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Surprising stat shows drafting guards early makes big impact in NFL

Surprising stat shows drafting guards early makes big impact in NFL

The modern NFL seems to value those involved in the pass game more than just about any other player. That's great news for quarterbacks, receivers, tackles, cornerbacks and edge rushers. 

For the players more involved in the run game the modern NFL has been rough. Running backs struggle to hit the mega-bucks on second contracts that wideouts and passers routinely achieve. Interior offensive lineman rarely get paid on the same scale as tackles. 

A stat from NFL Research, however, shows that early in the draft it pays to invest in the run game. 

Before this analysis gets too far the obvious needs to be pointed out: Significantly less guards get drafted inside the Top 5 than tackles. Way, way less guards.

That doesn't change the results.

The Redskins went 4-12 in 2014. At the 2015 NFL Draft, the team selected Brandon Scherff with the fifth overall pick. In the 2015 season, the Redskins went 9-7 and made the playoffs. 

Some fans - and maybe some coaches - would argue that the 5th overall pick is simply too high for a guard. In Washington, the selection seems to have largely paid off. The 'Skins have won 17 games since Scherff's selection, and he made the Pro Bowl in 2016, just his second season out of Iowa.

From the stat above, running back was the only draftable position with a more immediate impact on win totals. Remember, for about a decade running backs got devalued in the draft as teams expected to find starting caliber runners in the later rounds of the draft. 

Ezekiel Elliott changed that last season. Even before Elliott's incredible 2016 campaign, plenty of rookie runners made an impact. LaDainian Tomlinson in 2001, or the pair of Auburn running backs Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams in 2005. Leonard Fournette will have an opportunity to do the same this fall in Jacksonville. 

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Elite players can make a big impact of win differential, even as rookies, regardless of position.

Considering the stats, Redskins fans should maybe appreciate Scherff a little bit more. 

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Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report


Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report

Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.

Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play. 

A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams. 


His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago. 

McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith. 

Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.

It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.

Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

It looks like Ryant Grant has found his new home, again.

After a failed physical with the Ravens, James Jones of NFL Network reports Grant plans to sign with the Colts.


Grant originally agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens, before the team pulled the offer citing an ankle injury that dated to the Redskins' final regular-season game, according to reports.

Baltimore eventually signed Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal, while Grant had visits with the Colts and Raiders.

His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, says Grant has been working out, running routes, and his ankle had been cleared by Dr. Robert Anderson in a second opinion.

In 2017 with the Redskins, he appeared in all 16 games, with 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns.