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Redskins 2017 roster battles: How will Kelley and Perine share the carries?

Redskins 2017 roster battles: How will Kelley and Perine share the carries?

The Redskins go into OTAs with competition for jobs and depth chart position at several spots on the field. Over the next week, Redskins insiders Rich Tandler and J.P. Finlay look at how these competitions stand right now and they each make the case for a potential winner.

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end | Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker

Running back

The contenders:

Last year, undrafted rookie Rob Kelley was the hunter. He bided his time on the bench, watching Matt Jones as the starter for the first seven games of the season. When Jones faltered, Kelley was ready to step in. He rushed for 87, 97, and 137 yards in his first three games as the starter but he didn’t top 76 yards after that. Still, Jay Gruden has heaped praise on Kelley all offseason and said that he will line up with the first team when OTAs get underway later this month.

But Gruden didn’t love Kelley enough to bypass his potential replacement in the draft. After buzz that they might go after a running back in the first round, the Redskins took Samaje Perine out of Oklahoma in the fourth round. Kelley is now the hunted. Perine is a powerful runner who should immediately get snaps on short yardage and near the goal line. But he could end up being more than a fantasy touchdown vulture for Kelley.

MORE REDSKINS: SU'A CRAVENS NEVER WANTS TO SEE JOSH NORMAN ON A MADDEN COVER

And the winner is . . .

Tandler: I don’t see any way that Kelley is not the running back on the field for the first offensive play of the year against the Eagles, making him the “starter.” After that, all bets are off. How it unfolds as the season wears on will be interesting to watch. Kelley was a great story last year but he was just an OK performer. His average of 4.2 yards per carry was 19th among qualifying backs in the NFL. In his nine games as a starter he averaged 3.98 per carry, which would have ranked 26th. A middle of the pack performance should not land Kelley on the bench but it should have Gruden and company looking for more.

The improvement could come from Kelley stepping up in his second season. Or it could come from Perine, who averaged 6.0 yards per carry in his four seasons at Oklahoma. Perine needs to translate that to the pros, of course, and that’s not a given. But he should get a shot and be a part of a three-man running back committee (with Chris Thompson getting some chances as the third-down back). We will see how it shakes out over the course training camp, the preseason, and when the games start to count.

Finlay: The rush to annoint Perine needs to slow down a bit. As Tandler said, the former Sooner will help immediately in short yardage and particularly at the goal line, but this will remain Kelley's job. Folks around Redskins Park have been impressed with Kelley's offseason work, first rehabbing from surgery to clean up his knee, and over the last few weeks, his time in the weight room. The word is "Fat Rob" will no longer be deserving of the nickname, as he has gotten stronger in advance of the 2017 season.

A humble, undrafted rookie last season, Kelley should be able to maintain his quick feet to the hole, and ability to avoid defenders, that Gruden liked so much in 2016. Thompson will continue to be a key part of the Redskins offense as well. Pencil him in for five to eight touches per game, and occasionally more based on matchups. 

Perine will help the 'Skins in the red zone, and the team needs it. He scored 49 touchdowns in three seasons at Oklahoma, and Washington can use that type of productivity near the goal posts. Remember, however, that Perine is leaving the wide open Big 12, and Oklahoma's spread offense, for an NFL with much, much tougher defenses. Often the hardest part for rookie running backs in the NFL is to adjust to the speed of pass rushers, and understand where to be in pass protection. Perine is strong - the strongest RB in the 2017 Draft - but the knowledge of blitz pickup will have to come quick if he's going to truly push Kelley for carries. 

It's also a bit wild to think of 2015 third-round pick Matt Jones as an afterthought, but he is. Jay Gruden had to be reminded of Jones' presence on the roster during a media session in Arizona, and reports showed the Redskins tried to trade their former RB1 around the draft. With Kelley, Thompson, Perine and Mack Brown, there is a real question if Jones makes the roster. A big body with good speed, Jones has a lot of potential in the NFL. Whether that gets harnessed, in D.C. or elsewhere, will also be worth watching. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Who is Josh Woodrum? Three facts about the former AAF and new Redskins QB

Who is Josh Woodrum? Three facts about the former AAF and new Redskins QB

The search for "QBX" — the term the Redskins Talk podcast has given to the unidentified third passer the team should add to their roster — is over.

Well, it probably isn't. But regardless, Washington does have a new signal caller. 

On Thursday, the Redskins reportedly signed Josh Woodrum, who last played in the AAF for the Salt Lake Stallions. He's also been a part of plenty of NFL teams, but mostly in practice squad stints and for brief preseason action.

Here are three things to know about the 26-year-old.

1) He was at his best with the Ravens in 2017

This comes with the caveat, of course, that he has yet to appear in a real NFL game. With that being said, he did ball out for Baltimore in the 2017 exhibition portion.

Overall, he finished 25 of 36 for 321 yards and four total TDs. He was still cut before Week 1, but for someone who's bounced around with other franchises like Giants, Bears, Colts, Browns and Bills, it was by far his best stretch.

2) He's a former first-round pick... of the AAF QB Draft

OK, so he was undrafted by the NFL. When it comes to the AAF, though, Woodrum was a first-rounder. 

