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How Marquise Brown, Cody Ford, and other prospects shape the Redskins' debate of supply vs. demand

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How Marquise Brown, Cody Ford, and other prospects shape the Redskins' debate of supply vs. demand

Let’s put down the Kyler Murray/Dwayne Haskins/general quarterback talk for a moment – and just a moment – to focus on other needs for the Redskins. 

Namely, what areas could Washington consider in the first two rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft? 

Actually, we’ve done that exercise. Depending on what transpires in free agency and if any salary cap surprises are forthcoming, the list includes wide receiver, guard, edge rusher, inside linebacker, safety and, yes, a signal caller. 

What becomes interesting is the game of supply vs. demand.

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Take for example the receivers. The need is evident. 

Jamison Crowder enters free agency coming off an injury-plagued 29-catch season. The underwhelming Josh Doctson is somehow heading to a fourth NFL campaign. Speed threat Paul Richardson, last off-season’s significant addition, landed on injured reserve halfway through the year. We can talk ourselves into 2018 rookies Trey Quinn, Cams Sims, and Darvin Kidsy, but they remain unproven options. 

Examining this lot is why some draft analysts send a receiver to Washington in their mock drafts. The logic exists. Not only does the Redskins need help, but the first target likely does not off the board any earlier than the 15th overall selection owned by Washington. 

Want blinding speed and slot replacement for Crowder? Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown is the runaway option -- or at least he was before undergoing foot surgery last month for a LisFranc injury, ESPN reported Monday.

Prefer a power forward type for those plays in traffic? Mississippi’s D.K. Metcalf, a hulking 6-foot-4 target, may emerge as the top-rated receiver if the medical folk are cool with his progress following a neck injury that ended his final season with the Rebels. 

For the highlight tape faction, Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry should be a familiar name after hauling in one absurd catch after another. A.J. Brown, Metcalf’s teammate at Ole Miss, NC State’s Kelvin Harmon, Ohio State’s Parris Campbell, South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel, and Stanford’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside also received first-round love early in the mock draft season.

Only Marquise Brown and Metcalf are likely candidates at 15 based on consensus, but injuries cloud their upside. If they suit game-planning desires – and are genuinely among the best-player-available candidates on Washington’s big board, rock on. Otherwise, this is where the idea of quality vs. quantity kicks in.

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ESPN’s current draft prospect rankings include eight receivers among the top 52 overall prospects and 14 receivers within the top 100. CBS offers a similar breakdown: also eight receivers among the top 52 overall prospects and 15 named within the top 103. 

As a reminder, the Redskins currently have picks 15, 46 and 77 plus a compensatory third-round pick from Kirk Cousins signing with the Vikings. Washington shouldn’t wait on receiver just cause, but options exist on Day 2 if it does. 

Also, consider numerous teams have pass-catching concerns. The Browns, Ravens, Raiders, Packers, Bills and Broncos are among the teams with WR needs selecting between Washington's first and second-round picks.

The collection of defensive end/edge rushers is even more robust throughout the top 100, particularly at the top. Based on the latest NBCS Sports Washington mock draft, five options are off the board thru 15 picks. 

Outside linebacker is a potential high need should starter Preston Smith not return – minimal talks have gone created no movement, a source tells NBC Sports Washington. Considering the premium put on getting after the passer, the Redskins should rush to add help even if they believe Ryan Anderson replaces Smith in the starting lineup. Should they wait, options exist in rounds two and three.

Now consider inside linebacker. The Redskins seem likely to jettison Zach Brown this off-season, leaving Mason Foster and a group of young players, all of whom were selected with Day 3 picks. If Washington wants help, it better bounce. ESPN ranks four ILB among the top 100 including LSU’s Devin White (11) and Michigan’s Devin Bush (18).

The Redskins also have a clear need for interior offensive linemen after issues attributed to injuries and a shortage of talent over the last two seasons. 

Similar to receiver waiting works considering an ample supply of Day 2 candidates including Mississippi State’s Elgton Jenkins, Boston College’s Chris Lindstrom, and Texas A&M’s Erik McCoy. 

However, there’s a clear breakout option in Oklahoma’s Cody Ford. The 338-pounder mauler consistently grades out as a Day 1 selection with a draft range starting in the middle of round one. Ford, who played tackle at OU would address the massive hole at left guard and offer protection should injuries befall left tackle Trent Williams.

