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NFL Draft: Giants, Jaguars maneuvering creates potential opportunity should the Redskins want Dwayne Haskins

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NFL Draft: Giants, Jaguars maneuvering creates potential opportunity should the Redskins want Dwayne Haskins

If the Redskins intend on adding a top young quarterback prospect even after acquiring Case Keenum, two other teams are potentially helping the cause.

Both the Giants and Jaguars made bold moves Friday that hint at possible off-season plans which in turn could see Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins drop a few spots in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Let’s start in New York. The Giants sent pass rusher Olivier Vernon to the Browns for guard Kevin Zeitler with some Day 3 picks switching sides. It’s a rare deal considered initially a win-win for both sides. In New York’s case, it needed a significant boost for its long-suffering offensive line.

The cost meant the loss of a top edge rusher. Vernon, who signed a 5-year, $86 million contract in 2016, had 192 pressures over the last three seasons according to Pro Football Focus.

While Cleveland replaces Zeitler with 2018 second-round selection Austin Corbett, there is no obvious substitute on the roster for Vernon. That’s where the draft comes into play.

New York owns the sixth overall selection during a year in which the defensive line/pass rush options are considered the best group in years.

Edge prospects Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Montez Sweat and Rashan Gary are often projected among the top-8 selections in 2019.

Sticking at six keeps quarterback in play. With Eli Manning now 38, finding an eventual replacement is crucial. Based on comments at the Combine, Giants coach Pat Shurmur, there is not an immediate need for one.

“I think Eli can help us win games. He proved, when the players around him started playing better, that he can play at a very high level and help him win games,” Shurmur said. “At this point, I want Eli back. He’s back. Getting ready to go with him.”

The Jaguars, who have the seventh pick, desperately need a QB. Signs already pointed to the 2017 AFC finalists making a bold push for the top free agent, Nick Foles. The defense is ready to go. The other side of the ball needed major help.

One concern, needed salary cap space to sign a Super Bowl-winning passer. That concern lessened Friday as the Jaguars released veterans Carlos Hyde, tackle Malik Jackson and safety Tashuan Gipson according to reports. Those combined moves generated over $23 million in cap space.

Let’s assume the Cardinals use the No. 1 overall selection on Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and the Raiders (4), Giants and Jaguars focus on other positions. The next teams based on draft order with a long-term quarterback need are Broncos (10), Dolphins (13) and the Redskins (15).  

New York could drop down and still land a pass rusher. Brian Burns and Clelin Ferrell go off the board in the 10-22 range. Jachai Polite, Jaylon Ferguson and Oshane Ximines like land somewhere in the late first/early second range.

The Giants also have the 37th selection, but no pick in the third. While it’s possible they trade down from six to add more picks and still find pass rush boost, staying pat means landing one of the elite prospects. New York’s defense already took a hit with the decision to let safety Landon Collins enter free agency.

Jacksonville, Detroit (8) and Buffalo (9) could recognize a QB-trade frenzy looming and put up “for sale” signs. Those teams may also prefer grabbing some of the impressive defensive options.

The longer Haskins or Missouri’s Drew Lock remain available, the smaller the cost required for a trade up.

In 2018, the Cardinals jumped from 15 to 10 to grab quarterback Josh Rosen by packaging picks 15, 79 and 152. The Redskins have 10 selections overall including two in the third. They also now have two veterans for next season in Keenum and Colt McCoy. Neither is a long-term solution or under contract after 2019.

Some of those 10 picks may land Washington Rosen sooner than later should Arizona follow through on the Murray rumors. There’s also a greater chance as of Friday thanks to the Giants and Jaguars that some of the QB prospects might slip a bit to the point where the Redskins might find themselves tempted for a trade up.

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Derrius Guice suffers MCL sprain, according to report

Derrius Guice suffers MCL sprain, according to report

After undergoing an MRI Monday, Derrius Guice reportedly suffered an MCL sprain, NFL's Ian Rapoport tweeted Tuesday.

The MCL sprain is in the same knee Guice injured in 2018 with an ACL tear, but according to Rapoport, the ACL is still intact following Sunday's injury. Before learning the results of the MRI, Redskins head coach Bill Callahan told the media Monday that Guice will not play Sunday's Week 15 contest against the Philadelphia Eagles. It is unclear whether Guice will play the remaining two games of the season against the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.

Guice tweeted Tuesday about his positive outlook regarding the diagnosis.

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Three Redskins not named Dwayne Haskins who will care about these final three games

Three Redskins not named Dwayne Haskins who will care about these final three games

When you scan up and down the Redskins' roster, a roster that won't be involved in the postseason yet again, it's easy to spot the guy with the most riding on the team's final three games of 2019. His name is Dwayne Haskins.

But the young passer is far from the only player who'll care greatly about performing well in Weeks 15, 16 and 17.

Here are three members of the Burgundy and Gold aside from Haskins who could use a strong individual finish to the year.

Steven Sims

Trey Quinn was supposed to be Washington's answer in the slot once the franchise moved on from Jamison Crowder. Instead, Quinn averaged a weak 7.6 yards per grab before suffering a nasty concussion in Carolina, a concussion that sidelined him in Green Bay and very well could keep him out the rest of the way.

That means that Sims, who was already cutting into Quinn's role on offense before the injury, has a massive opportunity in two ways: He'll continue to get more looks in the passing game and also will have a shot to provide a spark as the Redskins' punt returner.

Relying on Quinn in 2019 was a big risk, and relying on Sims in 2020 could be as well. However, Sims has displayed far more explosiveness in a short amount of time than Quinn ever did, and if he can continue progressing — seven of his 18 catches this campaign have come in the past two contests — then he'll force the organization to strongly consider giving him a key role for the future. 

Ereck Flowers

When the Redskins signed Flowers last offseason, they were mocked. When they eventually said they would slide him inside and experiment with him at guard, they were questioned. 

Yet, in a year where most things have failed and failed hard, acquiring and trusting Flowers has been a definite success.

These next couple of weeks matter quite a bit for Flowers. They are three more chances for him to learn and improve as an interior lineman, and if he can get through them healthy, he'll soon become a free agent and one who could be quite interesting on the open market. 

While that's a strange sentence to both type and to read, it's also true. Whether it's with the Redskins or another squad, Flowers has done enough at his new position to set himself up for a decent payday. 

Fabian Moreau

Since the benching of Josh Norman, Moreau has lined up as an outside corner and fared much better than he did in the slot. He's picked off three passes in the past three games after notching just one interception over his first 40 appearances.

Now, there's hope again for the gifted third-year pro. That said, he still hasn't been perfect on the outside, so if he can tighten up his communication and his coverage against the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys, the Redskins will feel more secure in counting on Moreau as they reshape their secondary moving forward.

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