Actually, "first-rounder" might be a better way to put it. The Stallions took him eighth overall (of eight teams) in the league's four-round QB Draft.

In seven starts for Salt Lake, Woodrum completed just over 64 percent of his passes and posted a 6:8 TD-to-INT ratio. The team finished 3-5 before, well, the whole thing shut down.

3) He's a local guy   

Sure, it's not like he's from right down the road from the team's headquarters, but Woodrum's hometown is Roanoke, Va. and he played at Liberty University. Joining the Burgundy and Gold will be a quasi-homecoming for a QB who just spent a good chunk of time out in Utah.

Here's a bonus fact, since you've made it this far into a Josh Woodrum blog: It looks like he likes the Chainsmokers. That means he should get a long-term deal immediately and probably also start in September, too.

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2019 NFL Draft: Updated Big Board expands to 100, Nick Bosa rises above all

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USA Today

2019 NFL Draft: Updated Big Board expands to 100, Nick Bosa rises above all

We are officially one week away from the start of the three-day 2019 NFL Draft. Therefore, it’s time for a Big Board update.

This Big Board doubles in size from 50 to 100. Two defensive linemen, Ohio State’s Nick Bosa and Alabama’s Quinnen Williams, remain at the top while Maryland safety Darnell Savage steadily keeps moving up the list.

Make sure to check out the updated two-round NFL mock draft and our look at different 7-round, Redskins-only mock drafts. Paths oneand two are available now. But first…

Here is the updated Big Board of the top 100 prospects in the NFL Draft. Consider this a combination of some film review, homework and NFL voices rather than just my personal list.

1. Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State                                      

2. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama                                          

3. Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky                                      

4. Devin White, LB, LSU                               

5. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston                                           

6. Montez Sweat, DE, Miss. St.                                  

7. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa                                       

8. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma                                 

9. Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan                                      

10. Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson                                          

11. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida                                  

12. Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama                                            

13. Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson                          

14. Cody Ford, G/T, Oklahoma                                  

15. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Miss. State                       

16. DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia                                              

17. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington                                        

18. Brian Burns, DE, Florida State                                            

19. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU                                    

20. Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson                                                  

21. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma                                      

22. Johnathan Abram, S, Miss. St.                                            

23. Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame                              

24. Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State                                        

25. Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State                                            

26. Andre Dillard, OT, Wash. State                                          

27. N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State  

28. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State                                       

29. Chris Lindstrom, G, BC                                          

30. Taylor Rapp, S, Washington                                

31. A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi                                 

32. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa                              

33. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi                                            

34. Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M                                  

35. Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama                                  

36.Daniel Jones, QB, Duke                                      

37. Drew Lock, QB, Missouri                                          

38. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple                                      

39. Darnell Savage, S, Maryland                                

40. Irv Smith, TE, Alabama                                         

41. Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington                                        

42. Nassir Adderley, FS, Delaware                                           

43. Chase Winovich, LB, Michigan                                           

44. Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State                                       

45. Jaylon Ferguson, DE, La. Tech                                           

46. L.J Collier, DE, TCU                                 

47. Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia                                     

48. Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama                                  

49. Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State                                        

50. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida                                           

51. Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State                                           

52. Oshane Ximines, DE, ODU                                   

53. Dre'Mont Jones, DE/DT, Ohio State                                 

54. Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State                                       

55. Connor McGovern, G, Penn State                                     

56. Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia                                    

57. Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame                              

58. Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State                                   

59. Gerald Willis, DT, Miami                                       

60. Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama                                        

61. Ryan Finley, QB, NC State      

62. Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson                                            

63. David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State                                 

64. Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis                                      

65. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford                                

66. Zach Allen, DE, Boston College                                          

67. Lonnie Johnson Jr., CB, Kentucky                                      

68. Damian Harris, RB, Alabama                               

69. Jachai Polite, LB, Florida                                      

70. Chuma Edoga, T, USC                                           

71. David Long, CB, Michigan                                    

72. Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State                                        

73. Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State                                     

74. Joe Jackson, DE, Miami                                        

75. Amani Hooker, S, Iowa                                         

76. Yodny Cajuste, T, West Virginia                                         

77. Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State                                

78. Chuma Edoga, T, USC                                           

79. David Long, CB, Michigan                                    

80. Greg Little, T, Mississippi                                     

81. Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M                                  

82. Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas                                

83. D'Andre Walker, LB, Georgia                              

84. Michael Jordan, G, Ohio State                                           

85. Dawson Knox, TE, Mississippi                                            

86. David Edwards, T, Wisconsin                              

87. Andy Isabella, WR, Umass                                   

88. Dru Samia, G, Oklahoma                                      

89. Christian Miller, LB, Alabama                              

90. Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic                               

91. Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri                                

92. Nate Davis, G, Charlotte                                      

93. Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia                                        

94. Bobby Okereke, LB, Stanford                              

95. Michael Deiter, G, Wisconsin                              

96. Ben Powers, G, Oklahoma                                   

97. Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt                                       

98. Marvell Tell, S, USC                                

99. Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan                                 

100. Terrill Hanks, ILB, New Mexico State               

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