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The Redskins’ incredible shrinking draft classes

The Redskins’ incredible shrinking draft classes

The release of David Amerson on Monday further thinned the ranks of players the Redskins drafted who are still making an impact on the team.

The team took the cornerback in the second round in 2013. Now, after just two seasons, there are just two players left from the seven that Mike Shanahan drafted that year. Third-round tight end Jordan Reed is a starter, although he was second on the depth chart until Niles Paul went out for the season with an ankle injury. Chris Thompson, selected in the fifth round, is the third-down back and occasional kickoff returner.

Let’s compare that group to the Packers’ draft class of 2013. Of the 11 players the selected, seven are still on the team. Three of them, left tackle David Bakhtiari, running back Eddie Lacy, and safety Micah Hyde, are starting.

The really bad news here is that 2013 has competition for being the worst draft class of recent seasons. Players drafted in 2011 should just be entering their prime seasons for the teams that drafted them. Ryan Kerrigan, Washington’s first-round pick that year, is doing just that, having signed a five-year, $57.5 million contract extension in July. But only he and Paul, a fifth-round pick, are left from the 12 players picked that year.

A few years ago it looked like the 2012 class would be an all-timer for Washington, with Robert Griffin III looking great as the top picks and Alfred Morris paying big dividends as a sixth-round pick. Even though Griffin has now been benched, perhaps permanently, fourth-round pick Kirk Cousins is staring at quarterback. Fourth-rounder Keenan Robinson look like the real deal at Mike linebacker and Josh LeRibeus (3rd round) and Tom Compton (6th) are reserve offensive linemen.

To wrap up the recent classes, 2014 is a mixed bad. This is the only draft class where Bruce Allen had final say on who was picked. Three of the top four selections, OLB Trent Murphy (2nd round), OT Morgan Moses (3rd), and CB Bashaud Breeland (4th) are either starter or major contributors. G Spencer Long (3rd) and WR Ryan Grant (5th) are solid reserves. But a team that needs special teams help got nothing from its last three picks as RB Lache Seastrunk (6th), TE Ted Bolser (7th), and K Zack Hocker (7th).

The very early returns on the 2015 group are looking favorable. Seven of the team’s 10 picks are on the 53-man roster. Brandon Scherff (1st round) is starting at right guard and both OLB Preston Smith (2nd) and RB Matt Jones (3rd) are contributing. Jamison Crowder (4th) is returning punts and S Kyshoen Jarrett did a nice job filling in as the nickel corner in a pinch against the Rams.

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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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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles

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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 22, one day before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles for Monday night football.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Travel to Philadelphia, no media availability

Days until:

—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 7
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 14
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 32

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),

FULL INJURY REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Five Redskins who are under pressure vs. the Eagles

Every NFL player is under pressure and the stress increased in games that are in the prime-time spotlight like the Redskins have on Monday night. But the spotlight is brighter on some players than it is on others.

—With a banged up defense, the Redskins are going to have to put up some points to win this game. That means that QB Kirk Cousins is going to have to help the Redskins get some points on the board. In the opener against the Eagles he threw a key interception, posted a season-low 72.9 passer rating, and got sacked four times. He has been playing better since then and he may need his best game of the year for the Redskins to pull out the win.

—DT Fletcher Cox is an All-Pro caliber defender and the battle between him and G Brandon Scherff will be important. But the Eagles other defensive tackle, Timmy Jernigan, is also a handful and it will largely be up to G Shawn Lauvao to keep him under control. Jernigan isn’t a great pass rusher (1.5 sacks, 10 pressures) but he tough against the run. The Redskins needs to establish a running game to win and Lauvao vs. Jernigan will be a key battle to get the ground game going.

—There still is plenty of time for WR Terrelle Pryor to have a breakout game and turn around his disappointing season. Monday would be an ideal time to start. He has 16 receptions on the season and with the exception of a couple of plays, his impact has been minimal. When the line gives Cousins time to throw the ball he will need a big target and Pryor is the ideal candidate.

—With Jonathan Allen on injured reserve, it will be up to DE Matt Ioannidis to continue to get pass pressure up the middle. Playing with Allen, the second-year player has 3.5 sacks and 16 pressures. He will need to keep that up in Allen’s absence. On Monday, Ioannidis and the rest of the pass rushers need to get Carson Wentz on the ground when they have the opportunity.

—As much as the Redskins would like to see Wentz take a bunch of sacks, chances are he will get away from the pressure on occasion and scramble to make a play. At times like that, S D.J. Swearinger and the rest of the defensive backs need to stay in coverage and not lose their men. It’s hard to cover a receiver for five seconds or more while the quarterback scrambles around but Swearinger needs to maintain his position as the last line of defense.

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.

Tandler on Twitter

To update this tweet from the beginning of practice, Williams did practice on a limited basis and he is questionable for the game, although it is likely that he will play.

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