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Redskins, Ravens fans might not be too happy with these 2019 preseason NFL power rankings

Redskins, Ravens fans might not be too happy with these 2019 preseason NFL power rankings

The 2019 NFL Draft is barely a few weeks old, so naturally, that means it's time to look ahead to the 2019 season, playoffs and power rankings. 

Evaluating teams after the 2019 NFL Draft and what moves they've made in the offseason, NBC Sports' Peter King recently released his 1-to-32 2019 NFL power rankings. But he wasn't interested in defending his predictions, which he acknowledged could be "wildly incorrect."

Instead, King broke down what factors he thinks will make or break the teams. And depending on how fans view the future, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens fans might not be thrilled.

King ranks Washington at No. 22, which is only better than teams like the Buffalo Bills (No. 23), the Detroit Lions (No. 27) and the New York Giants (No. 28). He praises the Redskins for picking former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, but he clearly isn't behind some over-inflated expectations for the rookie passer. 

For ProFootballTalk, King wrote about the Redskins:

Love the Dwayne Haskins pick, even though it might take some getting used to for him to mesh with Jay Gruden’s offense. “Could be an adjustment period,” someone close to Gruden told me the other day. But Gruden, after watching Haskins at a mini-camp over the weekend, gushed over him: “He’s made some throws that turn your head, without a doubt.” Love the Montez Sweat pick too, especially late in the first round. Now maybe Ryan Kerrigan has a frisky young guy (and a speedy one) to take some of the pass-rush pressure off him. Just a projection, but if Case Keenum starts for the first month (at Eagles, Dallas, Chicago, at Giants) and the offense is going nowhere, how great would it be for Gruden to name Haskins the starter in Week 5 at FedEx Field … with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick coming to town for the first time since 2011?

While Ravens fans might be OK with King's No. 12 ranking for their team, they might not be too happy when they see the teams ranked higher. 

The Chiefs and the Patriots? Sure. The Saints, Colts and everyone from Los Angeles? Not terribly surprising. 

But they might not like how high King has the Cleveland Browns. But the NFL analyst is buying into the hype surrounding second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield and one of the team's newest weapons in Odell Beckham Jr. King has the team that finished 7-8-1 in 2018 at No. 11 in his power rankings, which is one spot ahead of the Ravens.

At No. 12, King says this of Baltimore:

This is how close Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh were in the fourth quarter of the final Sunday of the 2018 season. In Cincinnati, the Steelers and the Bengals were tied at 13 with six minutes to play, and the Steelers had the ball, minus Antonio Brown, at their 25-yard line. In Baltimore, the Browns, trailing 27-26, had the ball first-and-10 at the Ravens’ 39-yard-line with 1:18 left. A first down and a field goal would win the game for Cleveland. Imagine, for a moment, if Cincinnati and Cleveland walked off with wins that Sunday. Records of the top three teams in the division: Baltimore 9-7, Cleveland 8-7-1, Pittsburgh 8-7-1. I only mention that because the division is pretty close, and the Ravens, who got Lamar Jackson two new receiving toys (Marquise Brown (they’re hoping he can be in the Tyreek Hill-factor league and Miles Boykin), are a fascinating team to watch. They could win 11. They could win six. The offense had better score, because the defense has holes.

Here's a look at his complete preseason power rankings.

1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. New England Patriots
3. Indianapolis Colts
4. Los Angeles Rams
5. Los Angeles Chargers
6. New Orleans Saints
7. San Francisco 49ers
8. Philadelphia Eagles
9. Chicago Bears
10. Minnesota Vikings
11. Cleveland Browns
12. Baltimore Ravens
13. Seattle Seahawks
14. Green Bay Packers
15. Houston Texans
16. Dallas Cowboys
17. Atlanta Falcons
18. Pittsburgh Steelers
19. Oakland Raiders
20. Jacksonville Jaguars 
21. Carolina Panthers
22. Washington Redskins
23. Buffalo Bills
24. Denver Broncos
25. Tennessee Titans
26. New York Jets
27. Detroit Lions
28. New York Giants
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
30. Cincinnati Bengals
31. Arizona Cardinals
32. Miami Dolphins 


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Redskins seek to add linebacker depth by signing Gary Johnson

Redskins seek to add linebacker depth by signing Gary Johnson

The Redskins added some linebacker depth Saturday afternoon by signing former Texas LB Gary Johnson, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported.

