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Jay Gruden badly wants the 2019 Redskins to win. How they'll do that, though, remains unclear

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Jay Gruden badly wants the 2019 Redskins to win. How they'll do that, though, remains unclear

PHOENIX - Jay Gruden spoke for an hour on Tuesday morning at league meetings and one thing became abundantly clear: the Redskins plan on doing everything they can to win in 2019. 

"We gotta win now," he explained. "Ryan Kerrigan's not expecting us to come out and build for the future. ... Landon Collins didn't come here to be good in 2034."

How they plan on doing that, however, remains very much a mystery. 

Gruden revealed that he still doesn’t know what his team's offensive identity will be this fall but he does want to play physical, tough football much like the Burgundy and Gold did to start 2018.

There’s plenty more the coach doesn’t know for 2019, however, and the biggest question mark comes at quarterback. 

For OTAs and minicamp, it’s possible only Case Keenum will be healthy as Colt McCoy recovers from surgery. The coach revealed that the team tried to push McCoy back fast last year from a broken leg, and now the quarterback has time to properly get his leg healed. 

That’s something to watch. 

There is also a large suspicion the ‘Skins will add a passer in the draft, and Gruden said nothing to slow that speculation down. While he didn’t comment on trading for Josh Rosen (league rules don’t allow a coach to speak on another player) he spoke plenty about a rookie signal caller. 

"You look at the skill set, his production over the years, how much has he played?" he answered when asked what he looks for in passing prospects. "Critical situations, how he's progressed throughout his career." 

Another quarterback is coming. He will be on a rookie contract. Believe that. 

Also, Gruden said he doesn’t like carrying three quarterbacks on his roster. You'd think last year's Mark Sanchez situation would force the him to change his mind. He hasn’t. 

He wasn't just focused under center, though. The head coach talked glowingly about Samaje Perine, but to keep him means holding four running backs on the 53-man roster. That was weird. 

Gruden challenged some other players, too, honing in on Josh Norman and Ryan Anderson specifically. 

Gruden said he wants Norman to reach “superstar status" and that Anderson needs to have a big year. 

Both challenges were fair. And if Washington is going to win in 2019, both challenges need to be met. 

In the end, Gruden remained steadfast his team will compete for the NFC East title. That’s just how he’s wired, and really, it's the only mindset an NFL coach can carry. 

Gruden and the Redskins want to win big. That’s obvious. 

How they do it remains a bit of a mystery.

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2019 NFL Draft: Sleepers, Redskins OL plan, Drew Lock defining 'boom or bust'

2019 NFL Draft: Sleepers, Redskins OL plan, Drew Lock defining 'boom or bust'

The 2019 NFL Draft coverage rolls on.

In addition to the updated two-round NFL mock draft, Big Board and our look at different 7-round, Redskins-only mock drafts (paths one and two are available now), we dive into some news and notes pertaining to the Redskins, the quarterback prospects, Trent Williams and the 2019 class overall.

* Florida State’s Brian Burns and Michigan’s Rashan Gary are generally lumped into the same edge rusher bucket despite a 30-pound weight disparity: Burns tips the scales around 245 pounds versus Gary’s 277. Another variance comes with production.

The 245-pound Burns, a true speed threat, finished with 10 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in 2018. Gary, one of the top recruits in 2016, finished with 9.5 sacks – in 34 games over three seasons with the Wolverines, along with 23 tackles for loss.

Stats alone do not explain a player’s draft value, but Gary’s lack of production makes the 277-pounder one of the more polarizing prospects. His draft range projection goes from top 10 to end of the first round. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay ranks Gary sixth overall, with Burns at 22.

The latest NBC Sports Washington 2019 NFL mock draft has the Redskins selecting Burns at 15, two slots after the Dolphins snag Gary.

The primary fear with Burns among league sources is strength. “He has speed, quickness, but big bodies will wear him down,” a league scout said. Even if Burns adds weight, he won’t have desired natural power of a player like Gary, who can move offensive lineman wherever he lines up.

“He’ll be better in the pros than college,” the scout said of Gary. That’s what teams considering a top pick on Gary are counting on. As for Burns, the Redskins defense lacked speed across the board last season and they already have a power option in Ryan Anderson."

* Earlier this week, I wrote about the idea of using the 15th overall pick to trade for Josh Rosen rather than spending the first-round pick on draft prospects Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock or Daniel Jones. Posing that concept to league sources led to opinions on the three incoming passers rated behind projected No. 1 overall selection Kyler Murray.

These comments likely won’t lead anyone to a conclusion, other than perhaps my general take that the passion largely isn’t there for this trio, at least in comparison to the four quarterbacks selected in the top 10 last season.

Lock received the most positive mentions – “I think he is the best in the draft (including Murray)” – but the doubters also existed.

“Lock makes me nervous,” said a former general manager, who mentioned recent first-round picks like Blake Bortles and Christian Ponder as comparisons. “Not great with intermediate and deep throws. Bad decisions. Everything underneath."

