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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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Colt McCoy not with Redskins for OTAs as he recovers from another leg procedure, per source

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Colt McCoy not with Redskins for OTAs as he recovers from another leg procedure, per source

In more than four seasons with the Redskins, Colt McCoy hasn't missed a single offseason workout or training session. Until now. 

McCoy is not in Ashburn as the Redskins currently work through phase one of offseason workouts. Instead, per doctor's orders the quarterback is back in Texas recovering from another procedure on his leg, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

How things got to this point between the Redskins and their quarterbacks is almost hard to believe.

Alex Smith broke his tibia and fibula last November, and then shockingly, McCoy broke his fibula two weeks later in an early December game in Philadelphia. 

Despite the broken leg, the Redskins hoped to get McCoy back for a possible late season playoff game. Washington head coach Jay Gruden explained that McCoy and the team pushed too hard to get back in 2018, and that's what caused the quarterback's setback this spring. 

"What happened was when he had the injury we were aggressive trying to get him back on the field so fast we didn’t give it time enough to heal the right way so they went back in and did a small procedure to make sure that thing is on track to be full strength by the season," Gruden explained at the NFL League Meetings in Arizona last month.

Now, McCoy has undergone another minor procedure on his leg, his third since the December injury, though the source maintains he could be back in Ashburn as soon as next week.

McCoy and Case Keenum will enter training camp competing for the top quarterback job, and the former University of Texas star is expected to be fully healthy when the team heads to Richmond. 

Of course, it's also possible the Redskins add another passer in this week's NFL Draft. Whether that happens in the first round or the late rounds, with Keenum and McCoy in the last year of their contracts, adding a rookie makes sense. 

Smith is due more than $40 million from the Redskins over the next two seasons, and Washington can only add an affordable contract on the books at the QB position. The way to do that is via the draft. 

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    If the Redskins want to trade back in the NFL Draft, one team makes a lot of sense

    If the Redskins want to trade back in the NFL Draft, one team makes a lot of sense

    The Redskins want to trade back in the 2019 NFL Draft. 

    Says who? Says Washington Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams, that's who. 

    "I’m going to go on the record and say that’s a possibility that we won’t trade up, but there’s a great possibility we’ll trade back if that opportunity came," Williams said on Monday during the team's pre-draft media session.

    While trading up seems unlikely, trading back could certainly happen. The Redskins have needs - quarterback, wide receiver and edge rusher stand out - but the team isn't exactly desperate at any position. In turn, more picks could help in more areas. And more picks come from trading down. 

    "I'm not going to sit here and say we got to get better at any position, which we know we have to get better overall as a football team," Williams said.

    Rotoworld's Josh Norris explained one exact trade down scenario that could work for Washington (see above video).

    The Houston Texans must add help at offensive tackle, and the consensus has most of the best tackles taken by the 18th or 20th spot. If Houston wants to get their tackle, like Florida's Jawaan Taylor for example, the Texans might need to move up. In turn, the Redskins can offer their 15th pick to Houston in exchange for the 23rd spot and an additional pick later in the draft, perhaps as high as a third. 

    At 23, the Redskins can get their pick of a number of need positions, like left guard, wide receiver or cornerback. 

    "That's where those talents match up with the value," Norris said. 

    That makes sense, as there isn't a wideout or guard that demands to be taken at 15, but could match the Redskins' draft board eight picks later. Maybe a guy like Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown or Boston College OL Chris Lindstrom specifically.

    There's also the quarterback spot. 

    There are four rookie passers projected to be first round picks: Kyler Murray, Drew Lock, Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones. It seems possible Jones would be there at 23.

    Two other names to watch, particularly if a trade down scenario emerges for the Redskins. 

    Norris suggested the Redskins like Maryland safety Darnell Savage, and he is gaining momentum as a possible late first-round selection. 

    Additionally, one NFC scout told NBC Sports that he would not be shocked if West Virginia QB Will Grier sneaks into the end of the first round. Remember, first-round contracts automatically carry a team fifth-year option, an incredibly lucrative bonus considering the money some quarterbacks are making around the league. 

    Stay alert out there - it's almost draft day.

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