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Does it matter if Redskins' top pick Jonathan Allen starts Week 1?

Does it matter if Redskins' top pick Jonathan Allen starts Week 1?

Jay Gruden can’t wait to get Jonathan Allen out on the field.

“He’s the 17th pick in the draft,” said Gruden a couple of hours after making the Alabama defensive lineman a Redskin. “He will contribute—tomorrow. Right now.”

In his enthusiasm, Gruden may have been jumping the gun a bit. Rookie minicamp doesn’t start until a week from Friday, on May 12, and that is the first time that Allen can take the field with a helmet on at Redskins Park. But once he puts his cleats on he will be utilized early and often.

RELATED: Grading the Redskins 2017 draft

Prior to Thursday, the Redskins’ starting defensive ends were Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, both signed as free agents last March. Their contracts have average annual values of a combined $10.25 million.

Perhaps if they had a crystal ball that could have told them they would be able to draft Allen in late April, they would not have signed both of those free agent linemen. Then again, they had lost Chris Baker as a free agent, Ricky Jean Francois was released, and Kedric Golston and Cullen Jenkins were not re-signed. That left multiple holes in the defensive line and adding multiple quality players to the depth chart is not a bad way to go, especially considering that the unit had largely been neglected in the draft until last Thursday.

MORE REDSKINS: Three reasons to like the pick of Ryan Anderson 

Will Allen start Week 1? That remains to be seen. If it was me, I would put McGee in at nose tackle and start Allen and McClain at the ends. McGee played nose tackle in Oakland but Gruden said that “he’s more of an end.” At 6-foot-3 and 310 pounds, McGee would not be ideal at nose tackle but unless Phil Taylor, who hasn’t played a snap since 2014, can revive his career he may be the best option.

It’s possible that McClain and McGee will start at end Week 1 and Allen will come off the bench but on the defensive line it really doesn’t matter. At that position players rotate in and out throughout the game according to the situation and to keep them fresh. Last year Francois started just six games but he still played 40 percent of the snaps, the third most on the team. Regardless of who starts, it wouldn’t be surprising to see McClain and McGee start most of the games and have Allen play more snaps than both of them.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Ron Rivera doesn't anticipate Dwayne Haskins being bothered by Redskins talking to top QBs

Ron Rivera doesn't anticipate Dwayne Haskins being bothered by Redskins talking to top QBs

Ron Rivera figured he'd make headlines (like the one on this exact website). He just doesn't really think what he revealed deserved to be so newsworthy.

The comments that generated some chatter came on Wednesday, when the Redskins head coach told reporters at the Combine that the team will speak with both Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa.

Washington, of course, already has Dwayne Haskins on the roster and appears poised to take Chase Young second overall in the upcoming draft. But Rivera still wants to sit down with the two top passers in this year's class, and he doesn't really see what's wrong with that.

"I just think it's what you're supposed to do," Rivera told the Redskins Talk podcast on Thursday in Indianapolis. "Of course, that's one thing that people want to jump on and sink their teeth into and create stuff. All we're doing is our due diligence. If we don't look at those guys and something crazy happened, then we'd sit there and look silly."

Burrow is the overwhelming favorite to be selected by the Bengals to kick off April's event, but it makes sense for the Redskins to familiarize themselves with him just in case something wacky happens (it is the Bengals, guys). 

Tagovailoa, meanwhile, has been getting positive reports on his health, which is really the only thing to doubt about the polished product from Alabama. While Burrow currently seems like a complete longshot to end up with the Burgundy and Gold, Tagovailoa does not.

Still, Rivera maintained that the Redskins are just completing their research.

"We're going to cover all our bases and just see what happens," he said. "Everybody wants to know what we're going to do. We can't tell you what we're going to do because we don't know what's going to happen in front of us."

Now, is Rivera worried at all about how Haskins will take these meetings? His rookie year was rife with stories that the 2019 coaching staff didn't want him, after all, so isn't it risky to possibly restart those stories again in 2020? 

Short answer? Nope. Long answer? Here it is.

"I think Dwayne is smart enough to understand," the head man said. "I really do. It's been a neat development of a relationship right now between he and I. I think the one thing that I really do appreciate is his hard work already. And I think that's what everybody needs, to just take a step back and understand that all we're doing is our due diligence."

Rivera indicated that Burrow and Tagovailoa could very well visit the Redskins at their facility later this offseason, too, so this talk of QB drama may pop up again shortly. It doesn't feel like drama to him, though.

To him, and hopefully to Haskins, this is all a part of having the No. 2 pick in the draft, a spot that gives Washington a lot of options.

"I think if this is something that's bothering him, he'll say it," Rivera finished. "But he's a mature, young man who's just growing in his role. I just think that everybody needs to just relax and let us go through our process."

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Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

As far as reputations go in the NFL, punters are not generally known as the tough, strong guys on the team.

Arizona State punter Michael Turk is working to change that.

At the NFL Combine on Thursday, Turk stepped up to the bench press with 225 pounds on the bar waiting for him. What did he do? Just casually ripped off 25 reps.

Yes, you are seeing that correctly. A punter just put up 25 reps on the bench press. That number is impressive as is, for anyone of any position. However, let's put it in context to show just how strong Turk is.

Jadaveon Clowney, Chandler Jones and Rob Gronkowski are all known as some of the strongest humans to ever hit the football field. Their bench reps? 21, 22 and 23, respectively. Michael Turk, the punter, out-did them

Turk will need his legs to impress teams and scouts as he looks to head to the NFL, but he clearly has plenty of power in the upper body as well. If whatever team he lands on wants to run a fake punt, defenders won't have an easy time taking him down.

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