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Need to Know: The perfect fit for the Redskins at No. 13?

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Need to Know: The perfect fit for the Redskins at No. 13?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 13, 29 days before NFL free agency starts.

A perfect pick at No. 13?

Earlier this year, I took exception to the player Josh Norris, who does the draft analysis for our corporate cousins at Rotoworld, assigned to the Redskins in an early mock draft. He had the Redskins taking center Billy Price of Ohio State. I thought that No. 13 was too high to take a center when it seems that they are quite happy with Chase Roullier, who only cost them a sixth-round pick.

I panned his pick then, so I will praise his pick for the Redskins in his most recent mock. He has them taking Da’Ron Payne, a defensive lineman out of Alabama. At this point in the draft process, he appears to be a player who would be both the best player available and fill a pressing need for the Redskins.

Norris wrote:

I know the Redskins just added an Alabama defensive lineman in the first round last year. They still need more help up front. Turn on Payne’s game versus Georgia and you’ll witness one of the best performances from a prospect last season.

The Redskins have made some progress in adding some young talent to the line after years of mostly relying on older free agents to fill out the depth chart. Allen was emerging as a force until a Lisfranc injury ended his season after just five games. In addition, 2016 fifth-round pick Matt Ioannidis went from confused rookie to solid starter last year. After a year and a half on the roster, Anthony Lanier, who was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2016, suddenly figured out the path to the quarterback. Free agent Stacy McGee, who turned 28 last month, also played well in his first year with the team.

But they are not yet done building the line. Depth is critical on the line, both to have a solid next man up when injuries hit and to be able to rotate them and keep the best group on the field.

Payne could solidify the line and nearly complete the transformation from aging and ineffective to young and feared. As Norris noted, he dominated in the biggest games of the year, the college playoff championship game against Georgia. Here is the assessment of Matt Miller of Bleacher Report:

He lived in that Georgia backfield. He shut down the interior run game. He made [Georgia running back] Nick Chubb look almost undraftable, because Chubb didn’t have the speed to get away from Payne. He was just collapsing the offensive line play in and play out.

That followed up a semifinal performance where he made an interception and caught a touchdown pass against Clemson.

At 6-2, 319, Payne has the size to play nose tackle in base defense. And he certainly has the ability to slide outside in nickel packages.

We have a long way to go before the draft, but based on how things look right now, Payne could be the perfect fit at No. 13.

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

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 16
—NFL Draft (4/26) 72
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 208

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Derrius Guice saw 'Avengers' on Monday night — and brought a bunch of Redskins fans with him

Derrius Guice saw 'Avengers' on Monday night — and brought a bunch of Redskins fans with him

Those who are worried about Derrius Guice's character picked up some added evidence when, on Monday night, the Redskins rookie invited a bunch of fans to watch Avengers with him in Ashburn.

Man, what is this guy's deal?

First of all, not everyone likes superheroes. So how did he know that those who joined him actually wanted to see Avengers?  Did he even ask? What if they wanted to see that really successful, really funny, really well-regarded Amy Schumer comedy, instead?

Then, there's the issue of Guice buying tickets and concessions for those who showed up.

Some people enjoy buying movie tickets — which are absolutely reasonably priced these days — and, as far as the concessions, seriously? Candy? Popcorn? He could've at least offered to buy something healthier, like broccoli. All movie theaters have broccoli.  

Thankfully, those who took Guice up on his invitation weren't grateful for the experience at all, which hopefully means this will be the last time he orchestrates a dastardly deed like this one:

At this point, it's a surprise Guice didn't slide even farther down in the draft, like to the 15th round. Unbelievable.

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

The news about Arie Kouandjio’s quad injury didn’t sound good when NBC Sports Washington broke it a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t sound any better when Jay Gruden said that they were seeking a second opinion. 

And now we have word that Kouandjio will be out for the season, per multiple media reports. While there was some initial hope that he might be able to play at some point this season, he is likely to be put on injured reserve soon. 

The corresponding move is expected to be the signing of guard Isaiah Williams, per JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. He spent training camp with the Redskins in 2016 and 2017 before being released in the final cuts. Last year he also spent time with the Chiefs and the Colts but he has yet to appear in an NFL game. 

At worst, the Redskins have lost their starter at left guard. Kouandjio was set to compete with Shawn Lauvao for that job. Lauvao, who has been the starter at left guard going into the season for each of the last four years, would have been tough to unseat, but the 26-year-old Kouandjio may have had the inside track.

And at best, the Redskins lost experienced depth. Last year, when injuries hit hard along the offensive line, Kouandjio was re-signed and he started six games. It’s tough to lose experienced depth before the players even put pads on.

We will see if the Redskins make a move to shore up the guard position. Over the next couple of weeks, teams will be evaluating their veteran players and their rookies to see if they have younger and cheaper options. That could lead to some serviceable players getting released or some quality options being put on the trading block. 

The Redskins likely are set to get four compensatory draft picks in 2019, which would give them a total of 11 selections. They certainly could afford to deal one of those picks if they are offered a chance to upgrade at left guard. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

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 @TandlerNBCS.