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Numbers game, defensive performance holding back Junior Galette and Redskins reunion

Numbers game, defensive performance holding back Junior Galette and Redskins reunion

Pressuring the quarterback in the NFL does not need to come from the edge, and so far in Washington, it hasn't. 

Through three games, the Redskins starting outside linebackers Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan have yet to record a sack.

Still, the 'Skins defense has recorded seven sacks so far this season, good for middle of the pack in the league. 

Matt Ioannidis leads the way with three sacks in three games, while Jonathan Allen added two sacks in Week 3 against the Green Bay. Rookie Daron Payne also had a sack against the Packers and second-year man Ryan Anderson got a sack in the opener. 

The question remains, however: When will the exterior pressure emerge?

Kerrigan and Smith showed signs against Green Bay. Kerrigan got two holding calls against him and Smith got near Rodgers on a number of plays. 

Anderson also plays off the edge, it should be noted, and nearly grabbed Rodgers in Week 3, too. Pernell McPhee has logged good snaps for Washington but has been more helpful in the run game than getting to QBs so far. 

It's tough to worry too much about pass rush, though, as the Redskins defense ranks as the No. 2 unit in the NFL, both in yards allowed and points allowed. That's a wildly impressive turnaround from last season, even if it is quite early. 

Many fans want to know if Junior Galette could help on the edge, and the former Redskins pass rusher would love to come back to the team. 

Few athletes publicly own their mistakes, but Galette has been completely honest about the error he made this offseason when he turned down a contract from Washington. 

Check out any of his social media accounts, Twitter or Instagram, and Galette has explained repeatedly that through the bad advice of an agent, he expected a robust free agent market. He turned down a real offer from the Redskins in search of a more lucrative offer elsewhere, and it never came. 

The end result is Galette still being available as a free agent

So, does he make sense for Washington? The answer isn't exactly simple. 

Galette can play, that's clear. 

Last season, Galette graded as one of the top pass rushers in the league according to Pro Football Focus. He's got undeniable speed off the edge. 

He's had workouts with other NFL teams but is yet to sign as the NFL calendar turns to Week 4. 

In Washington, team sources have been clear that the organization intends to go forward with Kerrigan, Smith, Anderson and McPhee as their outside linebackers. 

If an injury occurs, then Galette might get a call, but that doesn't seem like it's going to happen otherwise. 

What's interesting, however, is the Redskins kept five outside linebackers on their roster for most of last season and 10 linebackers overall. This year, the Redskins are rolling with four OLBs and nine LBs overall. 

One thing that hurts Galette's roster chances is that the Redskins brass is electing to keep six wide receivers on the 53, unlike five most of last year. To create a roster spot for Galette, somebody else must come off, and right now, that doesn't seem imminent.

It's also important to note that Kerrigan has a long track record of productivity. 

Despite the slow start, it would be silly to count him out, and most coaches still expect another double-digit sack campaign from 91. 

For his part, Smith has been a streaky sack master. When he gets to the QB, he does so in bunches. 

Could Galette help? Sure.

But for the Redskins, the defense is already performing at a high level. The team certainly believes their two best pass rushers will make more of an impact going forward. And there isn't a roster spot. 

Things change quickly in the NFL, though. Stay tuned. 



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'I Am The Prospect': How Trace McSorley has silenced doubters throughout his career

'I Am The Prospect': How Trace McSorley has silenced doubters throughout his career

Trace McSorley is the second NFL draft prospect profiled in 'I Am The Prospect.' Click here for part two or download the MyTeams App for an extended version. 

Trace McSorley has spent much of his football career overcoming doubts. 

He was too small, recruiters thought, to be a college quarterback. His dream, at first, was to play at Virginia Tech. But when that opportunity didn't come as he planned, he had another appealing option open: Penn State. But even head coach James Franklin didn't originally see him as his next quarterback.

"We actually offered him as a safety," Franklin remembered. "From an athletic perspective, but understanding once we went and saw him throw, if he checked those boxes, then we would change our recruitment and start recruiting him as a quarterback."

McSorley is leaving as the school's all-time leading passer - and led the team to three postseason bowl games. 

So when NFL teams asked him to work out at safety, he held strong in his faith in his game.

"I'm a quarterback, that's where I laid my groundwork," he told NBC Sports Washington in our exclusive series 'I Am The Prospect.' "That's where I've done all the work behind the scenes when no one's been around. I've dedicated my life to this. I'm sticking to it."


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Redskins 2019 7-round mock draft: #2 The 'No Passing on the Future' Scenario

Redskins 2019 7-round mock draft: #2 The 'No Passing on the Future' Scenario

We’re back for another look at the Redskins’ projected 7-round draft with the second of three scenarios. 

