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Redskins March Madness - Ranking the top 16 players from QBX to Tress Way

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Redskins March Madness - Ranking the top 16 players from QBX to Tress Way

It’s March and everybody wants brackets. In Redskins land, that might seem a little weird, but let’s give it a try. 

Below are the Redskins' most important players, ranked 1 to 16. 

1) Trent Williams - If he can stay healthy for 16 games, it will make a huge difference, both in the run game and with whatever quarterback lines up behind him. 

2) QBX - A quarterback on a rookie deal will land on this team before training camp. This is the great unknown. 

3) Case Keenum - Fair or not, Keenum seems likely to win the Redskins starting QB job unless QBX is very impressive early on. For two offseasons, the Redskins brass could have gone with Colt McCoy as the starting QB, and for two straight offseasons, the Redskins brass has made a trade for another QB. Remember with Keenum, two years ago he was in the NFC Championship Game, and last year, John Elway paid him $36 million to start for the Broncos. 

4) Landon Collins - The Redskins paid the former Giants star safety a lot of money this offseason. They need Collins to be the defensive captain and leader, right away, and to clean up whatever communication issues troubled the unit last fall. If Collins can get back to his All Pro level of play from 2016 would be a big help too. 

5) Brandon Scherff - Coming off a torn pectoral muscle that caused him to miss most of 2018, the Redskins need Scherff all the way back. He is a big cog of the run game. He’s also going into a contract year, and getting an extension done for the former Hawkeye will be something to monitor all offseason. 

6) Reuben Foster - Too high? Nope. A first-round pick of the 49ers in 2017, Foster has all-world talent. He has also been in a lot of trouble since entering the NFL, starting at the combine and including two domestic violence arrests. Foster seems likely to be suspended, so not only do the Redskins need to prepare for Foster to handle the middle of their defense, they need to prepare for a few games without him too. If he can play, stay healthy, and stay out of trouble, he could be a game changer for the ‘Skins defense. This is a guy that was in the Top 5 on many draft boards but slipped because of character questions. 

7) Jonathan Allen - Here comes the Alabama run. Allen was great in his second season, and there is plenty of reason to expect even more development in 2019. Pro Football Focus rated Allen a +11.9 last year, that makes him the highest ranking returning player on the team. 

8) Ryan Kerrigan - Pencil him in for another 12-sack season. He’s dependable and durable, and yet, perpetually underrated. Allen nudges slightly ahead of Kerrigan because of his ability to stop the run, but nobody on the Redskins team gets after the passer like RK91. 

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9) Daron Payne - Much like Allen, his rookie season in 2018 was strong, and his sophomore season should only get better. Payne registered five sacks and 56 tackles last season while it looked like he might have hit a rookie wall late in the year. Expect those numbers to improve. 

10) Adrian Peterson - The absolute best surprise for the Redskins in 2018, he finished the year with more than 1,000 yards rushing and the easy vote for offensive MVP. In fact, without AP, the Redskins would not have won seven games. Peterson is back, and while his role could eventually change with the return of Derrius Guide, he will still be the engine for Jay Gruden’s run game, at least early on. 

11) Josh Norman - Some fans might gripe about his high price tag, but Norman created seven turnovers last season. The Redskins might want to consider more zone coverage to play to Norman’s strengths as the entire secondary in the 2018 season seemed to lack lateral speed on crossing routes. 

12) Derrius Guice - The Redskins seem unlikely to have an explosive passing offense in 2019, and Peterson will get plenty of carries, but if Guice is all the way healthy by Week 1, he will help this team. He has speed and power and vision and burst. The team will need to figure out the timeshare between AP, Guice and Chris Thompson, and the second-year star out of LSU also needs to be cautious in his return from a serious knee injury and not rush things along. 

13) Quinton Dunbar - The Redskins’ defense was a different group after Dunbar injured his leg. A mysterious nerve injury, it remains to be seen if or when Dunbar will be all the way back. If he is, with Collins on the back end and Norman opposite Dunbar, the secondary could be strong. If. 

14) Matt Ioannidis - One of the Redskins' most productive players in 2018, Ioannidis registered 7.5 sacks in just nine starts last season. Unfortunately, for the second straight year, injuries hampered the Greek God of Sacks from finishing the season. Going into a contract year and with a full offseason of working out, Ioannidis could be poised for a big 2019 campaign. 

