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Just two teams got fewer snaps from their rookies than the Redskins

Just two teams got fewer snaps from their rookies than the Redskins

The players that the Redskins selected in the 2016 NFL Draft will be hoping that their second impression next season is better than their first impression from a year ago.

According to ESPN's Bill Barnwell, only two teams — the Cardinals and the Vikings — received fewer snaps from their first-year pros than Washington did. Those three franchises, along with the Bills, were the only four in the league to see their rookies play less than 1,000 snaps.

Here's the full breakdown from Barnwell:

And here are a handful of reasons that the Redskins' number is so low:

  • 2016 first-rounder Josh Doctson (Achilles issue) didn't play after Week 2, missing the season's last 14 contests.
  • Second-rounder Su'a Cravens missed five full games due to injury, while third-rounder Kendall Fuller was inactive for three and then was in and out of the secondary rotation, never really nailing down a consistent role.
  • Fifth-rounder Matt Ioannidis also had trouble breaking through on defense, sixth-rounder Nate Sudfeld never left the bench, and seventh-rounders Steven Daniels and Keith Marshall didn't even make it to the final roster after rough preseasons.

Yes, injuries did limit the Burgundy and Gold, and if Doctson and Cravens were allowed to play the year from start to finish, the Redskins would've finished higher. However — and feel free to read this in your best head coach's voice — being available is a skill, and so far, it's a skill this bunch needs to develop. 

On top of that, aside from a few glimpses courtesy of Cravens, none of the other rookies did much to seize bigger roles or give coaches a reason to play them more often (undrafted guys Robert Kelley and Maurice Harris did, but none of the April selections really popped). So while health is certainly a reason for the low finish on Barnwell's list, so, too, is ineffectiveness.

It's true that rookie playing time and reaching the playoffs didn't seem to have a huge correlation in 2016, considering seven playoff teams sit in the top half of the rankings and five reside in the bottom half. With that being said, the Redskins' future feels much murkier because of questions surrounding guys like Doctson and Fuller, and a back half of the 2016 draft that lacks potential contributors.

And because of the underwhelming production, two groups will be feeling pressure in 2017: This past class, as they hope to take a leap from where they are, and this coming class, as they hope to avoid the position their predecessors now find themselves in.

MORE REDSKINS: EIGHT PLAYERS WHO MAKE SENSE FOR WASHINGTON IN THE FIRST ROUND

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New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

Alex Smith in, Kirk Cousins out.

That's certainly the headline, but there are plenty of other questions for the Redskins, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

For the last two seasons, most of the questions going into OTAs for Washington came from the defensive side of the ball. After consecutive drafts with a first-round defensive lineman selection, the defense should be much improved. 

On offense, however, there are a lot of new parts. 

  1. The headliner - No position in sports is as important as NFL quarterback. This will be Alex Smith's first action in a Redskins uniform with media present. The 34-year-old veteran is coming off the best season of his career, and if he can continue that level of accuracy and play-making, the Redskins could be poised for an explosive year.
  2. The speedster - Washington's wideouts lacked separation in 2017. It was apparent through much of the year, and likely played a roll in some of Kirk Cousins' reluctance to make tough throws. Free agent addition Paul Richardson is supposed to help, immediately. He has elite deep speed and the 'Skins brass hopes he can bring a similar element to the offense that DeSean Jackson provided a few years back. Time to prove it Paul. 
  3. The injuries - There are big reasons for concern, namely two very large men in Jordan Reed and Trent Williams. Reed will not participate in OTAs, and has been dealing with a foot/toe injury for the better part of a year. Williams, who seems highly unlikely to attend OTAs, underwent knee surgery in January. Beyond Smith, Reed and Williams are probably the two most important offensive players on the Redskins. OTAs aren't important, Reed and Williams participating, or even attending, OTAs is not important. Both men being healthy and ready to go in September is quite important. 
  4. The Rookie - Has Derrius Guice become the most popular player on the Redskins? Maybe. The dynamic rookie running back, with an interesting draft weekend slide, has the charisma and ability to be a star. The "off-field concerns" that hurt his draft status seem like myths at this point, but there was some injury concern his junior season at LSU (see video above). Guice has an opportunity to be a huge part of the Redskins offense, and all eyes will be watching the rookie. 
  5. The leap? - In 2017, Josh Doctson showed flashes of the player that warranted a first-round pick in 2016. Will 2018 be the year he proves it, week after week, game after game? Getting off to a good start with Smith should help, and even more important would be an injury-free offseason. 

There are questions for the defense too, particularly at cornerback after Josh Norman, but this year, the offense has more new parts. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap

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Derrius Guice saw 'Avengers' on Monday night — and brought a bunch of Redskins fans with him

Derrius Guice saw 'Avengers' on Monday night — and brought a bunch of Redskins fans with him

Those who are worried about Derrius Guice's character picked up some added evidence when, on Monday night, the Redskins rookie invited a bunch of fans to watch Avengers with him in Ashburn.

Man, what is this guy's deal?

First of all, not everyone likes superheroes. So how did he know that those who joined him actually wanted to see Avengers?  Did he even ask? What if they wanted to see that really successful, really funny, really well-regarded Amy Schumer comedy, instead?

Then, there's the issue of Guice buying tickets and concessions for those who showed up.

Some people enjoy buying movie tickets — which are absolutely reasonably priced these days — and, as far as the concessions, seriously? Candy? Popcorn? He could've at least offered to buy something healthier, like broccoli. All movie theaters have broccoli.  

Thankfully, those who took Guice up on his invitation weren't grateful for the experience at all, which hopefully means this will be the last time he orchestrates a dastardly deed like this one:

At this point, it's a surprise Guice didn't slide even farther down in the draft, like to the 15th round. Unbelievable.

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