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Redskins OTA report 06.09.15--Defense

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Redskins OTA report 06.09.15--Defense

Although the weather in Ashburn was warm and sunny, the Redskins had to move their OTA practice inside on Tuesday as torrential rains the night before had left the grass fields in bad shape. Here is what I saw on defense and special teams. I'll have the observations on offense up tomorrow.

—We had the Dashon Goldson-Duke Ihenacho combo at safety with the first team as we have had for most of the OTAs that have been open to the media. When they signed Jeron Johnson it was thought that the strong safety job was his to lose. It’s probably to early to say he has lost it but Ihenacho, who started for the Broncos in the Super Bowl against Johnson’s Seahawks, is giving him a run for his money.

—It did look like Johnson lined up a few times at free safety. It’s important that someone who is likely to make the roster can do that since Goldson needs a backup. There isn’t another natural free safety on the roster.

—On a couple of snaps in 11 on 11 Stephen Paea lined up at nose tackle and Terrance Knighton shifted out to left end. I think the message is that anyone along the defensive line could line up anywhere at any time.

—Tress Way has had some impressive punts but not many like one he booted today. From one sideline he launched one across the field towards the other sideline. In the practice bubble there are hanging lights along the sides that are about 50 feet up from the field. Way’s punt hit one of the lights. I’m not going to do the math but the kick was still at a height of about 50 feet after covering 53 yards (the width of the football field). He also booted a punt going in the conventional direction that traveled 68 yards in the air.

—Lined up to return kickoffs were Trey Williams, Andre Roberts, Jamison Crowder, Rashad Ross, and Chris Thompson.

—Mike linebacker Keenan Robinson was a spectator at practice. He later said that he was dealing with a minor injury and would be back to practice tomorrow.

—The Redskins’ two top draft picks lined up opposite each other for a while and the later pick had the upper hand over the first pick. Preston Smith moved around Brandon Scherff both inside and outside in the space of a few plays.

—Ryan Kerrigan, who is out until training camp after a knee procedure, was working on hand techniques with and assistant coach.

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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.