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Redskins mock draft round-up: Defensive focus on Vita Vea and Da'Ron Payne

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USA Today Sports Images

Redskins mock draft round-up: Defensive focus on Vita Vea and Da'Ron Payne

This year’s draft, just like every season, is circling around the quarterback position.

2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0: THE GREAT QB DEBATE

For the Washington Redskins though, they have their field general. With the newly acquired Alex Smith already reportedly agreeing to a four-year extension with Washington, there is no need to take a quarterback with an early round pick.

Following the Super Bowl, the draft order is now officially set. Our own Ben Standig has since released his first mock draft projection that includes the first and second round. In this mock, the Redskins have both the No. 13 overall pick and No. 44 overall pick, and no worries he does not have any trades lined up. Overall, he does agree that there are greater concerns for Washington, but the talent available may be too good to pass up on.

READ THE FULL NFL MOCK DRAFT

Here is Standig's prediction for NBC Sports Washington:

No. 13: Vita Vea, NT (Washington)

Analysis: Never say never, but we can eliminate quarterback from the round one discussion, right? Adding an inside linebacker would help if Zach Brown does not return.

There are also receiver concerns, but they won't spend another first rounder on one, right?

This defense lacks a true nose tackle and could certainly use more push up front to go with 2017 first rounder Jonathan Allen.

RELATED: THE PERFECT FIT FOR THE REDSKINS AT No. 13?

No. 44: Sony Michel, RB (Georgia)

Analysis: Gut instinct says the Redskins stick with the backfield trio of Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine and Robert Kelley.

Even if they add a running back, the later rounds make more sense considering the needs elsewhere.

However, Michel's playmaking ability (7.9 yards per carry) is all kinds of tempting. The 5'11, 215-pounder with three-down potential exploded in the Rose Bowl with 181 yards and three touchdowns against Oklahoma.

READ THE ONLY NFL MOCK DRAFT THAT GOES TWO ROUNDS

Here is what everyone else is saying:

CBS Sports' mock draft: 1st Round: Tremaine Edmunds, ILB (Virginia Tech)

They have two analysts’ predictions but one’s last mock draft was done 19 days ago, before the Super Bowl and before the Alex Smith trade. His mock draft is ignored for the time being. Looking at Chris Trapasso’s mock, he has the Redskins staying on defense and going with a local talent. Edmunds had 108 tackles in the 2017 season to go with six sacks, both ranking in the top ten in the ACC.

2nd Round: N/A

Rotoworld’s mock draft: 1st Round: Da’Ron Payne, DL (Alabama)

On defense, there is no surprise that the Redskins need help up front, at the very least they need some depth. Rotoworld has the Redskins going with a defensive lineman from Alabama for the second year in a row. Of note, he is the defensive player that caught a pass for a touchdown in the College Football Semi-final.

2nd Round: N/A

Bleacher Report’s mock draft: Da’Ron Payne, DL (Alabama)

Another analyst is down on Payne from Alabama. His analysis points out all of the same things that Rotoworld did and the benefits of an Alabama defensive stud. The mock draft creator, Matt Miller, points out that it rather difficult to guess what the Redskins’ front office plans to do, but this is the smartest move in his opinion.

2nd Round: N/A

Sporting News’ mock draft: Roquan Smith, ILB (Georgia)

For the clean sweep of defensive players in the first round, Eric Galko went with another SEC defensive player. The difference with Roquan Smith is that he can be a playmaker that Washington has been looking for over the past several years. However, many mocks are projecting Smith not being available past the top ten. 

2nd Round: N/A

2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0: THE GREAT QB DEBATE

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Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp

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Associated Press

Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp

Even though it was a bright, warm Wednesday in Ashburn the Redskins held their OTA session in the practice bubble because recent rains have left their outdoor fields to soggy to use. Here are my observations from the practice:

—A few Redskins were not present and a few who were there were not participating in the drills. Jay Gruden said that OT Trent Williams is rehabbing in Texas and that LB Zach Brown is in the process of relocating to the Washington area. RB Chris Thompson and OT Morgan Moses were present, but both were spectators. 

— It should be noted that even though Moses didn’t practice and is still rehabbing after ankle surgery, he still participated in the sideline-to-sideline running the team does at the end of practice.

—At rookie camp, RB Derrius Guice was first in line to do every drill. Today, he gave way to the veterans to all take their reps and then he went first among the rookies. 

— “Fat Rob” Kelley never really was fat but he is now lean and mean. He also seems to be a half step quicker than he was in the past. Added competition in the form of second- and fourth-round picks being added at your position will do that to a player. 

—The “starting” offensive line from left to right was Geron Christian, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, and John Kling. The interior could well start the season; the tackle position awaits the returns of Williams, Moses, and Ty Nsekhe. 

—RB Byron Marshall, who was on the team briefly last year before getting injured, looked very quick with good acceleration.

—CB Josh Norman was back with the group fielding punts. I seriously doubt that he will handle any kicks in games, even preseason games, but perhaps with DeAngelo Hall being gone he wants to be available as an emergency option. Also back with the punt returners were CB Danny Johnson, CB Greg Stroman, WR Maurice Harris, WR De’Mornay Pierson-El, and, of course, WR Jamison Crowder.

—S D.J. Swearinger spent most of the special teams practice on the sideline working on catching passes with his hands extended away from his body. A little while later, he had a chance to make an interception with his arms extended. Of course, he dropped it. 

—It seems like QB Alex Smith and Crowder have some good rapport built already. Once on the right sideline and a few minutes later on the left, Smith threw a well-placed ball into Crowder, who was well covered on both occasions. 

—Eventually, CB Orlando Scandrick caught on and he swatted down a quick out to Crowder. 

—With Brown out, Josh Harvey-Clemons was with the first unit at inside linebacker. He’s still skinny but less so than he was last year. The second-year player was impressive in coverage, staying with Crowder step for step on a deep pass down the middle.

—The play of the day was a deep pass down the right side from Smith to WR Paul Richardson. Stroman was with the receiver step for step on the 9 route but Smith laid the ball out perfectly and Richardson made a lunging catch. Even though it doesn’t have to under the new rule, the catch did survive the ground. 

—WR Cam Sims had a few impressive plays. On one, QB Colt McCoy lofted one high in the air down the right side. Sims kept his focus on the ball while two defenders lost it and made the catch. 

—WR Trey Quinn had his moments. He made a good grab while being bumped by Scandrick. But a while later he dropped a fairly easy one. 

—The running backs all looked good but Guice looked the best of all of them. He had an ability to cut and maintain his speed that not many have. With the warning that they were playing with no pads with no contact and not at full speed, Guice’s vision appeared to be outstanding. 

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.

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NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

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USA TODAY Sports

NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that allows players to remain in the locker room if they prefer but requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance.

This new policy subjects teams, but not players, to fines if any team personnel do not show appropriate respect for the anthem. 

Teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction separately though. 

The NFL Players Association released it's own statement after the news was made official.