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NFL Draft: Mariota part of Redskins best and worst case scenarios

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NFL Draft: Mariota part of Redskins best and worst case scenarios

Looking at the best and worst cases for the Washington Redskins, New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens in the 2015 NFL Draft. 

Redskins

Best case, first round (5): Somehow Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota slips to five, leaving GM Scot McCloughan with an amazing trade chip. Seemingly the Jets (6), Browns (12), Texans (16) and yes, the Eagles (20) would all be interested. Let the bidding war begin. Same applies with USC DL Leonard Williams, who is considered by many the best player in the draft, but at a position Washington fortified this off-season. If we're talking about using the pick, Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler.

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Worst case, first round: Top four picks in some order are Florida State QB Jameis Winston, Mariota, Williams, Fowler. Takes away best trade down scenarios unless someone must have receivers Amari Cooper (Alabama) or Kevin White (West Virginia). The remaining edge rushers have significant upside, but come with greater risk than Fowler. Clemson's Vic Beasley wouldn't feel like a value selection at five. Actually, want to know the real worst case scenario? Washington lands Mariota or Winston, but doesn't simultaneously deal Robert Griffin III. Even the Kardashians would blanch at the relentless soap opera-y coverage on deck.

Best case, second round (38): One of the top offensive linemen slip. Best bet might Florida State's Cam Erving, the top-rated center in the draft who played all over the line with the Seminoles.

Worst case, second round: Don't be surprised if McCloughan selects a quarterback in the draft. Stockpile those passers, that's his move and it's good one.  Just don't hope it's this early.

Giants

Best case, first round (9): Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson. New York' top defensive needs exist at defensive tackle and safety, but the board doesn't line up that way. Adding a pass rusher is the happy medium and adding a speed force like Beasley would make Giants fans happy.

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Worst case, first round: Other than simply making a bad pick not sure I see a "worst case" for the Giants based on the needs and the board. Taking the first offensive tackle would arguably be a 'bad" move from a value standpoint since interesting options like D.J. Humphries and La'el Collins are likely available 10-plus picks later.

Eagles

Best case, first round (20): Perhaps if there are simultaneous runs on offense linemen, receivers and front-7 types, Michigan State corner Trae Waynes tumbles into the Eagles range. For a team that lost Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson over the last year, landing Central Florida wide receiver Breshad Perriman also qualifies based on some of the pundit love out there for the big target with 4.25 speed.

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Worst case: Don't come away with sincere help in the first two rounds for a secondary in need of talent. Also, no matter how tempting Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon is and no matter how much coach Chip Kelly covets running backs, the Eagles cannot take another high-asset option.

Fun case: Kelly sends an armada of picks and players to a team owning a top five selection so he can draft his former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Go big or go home.

Cowboys

Best case, first round (27): Even with Greg Hardy, Dallas needs more help along the defensive line. Not everyone loves Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton as his glacier slow 40-time at the combine indicates he could be only a two-down player. Still, the Cowboys ranked near the bottom in several rushing defense categories last season. Texas DL Malcom Brown and Florida State's Eddie Goldman also work.

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Worst case: Once upon a time the Cowboys took a chance on a talented wide receiver with off-the-field concerns. Though bumps along the way and possibly still to come, Dez Bryant worked out. Perhaps Dorial Green-Beckham will as well. The 6-foot-5 Green-Beckham is a freaky prospect with size and speed and plenty of baggage. Dallas could use receiver help, but the defense needs far more attention. The organization also doesn't need a problem child in round one, but if owner Jerry Jones falls in love...

Ravens

Best case, first round (26): Are teams really planning to draft Toddy Gurley in the top 15? Projections for the Georgia running back soared over the last couple of weeks despite his recovery from a serious knee injury and the trend of no round one backs in recent years. There is no denying Gurley's talent. If the rise is a smokescreen, perhaps the Ravens benefit if he's there late in the first.

Worst case: Track record says Ozzie Newsome won't botch this selection. Taking strong safety Landon Collins would boost the run defense and we know Newsome likes players from Alabama. It would also be an admission that Matt Elam hasn't worked out. Baltimore can't ignore wide receivers during the first 3-4 rounds.

RELATED: [Is a Redskins trade down from pick No. 5 inevitable?]

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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

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World's most grueling bicycle race no match for visually impaired Redskins fan

World's most grueling bicycle race no match for visually impaired Redskins fan

Completing a cross-country road trip often rests atop — or near the top — of any adventurer's bucket list.

Completing a cross-country road trip on a tandem bicycle, however, is something only a select few set out to accomplish.

Meet Tina Ament, an Assistant U.S. Attorney and avid Redskins fan from Alexandria, Va. who is attempting to accomplish such feat.

Ament is also blind.

The visually impaired triathlete, who became a Redskins fan at a young age when her military family relocated to Northern Virginia during the Sonny Jurgensen era, has dealt with the adversity since birth, using cycling as a way to reach new heights and spread awareness.

The Alexandria resident is one of four representing Team Sea to See, which is chasing down history as the first blind-stoker team to ever compete in Race Across America's 37-year history.

For those unfamiliar with the race, it is arguably the most grueling cycle race on the planet.

A race that begins in Oceanside, Calif. and finishes at City Dock in Annapolis, Md. spans over 3,000 miles, climbs 175,000 feet and crosses through 12 states. The total distance is 30 percent longer than that of the Tour de France.

The Sea to See team for Race Across America is made up of four, tandem, blind-stoker cycling duos. Pilots guide these two-seaters (pictured below) from the front while blind stokers do the heavy lifting and pedaling from behind. Ament's guide is 38-year-old civil attorney Pamela Ferguson.

The two have been competing together since 2015. 

You may be wondering what Ament's motive is. 

Last month during a podcast recording for NBC Sports Washington, Ament was quick to explain that more than 70 percent of blind Americans are unemployed. 

"All it really takes is for employers, or for anybody out here, to not look at us and see a blind person. But look at us and see a lawyer. Look at us and see a Redskins fan. Look at us and see a capable person who is capable of doing amazing things and all we really need is a shot," she went on to say. 

As the team makes its way through Kansas, weather conditions are as difficult as ever.

Early Wednesday morning, a chunk of hail broke one of the team's RV windows. 

The 29 teams competing have nine days to complete the journey. 

Per Team Sea to Sea's Facebook page, the group has reached the halfway point, as of Wednesday, June 20.

Use Race Across America's Live Tracker to follow along over the course of the next week.  

Photos courtesy of: Tina Ament, Team Sea to See