Welcome to our live update tracker of the 2018 NFL Draft. The draft doesn't get started until 8:00 p.m. But there is a lot to go over until then.

Here is a good place to start. 

- Draft Day Primer: JP Finlay goes over all the Redskins' options
- Top Prospects: RB options for the Redskins
- Top Prospects: WR options for the Redskins
- Need To Know: Rich Tandler's Seven-Round Redskins Mock Draft
- Mega-Mock Predictions: DC Media choose No. 13 pick