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Don't count out any running back for Redskins at 17, including Dalvin Cook

Don't count out any running back for Redskins at 17, including Dalvin Cook

A few weeks back speculation started to build that the Redskins might select Christian McCaffery with the 17th pick, but this past week, another running back visited Ashburn. 

In the picture, besides Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins, are two other Florida State products in DeMarcus Walker and Dalvin Cook. With good size and an impressive sack record in Tallahasse, Walker could help Washington on the second day of the draft.

Cook, however, is the name Redskins fans want to discuss. 

Coming into the 2017 Draft, Cook was widely considered the second-best runner available behind LSU's Leonard Fournette. For some, Cook might be a better NFL prospect even, more adept at catching the ball out of the backfield and more slippery, opposed to Fournette's bruising, straight-ahead ability.

That was until the NFL Combine, where Cook's drill numbers didn't impress. Projections had him falling towards the end of the first round, and McCaffery moving up into the second RB spot.

The truth is, until the draft, there is no truth. Projections are just guesses, and once the first surprise hits in late April in Philadelphia, there is no telling what will happen after. Some mock drafts now have Fournette the third RB off the board, with both McCaffery and Cook going before him.

Cook's visit to Ashburn presents one truth: On some level, the Redskins are interested in the Seminole playmaker. And they should be. In three years at Florida State, Cook accounted for 48 touchdowns and nearly 5,400 yards from scrimmage. 

Speaking with CSN in Phoenix, Washington coach Jay Gruden said that the Redskins were absolutely interested in both Cook and McCaffery at 17, though the coach added the team is interested in defensive players in that spot as well (watch the video above). 

The best thing for Redskins fans trying to figure out that 17th pick over the next two weeks: Believe nothing. Consider this tweet from widely known and respected NFL agent Leigh Steinberg. 

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Redskins have safety needs but little cash, putting Clinton-Dix in precarious situation

Redskins have safety needs but little cash, putting Clinton-Dix in precarious situation

When the Redskins traded for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in October, the safety position looked to be a great strength for Washington. 

The team already had D.J. Swearinger, who was playing at a Pro Bowl level, and adding Clinton-Dix was supposed to make the Redskins defense one of the elite units in the NFL

That plan didn’t work. 

Clinton-Dix never performed at a high level in Washington, and frankly probably underperformed on the relative cheap fourth-round pick price the Redskins paid to acquire him. 

In nine games with Washington, Clinton-Dix registered 66 tackles and recovered one fumble. And while it wasn't entirely on him, Clinton-Dix's arrival coincided with the Redskins defensive demise. 

Now, it's free agency time for Clinton-Dix.

Pro Football Focus rated Clinton-Dix as the 32nd best safety in the NFL, and he will be one of the bigger names on the open market. What will the money look like?

It's hard to answer because 2018 wasn't an impressive season. Clinton-Dix struggled enough in tackling that Green Bay decided to trade him, and those struggles continued in Washington. 

The Redskins have a lot of needs this offseason, and safety is one of them. 

Swearinger is gone, and the depth chart features Montae Nicholson, Troy Apke and Deshazor Everett. Nicholson finished his season suspended after being arrested for assault and Apke finished his season on IR. Everett has made plays when he gets chances on the field, but for whatever reason, he rarely gets chances.

Washington doesn't have a lot to spend in free agency, as the Alex Smith contract will eat up a lot of their cap space. 

There definitely isn't room for a high-value contract for Clinton-Dix. 

There might not be room for a low dollar contract for Clinton-Dix based on his 2018 level of play, but the position is a need. 

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Jonathan Allen wants Jim Tomsula back - but he understands if he puts his family first

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Jonathan Allen wants Jim Tomsula back - but he understands if he puts his family first

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Redskins offseason thus far comes from the lack of change. Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky are all coming back. 

One name that is less certain, and is widely loved, is defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. 

For Tomsula, there is no pressure on him to perform better. His work in developing Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle probably ranks as the most impressive on the team. 

"Jim [Tomsula] is definitely my favorite coach I've ever had," Redskins defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said this week. "I don’t really count [University of Alabama] Coach [Nick] Saban because he wasn’t my position coach, but as a position coach, love Jim Tom."

The Alabama product's comments came during a charity even at National Children's Hospital, and they came during an interesting time for the Redskins defense. The organization spoke with a number of highly sought after defensive coordinator candidates in the last few weeks, but stuck with Manusky at the position. The team claimed, through an unnamed source in a Washington Post article, that the meetings were just to gain different perspectives. Interesting. 

Now that Manuksy is back, however, the future for Tomsula becomes one of the biggest questions for the club. 

It sounds like Allen is prepared for any outcome. 

"I don’t know if he will be back. I would love to have him back but he has a family, definitely he’s a big family guy and his family is in Florida," Allen said. "I can completely understand his reasons for not coming back."

Any conversation with Tomsula always centers around family. He's one of the few coaches that remembers reporters' kids' ages and often asks about them. It's a genuine thing for Tomsula, and it's impressive. 

He is also close friends with Manuksy, and the coordinator's return could help in keeping the fiery D-line coach. If Tomsula does leave Ashburn, he's already made a significant impact for players like Allen.

"Regardless what happens I wish him nothing but the best and I’m just glad I got to spend two years with him."

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