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NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Redskins needs vs. first round depth

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NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Redskins needs vs. first round depth

The Redskins season ended Sunday - thanks, Aaron Rodgers - which means time to look ahead whether ready or not. Free agency comes first and then the draft. Before all of that, we ponder Washington's top needs.

Here's the thing: It's certainly not a short list. 

Assuming Kirk Cousins stays, the 2016 Redskins are set at the following positions: Quarterback, tight end, outside linebacker. Probably offensive tackle. 

Yes, the needs list is longer. Based on some early homework, Washington should find some help with one of these key spots with the 21st overall pick, but not all.

Back to the needs. The improved defensive line could lose more than half its members and needs some youth regardless. Even if potential salary cap casualties DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon stick, the Redskins need more size at receiver.

SEE THE NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0 HERE

Inside linebackers Keenan Robinson and Mason Foster are free agents. Cornerback could be a strength if Chris Culliver returns sooner than later from a season-ending knee injury, but depth was dicey most of the season.

Jay Gruden may think DeAngelo Hall is one of the starters at safety next season, but he's no long-term answer. Alfred Morris probably won't return. That doesn't automatically mean Matt Jones gets the running back job. Meanwhile, upgrading the interior of the offensive line isn't a secondary issue. 

Based on the 2016 class and general draft positional value, not everyone of these issues is a likely consideration in the first round.

Now, it's doubtful the Redskins would target a running back in round one, though Alabama's Derrick Henry certainly is the kind of physical player general manager Scot McCloughan prefers. Based on early consensus, the first round likely concludes without a center, guard or safety selected (tight end as well). Clemson safety Jayron Kearse, a 6-foot-4 thumper, could make a move during workouts. Alabama inside linebacker Reggie Ragland could land in the top 15, but might be the only player at his position off the board in the first. 

From a draft depth standpoint, the Redskins should be good to go with defensive linemen, wide receivers and corners. 

SEE THE NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0 HERE

Arguably 14 defensive lineman are realistic possibilities among the top 32 picks. Alabama's A'Shawn Robinson might be moving out of Washington's range, but his teammate, defensive tackle Jarran Reed is no mere consolation prize. Baylor defensive tackle Andrew Billings provides legitimate pass rush up the middle and Ole Miss's Robert Nkemdiche brings top-5 talent, but off-the-field questions. Florida's Jonathan Bullard and UCLA's Kenny Clark are two others likely available in the second half of the first round.

By the time April 28 comes around, the date of the first round, we'll know if the Redskins kept Terrance Knighton and Kedric Golston; if they added other pieces in free agency; perhaps whether Jason Hatcher retired and maybe whether McCloughan believes more help is needed. Between the various needs and draft options, DL tops the odds list of most likely position selected at 21.

If the Redskins desire size at receiver, Ohio State's Michael Thomas (6-foot-3) and TCU's Josh Doctson (6-foot-2) are projected in the 15-30 range. Should they need a DeSean Jackson replacement, Baylor speedster Corey Coleman fits the bill as much as anyone can.

As for corners, Virginia Tech's Kendall Fuller and Ohio State's Eli Apple have good size. If LSU's Tre'Davious White turns pro, six corners could go in the first round.

Because the Redskins have so many needs, McCloughan can easily go with a best player available approach and still provide immediate help. At least at three positions, he should plenty of options at 21.

To see the possible landing spots for all of the top prospects, check out the full NFL Mock Draft 3.0 here.

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Ravens pile up team-record 11 sacks, shut out Titans 21-0

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USA Today

Ravens pile up team-record 11 sacks, shut out Titans 21-0

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Baltimore Ravens have finished up their longest road swing of the season with an absolutely dominating performance.

Try 11 sacks.

And now they head home for four of their next five games.

The Ravens piled up the franchise-record sacks as they shut out the Tennessee Titans 21-0 Sunday in the rain. Za'Darious Smith had three sacks and Patrick Onwuasor had two for the Ravens (4-2), who had six sacks by halftime. They finished a sack off the NFL record for a game shared by five teams.

Dean Pees and the Titans simply couldn't stop his old team as the Ravens outgained Tennessee 361-106 and punted only once against a defense led by their former defensive coordinator. Pees came out of a short retirement to join first-year head coach Mike Vrabel.

