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Skins MUST Make Edwards Deal If. . .

Skins MUST Make Edwards Deal If. . .

It’s not all that complicated, really.

If the Redskins are 100% convinced that Braylon Edwards will be the next great receiver, the next Rice, the next Monk, the next Don Hutson, they have to make a deal to move up to draft him. Trade the two firsts, throw in Rod Gardner, Tony Stewart and Redskins One if you have to.

If they are much less than dead certain, say 98.6% certain or less, they have to pass on any trade that would involve their two first-round draft picks. This team is not one very good player away from a title.

That’s just one of the possibilities for the Redskins entering this draft, of course. Here’s one viewpoint on what might transpire.

While there’s a lot of stuff swirling around, there is one thing that can be stated with a high degree of certainty (and even this starts with an “if”): If the Redskins don’t use the #25 pick that they got from Denver earlier this week as part of the ammunition to trade up to take Edwards, they will use it as is. If they trade down out of 25 the trade value charts get all out of whack in regards to their original deal to get the pick and they don’t have the assets to move up. A corollary here is that they can’t trade up from #9 without using the #25 also. Without a second or third, again, they don’t have anything to deal with.

So that breaks down to three possibilities for the first round; use both picks to trade up to the top three and take Edwards, use both #9 and #25 as they are or trade down the #9 and use #25 as is.

We’ve dealt with the first possibility, so moving on to the second one; this seems to be the most likely of the three. They’ll try to move down but it takes two to tango and while it’s certainly possible that they’ll be able to find a partner, chances are that they won’t find a buyer who’s willing to pay an acceptable price.

Should the Skins draft at #9, the pick likely will be Auburn cornerback Carlos Rogers. Barring any real stunning moves by teams drafting in front of them, he will be the best player left on their board and since he is at a position of need, that would make him a strong favorite to take the stage in New York with the Skins jersey with the number 1 on the back.

One of the possible causes of an upset here could be the presence of USC wide receiver Mike Williams on the board. He seems to be slipping on some draft boards because he’s a big receiver without a whole lot of speed. Such a receiver would give the Skins a nice balance of speed with Santana Moss and David Patten and size with Williams.

A wild card here is Maryland defensive end Shawne Merriman. He has the potential to be a disruptive pass rusher the likes the team hasn’t seen since the heyday of Mann and Manley.

A trade back that moves them back about a half a dozen slots could net them any of those three plus some picks in later rounds to replenish their depleted supply. If any or all of these players are gone, Wisconsin DE Erasmus James and Georgia DE David Pollack would come into play as could South Carolina receiver Troy Williamson. It’s also possible that West Virginia CB Pac Man Jones, long thought to be the target of the Skins’ #9, could still be there in the middle of the first round.

The further back they go, the closer that pick gets to the #25, so they would be choosing from a very similar pool of players. Oklahoma WR Mark Clayton, his Sooner teammate DE Dan Cody, Nebraska CB Fabian Washington, Notre Dame DE Justin Tuck, and Clemson CB Justin Miller.

So, what’s going to happen? The talk of moving up to take Edwards has some credence to it, but in addition to the huge gamble it would be in terms of using so many assets for one player there would be salary cap issues caused by trying to fit a contract with a $15 million or so signing bonus under a cap that has just about $2 million of room.

The chances of them keeping the #9 are about 50/50. If they do, Rogers is the pick with Williams being an outside possibility if he’s there.

There is a myriad of possibilities for a trade back, but let’s say that Kansas City at #15 wants Merriman badly enough to send the Skins a third and fifth to move up. At #15, the Redskins would take Jones if he’s there or Pollack or maybe Williamson if he’s not.

One more trade back possibility to throw in there is the Redskins trading that #9 pick in a deal that does not return a 2005 first-rounder but one next year and a second rounder this year and a nice haul of middle round picks as well. The chances of this are slim, but it has to be considered one of the reasons why they got the other first-rounder from Denver.

The pick at #25 has too many variables to focus in on with any degree of certainty, but we’ll take a stab at the pick being Fabian Washington if a corner hasn’t been drafted or UAB receiver Roddy White if one has been.

Buckle your seat belts. It’s going to be a wild ride.

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10 Questions in 10 days: Is Shawn Lauvao the concern, or is the issue bigger on the O-Line?

