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Need to Know: Setting the odds on the Redskins' first-round draft pick

Need to Know: Setting the odds on the Redskins' first-round draft pick

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 22, 36 days before the April 27 NFL draft.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 26
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 51
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 63
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 115
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 172

Setting the odds on the pick at No. 17

Yesterday I looked at five players who were tabbed by various mock drafters as the Redskins’ pick at No. 17. Today we’re going to break out the $100 in imaginary casino chips and spread them around the five players according to how likely it is that each one will end up holding up the Redskins No. 1 jersey and giving Roger Goodell the bro hug on April 27. As always, the chips are all divided among the five players; “the field” is not an option.

ILB Reuben Foster, Alabama, $15—As I’ve pointed out before, the Redskins never taken a middle/inside linebacker in the first round of the common draft (since 1966). Not that what George Allen did 40 years ago will have any effect on what his son might do in April but it’s interesting to note. While the Redskins could think long and hard about taking him I just don’t think that the organization values the position enough to spend a first-round pick there. Also, since other organizations do value the position, he could be gone by the time the 17th pick is on the clock.

DL Malik McDowell, Michigan State, $30—I have no official stats but I’ll bet that McDowell is the player who has been mocked to the Redskins more than any player. He’s the kind of athletic presence that the defensive line has lacked forever. Yes, there are consistency questions but he wouldn’t be the first one to have the light come on when he’s playing the game for a living.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State, $20—I go back and forth on the Redskins taking a first-round running back. Going back to ancient history again, they haven’t taken a running back in the first since 1967 (Ray McDonald). Recently, they have managed to get decent results from the likes of sixth-round pick Alfred Morris and undrafted free agent Rob Kelley. But they haven’t had a home run threat at the position since Clinton Portis, who was a second-round pick of the Broncos. If you want that added dimension in a running back you almost have to take one early. They saw firsthand how Ezekiel Elliot made life so much easier for Dak Prescott last year. Perhaps investing a first rounder in a RB will make it easier to win after the possible (likely?) departure of Kirk Cousins.

DB Jabril Peppers, Michigan, $15—Is Peppers too much like Su’a Cravens to make sense as a first-round pick? Or could he be a second chess piece who could be used to compliment what Cravens does? This might be the pick that would be the most fun, to see how they might mix and match Peppers, Cravens, and D.J. Swearinger. But I would look at that as a luxury that a team averaging 10-12 wins a year could make. I don’t see the Redskins, who struggle to finish over .500.

QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson, $20—Something tells me that the Cousins-Redskins standoff is not going to end with a whimper. If this happens, it would go out with a bang. I really don’t know if the Redskins are at all sold on Watson but if they are this would be a good way to resolve the QB dilemma and have a signal caller for a low salary for the next five seasons.

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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The details on Alex Smith's gruesome injury are even worse than you expected

The details on Alex Smith's gruesome injury are even worse than you expected

When Alex Smith went down in Sunday's loss to the Texans, the injury looked bad. From his reaction and the instant reaction of his teammates and coaches, it became obvious the severity of the situation. 

As soon as the video replays showed Smith's leg bend in the way it wasn't intended, the whole world knew bones were broken. 

Now, though, as details begin to emerge after Smith had successful surgery on the injury, it sounds even worse than it looked. 

On Monday, Jay Gruden explained that Smith faces a recovery time of six to eight months. That timeline puts Smith on pace to return for training camp in 2019, but that also assumes no complications from surgery and a full recovery. Smith will be 35 in May.

The Redskins acquired Smith via trade during the 2018 offseason, and immediately agreed to a contract extension with the quarterback. That deal includes $71 million guaranteed for injury.

In his first season as Redskins starter, Smith was completing 62 percent of his passes for 2,180 yards to go with 10 TDs against five INTs in 10 games before the injury. Smith guided the Redskins to a 6-3 record before leaving the Texans game and eventually landing on the injured reserve list. 


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The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

Don't look in this space for an argument that the Redskins - who are reportedly signing Mark Sanchez as Colt McCoy's backup - should, or should not, sign Colin Kaepernick.

This space will lay out reasons why the Redskins should, and should not, consider signing Colin Kaepernick. 

It's not a binary decision. In fact, it's just about the opposite. 

Any debate about Kaepernick often gets bogged down in differing political view points. This is not the place for that. Rather, here is an attempt to make the case for or against Kaepernick from a football perspective. 

The case to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • The Redskins need a quarterback. Alex Smith broke his leg and Colt McCoy needs a backup. Of the available free agents out there, Kaepernick has by far the best stats and resume. As Chris Thompson explained of Kaepernick, "He made it to a Super Bowl." When he last played in 2016, Kaepernick had 16 TDs against just four INTs in 12 starts. 
  • Kaepernick has familiarity in the West Coast offense, and once backed up Alex Smith and played with Vernon Davis. 
  • Redskins QB coach and passing game coordinator Kevin O'Connell worked on the 49ers staff with Kaepernick.
  • Multiple Redskins players, including Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson, said that the Nike pitchman deserves another chance in the NFL. 

The case not to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL for nearly two full seasons. He hasn't practiced in a professional setting for more than a year. The Redskins are competing for the NFC East title. If they have to go to a backup QB, they want somebody that is game ready. It's hard to think Kaepernick fits that bill today. 
  • Earlier this season, Redskins CB Josh Norman had some choice words for Kaepernick after Panthers safety Eric Reid spoke out against the NFL Player's Coalition. Norman is an active particpant and leader on the Player's Coalition, a social rights group that Kaepernick distanced himself from. Putting Norman and Kaepernick in the same locker room might create some friction for a first-place team. 
  • At 6-4, the Redskins are in first place in the NFC East and should still be able to win games with McCoy at quarterback. Regardless how one feels about Kaepernick's activism, it will create a side show for any organization that brings him in. Cable news outlets like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC will descend on the Washington locker room should Kaepernick get signed.