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Redskins offense still gets high marks

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Redskins offense still gets high marks

Offense
Grade vs. Bengals: B
Comment: Aftera second consecutive loss, youve really got to squint in order to see a silver lining. But if you do, youll realize that the Redskins possess one of the leagues most explosive offenses.

And that, at the very least, makes Sunday afternoons in Washington much more bearable.

Robert Griffin III and the offense got off to a slow start against the suspect Bengals' defense. But after a number of astute adjustments at halftime, the unit managed to overcome a 14-point deficit on back-to-back possessions to start the third quarter, methodically covering 80 and 86 yards, respectively.

Unfortunately for the home team, Griffin was unable to author a comeback on the teams final possession, which began at the Washington 2-yard line and ended with a third-and-50-to-go after a sack, a false start and Kyle Shanahans meltdown on the sideline.

But the loss shouldnt obscure this fact: After years of mediocrity (and worse) on offense, the Redskins finally have a potent unit capable of producing points almost on demand. And, at the moment, theyre doing it without the services of the teams second most dangerous weapon behind Griffin wide receiver Pierre Garon, who's sidelined with a foot injury.

Despite Garon's absence, the Redskins lead the NFL in points scored with 99 and the offense ranks sixth in yards per game with 404.3. Last season, they surpassed 400 yards only three times and did not reach 99 points until their sixth contest.

On Sunday, Griffin led the team in rushing with 85 yards and fellow rookie Alfred Morris had 78, making him the first Redskins running back since Stephen Davis in 1999 to open the season with three straight 75-yard or better rushing performances.

The coaching staff also showed some creativity by using Brandon Banks on the option. Twice in the third quarter, Banks was on the receiving end of pitches from Griffin, the first of which he carried for 21 yards.

The 213 yards they racked up on the ground were the most in 77 regular season games.

But there are a couple of concerns going forward. After initially saying he did not believe Griffin was absorbing too many hits, Coach Mike Shanahan reversed course Monday and acknowledged as much, saying, You dont want a quarterback taking as many shots as he did Sunday, thats for sure.

Some of the shots Griffin received Sunday were the result of him carrying the ball 12 times. Others were the result of poor blocking from an offensive line that could be without both starting tackles in Tampa.

Which brings us to the other concern. Jammal Brown has been sidelined all season and its possible the Redskins could also be without Trent Williams against the Buccaneers. Williams suffered a knee injury against the Bengals and if he cant suit up, his replacement will be Jordan Black, a journeyman who was not in the NFL last season.

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Late push for McGlinchey, Landry and Davenport would help Redskins at 13

Late push for McGlinchey, Landry and Davenport would help Redskins at 13

For months, draft conversation suggested that there wasn't an offensive tackle to pick in the Top 10. And after Bradley Chubb, there wasn't an edge defender worth a Top 10 pick either. 

All of a sudden, that conversation is changing. 

Late charges from Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey, Boston College defensive end Harold Landry and University of Texas San Antonio pass rusher Marcus Davenport are starting to influence mock drafts.

On Wednesday, NFL Network's Peter Schrager predicted the 49ers to take McGlinchey with the ninth overall pick. Charley Casserly, in a mock draft with NBC Sports Washington on Monday, predicted the Chicago Bears take Davenport with the eighth overall pick. Reports on Landry are all over the place, but some guess he could break the Top 10 as well.

The thing to remember about the NFL: It's a passing league. Positions tied to the quarterback are the most important, and that means protecting the QB and getting after the QB is in high demand. No position will ever get over-drafted like quarterback, but it's not a surprise that teams might reach for players at tackle or edge rusher.

What does this mean for the Redskins holding the No. 13 pick?

It means great news. 

Washington will already benefit from four QBs going in the Top 10. That will likely push down an elite talent to their draft spot.

If McGlinchey, Davenport or Landry also crack the Top 10? Even better.

The Redskins need help at just about every position group on the defensive side of the ball. It's well documented how the team struggled against the run in 2017, but the defense also lost Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller this offseason. 

There will be a number of weapons available for Washington at 13, and that could include players like Minkah Fitzpatrick or Derwin James in addition to Vita Vea or Da'Ron Payne. It might mean Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith lasts to 13 too. 

For the Redskins, Fitzpatrick or James at 13 seems like a steal. Both players present elite potential at the evolving position of nickel cornerback. They can play some corner, some safety, and James might even be able to play some linebacker. 

Regardless of the eventual destination for James or Fitzpatrick, if more surprise players sneak into the Top 10 on Thursday night, the better Washington's options become. And that includes the possibility of trading down, Vea or Payne, Smith or Edmunds.

More elite options at 13 only helps the Redskins. 

Redskins fans should be rooting for Mike McGlinchey, Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport early Thursday night. The folks in Ashburn will be. 

MORE 2018 NFL DRAFT:
- Mock Draft 9.0: Almost draft day
- 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

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Once undrafted, how Trey Edmunds found his way as a rookie in a crowded backfield

Once undrafted, how Trey Edmunds found his way as a rookie in a crowded backfield

NBC Sports Washington’s four-part digital series ‘E-Boyz’ -- chronicling the illustrious past, decorated present and bright future of the Edmunds family -- is NOW LIVE. Check out a new episode daily, leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Watch the third episode above and more here.

A position change. A school change. A season-ending injury. 

Those are the kinds of things that prevent an NFL career from ever starting. But none of those things stopped Trey Edmunds from reaching the league and contributing for the Saints as a rookie in 2017.

Trey, the oldest brother in a family that features 2018 prospects Tremaine and Terrell, came out of high school as a linebacker, but became a running back after enrolling at Virginia Tech. After three productive seasons with the Hokies, he transferred to finish up his career with Maryland, yet his senior season was cut short after fracturing his foot five games in to the schedule.

That injury was a big reason why the 2017 NFL Draft came and went without a phone call for Edmunds, so he signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent in May. There, he played spot duty on special teams for much of his rookie campaign before his breakout moment in November:

Now, heading into his second pro year, Edmunds will reportedly have to fight for a roster spot in New Orleans again. But hey, adversity is something the 23-year-old is very familiar with, so don't bet against him.