NFL Draft analyst Tony Pauline expressed concern. “Lock is the poster boy for boom or bust QB,” Pauline told NBC Sports Washington.

Lock posted gaudy stats -- 76 touchdown passes over the last two seasons -- but finished his career completing 56 percent of his passes.

The previous Big Board included a league source stating, “The buzz on Jones in the first and possibly fairly high is 1000 percent real.” That sense continues.

AFC scout: “Go with Jones if there.”

Former GM: “Daniel Jones over Lock. Can trust him more. He’s ready.”

League source: “Jones is mentally strong and very talented. He’s the safer pick. I also love his physical tools. … Would love to see Jones play instinctive. … Jones has the build you want and is more athletic than Rosen. Gotta be able to move in this league.”

As for Haskins, Pauline, the main voice with DraftAnalyst.com, said he would lean toward the Ohio State standout. Others even in praise used the term “risky” when describing the strong-armed but slow-moving passer.

Analyst: “Haskins is the best on the list, but all are risky at 15.”

* Everyone likes sleepers. Here are some prospects projected outside the first two rounds league sources have positively mentioned in recent days. They are listed in order of likely selection: Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State, Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri, Foster Moreau, TE, LSU, Jahlani Tavai, ILB, Hawaii, Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston, Drew Sample, TE, Washington, KeeSean Johnson, WR, Fresno State, Malik Gant, S, Marshall, Evan Worthington, S, Colorado, Byron Cowart, DL, Maryland, Darrin Hall, RB, Pittsburgh, Tyree Brady, WR, Marshall, Keenan Brown, TE, Texas State.

* Back to the passers, West Virginia’ Will Grier is often cited as the fifth QB in this class, but that’s not exactly written in stone. Some public big board’s drop the gunslinger into the 3-4 round draft range. Whenever Grier goes, the three most likely destinations, according to a league source, are the Giants, Panthers and Redskins. Washington picks one spot ahead of Carolina in the second round.

* Maryland safety Darnell Savage is making moves up draft boards. Last week a league source offered a 25-45 draft range projection for the cover safety. NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah told reporters on a conference call Thursday he could see Savage going off the board in the first.

* Are the Redskins likely to go with an offensive lineman in the first? It’s certainly possible considering the left guard concerns and talent available. NBC Sports Washington reported Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom visited the Redskins Park last week. Oklahoma’s Cody Ford and Alabama’s Jonah Williams are projected to go in the middle of the first round.

Beyond the immediate guard issue consider the following, especially with players in mind like Ford and Williams who played tackle in college.

Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams will turn 32 ahead of the 2020 season. His salary for the final year of his contract is $14.65 million, but only $1.9 million is guaranteed.

The belief is the organization wants the fourth overall pick in 2010 to retire a Redskin. The reality is Williams, who remains one of the best tackles in football, hasn’t played a full season since 2013. Right tackle Morgan Moses also battled injuries and is coming off an uneven 2018 season.

The Redskins did spend a third-round selection on Geron Christian last season, but also lost Ty Nsekhe in free agency. Just file this away, for now, depending on what Washington does at OL in the early rounds.

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Who is Josh Woodrum? Three facts about the former AAF and new Redskins QB

Who is Josh Woodrum? Three facts about the former AAF and new Redskins QB

The search for "QBX" — the term the Redskins Talk podcast has given to the unidentified third passer the team should add to their roster — is over.

Well, it probably isn't. But regardless, Washington does have a new signal caller. 

On Thursday, the Redskins reportedly signed Josh Woodrum, who last played in the AAF for the Salt Lake Stallions. He's also been a part of plenty of NFL teams, but mostly in practice squad stints and for brief preseason action.

Here are three things to know about the 26-year-old.

1) He was at his best with the Ravens in 2017

This comes with the caveat, of course, that he has yet to appear in a real NFL game. With that being said, he did ball out for Baltimore in the 2017 exhibition portion.

Overall, he finished 25 of 36 for 321 yards and four total TDs. He was still cut before Week 1, but for someone who's bounced around with other franchises like Giants, Bears, Colts, Browns and Bills, it was by far his best stretch.

2) He's a former first-round pick... of the AAF QB Draft

OK, so he was undrafted by the NFL. When it comes to the AAF, though, Woodrum was a first-rounder. 

Actually, "first-rounder" might be a better way to put it. The Stallions took him eighth overall (of eight teams) in the league's four-round QB Draft.

In seven starts for Salt Lake, Woodrum completed just over 64 percent of his passes and posted a 6:8 TD-to-INT ratio. The team finished 3-5 before, well, the whole thing shut down.

3) He's a local guy   

Sure, it's not like he's from right down the road from the team's headquarters, but Woodrum's hometown is Roanoke, Va. and he played at Liberty University. Joining the Burgundy and Gold will be a quasi-homecoming for a QB who just spent a good chunk of time out in Utah.

Here's a bonus fact, since you've made it this far into a Josh Woodrum blog: It looks like he likes the Chainsmokers. That means he should get a long-term deal immediately and probably also start in September, too.

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