Joe Flacco threw for 238 yards and a touchdown for Baltimore. Alex Collins scored on TD runs of 13 and 2 yards.

The Titans (3-3) lost their second straight and were shut out at home for the first time since moving into Nissan Stadium in 1999. Tennessee has not scored a touchdown in eight straight quarters. The Ravens couldn't have looked much better handing Tennessee its first shutout since Nov. 28, 2010.

Marcus Mariota tried playing both with and without the partial glove covering his ring and pinkie fingers on his throwing hand. It didn't help as Mariota was sacked the most in his four-year NFL career and most allowed by the Titans since giving up seven in a loss at Houston on Nov. 1, 2015. Coach Ken Whisenhunt was fired two days later.

The Titans forced a turnover with All-Pro safety Kevin Byard getting his first interception this season. Tennessee did nothing with the ball late in the first half.

Baltimore executed nearly flawlessly from winning the coin toss. The Ravens converted 12 of 17 third downs, not counting another off a Titans penalty. They also held the ball for more than 37 minutes.

Flacco drove Baltimore 94 yards over 17 plays, eating up more than nine minutes of the first quarter before hitting Michael Crabtree on a 4-yard TD. Collins capped their next drive with a 13-yard run and a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. After halftime, Collins finished off a 78-yard drive that ate up 7:20 of the third quarter.

INJURIES

Ravens left guard Alex Lewis was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with a neck injury after being hurt within the first minute of the fourth quarter. Lewis had been blocking on a run by Gus Edwards when he turned away from the pile slowly and went down. Trainers strapped him to a backboard and carted him off the field.

Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan hurt a shoulder and did not return. Left guard Quinton Spain hurt his right shoulder with 6:51 left in the third quarter and did not return.

 

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What you need to know from the Ravens' 21-0 win over the Titans

What you need to know from the Ravens' 21-0 win over the Titans

The Baltimore Ravens came into Nashville and followed up an overtime loss with a 21-0 shutout win.

The defense dominated Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota all day long and Joe Flacco and the offense continued to show 2018 is a new year for this group. 

Here's what you need to know from the Week 6 win. 

Crabtree redeems himself

After dropping what would have been the game-winning touchdown against the Browns last Sunday, Michael Crabtree said his priority this week was to get back into the lab and correct his mistakes. Well, whatever he did this week worked as the receiver ended the Ravens' first drive of the game catching three passes for 52 yards and one touchdown.

The 94-yard opening drive took 17 plays and 9:04 off the clock as well as ending their drought of seven straight red zone trips without a touchdown. Crabtree finished the day 6-for-9 for 93 yards and one touchdown. 

Music City turned into Sack City

The Ravens defense would not allow Marcus Mariota and the Titans to get anything going all afternoon. The defense recorded six sacks in the first half alone, a franchise tie for the most sacks in a first half since December 26,1999 and November 26, 2006. Za'Darius Smith recorded two followed by Terrell Suggs, Patrick Onwuasor, Anthony Levine Sr. and Chris Wormley with one apiece. At the half, the Titans were limited to just 69 yards.

By the end of the game, the Ravens D put up a franchise-record 11 sacks with Tony Jefferson, Kenny Young and Matthew Judon adding to the mix. Oh, and holding an NFL team to zero points is impressive on its own. Marcus Mariota finished the day 10-for-15 for 117 yards. 

Ravens come out strong and stay strong

The Ravens offense was strong out of the gate putting up two touchdowns on their first two drives of the game. Flacco hit seven of his receivers and two of their touchdown drives took more than 16 minutes off the clock. Lamar Jackson even got in the mix recording a season-high 22-yard run to set up Alex Collins' two-yard touchdown run to put the Ravens up 21-0 in the third.

Joe Flacco finished the afternoon 25-for-37 for 238 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

News and notes:

—Offensive tackle Alex Lewis was carted off the field on a stretcher in the beginning of the fourth and placed immediately into an ambulance. CBS sideline reporter Steve Tasker reported it appeared to be a neck injury, and even though he had movement in his extremities, he was taken to Vanderbilt Hospital as precaution. 

—The Ravens are now 4-2 and head back to Baltimore to host the New Orleans Saints Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.