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Three safety prospects the Redskins could target in the draft


Three safety prospects the Redskins could target in the draft

With the busy portion of the free agent signing period over, it’s time to start looking ahead to the 2016 NFL Draft and, specifically, holes Redskins GM Scot McCloughan still must fill. (And, yes, there are many.) Over the next few weeks, Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir will examine prospects that could be a fit in Washington. 

Up today…


Depth chart: DeAngelo Hall, David Bruton Jr., Duke Ihenacho and Kyshoen Jarrett.

Current situation: There are more questions at safety than perhaps any other position on the Redskins’ roster at the moment.

Hall switched from corner to safety late last season and figures to play a big role in 2016. Bruton, the former Bronco, is a 28-year-old special teams ace who is expected to compete for a starting job. Meanwhile, Ihenacho, who has played just 13 snaps the past two seasons due to injury, also figures to be in the mix. It should also be noted that Bruton (broken leg) and Ihenacho (wrist) are coming off injuries.

And then there’s Jarrett. He flashed so much potential as a rookie, but his status is very much in question due to a shoulder/nerve injury he suffered in the regular season finale.

There’s always a chance that the Redskins will re-sign Dashon Goldson, but give his age (32 in September) and deteriorating play he’s not a long-term solution.

At the owners meetings last month, Coach Jay Gruden said he’s “very concerned” about safety and described the current depth at the position as “a little challenging right now.” Gruden added that cornerbacks Will Blackmon and Deshazor Everett will get some reps at safety during OTAs as the team sorts through its options.

To me, all signs point to General Manager Scot McCloughan addressing selecting at least one safety in the draft, where he’ll plenty of quality prospects from which to choose.

Three prospect possibilities:

  • Keanu Neal, Florida

Listed at 6 foot, 211-pounds, says he’s got “an athletic frame with NFL size.” Scouts also note his athleticism and knack for seeking—and making—punishing hits. Neal totaled 129 tackles and four interceptions the past two seasons. Could as early as the first round.

  • Sean Davis, Maryland

Listed at 6 foot 1, 201-pounds, Davis is lauded by scouts as an intimidating hitter who also possesses good athleticism and length. A Washington native, he idolized Sean Taylor. Played corner last season and finished with 88 tackles, three interceptions and five forced fumbles. Davis is scheduled to attend the Redskins’ local pro day next week, a source told CSN’s Dan Martin. Projects as a mid to late round selection.

  • Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee State

In four college seasons, Byard (5 foot 11, 216-pounds) averaged 79.5 tackles and totaled 19 interceptions to go along with 15 pass breakups. Projects as a strong safety who could be had in the mid to late rounds. The Redskins have also reportedly shown interest in Michael Caputo (Wisconsin) and Elijah Shumate (Notre Dame).

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR, so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL.

They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 


What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

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