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Redskins Draft Countdown: Miami OT Ereck Flowers

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Redskins Draft Countdown: Miami OT Ereck Flowers

The NFL Draft is just a week away and I’ll continue researching the prospects throughout the lead-up to the draft. Along the way I’ll be sharing some of what I find out with Real Redskins readers. The focus will be on players in areas of need for the Redskins but I might look at players at just about any position since Scot McCloughan has said that he will take the best player available regardless of need.

Ereck Flowers
Offensive tackle
Miami (FL)

What they’re saying:

Strengths: Big, athletic frame carrying more than 320 pounds with ease. Ascending mauler in the run game. Bender who is low man off snap and pops hips into block to leverage defender at the point. Combines hips, arm extension and upper-body power to consistently turn his man when base blocking. Once he gets upper hand in run game, he usually sustains and finishes. Secures combo block with a vengeance. Has feet to become solid zone blocker. Mean and highly competitive. Wants to dominate and gets surly when beaten on a snap.

Weaknesses: Pass protection needs plenty of work. Footwork gets sloppy and undisciplined, causing base to narrow. Ducks head into contact and is a leaner in pass pro, creating balance problems. Rarely flat-footed upon initial hand contact. Throws hands rather than firing authoritative punch. Hands ride too high and too wide. Content to become grabby around framework of defender. Flagged for six holding penalties over last two seasons.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: Robert Griffin III recently recounted a conversation he had with Scot McCloughan about the Redskins getting “tough in the trenches”. If that really is their goal they should take a close look at Flowers. I particularly like the parts in the strengths description above where Zierlein talks about Flowers being “mean and highly competitive” and says that “he usually sustains and finishes.” You don’t always find those traits in such big players.

He looks like someone the Redskins could drop in at right tackle opposite Trent Williams and have bookends for the next five years or so. And, although most Redskins fans don’t like to think about this, should Williams depart in free agency after this season, Flowers has the ability to move to left tackle.

Potential issues: His technique is sloppy, particularly in pass protection. It’s odd that he is very light on his feet (at times he moves like someone who is about 30 pounds lighter) but he still has plenty of problems with his footwork.

As we’ve noted here, it’s not unusual for big college players to have some poor fundamentals. They can physically dominate regardless of hand placement or other such technical details. When they get into the NFL and football becomes a full-time job the coaches can work with them to clean up the issues. It will be up to McCloughan to determine if Flowers will be willing to put in the time and if he will be responsive to the coaching.

Flowers also had an oddly ineffective game against Virginia and their edge rusher, Eli Harold. Harold is projected to be a second-round pick so he’s a solid player. But if you have an off day against him you aren’t going to get your quarterback seriously injured. If you have a bad day when Jason Pierre-Paul or J.J. Watt is lined up against you, it could be a different story.

Bottom line: Flowers has visited Redskins Park so there could be some interest there. Earlier in the draft process many projected him to be a second-round pick. But now it looks like he might not last past the middle of the first round. If the Redskins trade back to the middle of the first, Flowers could well be on their radar.

Previously in Draft Countdown:

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 23, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles, 8:30 pm, ESPN

Days until:

—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 13
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 31

Final report on injures of note:
Out
: CB Josh Norman (rib),
Questionable: OT Trent Williams (knee)CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle),
See the full injury report and analysis here

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The first time these teams met, both scored defensive touchdowns. Ryan Kerrigan got the first Redskins points on the board with a pick six of Carson Wentz in the second quarter. With a minute and a half left, Fletcher Cox wrapped up the game for his team with a 20-yard return of a very controversial fumble. The difference tonight could well be a defensive or special teams score.

—In that game, the Redskins never let the Eagles get any sort of running game going. The Eagles rushed for 54 yards, the second-lowest total for a Washington opponent this year. And they had 24 attempts (2.4 yards per) so it wasn’t as though they didn’t try. The Redskins could use another strong effort against the run this time as well.

—I examined third downs in the first look at this game a few days ago. Since then, this was bought to my attention.

Third downs could be a fatal flaw for the Redskins. The Eagles’ ability to convert third and long situations was a key to them being able to survive without much of a running game in the opener. The Redskins need to hold the Eagles to 40 percent or less on all third downs and to 25 percent or less on third and long. And they will have to do it without Josh Norman, their best defensive back.

—In the first meeting, the matchup of the Redskins’ offensive line and the Eagles’ defensive front went decidedly in Philly’s direction. Washington rushed for just 64 yards and Kirk Cousins was sacked four times. There were plenty of concerns about the line, especially RT Morgan Moses, who gave up two sacks, and RG Brandon Scherff, who gave up four total pressures. Those two and the unit as a whole have been better since that game. The Redskins’ front will need to win that battle this time around.

Prediction: A Week 7 game is not really a must-win when you have a winning record. There is a lot of season left to be played. But if the Redskins are going to take the next step and stay in the thick of things for the ideal playoff seeding, they need to take this one. This year in the NFL, just when everyone thinks they have things figured out something happens to flip the script. Everyone now figures that the Eagles are the best team in the NFC and perhaps the best in the NFL. They are ripe for an upset.

Redskins 24, Eagles 20

Season prediction record: 2-3

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.

In case you missed it

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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

PHILADELPHIA — Arguably the Redskins best player, all of the NFL knows that Trent Williams can still play at a high level while dealing with injury. 

How long Williams can play though injury seems the more important question though as reports emerged the left tackle will need knee surgery at some point. That could come in the next few weeks, or as Redskins fans hope, perhaps at the end of the season.

Currently playing with a torn medial patella-femoral ligament in his right knee, the six-time Pro Bowler has not practiced since sustaining the injury three weeks ago in Kansas City. He was able to gut out a strong performance last week against the 49ers, and is expected to do the same Monday night against the Eagles.

One factor that might be pushing Williams to play with such a damaged right leg is that backup tackle Ty Nsekhe is also out after having surgery on his core muscles. 

MORE: REDSKINS WEEKLY MVPS FOR EVERY GAME THUS FAR

Nsekhe is expected back relatively soon, but the timeline remains murky. When he can come back, perhaps Williams will reconsider his options. 

Surgery for the torn MPFL will leave Williams with a five or six-month recovery. 

It's obvious the Redskins' offense is best with Williams on the field. Nsekhe, however, proved a capable backup last season when Williams served a four-game suspension. 

Without Nsekhe, the Redskins would go to veteran T.J. Clemmings should Williams be unable to play. Nsekhe has not played since a Week 3 win over Oakland. The Redskins added Clemmings to the roster in early September, after their fourth preseason game. He spent the last two seasons with the Vikings. 

For now, the Redskins will continue to hope Williams can play through the pain.

"Trent is a tough guy, so we will see how it works, see how feels tomorrow and go from there," Jay Gruden said of Williams on Saturday. 

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