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NFL Mock Draft 8.0: Move up, move down, or stay at 5 for Redskins?

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NFL Mock Draft 8.0: Move up, move down, or stay at 5 for Redskins?

We have finally reached NFL Draft week, which means time for mock drafting is running out and time for getting a true look at the future for the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens is just days away. Before examining the potential first-round picks for each team, let's note that a final mock will arrive early on Thursday morning. You can check out all the Redskins and Ravens picks from the previous mocks below and click through to this extreme, trade-heavy and *fun* version posted last week.

  • Maybe it's the romantic in all of us, but most interested parties (fans, media colleagues) that I've chatted with believe Scot McCloughan wants to trade out of the fifth overall pick with the idea of picking up additional selections (The Redskins GM basically said as much at Monday's press conference). That scenario would open up many more potential players whether they drop five spots or eight spots or further down the first round. Here are the 10 players the Redskins are most likely to take with their first pick:

10. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon - Barring a major development, Mariota isn't getting past two. That said, 99 percent chance McCloughan takes him for at least trade bait if available. 

9. La'el Collins, OL, LSU - "Loves to mash and intimidate opponents. Mean player." If McCloughan buys that description, he could fall in love. 10-30 range depending on the mock.

8. Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky - This is the "move down but still take a perimeter rusher" scenario.

7. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama - Perhaps the safest stud in the draft. Backup option at five, though not seeing McCloughan going receiver.

6. Danny Shelton, NT, Washington - Terrance Knighton only signed a one-year deal. Shelton makes sense in 9-19 range.

5. Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson - Imagine both quarterbacks, Leonard Williams and Dante Fowler off the board. If the goal is still an edge rusher, Beasley fits the bill.

4. Leonard Williams, DL, USC - Considered by some the top overall player in the draft, but the Redskins just beefed up their DL. McCloughan hinted at trading in this spot.

3. Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (Fl.) - Don't be surprised if the 6-foot-6 Flowers ends up being the first true tackle selected.

2. Brandon Scherrf, OG, Iowa - McCloughan said on Monday he wants "Big, tough, nasty strong guys." Here you go. Likely available in 8-14 range.

1. Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida - Triple threat prospect: Ferocious talent, high potential and need. Only fear involves Jaguars at 3 or another team trading up.

  • Receiver or corner, corner or receiver - that's been my assumption for the Ravens in the first round throughout the mock draft process. Because there is quality depth at both positions, Baltimore can play the "best player available" game and feel reasonably good about adding help in positions of need in subsequent rounds. Taking a front-7 prospect is always an option for Baltimore. Additionally, talented running backs like Georgia's Todd Gurley or Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon could be available, though the larger trend is against runners in round one. Here are my best guesses for No. 26:

10. Damarious Randall, FS, Arizona State - Mike Mayock's favorite safety is an option in the secondary.

9. Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State - A run on receivers early in the draft could put a surprise name into the first round.

8. Bryon Jones, CB, Connecticut - Dynamic athlete who is rated as just a rung behind the draft class' top corners.

7. Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri - Considered a potential top 5 pick, now a toe injury and a citation for marijuana possession could have the pass rusher sliding. Ravens love a good value.

6. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin - Dazzled with the Badgers and are we sure Justin Forsett can do that again?

5. Landon Collins, S, Alabama - Ozzie Newsome loves those Alabama guys,

4. Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State - Would provide Joe Flacco with a big target on the outside.

3. Nelson Agholor, WR, USC - Strong route runner gained momentum over draft process.

2. Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest - The Howard County (River Hill) kid is perhaps the safest corner prospect in the draft.

1. Marcus Peters, CB, Washington - Off the field issues a concern. Talent is not.

Mock draft recap

REDSKINS

1.0 - Brandon Scherff (OL, Iowa)

2.0 - Shane Ray (OLB, Missouri), Cameron Erving (OL, Florida State)

3.0 - Shane Ray (OLB, MIssouri), Carl Davis (NT, Iowa)

4.0 - Danny Shelton (NT, Washington), D.J. Humphries (OT, Florida)

5.0 - Fowler, Byron Jones (CB, Connecticut), Corey Robinson (OT, South Carolina)

6.0 - Fowler, Denzel Perryman (ILB, Miami), Robinson

7.0 - Fowler, T.J. Clemmings (OT, Pittsburgh), Shaq Thompson (LB, Washington)

7.5 (one-round, trade-heavy version) - Bud Dupree (OLB, Kentucky - plus two trade downs, taking Dupree at 16)

8.0 - View the latest NFL Mock Draft

RAVENS

1.0 - P.J. Williams (CB, Florida State)

2.0 - Kevin Johnson (CB, Wake Forest), Nelson Agholor (WR, USC)

3.0 - Williams, Agholor

4.0 - Marcus Peters (CB, Washington), Agholor

5.0 - Jaelen Strong (WR, Arizona State), Quinten Rollins (Miami-Ohio, CB), Javorius Allen (RB, USC)

6.0 - Strong, Rollins, Allen

7.0 - Peters, Damarious Randall (FS, Arizona State), Allen

7.5 - (one-round, trade-heavy version) - Peters

8.0 - View the latest NFL Mock Draft

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10 Questions for 10 Days: After Josh Norman, what's the plan at cornerback?

10 Questions for 10 Days: After Josh Norman, what's the plan at cornerback?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold before the team heads to Richmond. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

No. 8: More investments on D-Line, but who goes where?