15) Colt McCoy - It’s absolutely possible McCoy is the Redskins starting QB. Jay Gruden loves McCoy and the former Longhorn knows the offense backwards and forwards. He has support from the locker room, and honestly, the media. That said, the team traded to acquire Keenum this offseason, just like they traded to acquire Alex Smith last year. In both of those spots, the team could have gone with McCoy instead. They didn’t. 

16) Tress Way - Is it crazy to have a punter on this list? Maybe. But Way was fantastic for the Redskins in 2018 as a decisive weapon in the field position game. Another year with no touchbacks in 2019 would be wildly impressive. 

First Four Out - Jordan Reed, Paul Richardson, Josh Doctson, Chris Thompson. 
The Redskins didn’t get much out of these four players in 2018, and still won seven games. If two of these four can play a full season and match their salary with production, this team could surprise people. 

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Redskins 2019 7-round mock draft: #3 The 'Best Available' Scenario

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Redskins 2019 7-round mock draft: #3 The 'Best Available' Scenario

Time for the third and final look at the Redskins’ projected 7-round draft, each with a different approach but ultimately the same goal: Fill holes and upgrade the roster.

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. The Redskins have four of the top 97 selections and a lengthy needs list.  

We went “Living on the edge” in the first version and didn’t pass on the future in the second. Click here for the latest two-round NFL mock draft, but only after reading the second path.

PATH 3 -- Best available

First Round, Pick No. 15: Cody Ford, T/G, Oklahoma

Maybe we can quibble over the likely best offensive lineman if not player, but there's no denying the need and CBS Sports ranks Ford No. 16 overall. The buzz remains positive for the mauler who doubles as the top guard prospect and for some the third best tackle prospect. The Redskins should be desperate to fill their vacant left guard spot after the revolving door the prior two seasons.

Ford would also provide a tackle hedge should Trent Williams or Morgan Moses deal with injuries again. It’s also worth noting Brandon Scherff’s contract extension remains in limbo.

Second Round, Pick No. 46: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

The only thing larger than this massive 6-foot-5 target is his wide draft range. The Draft Network views the Baltimore native who averaged 22 yards on 60 receptions last season a top 20 selection. ESPN considers the same player, one with drop concerns, outside the top 75. What we know is the Redskins have stated publicly the need for size -- and production -- at receiver.

Third Round, Pick No. 77: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

Some believe that corner ranks among the Redskins' top concerns considering Quinton Dunbar's season-ending nerve injury, Josh Norman possibly turning into a cap casualty or not returning in 2020, and overall depth. Love played 38 games over his three seasons with the Fighting Irish.

The All-American corner was the rare defensive back not repeatedly tortured by Clemson passer Trevor Lawrence during the college football playoffs. His draft projected fits on the second/third round line.

Third Round, Pick No. 97: Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis

These first four selections in this path are with a BPA mindset. On Day 2 that strict approach could easily mean one of several running backs including this explosive game-breaker. The 5-foot-8, 208-pound Henderson averaged 8.9 yards per carry in each of the past two seasons while scoring a combined 31 touchdowns. While grabbing an RB seems highly unlikely, let’s remember that Adrian Peterson is now 34, Derrius Guice is coming off a torn ACL, and the shifty but injury-prone Chris Thompson enters free agency in 2020.

Fifth Round, Pick No. 154: Preston Williams, WR, Colorado State

Is it outrageous to think the Redskins could select two wide receivers in the draft? Go look at the depth chart before answering no. In this case, the target has skills worthy of first-round consideration, namely an impressive catch radius and willingness to fight for contested throws. Character red flags dropped Williams into the middle rounds if not off the board for some teams.

Fifth Round, Pick No. 174: Evan Worthington, S, Colorado.

The 6-foot-2 can play a variety of spots including the neede high safety. Nobody would expect a fifth-round pick to start, but that's possible simply considering the current uncertainty with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix joining the Bears. From NFL.com: "Worthington's value to teams could depend on where they project him since he's played all over the field. He has the size, athleticism and ball skills to handle a variety of man-cover targets from the slot or as a deep safety."

Sixth Round, Pick No. 208: Gardner Minshew, QB, Washington State

The East Carolina transfer piled up the stats in his one year running Mike Leach’s offense, finishing with 4,779 yards, 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year is an accurate thrower, but his lack of size and fears of being a system QB work against him. Any quarterback drafted by the Redskins stands a chance at being the only healthy one on the roster entering next off-season.

