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Need to Know: Five young veterans who could step up for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five young veterans who could step up for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 9, 15 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.


It’s been 128 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 124 days.

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 3
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 15
—Training camp starts (7/27) 79

Young players who could have an impact

Today's question is from Facebook:

Joey, I answered the second part of your question last week; take a look at that post here. But your second question is a good one. As is the custom here I will expand it to five young holdovers who may step up in 2017.

WR Maurice Harris—The undrafted rookie spent the first six weeks on the practice squad before getting called up to the 53-man roster. Harris played just 129 snaps so it’s a small sample size but he did catch an impressive eight of the 12 passes thrown his way (67%). He will get every opportunity to earn the No. 4 receiver spot, which would mean more snaps and, presumably, more receptions. At 6-3, he fits right in with the picture of the taller wide receiver group.

CB Kendall Fuller—His rookie year was a disappointment. Fuller suffered a knee injury that ended his final year at Virginia Tech early and he had light duty in the offseason program. All season long he never seemed quite right. He started the year on the game day inactive list and ended it on the bench. In between he was inconsistent playing mostly as the slot corner. I think that being fully healthy and getting in the preparation that an inexperienced player will help him step up and become a more consistent player.

DL Anthony Lanier—Like Harris, Lanier is in a much better spot this year than he was at this time in 2016. When you’re one of the masses trying to get the attention of the coaches you get very few reps and most of those are against other third- and fourth-string players. Once you’ve gotten a foothold like Lanier has you more individual attention and more quality reps. Jay Gruden think that Lanier can turn into a quality pass rusher and after missing the last part of 2016 with a leg injury he should get ample opportunity to prove it this year.

ILB Zach Vigil—It’s going to be tough to crack the rotation at inside linebacker with Zach Brown, Mason Foster, and Will Compton. I’m not quite sold on Spaight so I’m going to take flyer on Vigil. He was only with the Redskins for two games last year after being claimed off waivers from the Dolphins. In Miami, he played 16 games with two starts after making the team as a undrafted free agent. Vigil is fast and athletic and he could do well if he gets a shot at playing linebacker. Even if he doesn’t he should be a good special teams performer.

S Deshazor Everett—Safety is a pretty crowded spot with two draft picks joining starters D. J. Swearinger and Su’a Craves, holdovers Everett, Will Blackmon, and DeAngelo Hall, and draft picks Montae Nicholson and Josh Harvey-Clemons. Everett has the inside track on a roster spot due to his special teams play so he likely will have a shot at some snaps on defense. Everett played pretty well getting just 40 snaps last year so he could earn a regular role.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Doug Williams: Redskins trading down from 15 is a 'great possibility' for NFL Draft

Doug Williams: Redskins trading down from 15 is a 'great possibility' for NFL Draft

ASHBURN -- Doug Williams offered a piece of advice for those focused solely on which player the Washington Redskins might select with the 15th overall selection.

The pick could be on the move. If so, the odds are stronger in one direction.

“I’ve said all along the chances of trading up is a lot slimmer than trading back,” the Redskins’ senior VP of Player Personnel said Monday

Williams spoke from Redskins Park as the team wrapped up its pre-draft media availability before the NFL Draft. The three-day event begins Thursday with the first round.  


“I’m going to go on the record and say that it’s a possibility that we won’t trade up,” Williams continued. “But it’s a great possibility that we trade back if that opportunity came.”

Now, preferring a trade down rather than moving up isn’t unique -- but that’s not what Williams said. He spoke in terms of preference but also likelihood and opportunity.

“We got a chance to trade back,” Williams said. “It all depends on who’s there.”

The “who’s there” angle goes both ways, of course. 

The Redskins might covet a specific quarterback, pass rusher or other prospect and, therefore, punt on the idea of trading out if that player is available.

That it is far more difficult this year to pin down a short-list of targets compared with 2018 when the Redskins selected Daron Payne speaks to the team’s list of needs but also the balance of prospects in the 15 to 40 range. There are scenarios where Washington might choose a path that lands extra draft picks or players.

Last year the Saints traded picks 27, 147 and their 2019 first-round selection to the Packers for the 14th overall selection. In the same draft, the Bills shipped 21, 158 and offensive tackle Cody Glenn to the Bengals for 12 and 187. Buffalo then made another deal to acquire the No. 7 selection from Tampa Bay.

