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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—First round of draft could fall into place

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—First round of draft could fall into place

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 21, 96 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 39
NFL free agency starts 47
First Sunday of 2017 season 232

The Redskins week that was

A look back at the week with some of the top posts on RealRedskins.com and on CSNmidatlantic.com.  

An early look at 1st-round draft possibilities for the Redskins—This post marked 100 days until the draft and now were a few days closer. It’s very early but the preliminary big boards make it look like the Redskins are likely to have a defensive lineman such as Solomon Thomas of Stanford or Mailk McDowell of Michigan State wind up as the best available player so that both the fans a Scot McCloughan can be happy.

Cap room a dilemma for Redskins McCloughan?—There is plenty of talk about how expensive Kirk Cousins’ contract or franchise tag will be and how the expense could affect the ability to spend in other positions. But the team has $62 million in cap space. If they don’t spend a good chunk of it on Cousins what will they do with it? They could bring back Pierre Garçon, Chris Baker and make new deals for eligible 2014 draft picks like Bashaud Breeland and Morgan Moses and still have a lot left over. If they don’t spend it a quarterback, what will they do with it? I do know that if they have, say, $20 million in cap space left and they are around .500 again, the fans and media will not be happy.

Projecting the Redskins 2017 roster—Offense—The changes on this side of the ball will feel more like reloading than rebuilding. I’m assuming Cousins will be back one way (long-term deal) or another (tag). At least four out of the five O-linemen are set and the tight ends will get set if McCloughan can lure Vernon Davis back. We’ll see if the running back corps gets shaken up in the draft or in free agency. The one area that could be wide open is receiver and even that could remain relatively stable if Garçon returns.

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend—I think fans generally have become much more apathetic about Pro Bowl selections compared to, say, seven or eight years ago. Playing in the exhibition game is an “honor” that so many choose not to accept or, as was the case with Brandon Scherff, Ryan Kerrigan, and Jordan Reed, they are too injured after a 16-game season to take part. Meanwhile, alternates Cousins, Josh Norman, and Jamison Crowder (as a kick returner) have not yet heard their phones ring. Why does the NFL even bother with the Pro Bowl? People still watch it. Ratings for the last edition (4.5) were about a point lower than the MLB All-Star game (5.4) and a tick above the NBA All-Star game (4.3). Those are not huge ratings but big enough to turn a profit.  

The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins—I think that the first offer that both sides make here is going to be critical. If the Redskins lowball Cousins again it will set a bad tone. If Cousins’ offer is too high the Redskins could think that Cousins is determined to leave. And both sides need to be willing to negotiate. If any of that took place last year there was very little. With no give and take the talks will go nowhere. 

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

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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.

MORE NFL DRAFT NEWS:

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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.  

<<2019 NFL MOCK DRAFT 21.0: WILL NICK BOSA STEAL NO. 1 FROM KYLER MURRAY>>

“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. 

<<2019 NFL MOCK DRAFT 21.0: WILL NICK BOSA STEAL NO. 1 FROM KYLER MURRAY>>

♦ 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.

MORE NFL DRAFT NEWS