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Redskins Mock Draft: Addressing the need on defensive line in 2017

Redskins Mock Draft: Addressing the need on defensive line in 2017

The Redskins enter week 17 of the NFL regular season with a spot in the playoffs on the line.

A win against the New York Giants will moves the Redskins to 9-6-1 and reward them with a berth in the 2016 NFL Playoffs. 

The Redskins have been a tough team to beat at times this season, but have lacked a tight consistency on defense needed to cement themselves as one of the NFL's truly elite teams. 

One of the areas the Redskins need to improve the most is defending the run.

Through 15 games, Washington ranks 25th in the league in rushing yards per game allowed (117 ypg), and they've allowed the fourth most rushing touchdowns (18). 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

In Ben Standig's first mock draft, he has the Redskins addressing this weakness by selecting Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell with the 21st overall pick.

McDowell, who stands at 6-6 and weighs 276 pounds, was named first-team All-Big Ten by the Associated Press and a second-team All-American by CBS Sports. 

In his junior season he led the defensive line with 36 tackles, despite playing in just nine games. 

Ziggy Hood and Matt Ioannidis currently line up on the interior of the defensive line and while they are fine players, McDowell would be an added boost. With defensive end Chris Baker becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2017 and Ricky Jean Francois hitting free agency in 2018, the Redskins need to begin addressing the future of the defensive line.

CBS Sports has McDowell ranked as the 18th best player in the country on their NFL Draft big board. 

RELATED: BEST AND WORST NFL ALTERNATE UNIFORMS

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Six Redskins players will be losing a good amount of salary for skipping mandatory off-season workouts

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Six Redskins players will be losing a good amount of salary for skipping mandatory off-season workouts

Each NFL player has their own way of preparing for the upcoming season. 

Russell Wilson boxes. James Harrison plays beach volleyball – with 25 lb. medicine balls

But come May 6th, teams begin a series of mandatory offseason workouts. This is a time for new teammates to get familiar and seasoned veterans to get back up to speed ahead of training camp.

The Washington Redskins had 36 in total, and required their players to attend at least 33 of them or face financial consequences. That didn't seem to faze six of Washington's biggest names. 

Josh Norman, Landon Collins, Trent Williams, Paul Richardson, Quinton Dunbar and Vernon Davis will all be losing a cut of their salary after failing to attend the minimum number of Washington's off-season workouts. 

For Norman, that's 26 business class round-trips from Reagan National Airport to Pamplona, Spain for future "Running of the Bulls." 

That being said, neither Norman nor Collins, Richardson, Dunbar and Davis are question marks for Week 1.

Williams, however, may prolong his holdout until well after the start of training camp on July 28. 

 

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Joe Theismann reveals Alex Smith 'came very, very close to losing his leg'

Joe Theismann reveals Alex Smith 'came very, very close to losing his leg'

Thirty-three years to the day that former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann suffered a gruesome leg injury, Alex Smith suffered the same fate against the Houston Texans.

Theismann addressed the injury similarities between him and Alex Smith on Ian Rapoport's podcast, "RapSheet and Friends."

"I was there that night," Theismann said. "I looked at it and I turned to [my wife] Robin and I said 'that's exactly like mine.'"

At that moment, Theismann was worried the injury was so severe Smith wouldn't be able to recover.

"He came very, very close to losing his leg and fortunately, you know, he still has it," Theismann said. "Alex for sure will not play this year."

With Case Keenum, Colt McCoy and 2019 first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins in the fold, Theismann noted it'll be hard for Smith to break back into the Redskins quarterback lineup.

"Ask yourself the question, 'Will he be able to compete as a starter?'" Theismann pondered. "Because you can't pay somebody $20 million as a backup. Just can't happen." 

When asked if Smith could return and play at a high level, Theismann alluded to the problems that quarterbacks with leg injuries can have when trying to recover, especially when it comes to mechanics.

"I would say 'let's see how you feel one year from now,'" Theismann noted. "Picture a pitcher not being able to push off the mound. Picture a quarterback not being able to load his weight and go forward.

"And so what happens is when you think of that throwing mechanism, his body, his arm, his legs, his ability to turn and push, if one of those elements is lessened, the other areas have to make up for it."

Smith recently had the external fixator removed from his leg and noted that he's making incremental steps towards playing again.

"It's gonna be a long road," Theismann said of Smith's recovery.

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