Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 2, 25 days before the April 27 NFL draft.
—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 15
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 40
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 52
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 104
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 152
Looking for impact in the middle rounds
As of now, the Redskins have two picks in the fourth round and one in the fifth. If they don’t make any trades, those picks will represent 30 percent of the 2017 draft class (they have a total of 10 picks). Hitting on those picks could make or break this draft.
Nothing about the draft is easy, but the chances of getting reasonably productive players in the first three rounds are pretty good. It’s not guaranteed by any stretch but picks in the top 100 should be money.
On the other end of the draft, it’s not that sixth- and seventh-round picks are worthless but you must be very fortunate to get more than a backup or special teams player out of players picked there. Of the 237 players picked in the sixth and seventh rounds in the last three drafts, only 52 have started three games or more and just 20 have started at least 10 games. Even the best talent evaluators are hard pressed to come up with a highly productive player after the first 175 have come off the board.
That means that the real work in the draft gets done in the middle rounds, the fourth and fifth rounds
Who are the best players the Redskins have taken in those middle rounds (4-5) recently? Looking at their performances with the Redskins only, here are the top five taken since the 2000 draft (you can see all of them here):
*Currently on the Redskins roster
QB Kirk Cousins* (Round 4-2012)—A fourth-round pick who becomes a quality starting quarterback for two years is going to top the list of mid-round picks every time.
ILB Perry Riley (4-2010)—Not a high impact player but Riley did a good job from when he took over as the starter midway through the 2011 season until he was released after the 2015 season.
DL Anthony Montgomery (5-2006)—For a while it looked like he was going to be a real draft steal but he didn’t keep it going. Kedric Golston, drafted in the sixth round the same season, lasted seven seasons longer.
CB Bashaud Breeland* (4-2013)—This is another position of value so he’s on the list after intercepting seven passes in three seasons.
Jamison Crowder* (4-2002)—Crowder and Cousins have contributed to each other’s success. In two seasons Crowder has 126 receptions and nine touchdowns
Among other mid-round players, the Redskins got some production from are RB Roy Helu (4-2011), TE Robert Royal (5-2002), RB Chris Thompson* (5-2013), and TE Niles Paul* (5-2011).
The Redskins currently have nine players who they drafted in the fourth and fifth rounds on their roster. In addition to those listed above they have G Arie Kouandjio (4-2015), WR Ryan Grant (5-2014), DL Matt Ioannidis (5-2016), and ILB Martrell Spaight (5-2015).
The Redskins would be very happy if they can end up with a fourth- or fifth-round player who is as immediately productive as Crowder was as a rookie (at any position), a guy like Breeland, who can hold down a job while still learning, someone like Paul, who can contribute right away on special teams, and perhaps a Spaight, who can do a spot start here and there.
That’s the best-case scenario. The reality is that one or two of their mid-round picks won’t contribute much of anything but the team hopes to acquire some impact early on Saturday afternoon.
Tandler on Twitter
They need to do replay on a TV that's bigger than the one I have sitting on top of my refrigerator.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) April 2, 2017
In case you missed it
- Why mock drafts predict Redskins will take RB, not DT, at 17
- Superstar's brother will visit Redskins before Draft
- The Redskins week that was—Skepticism at safety, Doctson's health