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Need to Know: 5 Redskins depth chart hot spots

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Need to Know: 5 Redskins depth chart hot spots

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 7, 10 days before the start of Redskins minicamp.

Nickel coverage

Here are five thoughts on the Redskins’ depth chart with about six and a half weeks to go until the start of training camp.

—I’ll have more on this at some point over the weekend but if you think that Santana Moss is a goner come September, think again. I asked Jay Gruden about him and the coach said, “I like having guys like that, veteran guys who are great examples for rookies and also can help you win in big games.” Sounds like a pretty strong endorsement to me.

—You always have to be careful when players give you an optimistic prognosis on their own serious injuries. Late last year, Richard Crawford was telling everyone who was listening that his knee, which he injured during the preseasons last year, was doing great. But he has been off to the side during OTAs, not looking like someone who will be ready for the July 24 start of camp. If he starts the season on the PUP list (note that we are a long way from that happening) that will affect the depth chart at both cornerback and punt returner.

—If you are a regular here you know I believe that Keenan Robinson will be the starter at inside linebacker next to Perry Riley once the season starts. But it remains to be seen if he will be an every down player like Riley and London Fletcher have been for the past few years. There could be a substantial role on second and third down and short situations for Akeem Jordan or Darryl Sharpton. Keep an eye on what develops there.

—Whether Crawford is healthy or not, the punt returner job is wide open. Lining up to field punts on Wednesday were Andre Roberts, Nick Williams, Lache Seastrunk, and Santana Moss. There is a chance that any of them could be the Week 1 punt returner. Or perhaps it will be none of the above. Since you can’t run special teams live in practice, preseason games will tell a lot.

—The running back picture may already be sorted out, three months before we kick off the season opener. I can see Alfred Morris as the lead back, Roy Helu as the third down back and Lache Seastrunk getting about a half a dozen carries per game on first and second down in relief or Morris. Don’t base your early fantasy draft on this, by the way, but it’s how I see it playing out.

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Timeline

—It’s been 160 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 92 days until they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 10; Training camp 47; Redskins @ Eagles 106

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NFL Draft prospect Deionte Thompson to miss combine following wrist surgery

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NFL Draft prospect Deionte Thompson to miss combine following wrist surgery

Starting Tuesday, all 32 NFL teams will have a chance to asses some of the best talents in the upcoming draft at the NFL Combine. However, one of the better safety prospects available will be noticeably absent in Indianapolis.

University of Alabama safety Deionte Thompson will reportedly not participate in combine activities after having surgery on his wrist Friday to mend a torn ligament, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. Rapoport did mention that the injury is not believed to have a serious impact long-term. 

Thompson is coming off a junior season at Alabama in which he recorded two interceptions and 78 tackles while earning Consensus All-America honors.

As the draft approaches, the safety is being regarded as one of the better secondary options available for teams. In NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig's latest mock draft, Thompson is projected to go 24th overall to the Oakland Raiders.

Though the projection doesn't have Thompson ending up as a member of the Burgundy and Gold, he is still a realistic option for the Redskins. With a few questions marks in the secondary following the departure of D.J. Swearinger Sr. and the unclear future of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Redskins could very well see Thompson as a viable target at No. 15.

If Thompson's impending recovery time leads to his draft stock falling, there is a slight chance he may even be available in the second round when the Redskins pick at No. 46.

Currently, there is no timetable for his return. Alabama is scheduled to host its Pro Day on March 19, which could be the next time Washington and other teams will get a chance to evaluate Thompson.

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The Redskins' free agency strategy nets more 2019 compensatory picks than expected

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USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins' free agency strategy nets more 2019 compensatory picks than expected

It's a very small consolation, but on Friday, the Redskins finally picked up their compensatory third-round pick for losing Kirk Cousins in free agency last year.

That's not the only new selection they now have in their arsenal for the 2019 NFL Draft, though.

In addition to that third-rounder, Washington also netted a fifth-rounder, a sixth-rounder and a seventh-rounder, too. The four picks is a bit of a surprise, as most expected the Burgundy and Gold would be awarded with only three.

Bruce Allen has explained in the past how the 'Skins value compensatory picks, which teams receive based on the contracts their own free agents sign with new franchises. Last offseason, the Redskins saw Cousins, Ryan Grant, Spencer Long and Trent Murphy all cash in on the open market.

In total, Washington now has nine picks in the upcoming draft, with two each in the third, fifth and seventh rounds. They traded away their fourth-round spot for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Losing homegrown players like Cousins and Co. is certainly not ideal, but by letting those types of guys depart, the Redskins do set themselves up for more swings in April. 

That part of the strategy has paid off. The next step? Making those picks count. 

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