Seventh Round, Pick No. 229: Jordan Brailford, DE, Oklahoma

The 250-pound edge rusher had 10 sacks in 2018 yet consistently ranks in the 200’s among 2019 draft prospects. The Draft Network on Brailford: “Not very nimble, off balance and ending up on the ground on multiple occasions.”

Seventh Round, Pick No. 255:  Keenan Brown, TE, Texas State

Granted the idea of selecting two tight ends seems odd. Pro Football Focus selected Brown first-team All-American based primarily on his work after the catch. He forced more than 24 missed tackles, more than double the next closest TE.

UDFA: Josh Watson, ILB, Colorado State

The 240-pounder receives virtually no interest from the public big boards despite amassing 240 tackles combined the last two seasons. One league source calls Watson a “steal.”

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Ryan Kerrigan electrifies crowd, chugs beer through his shirt in nod to T.J. Oshie

Ryan Kerrigan electrifies crowd, chugs beer through his shirt in nod to T.J. Oshie

There was only one way for Redskins linebacker and Capitals fan Ryan Kerrigan to show his support for TJ Oshie and the Caps prior to Game 5 when he led fans in the "Let's Go Caps" chant at Capital One Arena. 

He chugged some beer through his shirt - a nod to the move Oshie introduced to Caps fans and the world during last summer's Stanley Cup celebration.

Kerrigan joined fans and the Capitals showing support for the Capitals forward heading into Game 5 of the series between the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes, following an injury he suffered in Game 4.

While Kerrigan will be spending Game 5 in the stands hoping to help the team through motivation, he was also prepared to take a much more hands-on approach in order to try and get a victory.

Ahead of Saturday's Game 5 matchup between the Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes, Kerrigan stopped by NBC Sports Washington's Caps Pregame Live coverage to explain how he's ready to suit up and throw his body around on the ice if the Caps need him.

"I'm here, I got a jersey on. I'm ready to roll," Kerrigan said.

His services may be of interest to Washington, as the series has proven to be a physical one. However, there is one little piece of adversity both sides might have to overcome.

"I can't skate very well," Kerrigan admitted. "So that might be a little bit of a hiccup there."

So while Kerrigan may not be exactly what the Caps need, the Redskin's willingness to do whatever it takes to help the team win is a testament to his fandom of Washington's hockey team. Since he became a part of the D.C. sports community 2011, he's grown fond of a sport he didn't follow much growing up.

"Growing up in Indiana, we don't have a team there, it was all basketball for us in Indiana," Kerrigan said. "Since I got here, everyone is so passionate about the Caps, it was easy to become a fan and really dive into hockey."

Now immersed in the sport, Kerrigan tried out his analyst skills as well prior to the matchup.

"I think they got to come out the gates hot, I think they got to come out physical," Kerrigan said. "They got to come out and be physical. I'm a defensive guy, you got to be physical."

He also predicted that Nicklas Backstrom would have an impact on the game, and with Backstrom opening up the scoring early on in the contest, it seems as if Kerrigan may have a profession to fall back on after football.

Yet when the puck drops, Kerrigan will act just like the thousands of other Caps fans packed into Capital One Arena. One the edge of his seat, living and dying with every second that ticks, Kerrigan is more into the game than ever before.

"Especially coming off the Stanley Cup last year, we're wanting to go back-to-back now," Kerrigan said. "My wife and I watched every game last year during the postseason run. We were yelling really loud when they were winning, we were really focused when things weren't going so well.  No different this postseason."

Speaking of his wife and family, Kerrigan also took some time to talk about his new life as a father following the birth of his daughter Lincoln last month. Just around 40 days into parenting, it's safe to say that the bruising linebacker has found a soft spot for his little girl.

"That's all I heard going up to it. Little girl will change your life, little girl will melt your heart and I'm like, 'yeah yeah whatever,'" Kerrigan said. "And then I held her for the first time and I'm crying, this is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."

Though Kerrigan may have a soft spot there, opposing quarterbacks shouldn't get their hopes up. According to him, he's still ready to be as physical as ever when he hits the gridiron.

"Only she can get the soft dad," Kerrigan said with a smile.

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