No. 7: Do the Redskins have a 1,000-yard WR?

No. 6: Is Shawn Lauvao the concern, or is the issue bigger on the O-Line?

No. 5: What can the Redskins expect from Derrius Guice?

No. 4: After Josh Norman, what's the plan at cornerback?

In a way, the Redskins are quite lucky. Not every team in the NFL has an unequivocal No. 1 corner. Washington has that in Josh Norman

His interception numbers in 2017 did not get the job done, but he still played quite well. Norman got targeted significantly less than the league average, which means NFL quarterbacks actively chose not to mess with former All Pro. 

Still, Norman needs more interceptions than last year. He grabbed none, and he will admit that he must create more turnovers. 

Regardless, Norman is not the Redskins question mark at cornerback. What happens after Norman is the question. 

Washington moved quick this offseason to lock up Quinton Dunbar off restricted free agency. Dunbar has size and range, and has looked quite capable, in spots. He doesn't have a ton of experience, however, and will be asked to start this fall. The team also signed veteran Orlando Scandrick - from the Cowboys - as a likely nickel/slot corner. 

Second-year man Fabian Moreau will be expected to take a significant step forward this fall. The Redskins would like very much to be able to primarily rely on Norman, Moreau and Dunbar while asking less of Scandrick. 

Don't forget Washington lost Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland this offseason. Fuller got moved to Kansas City as part of the Alex Smith trade, and Breeland remains a free agent.

Redskins coaches won't tell the exact truth, but the the team would love for Moreau to emerge opposite Norman and let Dunbar play in the slot. Or maybe let Moreau emerge in the slot, like Fuller did in 2017, and Dunbar opposite Norman. Scandrick hasn't played a full season since 2013, and the 'Skins brass can't expect that in 2018 for the 31-year-old corner. 

Josh Holsey, Adonis Alexander and Greg Stroman will provide depth at the bottom of the roster. That's two seventh-round picks and a supplemental sixth round pick. While each player provides reasons for optimism, it's hard to think any of the three young players will provide immediate help. They're better focused fighting for a roster spot than a starting spot. 

In 2017, cornerback ranked as a strength for the Redskins. 

In 2018, it's a big question. Elite play from Norman could change much of that equation. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap

#REDSKINSTALK PODCAST

Don't forget to subscribe to the #RedskinsTalk podcast, hosted by JP Finlay.

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below.

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Need to Know: Redskins training camp preview—Offense

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Associated Press

Need to Know: Redskins training camp preview—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 22, four days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Training camp preview: Offense

Here are some of the big topics surrounding the offense at Redskins training camp along with some of the things I’ll be observing closely when training camp gets underway on Thursday. 

Alex Smith

The subheadline here doesn’t need any elaboration. The Redskins gave up a top-100 draft pick, a promising player, and $71 million in guaranteed money to get him. When asked about the timetable for Smith picking up the offense, Jay Gruden said, “He has got to get it down by the first game.”

That first game is seven weeks from today. Of course, the process has already started as Smith appeared to have a solid grasp of things in the offseason practices. There is every reason to think that he will look good in Richmond. 

The question is, how much will the coaches push him? Will they focus on him having success on shorter, easier throws to build his confidence? Or will they call plays that test his ability to throw deep? Last year in Kansas City his ability to hit on long passes helped transform him from being an above-average quarterback to an MVP candidate. The Redskins need him to be effective deep starting Week 1 and training camp needs to be the starting point. 

The running back rotation

This is primarily about Derrius Guice, who is the most anticipated rookie running back in team history. The Redskins were 28th in rushing yards last year and they bring back the same offensive line (although hoping for better health) and three of the same running backs. They are counting on Guice to be the difference maker. 

But Guice can’t do it by himself. Gruden will be wary of overworking his rookie, who has an aggressive running style and who was banged up for a lot of his last year at LSU. He also may give Guice a light load if he struggles in pass protection early on. Chris Thompson’s role is set. Where do Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine line up? Does one or the other take most of the first-team reps when Guice is getting a rest? 

The difference between being the third back and the fourth is big. The fourth back on the depth chart is unlikely to be active most game days. The active back could get five to 10 carries per game.

Who’s at left guard?

Is Shawn Lauvao going to be the left guard? It doesn’t seem logical that they would put all their eggs in Lauvao’s injury-prone and frequently ineffective basket. Will Ty Nsekhe line up there? Do they think that Tyler Catalina or Kyle Kalis can push for the starting job? Is a trade in the offing? 

Jordan Reed’s health

This does not need much explanation if you’ve been paying attention the last several years. It would be both a good sign and a major surprise if he starts camp healthy and doesn’t miss any time due to injuries. If he’s out there, there is no question that he and Smith will quickly develop chemistry. 

Wide receiver depth chart

The stakes at wide receiver are similar to those at running back. The top backup behind the three starters, who could be any of Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Brian Quick or Try Quinn, will have a regular role in the offense line Ryan Grant had last year. The fifth guy will rarely play, the player who has the sixth spot will rarely play, and the seventh won’t have a job. 

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

Tandler on Twitter

Apparently, some teams are worried that their players are playing too much of the video game Fortnite. No, seriously.

Timeline 

Happy birthday to Redskins running back Quinton Dunbar, who was born on this date in 1992.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 4
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 18
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 41

The Redskins last played a game 203 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 49 days. 

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