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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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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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USA Today Sports Images

Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

After a fight-filled start to joint practices between the Redskins and Jets, the Skins' 2018 NFL preseason schedule continues Thursday night at Fed Ex Field against New York. 

Week 2 of the NFL preseason still doesn't provide a lot of answers to questions about team performance, but it begins to reveal the depth the Redskins could have this season.

One storyline that won't be taking place, is the return of former Redskin Terrelle Pryor, who told reporters after Monday's practice he won't be playing in the game.

The Redskins have bigger things to worry about though, like who will replace rookie Derrius Guice, who's now out for the year with a torn ACL.

The Redskins also have one less name in the fight for receiver depth as well, after Robert Davis suffered a season-ending leg injury as well. 

Ahead of Thursday's preseason matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.

REDSKINS vs. JETS, PRESEASON WEEK 2

Who: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets

What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason

When: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Washington, -3

Over/Under: 39.5

Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy

REDSKINS vs. PATRIOTS TV SCHEDULE:

5:00 PM: Redskins 100
5:30 PM: Redskins Nation
6:00 PM: Best of the Sports Junkies
7:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live

REDSKINS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (L, 26-17)

Week 2: Thurs., 8/16, vs. New York Jets, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 3: Fri., 8/24, vs. Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m. 

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

 

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Three Redskins make Bill Barnwell's "Perfect 53-man Roster"

Three Redskins make Bill Barnwell's "Perfect 53-man Roster"

Each season, ESPN's Bill Barnwell takes the NFL's $177 million salary cap and builds "the perfect 53-man roster." This year, three Redskins — two obvious and one not so obvious — made the cut. 

Brandon Scherff, Chase Roullier and Zach Brown joined some of the NFL's finest on the "perfect roster."

There were several rules when it came to its construction.  First, there needed to be at least one player –  but no more than three – from each NFL team. How much each player would cost was determined by their current cap number after any restructuring, but without cap acceleration. There's at least one player from the 2015, '16,'17, and '18 drafts, with one player from each round and an undrafted free agent. Barnwell built his offense so that it fits within the Patriots' and Josh McDaniels' system, while the defense is built around Jim Schwartz and the Philadelphia Eagles' unit. Special teams was also included. 

Barnwell spent $6.75 million on Scherff and $592,000 on Roullier. He describes the "perfect roster's" O-line as "mobile enough to routinely get to the second level on run-pass options and screens and big enough to bulldoze defensive linemen one-on-one." 

Scherff –  the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft – has made two Pro Bowls in three years and has started every game he's appeared in. The Redskins picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal, extending his time with the team through 2019. At just 26-years-old, a big deal will be coming his way at some point. Scherff was also named a starter on the "perfect roster."

The Redskins drafted Roullier in the sixth-round of the 2017 draft, and in just one season, he has earned the starting center job after Spencer Long missed a chunk of the season with injury and eventually left for the Jets in free agency. Pro Football Focus ranked Roullier the No. 21 center in the league during the 2017 season, and he will have a vital role in helping Alex Smith make the transition to a new offense as smooth as possible. 

And then there's Zach Brown. Barnwell spent $2.95 million on the linebacker, saying, "We need cover linebackers with the range to scare quarterbacks from throwing over the middle of the field." When it comes to Brown specifically, Barnwell goes on to say, "The league doesn't seem to value Brown, but he has been an excellent run defender on early downs and isn't much of a liability in coverage."

The Redskins saw his value and signed Brown to a three-year deal back in March after picking him up in free agency during the 2017 offseason. Brown started 13 games in 2017, racking up 127 tackles (84 solo) and 2.5 sacks on his was to finishing ninth in the league in tackles during the regular season. 

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