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Need to Know: The best receivers the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best receivers the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 17, nine days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best pass catchers the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the pass catchers are up. They are roughly ranked 2017 receiving yards, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teams and quarterbacks

Julio Jones, Falcons—Somehow the perception is that he had an off year in 2017 even though he still had 1,444 yards receiving. His touchdowns were down; his total of three TDs was a career worst for a full season. Still, he’s a beast to try to cover and even if you have him perfectly covered he can still make the catch on you. 

DeAndre Hopkins, Texans—Despite working with some shaky quarterbacks, Hopkins has managed to gain over 1,100 receiving yards in three of the last four seasons. He is a highlight show regular and his 13 touchdowns led the league in 2017. 

Michael Thomas, Saints—The third-year player doesn’t have high name recognition outside of New Orleans and maybe fans of the other NFC South teams. Defensive coordinators certainly don’t sleep on him. Thomas is as consistent as they come, posting nine games with 80 or more receiving yards last season. 

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals—I keep wondering when he will show signs of his age (he’ll be 35 before the season starts). He didn’t last year, posting 109 receptions despite the fact that his quarterbacks were an aging Carson Palmer plus journeymen Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton. 

Mike Evans, Buccaneers—At 6-5, he is able to physically beat most cornerbacks. Evans will turn 25 just before the season starts and he got a five-year, $82.5 million contract extension. He is worth every bit of it. If Jameis Winston gets a big contract (something that is up in the air right now), he owes a good chunk of it to Evans. 

Best of the rest: T.Y. Hilton, Colts; Davante Adams, Packers; Alvin Kamara (RB), Saints; Zach Ertz (TE), Eagles

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 9
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 23
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 46

The Redskins last played a game 198 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 54 days. 

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

After a fight-filled start to joint practices between the Redskins and Jets, the Skins' 2018 NFL preseason schedule continues Thursday night at Fed Ex Field against New York. 

Week 2 of the NFL preseason still doesn't provide a lot of answers to questions about team performance, but it begins to reveal the depth the Redskins could have this season.

One storyline that won't be taking place, is the return of former Redskin Terrelle Pryor, who told reporters after Monday's practice he won't be playing in the game.

The Redskins have bigger things to worry about though, like who will replace rookie Derrius Guice, who's now out for the year with a torn ACL.

The Redskins also have one less name in the fight for receiver depth as well, after Robert Davis suffered a season-ending leg injury as well. 

Ahead of Thursday's preseason matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.

REDSKINS vs. JETS, PRESEASON WEEK 2

Who: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets

What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason

When: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Washington, -3

Over/Under: 39.5

Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy

REDSKINS vs. PATRIOTS TV SCHEDULE:

5:00 PM: Redskins 100
5:30 PM: Redskins Nation
6:00 PM: Best of the Sports Junkies
7:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live

REDSKINS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (L, 26-17)

Week 2: Thurs., 8/16, vs. New York Jets, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 3: Fri., 8/24, vs. Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m. 

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m. 

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Three Redskins make Bill Barnwell's "Perfect 53-man Roster"

Three Redskins make Bill Barnwell's "Perfect 53-man Roster"

Each season, ESPN's Bill Barnwell takes the NFL's $177 million salary cap and builds "the perfect 53-man roster." This year, three well-deserving Redskins made the cut. 

Brandon Scherff, Chase Roullier and Zach Brown joined some of the NFL's finest on the "perfect roster."

There were several rules when it came to its construction.  First, there needed to be at least one player –  but no more than three – from each NFL team. How much each player would cost was determined by their current cap number after any restructuring, but without cap acceleration. There's at least one player from the 2015, '16,'17, and '18 drafts, with one player from each round and an undrafted free agent. Barnwell built his offense so that it fits within the Patriots' and Josh McDaniels' system, while the defense is built around Jim Schwartz and the Philadelphia Eagles' unit. Special teams was also included. 

Barnwell spent $6.75 million on Scherff and $592,000 on Roullier. He describes the "perfect roster's" O-line as, "mobile enough to routinely get to the second level on run-pass options and screens and big enough to bulldoze defensive linemen one-on-one." 

Scherff –  the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft – has made two Pro Bowls in three years and has started every game he's appeared in. The Redskins picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal, extending his time with the team through 2019. At just 26-years-old, a big deal will be coming his way at some point. Scherff was also named a starter on the "perfect roster."

The Redskins drafted Roullier in the sixth-round of the 2017 draft, and in just one season, has earned the starting center job after Spencer Long missed a chunk of the season with injury and eventually left for the Jets in free agency. Pro Football Focus ranked Roullier the No. 21 center in the league during the 2017 season, and he will have a vital role in helping Alex Smith make the transition to a new offense as smooth as possible. 

And then there's Zach Brown. Barnwell spent $2.95 million on the linebacker saying, "we need cover linebackers with the range to scare quarterbacks from throwing over the middle of the field." When it comes to Brown specifically, Barnwell goes on to say, "the league doesn't seem to value Brown, but he has been an excellent run defender on early downs and isn't much of a liability in coverage."

The Redskins saw his value and signed Brown to a three-year deal back in March after picking him up in free agency during the 2017 offseason. Brown started 13 games racking up 127 tackles (84 solo) and 2.5 sacks on his was to finishing ninth in the league in tackles during the 2017 regular season. 

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