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Need to Know: The five best Redskins second-round draft picks

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Need to Know: The five best Redskins second-round draft picks

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 25, 14 days before the start of NFL free agency.

Nickel coverage

The Redskins’ first pick in the 2014 draft will come in the second round. Since the NFL merger in 1970 the Redskins have picked 30 players in the second round. Here are the best of them (per PF-Ref’s Approximate Value metric):

OT Jon Jansen (1999-37 overall)—Jansen earned the nickname “The Rock” by starting 50 straight games at Michigan. He kept it up by starting the first 80 games as a Redskin as he and Chris Samuels formed a great set of bookend tackles for a few years. A torn Achilles abruptly ended the streak during the 2003 preseason. He was never quite the same after that.

CB Fred Smoot (2001-45)—One of the few Redskins who left as free agents and then played worse than he had before leaving. He was a solid starter with 16 interceptions in four seasons in Washington before signing a free agent deal with the Vikings. There he encountered injury and ineffectiveness, not to mention the “Love Boat” incident. He then returned to the Redskins for three more seasons as a good contributor.

G Tré Johnson (1994-31)—At 6-2, 328 (and probably heavier as his career went on) he was the perfect road grader in the Redskins’ power run game. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stay healthy but he was very good when he was in the lineup. He made the Pro Bowl in 1999, the only season in which he played 16 games.

DT Bill Brundidge (1970-43)—A very steady, workmanlike tackle. Brundidge played in the era before they tallied sacks but he probably would have recorded only a few per year. But he played in the heart of George Allen’s defense and it was that unit that was most responsible for getting the Redskins to their first Super Bowl and four other playoff appearances.

LB Andre Collins (1990-46)—He walked in and started 16 games as a rookie, racking up six sacks. The next year he was a key member of the Super Bowl champs, recording three sacks, two interceptions, and leading the team with 151 tackles.

Notes: The fact that the Redskins have had 30 second-round picks in 44 drafts means that they have traded away a net 14 second-rounders. Two players the Redskins picked in the second, OT Wally Kleine (1987) and DT Bob Slater (1984), never played a snap due to injuries.

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Timeline

—It’s been 58 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 194 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Free agency starts 14; Offseason workouts start 41; NFL Draft 72

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The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

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USA Today Sports

The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

Madden 19 won't be released to the public until August 10, but the player ratings for the top players on each NFL team have been released.

The video reaches the Redskins a little after four minutes in. The top nine players on the Redskins, according to their Madden 19 overall ratings are as follows:

  1. LT Trent Williams, 91
  2. RG Brandon Scherff, 88
  3. FS D.J. Swearinger, 86
  4. MLB Zach Brown, 85
  5. CB Josh Norman, 84
  6. RB Chris Thompson, 83
  7. WR Paul Richardson, 83
  8. QB Alex Smith, 81
  9. WR Jamison Crowder, 81

The list has Washington's two best linemen up top followed by its best skill position players and Zach Brown. Beyond Williams and Sherff, there's some debate to be had. Both Richardson and Crowder can make a serious case to be the team's best receiver. Crowder had 22 more receptions and 86 more yards than Richardson in 2017, but Richardson had six touchdowns to Crowder's three.

Smith is coming off arguably the best season of his career with Kansas City. He put up over 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career, posted career bests in quarterback rating, touchdown passes, interception percentage and completions. His rating as the fifth-best offensive player behind two other skill position players seems off.

These rankings will change throughout the season as more updates become available, but this is what there is to work with right now.

MORE REDSKINS COVERAGE

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Redskins schedule preview: Week 15 vs. Jaguars

Redskins schedule preview: Week 15 vs. Jaguars

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the game against the Jaguars. 

Week 15 December 16, TIAA Bank Field

2017 Jaguars: 10-6, First in AFC South, lost AFC championship game 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 9

Early line: Redskins +8

Key additions: G Andrew Norwell, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WR Donte Moncrief, 

Key losses:WR Allen Hurns, WR Allen Robinson

Biggest questions: 

  • QB Blake Bortles was very inconsistent during the season and there was talk of the team looking for a replacement for him prior to their run in the playoffs. Does he have what it takes to get the team back into serious contention. 
  • The team also got an inconsistent season out of RB Leonard Fournette, the No. 4 pick in the draft. Can he put together the monster season that would justify his draft status and help elevate the Jaguars to elite status. 
  • The Jaguars went from 25thin scoring defense in 2016 to second last year. Will they fall back to the pack this year?

Series history

The Redskins lead the all-time series 5-1. The Jaguars only win against them came in 2002.

Series notables

The first time: September 28, 1997, Jack Kent Cooke Stadium—In the second game ever played at the Redskins’ new stadium, Jacksonville took a 9-0 lead in the second quarter, but then-Jags QB Mark Brunell threw a pair of interceptions that set up two Washington touchdowns and the Redskins won 24-12. Gus Frerotte threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns and Terry Allen gained 122 yards on 36 carries. 

The last time: November 14, 2012, FedEx Field—Jay Gruden got his first win as the Redskins’ head coach in this one. Robert Griffin III went out of this game early with an injury and Kirk Cousins passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns in his place. It was the defense that dominated this game, racking up 10 sacks, tying the team record set in 1977. Ryan Kerrigan got four of those sacks, tying the team individual record for sacks in a game. The Redskins won 41-10.

The best time: October 1, 2006, FedEx Field—A taught, exciting game came to an explosive end when Santana Moss snared a pass that Mark Brunell perhaps should not have thrown and streaked to the end zone, giving the Redskins a 36-30 overtime win over Jacksonville.

The reason the throw was risky was that two defenders were near Moss as Brunell fired it to the speedy receiver. Somehow both of them missed it. Moss grabbed it, spun around and bolted the rest of the way to complete the 68-yard game winner.

It was Moss’ third touchdown reception of the day. In the first quarter, he caught a long pass from Brunell and executed a nifty spin move near the goal line to complete the 55-yard touchdown play. An eight-yard Moss TD catch early in the third quarter put the Redskins up by 10 but the Jags battled back to tie it with six seconds left. That set up Moss’ overtime heroics. 

The worst time: November 10, 2002, Alltel Stadium—The Redskins came into the game riding a two-game winning streak and at 4-4 they were squarely in playoff contention. A strong running game had been their best asset during their surge to .500 and, with the Jaguars sporting the worst run defense in the NFL, there was every reason to believe that the Redskins would take the land route to another win.

But coach Steve Spurrier had different ideas. "I was dumb enough to think we could throw it up and down the field," Spurrier said. "We ran a little bit here and there. We had a little success there early, and I got away from it too much. The second quarter, I kept thinking at midfield, we could throw the ball from there. But we didn't do it very well. So, looking back, I called a lousy game."

His defense didn’t play very well either. The Redskins scored first but the Jaguars scored 26 unanswered points and came out with a 26-7 win.

Redskins schedule series

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS  and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS  and on Instagram @RichTandler