Johnson, 23, was released by the Kansas City Chiefs back in June following mandatory minicamp.

This signing immediately addresses a position of need as Washington's linebacker room is banged up. Reuben Foster was ruled out of the entire season due to a torn ACL he suffered in May, Josh Harvey-Clemmons is going through concussion protocol while strengthening an ailing knee, and Shaun Dion Hamilton is still questionable with a chest injury. 

In his two seasons at Texas, Johnson tallied 147 tackles, 8.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and two pass breakups in 23 games.

Johnson took to Twitter to celebrate his latest opportunity in the nation's capital: 

Johnson's Twitter profile also features the statement "I Hate QB's & RB's."

It's fair to say the Redskins are always on the lookout for defensive guys with that mentality. 


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Stock Up, Stock Down: Montae Nicholson and Samaje Perine going in opposite directions

Stock Up, Stock Down: Montae Nicholson and Samaje Perine going in opposite directions

The Redskins lost to the Bengals Thursday night at FedEx Field, but in the preseason, final results don't really matter. What matters comes in individual and group performances, particularly among first-team units.

In that vein, the Redskins starting defense looked strong against Cincinnati. Outside of some dumb and wacky penalty calls, the starting defense barely gave up any first downs. A number of players impressed on that group, so let's start with the stocks trending in the right direction. 

Stock Up

  • Montae Nicholson - The 96-yard interception return for a touchdown was an impressive display of playmaking ability and speed, but more than that, it was the culmination of a strong offseason and training camp. For the Redskins to be a Top 10 defense, Nicholson needs to be the hard-hitting stud that Washington fans saw glimpses of as a rookie in 2017. Last year was a lost season for Nicholson, who dealt with injuries, getting benched and legal troubles. 2019 is a new start, and so far, it looks quite good. 
  • Adrian Peterson - Not that a first-ballot Hall of Famer really needs preseason validation, but when Peterson ripped off a 26-yard run in the first quarter against the Bengals it became pretty obvious he's ready to go for 2019. And it's important too as second-year back Derrius Guice still isn't cleared for competition. 
  • Robert Davis - Another week, another long touchdown. If there's a handbook to show how to force your way onto a roster, Davis is reading from it. 
  • Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne - These dudes are beasts. 

Despite the good news, there was bad news too. Here's that list:

Stock Down

  • Samaje Perine - Five carries for one yard against Cincy. You read that right. That comes after a poor showing in pass protection in the preseason opener. Jay Gruden always sings praises of Perine but hasn't after the last two preseason games. Prior to Shaun Wilson's ankle injury, he seemed like a guy that could really push for Perine's roster spot. Could that be Byron Marshall now?
  • Paul Richardson - The speedster wideout missed the Bengals game, and the word from one Redskins coach was "he's hurt." Many players get held out of preseason action with slight injuries, stuff they would play through in the regular season. That's not the deal with Richardson. He needs to get right. 
  • Cole Holcomb - If you can't make the club in the tub, Holcomb needs to get back on the field. While he's not in actual roster danger because of the growing number of injuries at inside linebacker, Holcomb is dealing with an AC joint issue. Linebackers need their shoulders, and Holcomb missed a valuable opportunity against the Bengals with presumed starter Shaun Dion Hamilton already out for that game. 
  • Nate Kaczor - The Redskins new Special Teams coach is off to a rough start. In two preseason games Washington has already given up two punt return touchdowns, and against the Bengals, kicker Dustin Hopkins missed an extra point and a field goal. Special teams are tricky in the preseason. In the regular season with 53-man rosters, starting players land on special teams. In the preseason with 90-man rosters, it's largely a collection of players that won't make the final roster lining up on special teams. Still, ugly start.