In the draft, you cannot be sure which player or position inspires a bold move. New Orleans wanted pass rusher Marcus Davenport. Buffalo drafted quarterback Josh Allen at seven.

If the Redskins jump up, the logic is a passer or pass rusher. The thought here throughout most of the 21 NFL mock drafts centered on the Redskins not focusing on a QB and seeing which edge option remained on the board.

As for a trade down scenario, there are a few names to keep in mind.

♦ With Kyler Murray the likely first passer off the board, quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones are obvious potential targets. The teams potentially moving up for those players, less so. The Giants have six and 17. My mock drafts continue giving New York a defense player at six, leaving the quarterback in play at 17. Don’t hold your breath thinking two division rivals would make such a deal. However, it’s possible another team wants to jump the Giants. That other party could be one of the squads with an older QB (Steelers, Chargers, Packers, Patriots). Perhaps the Raiders, who could jettison Derek Carr after this season, package some combination of their three picks in the 24-35 range.

♦ The Redskins need an edge rusher. So do the Panthers (16), Giants (6 and 17), Titans (19) and Ravens (22). It's possible Florida State’s Brian Burns and Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell are the only top rated options available by the time we reach the middle of the first. 


♦ Teams wanting to be in front of a position run might want to jump into the middle of the first. That’s when the wide receivers (D.K. Metcalf, Marquise Brown), cornerbacks (Greedy Williams, Deandre Baker, Byron Murphy) and offensive lineman (Jonah Williams, Cody Ford, Andre Dillard) might start flying off the shelves. Williams said Monday the Redskins need a "go-to guy" at receiver. 

♦ The Redskins don’t have a glaring need for Clemson defensive linemen Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence, but others may covet their interior power.

♦ One of the true wild cards in the first round is Mississippi State’s Jeffrey Simmons. The defensive lineman was considered a potential top-5 selection before suffering a torn ACL earlier in 2019. Simmons remains a likely first-round pick. Where depends on when a team feels long-term value trumps that of the healthy prospects.

The idea of trading the pick outright to Arizona for Josh Rosen remains intriguing should the quarterback become available with the Cardinals selecting Murray first overall. Some fans are skeptical about dealing 15 for the second-year passer. Should the Redskins trade down from 15 yet remain in the first, that selection might be enough to entice the Cardinals while allowing Washington to get additional assets.

The likelihood is the Redskins stick at 15 and choose a player. Based on their needs and overall draft projections, edge rusher, offensive line, Michigan inside linebacker Devin Bush or that elusive long-term quarterback seems like the logical options.  Williams stated Monday that if there’s movement, the Redskins are going down. It just depends who is available when the clock starts ticking at 15.


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Dwayne Haskins on being drafted by hometown team: 'Definitely HTTR'

Dwayne Haskins on being drafted by hometown team: 'Definitely HTTR'

The count down until NFL Draft Day is on for fans and draft hopefuls alike. Of those hopefuls is the quarterback out of Ohio State, Dwayne Haskins.

ESPN's Adam Schefter sat down with the QB to discuss his plans for Thursday night, the role of his mentors and potentially playing for his hometown team.

If drafted in the first round, as expected, Haskins will become the second Ohio State quarterback ever to go that early. However, he is not putting too much pressure on Draft Night. He plans to be with family and friends bowling so he is not glued to the TV. "I'm sure I will get a phone call before the pick is in so I can stop everything I am doing to watch it", Haskins joked. 

Leading up to the draft, the quarterback met with five teams: Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Washington Redskins. 

How does Haskins feel about the idea of playing for the Redskins? "Definitely HTTR." Haskins has an inside look of the Redskins organization via his mentor Shawn Springs, who was with the team for five seasons. "Football is taken very seriously down there and they are itching to win. If they draft me I hope I can add to the franchise and bring some wins to that organization." 

Draft Night is a dream come true for Haskins who will graduate in May. "Just to be able to hear my name called on Draft Day is something that I dreamed of for years...just to realize that all the work was worth it. That's going to be an unbelievable moment for me," said Haskins.

Haskins received plenty of advice about how to mentally and physically prepare for his NFL career. Watching film and preparing his body is half the battle. Haskins knows, "You do what you need to do to last in the league."  For now, he is enjoying the process, the last piece of advice given to him by his mentors.