These choices are based on a combination of conversations with league sources, homework, intuition plus remaining needs. These different paths are akin to a “Choose your adventure” book. While the Redskins have four of the top 97 selections, their list of needs is lengthy and not everyone can realistically be addressed. 

We went “Living on the edge” in the first version with Florida State pass rusher Brian Burns leading off the selections, which also included a local prospect and a quarterback on Day 2.

Click here for the latest two-round NFL mock draft, but only after reading the second path.

PATH 2 -- No passing on the future

First Round, Pick No. 15: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Shoutout to all those desperate for the Redskins to select a passer in the first round, think they are and cannot imagine a scenario in which they pass on the Bullis product if available. Whether one agrees with those assumptions or not there is certainly a world where this pick is used for a quarterback -- and that this one slips to 15. 

Haskins threw for 50 touchdown passes in his lone season as a starter with the Buckeyes. Despite a recent sense of slippage with his draft stock, several league voices maintain the kid with a rocket arm is worthy of an early selection. Others feel the Redskins would be wise trading the pick for Arizona’s Josh Rosen instead. 

Second Round, Pick No. 46: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State

Versatility, power and athleticism are the hallmarks of Risner’s resume. The three-time All-Big 12 selection and All-American primarily played left tackle with the Wildcats, but likely shifts to guard on the NFL level. His draft range is 30-45 per sources, but we’ll indulge by keeping him available at 46 for a Redskins team in need of a left guard. There might be slim pickings here if the interior OL prospects start going off the board in the middle of the first.

Third Round, Pick No. 77: D’Andre Walker, OLB, Georgia

One issue with passing on pass rusher at 15 is the limited options in subsequent rounds. Better jump on who’s available if a priority. Walker, a two-year starter, had 13 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss the past two seasons. “[Walker] needs to improve his play strength and technique to handle run responsibilities, but he could find early work as a rotational edge-bending rush specialist until he's ready to take over as a starter.”

Third Round, Pick No. 97: Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State

Several league sources believe the Redskins are focused on adding tight end help and not just mere depth. Head coach Jay Gruden said as much this off-season. The *issue* with this class is the top three prospects might not fit with Washington’s picks at 15 and 46. Texas A&M’s Jace Sternberger probably goes next and then there are eye-of-the-beholder options like Warring. The former basketball player visited Ashburn pre-draft. The interest isn’t about the stats, but the tape. 

Fifth Round, Pick No. 154:  Jahlani Tavai, ILB, Hawaii

One former front executive gushed to NBC Sports Washington about Tavai when the topic of mid-round linebackers came up. The 254-pound linebacker offers good size, ability and aggressive mindset to the defensive middle. Mason Foster’s contract runs thru 2019 and everything at ILB is uncertain. 

Fifth Round, Pick No. 174: KeeSean Johnson, WR, Fresno State

Johnson finished his career with the Bulldogs tops in receptions (275) and receiving yards (3,463) with an FBS-leading 50 consecutive games with a reception. Solid route running, hands and football IQ spurred on all that production for the 6-foot-1 target. Legitimate sleeper here with pro-ready moves. 

Sixth Round, Pick No. 208: Malik Gant, S, Marshall

This ferocious hitter would back up Landon Collins should he make the team. Gant’s’s profile includes the line, “Lives to strike, loves to strike.” The Redskins have shown interest in the D.C. native (Woodson). Same goes for anyone going down a rabbit hole of Gant highlight videos.

Seventh Round, Pick No. 229: Blace Brown, CB, Troy 

The Redskins have a recent history of selecting players whose stock dropped because of injury. Brown’s torn ACL came in 2017 and he struggled to find the impressive form that had scouts noticing him before the injury. There’s certainly hope for - seventh-round corner to make the roster considering Greg Stroman, Danny Johnson and Adonis Alexander held down the last three spots in 2018.

Seventh Round, Pick No. 255: Ricky Walker, DT, Virginia Tech

All the Alabama talk overlooks the amount of Hokies on the roster. Just last season the Redskins found an interior defensive lineman from Blacksburg on Day 3, and there’s a possible DL opening following Stacy McGee’s release. Walker lacks power, but he did lead the Hokies with 10.5 tackles for loss in 2018. 

UDFA: L.J. Scott, RB, Michigan State

Scott started all fives games he played in 2018, but an ankle injury largely kept the four-year player off the field. He topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage as a sophomore and junior. Would provide power and pass blocking from the start.

Summary: Taking Haskins or any quarterback in the first round is the move of a team, at least for one with as many holes as the Redskins, understanding the playoffs probably aren’t happening this season. That’s fine for the big picture, but probably not the head coach of a team having not reached the playoffs since 2015. Warring is another long-term call while Risner would step in the lineup Day 1. Tavai, Johnson and Gant would be arguably the pound-for-pound best picks of the class. No major investments in the secondary or at the offensive skill positions with this path.