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USA TODAY Sports

10 Questions in 10 days: Is Shawn Lauvao the concern, or is the issue bigger on the O-Line?

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?

Right or wrong, fans blamed Shawn Lauvao for much of the Redskins struggles on the offensive line last season. Pro Football Focus backs up the fans, as Lauvao landed a -19.1 grade, among the worst in the NFL at the guard spot. 

It's worth pointing out that Lauvao was playing hurt during much of his nine starts before getting shut down for the season just before Thanksgiving. In fact, injuries have probably been the biggest issue for Lauvao in his four seasons with the Redskins. 

In four seasons in Washington, Lauvao has never played a full 16-game slate. Last year he played just nine games, and in 2015 he only played three games. 

That points to what may be the bigger issue for the Redskins: offensive line depth. Last season was wild with the amount of injuries Washington sustained up front. It seems almost impossible for the team to have that many injuries again.

Still, the Redskins lost Arie Kouandjio for the year in the offseason. Kouandjio played better last year than Lauvao, and having both men in Richmond would have provided real competition. 

And that might be the biggest question: Neither Lauvao or Kouandjio represent a difference maker at left guard, yet the team did little to address the position. 

All offseason, the Washington brass walked a fine line between confidence and arrogance. The organization believes strongly in the players they already have, and outside of signing Paul Richardson and re-signing Zach Brown, the team had a quiet offseason. The Redskins struggled to run the ball the last few years, and still, the team did not look to upgrade at LG. 

It's important to note that the Redskins have two All-Pro caliber offensive linemen in Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff. Morgan Moses is a plus at the right tackle spot too. The team likes Chase Roullier at center too, and they tried to add depth in drafting Geron Christian in the third round and bringing back swing tackle backup Ty Nsekhe as a restricted free agent. 

Left guard will be a question, and it's hard not to think that it will be the weakest position on the O-line. Should that submarine the group? It shouldn't. What if Lauvao gets hurt?  Then things get quite tricky.

For the Redskins, however, the expectation might be that the line needs to perform as a unit, and with talent like Williams and Scherff, that should cover up any weaknesses.

Time, and health, will tell if that plan works. 

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Need to Know: The best cornerbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The best cornerbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 20, six days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best cornerbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the cornerbacks are up. They are roughly ranked by Pro Football Focus’ coverage metrics, although I did some juggling based on interception totals and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teamsreceivers, running backspass rushers, and quarterbacks

1. Patrick Peterson, Cardinals—The athletic Peterson has been All-Pro three times and has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his seven years in the league. He hasn’t had a big interception total since he got seven in 2012, but that is mostly because quarterbacks only throw his way about once every ten snaps he is in coverage. 

2. Jalen Ramsey, Jaguars—I could easily have ranked Ramsey over Peterson. I went with Peterson because he’s been doing it for longer and he’s only 28. Ramsey has justified his No. 5 selection in the 2016 draft. His long arms and ball skills serve him well. He has the size to defend the bigger receivers and the athleticism to be effective against shifty and speedy receivers. 

3. A.J. Bouye, Jaguars—If Alex Smith tries to throw away from Ramsey he will encounter trouble on the other side. It’s been trendy to say that Bouye is underrated for so long he’s in danger of becoming overrated. But he’s not there yet. Bouye was one of four full-time (played at least 60% of snaps) cornerbacks who did not allow a touchdown pass last year and he had by far the most plays in coverage. 

4. Malcolm Butler, Titans—If the Brady-Belichick Patriots don’t win another Super Bowl, the coach’s decision to keep Butler on the bench as Nick Foles shredded the New England secondary will be marked as the end of that era. Maybe Butler isn’t good enough to have made a difference, but it would have been interesting to see. He’s with the Titans now and he will give Smith problems in December. 

5. Marshon Lattimore, Saints—Last year’s defensive rookie of the year plays an aggressive style both in press man coverage and when tackling receivers who have caught the ball. An ankle injury sent him out of the game against the Redskins early, perhaps one of the reasons why Kirk Cousins was able to light them up for 322 yards and three touchdowns. 

Best of the rest: Desmond Trufant, Falcons; Brent Grimes, Bucs; Logan Ryan, Titans;k Jaire Alexander (rookie), Packers

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 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 6
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 20
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 43

The Redskins last played a game 201 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 51 days. 

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