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Need to Know: Will all seven Redskins draft picks make the roster?

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Need to Know: Will all seven Redskins draft picks make the roster?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 5, eight days before the Washington Redskins hold their rookie minicamp.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 116 days ago. It will be 130 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 8; OTAs start 19; Redskins training camp starts 84

Hot topic

Last year the Redskins drafted 10 players. Out of that group, six made the initial 53-man roster. WR Evan Spencer was waived-injured, they tried to get CB Tevin Mitchel on to injured reserve but the Colts claimed him, ILB Martrell Spaight went to injured reserve, and C Austin Reiter was released and later signed to the practice squad.

This year they selected seven players. Can all seven of them make the 53-man roster?

I don’t think that we have to go into any heavy analysis on the Redskins’ first three picks. WR Josh Doctson, S Su’a Cravens and CB Kendall Fuller are all automatically on the roster just like every other player picked in the first three rounds will be around the league.

Scot McCloughan traded out of the fourth round so their next pick was DL Matt Ioannidis in the fifth round. They certainly seem to have plans for him. “In base, we’re looking at him more at nose, but he can still play the three [technique],” McCloughan said at a press conference this week. “But in sub, which we’re in a lot more than base, he can move around the line.”

Words spoken in May do not necessarily translate to a roster spot and a significant role on the defense in September. But I think it’s fair to say that Ioannidis is about a 90 percent lock to make the roster.

It will be interesting to see what happens to developmental quarterback Nate Sudfeld, taken in the sixth round. Unless he bombs completely he is likely to be employed at Redskins Park this fall. But will he be the third quarterback on the active roster or will he be on the practice squad? If he is showing some promise and looks good in preseason games the organization might not want to risk getting him through waivers to make the practice squad. But if the preseason games end and it looks like he needs a lot of work still the practice squad might be the place for him.

They had two seventh-round picks. ILB Steven Daniels joins a somewhat crowded position with Will Compton, Mason Foster, and Perry Riley vying for starting jobs, Terrance Garvin signing on as a backup who also will help in special teams, and Spaight competing for a roster spot. If Daniels can provide a spark on special teams, something needed by the team following the departures of special teams regulars like Darryl Young and Jeron Johnson, he will have a very good shot at sticking around.

There is an opening for the other seventh-round pick, RB Keith Marshall. The Redskins still haven’t filled the roster spot vacated by Alfred Morris so he will have an opportunity. But it’s hard to see the Redskins making Marshall their only option. It seems likely that a veteran will be signed to compete for the job and one or two promising undrafted players could as well. Marshall may have to fend off some competition from a few players in order to land a spot on the 53.

Looking at the big picture, while all seven have a legitimate shot at the roster I don’t think that they all will. I’ll put the over/under at 5.5.

Stat of the day

The 2015 Redskins outscored the opposition by 57 points in the first halves of their regular season games (212-155). In the second half (including overtime), however, they were outscored by 48 points (1 76-224).

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Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

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Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

Terrelle Pryor made a number of highlight reel catches last year during training camp, and it appears the Redskins defense didn't like it. 

Washington's marquee free agent signing last season, Pryor came into Richmond with sky-high expectations. Throughout the training sessions last August, Pryor put on one-handed displays at the Jugs machine and often made big catches in team drills. It's also important to remember there was never any live tackling during these drills, leaving defenders at a distinct disadvantage. 

Zach Brown remembers the scene quite well, and thinks it will look very different this summer when Pryor comes to Richmond as a member of the New York Jets. 

"That’s going to be something right there. The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now," Brown said on Inside the Locker Room on the Team 980 (full audio here).

Brown explained that Redskins coach Jay Gruden would not allow the defense to hit Pryor last year, even when the wideout did some showboating. 

"Jay ain't here to protect you anymore," Brown said.

The Redskins linebacker explained that he tried to explain to Pryor that the one-handed catches from training camp would not translate in the NFC East, where players get hit hard. It doesn't seem like Pryor listened, as he finished the season with only 240 receiving yards on 20 catches in nine games. 

"The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year," Brown said. He added, "Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm."

One incident that supports Brown's comments came when Bashaud Breeland got thrown off the practice field last training camp. Breeland got mad that he wasn't allowed to get physical with Pryor at the line of scrimmage, and the scene blew up. Breeland eventually got sent off the field after arguing with coaches. 

The Jets visit the Redskins for three days of practices beginning August 12th. The two teams then square off in the second preseason game on August 16th. 

Brown will get his chance at Pryor, assuming the wideout plays. Pryor finished the 2018 season on the injured reserve, but is expected to be fine once training camp begins in New York. 

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Need to Know: The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger

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Need to Know: The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 17, 39 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The best Redskins players 25 or younger

Here is a look at the best Redskins players who have played at least one season and will be 25 or younger as of Week 1 this year. 

WR Jamison Crowder, 25 as of Week 1—Crowder hit the ground running in his first year, with 59 receptions, a team rookie record, and gaining 604 yards. He has been very dependable in his three years, averaging 64 catches, 747 yards, and four receiving touchdowns per year. 

OLB Preston Smith, 25—Since he came into the league, no player but Smith has at least 20.5 sacks, three or more interceptions, and four or more forced fumbles. His sack numbers tend to be up and down from week to week, but Jay Gruden has said more than once that Smith is very consistent in getting pressure on the quarterback even if he doesn’t always get home for the sack. 

DL Matt Ioannidis, 24—A year ago it was thought that he would face an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster. Now goes into the season as a starter and key contributor. The 2016 fifth-round pick got much stronger between his first and second seasons and he took well to the coaching of new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Only a broken hand that cost him two games and had him playing with an awkward cast for a few more kept him from threatening to make double-digit sacks. 

DL Jonathan Allen, 23—The Redskins were just starting to get a hint of what Allen could do early in the season. Pro Football Focus credited him with a total of three sacks in the Redskins third and fourth games. But in their fifth game, he suffered a foot injury that ended his season. Allen was a full go for the offseason program and there is no reason to think that he won’t pick back up right where he left off. 

S Montae Nicholson, 22—Like Allen, Nicholson’s rookie season was shortened due to injuries. He took advantage of the absence of anticipated starter Su’a Cravens and made an impact from the beginning. While the 2017 fourth-round pick and free-agent pickup D.J. Swearinger were in the lineup the decade-long struggles the Redskins have had at the safety position were suddenly gone. 

Best of the rest: WR Josh Doctson (25), C Chase Roullier (25)

It should be noted that DL Daron Payne turned 21 in May and RB Derrius Guice will the 21 later this month so they could be joining this list soon. Assuming those two start, the Redskins will have nine quality starters aged 25 or younger this year. 

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

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Timeline  

Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder was born on this date in 1993. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 39
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 53
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 76

The Redskins last played a game 166 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 84 days. 

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