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TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson could be perfect solution to Redskins' need

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TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson could be perfect solution to Redskins' need

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 21 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.

Josh Doctson
Wide receiver
TCU

Height: 6-2
Weight: 202
40-yard dash: 4.50

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying
All of Doctson's experience came in a spread offense that didn't ask him to run a full route tree, but he shows outstanding effort on throws in his zip code, expanding his catch radius, contorting his body and finding ways to finish catches - bailed out quarterback Trevone Boykin on a number of errant passes on film.

Doctson lacks polish in areas, but has the resilient mentality and on-field skill-set to contribute early and settle into a No. 2 receiver role, drawing similarities to Jordan Matthews when he entered the league out of Vanderbilt.
Dane Brugler, CBS Sports

How he fits the Redskins: The Cowboys have Dez, OBJ plays for the Giants, the Eagles have Jordan Matthews. If the Redskins are going to keep up in the division they need a tall wide receiver who can go up and come down with contested catches. The speedy DeSean Jackson is in the last year of his contract and the physical Pierre Garçon is, too. The Redskins need to have replacements ready for the possibility (probability?) that one (both?) of them moves on.

You could go on the web and produce a dozen or so GIFs like this one, with Doctson going up and getting a contested ball.

If you look at the “spider web” representation of his combine numbers here, you can see the impressive performances in the broad jump and vertical jump, which were predictable after watching him play. But also he shows he has good agility in the shuttle and 3-cone drills, areas where you expect a smaller receiver to excel. To be this quick and agile at his height is impressive.

He has solid football character according to all reports, something much more important to Scot McCloughan as the shuttles and jumping measurements.

Potential issues: Doctson is on the slender side and some are concerned about his ability to get off the line against press coverage. The team that drafts him will want him to add some strength without hampering his speed and jumping ability.

As noted in Brugler’s comment above, Doctson ran a very simple route tree in TCU’s spread offense. There is no reason to think he can’t learn but you don’t know until he does it.

He suffered a broken wrist that ended his senior season early and that will have to pass medical scrutiny.

Bottom line: If we are to believe the mock drafts coming out of the best-known analysts on the web, there is about a 50-50 chance that Doctson will be on the board when the Redskins’ pick comes up. About half of them have him being picked somewhere in the teens, in others he goes in the mid-twenties. His sweet spot could be at No. 21, where the Redskins pick.

Certainly, the Redskins need help on defense and a lineman is widely expected to be their top pick. But wide receiver is also a big need and they could wait until the second round to go D-line and grab someone like Doctson in the first.

In his own words

On how he developed his ability to get jump balls:
What helped me the most I think was playing basketball out of high school. Ally hoops helped me with timing of jumping, and catching the ball. And then finding the rim definitely took a lot of hand-eye coordination. That helped correlate over very well for me. Timing in football . . . knowing when to time my jump to where I could get the best catch…naturally my body knows when to jump.
Previously in Redskins draft countdown:

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

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.