Guards aren’t typically viewed as must-have players in the first, though Quenton Nelson’s monster rookie season with Indianapolis may change minds. If a team sees the gap between Ford and the rest greater than Brown and Metcalf versus the other receiver options, invoking a quality over quantity argument works.

Mock drafts often include just one round. Those picks are the sexy selections. Alone they do not tell the whole story when it comes to adding immediate help and supply vs. demand.

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Two Redskins and Kirk Cousins land on 2019 list of most overpaid players

Two Redskins and Kirk Cousins land on 2019 list of most overpaid players

NFL teams, like any other business in the universe, love finding people who far outproduce what they're being paid. However, sometimes franchises end up on the opposite side of that scale: compensating players at a level that's higher than what they're doing on the field.

Well, thanks to For The Win, there's a new list available that projects the 20 most overpaid guys in football for 2019. Unfortunately for the Redskins, they're quite familiar with two of the 20. 

Steven Ruiz's "Value Above Market Price" metric — a.k.a VAMP — measures "how much a player is being paid for his production compared to the league-wide market rate for his position" and is what fueled his analysis, which was published Tuesday. Basically, Ruiz looked at PFF's 2018 grades as well as an individual's 2019 cap hit to figure out how undervalued or overvalued that pro will be this coming year.

And according to Ruiz, Josh Norman is the eighth most overpaid athlete in the sport. 

"The Redskins gave him the big contract he was looking for and they have to be regretting that decision now," he says of the DB, who carries a projected VAMP of $-9.2 million. "Norman has been exposed as a corner who struggles in man coverage but he's being paid like a shutdown guy." 

Ruiz also has Alex Smith on his list, slotting him at No. 20 even though his VAMP is much higher than anyone else due to the fact he's likely not going to suit up for the Burgundy and Gold this campaign. He acknowledges the ranking "isn't really fair," but fair or not, his giant salary is a burden to Washington.

"The Redskins are paying him $20.4 million to rehab, which is going to force the front office to put together its roster with one hand tied behind its back," he writes.    

If you're now an annoyed Redskins supporter, perhaps you can take some petty solace in the fact that Kirk Cousins checks in at No. 3. 

"Cousins is being paid like a player who can overcome a weakened supporting cast, but he's never proven that to be the case," Ruiz says.

Slightly less annoyed, right? That's because petty solace is the best.   

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Santana Moss remembers pivotal 2012 NFL Draft that included Robert Griffin III: 'I was pretty ecstatic'

Santana Moss remembers pivotal 2012 NFL Draft that included Robert Griffin III: 'I was pretty ecstatic'

When the Redskins drafted Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the team and the city of Washington considered it a rebirth.

"I remember [the] 2012 draft vividly," Santana Moss told NBC Sports Washington. "One of the reasons 2011 season was like the crappiest season of all time for myself, I broke my hand, I was overweight, and I remember that offseason, you know, I got that call from the coaching staff like 'hey we need you to shape up or we're going to ship you out.'"

The 2011 season wasn't rough for only Moss. The Redskins were tested at every twist and turn, finishing with a 5-11 record and dead last in the NFC East. A saving grace was desperately needed. 

"So, I was getting myself back, fine tuned, and I remember the bowl season watching this young kid, Robert Griffin III."

The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, Griffin III not only had an arm but the running abilities to make him a real threat. While starting 40 games at Baylor, RGIII threw for 10,366 yards, 78 touchdowns and 17 interceptions while adding 2,254 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns to his resume.

For Moss, RGIII's skillset was something the receiver had never had in a QB. 

"When I'm watching that draft that year, to see the Washington Redskins pick him, and knowing the different quarterbacks I played with and just the struggles and the ups and downs, I was pretty ecstatic," Moss added. I was pretty ecstatic because I knew that his skill level was something that we haven't really had in a while, or I haven't played with in a while. Last person I think I played with like that in a game was Michael Vick in a Pro Bowl game. So to know that we had a guy that can be that dynamic with his legs and with his arm, I was excited to see what our team could become of."

Griffin III earned Pro Bowl honors that year and was named 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year, While his time in Washington didn't pan out as expected, the 2012 draft, and season, will go down in history. 

To listen to Santana's full comments, click the video player above. 

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