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Jay Gruden breaks down the Redskins' Day 2 draft picks

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Jay Gruden breaks down the Redskins' Day 2 draft picks

Redskins Coach Jay Gruden met with reporters following the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft on Friday night. Here are some highlights from his news conference:

  • On Mississippi State pass rusher Preston Smith, who was picked 38th overall, Gruden said: “He’s lined up all over the defensive front. He’s been a nose guard, he’s been a five technique, he’s stood up, he can drop in coverage. …We feel like he’s a young kid growing and there’s still a lot we can build upon with his body frame the way it is. Very long arms, explosive player and there are a lot of spots that he can play.”
  • Gruden confirmed that Smith will play outside linebacker in the Redskins base 3-4 defense. But, he added, “There’s so much nickel nowadays that he can be a defensive end, he can stand up, he can be a three technique."
  • Gruden says both Smith and Trent Murphy, last year's second rounder, figure to play a lot in 2015. “Both those guys are very similar—Trent and Preston,” Gruden said. “They are both very versatile players. Trent has put on some weight; he might be able to play defensive end. Both of those guys will play a lot of football, I can promise you that.”
  • On Florida RB Matt Jones, Gruden said: “Matt’s a physical runner. He’s a downhill type runner. We had him in for a visit a couple of weeks ago and we liked his attitude. We liked what he knew about football, his passion for the game and his running style. He’s a little bit different than what we’ve had around here. He’s a downhill, smashmouth type runner. A physical kid.”
  • Gruden said the addition of Jones won’t have an immediate impact on Alfred Morris, who is entering the final year of his contract. “Alfred won’t be affected,” Gruden said. “He’s still the running back here. He’s had three great seasons and that won’t change. To add another guy that can come in here and pound the rock a little bit doesn’t hurt anything. It will help Alfred in that regard, taking some carries off of him.”
  • Gruden also said he envisions Jones as a core special teamer due to his toughness.
  • On picking up three additional picks in a trade with Seattle, Gruden said: “There’s still a lot of players that can help us, a lot of different positions. We’ll take all of that into consideration and make a good Redskins decision. …I think there’s good quality there in the later rounds, and to have a couple more [picks] is good.”

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Ranking the 2018 Redskins Roster: Revealing 16-30

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Ranking the 2018 Redskins Roster: Revealing 16-30

At NBCSportsWashington.com, we projected the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offensedefense) right after minicamp.

Now we are taking it one step further and ranking the 53 players we think will make the team.

The rankings are determined by who we think will have the most impact on the 2018 Redskins. No consideration was given for past performance or for what a particular player might do down the road. We’ll be revealing the rankings between now and the start of training camp. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 REDSKINS RANKINGS, PLAYERS 53-16>>

Today we are continuing to reveal the list of the players we ranked from 16-30.

Here are some of the players in our latest update:

—The team’s top draft pick (but not the second pick, who is in a higher-ranked group).  

—Two of the anticipated starting offensive linemen

—The team’s leading rusher from 2016

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 REDSKINS RANKINGS, PLAYERS 53-16>>

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10 Questions in 10 days: Do the Redskins have a 1,000-yard WR?

10 Questions in 10 days: Do the Redskins have a 1,000-yard WR?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold before the team heads to Richmond. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

No. 8: More investments on D-Line, but who goes where?

No. 7: Do the Redskins have a 1,000-yard WR?

No Redskins receiver broke the 1,000-yard mark in 2017, and bluntly, the receiver position did not unfold like the front office designed.

Terrelle Pryor proved a free agent flop, and while Josh Doctson flashed talent, the consistency did not follow. Jamison Crowder led Washington with 789 receiving yards while 34-year-old tight end Vernon Davis was the team's second-leading receiver. 

The Redskins need more at wideout in 2018, and the front office acted on it. 

The team signed Paul Richardson in free agency, and advanced statistics suggest he could make an impact right away. Richardson has vertical speed in a way the organization hasn't had since DeSean Jackson went to Tampa two seasons ago. 

Doctson could emerge as a true No. 1 WR, and Richardson's speed will help. Sources inside Redskins Park question if Doctson is the type of wideout that can beat cornerbacks off the line. Instead, the team believes Doctson is best when using his athleticism to go up and get balls. That skill set was best illustrated for Doctson in the end zone, where he grabbed six TDs last season. 

Crowder could again lead the Redskins in receiving yards. New QB Alex Smith likes to look to his inside receivers, and with defenses having to account for more speed on the field in Richardson, Crowder should get plenty of open looks. 

Ultimately, the question is if the Redskins will have a 1,000-yard receiver. The answer is an unknown, but the evidence suggests they won't.

No 1,000-yard wideout does not spell doom for Washington. In the last two seasons, eight of 12 NFC playoff teams had a receiver get into four digits. Among the teams that did not get that kind of production from one wide receiver: 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. Remember, that team won the Super Bowl. 

Further down the roster, Washington has contributors but unlikely a breakout star. Maurice Harris has great hands and Robert Davis has shown plenty of athleticism, but significant production would be a surprise. Rookie Trey Quinn could be a player that helps the 'Skins, particularly should Crowder get banged up this year like he did last year, but a 1,000-yard season for a 7th-round rookie seems pretty absurd. 

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