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Surprising stat shows drafting guards early makes big impact in NFL

Surprising stat shows drafting guards early makes big impact in NFL

The modern NFL seems to value those involved in the pass game more than just about any other player. That's great news for quarterbacks, receivers, tackles, cornerbacks and edge rushers. 

For the players more involved in the run game the modern NFL has been rough. Running backs struggle to hit the mega-bucks on second contracts that wideouts and passers routinely achieve. Interior offensive lineman rarely get paid on the same scale as tackles. 

A stat from NFL Research, however, shows that early in the draft it pays to invest in the run game. 

Before this analysis gets too far the obvious needs to be pointed out: Significantly less guards get drafted inside the Top 5 than tackles. Way, way less guards.

That doesn't change the results.

The Redskins went 4-12 in 2014. At the 2015 NFL Draft, the team selected Brandon Scherff with the fifth overall pick. In the 2015 season, the Redskins went 9-7 and made the playoffs. 

Some fans - and maybe some coaches - would argue that the 5th overall pick is simply too high for a guard. In Washington, the selection seems to have largely paid off. The 'Skins have won 17 games since Scherff's selection, and he made the Pro Bowl in 2016, just his second season out of Iowa.

From the stat above, running back was the only draftable position with a more immediate impact on win totals. Remember, for about a decade running backs got devalued in the draft as teams expected to find starting caliber runners in the later rounds of the draft. 

Ezekiel Elliott changed that last season. Even before Elliott's incredible 2016 campaign, plenty of rookie runners made an impact. LaDainian Tomlinson in 2001, or the pair of Auburn running backs Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams in 2005. Leonard Fournette will have an opportunity to do the same this fall in Jacksonville. 

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Elite players can make a big impact of win differential, even as rookies, regardless of position.

Considering the stats, Redskins fans should maybe appreciate Scherff a little bit more. 

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The Redskins' free agency strategy nets more 2019 compensatory picks than expected

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USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins' free agency strategy nets more 2019 compensatory picks than expected

It's a very small consolation, but on Friday, the Redskins finally picked up their compensatory third-round pick for losing Kirk Cousins in free agency last year.

That's not the only new selection they now have in their arsenal for the 2019 NFL Draft, though.

In addition to that third-rounder, Washington also netted a fifth-rounder, a sixth-rounder and a seventh-rounder, too. The four picks is a bit of a surprise, as most expected the Burgundy and Gold would be awarded with only three.

Bruce Allen has explained in the past how the 'Skins value compensatory picks, which teams receive based on the contracts their own free agents sign with new franchises. Last offseason, the Redskins saw Cousins, Ryan Grant, Spencer Long and Trent Murphy all cash in on the open market.

In total, Washington now has nine picks in the upcoming draft, with two each in the third, fifth and seventh rounds. They traded away their fourth-round spot for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Losing homegrown players like Cousins and Co. is certainly not ideal, but by letting those types of guys depart, the Redskins do set themselves up for more swings in April. 

That part of the strategy has paid off. The next step? Making those picks count. 

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Intense doesn't even begin to describe this video of Derrius Guice on the treadmill

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@DhaSickest

Intense doesn't even begin to describe this video of Derrius Guice on the treadmill

For most humans, a workout on the treadmill consists of the following steps:

1) Get on with plans of running at a high speed for a long time. 

2) Realize three minutes in that you have no interest in running either at a high speed or for a long time because running on a treadmill is really one of the more awful things you can subject yourself to on this planet.

3) Get off.

On Friday, though, Derrius Guice shared something on Twitter that shows his attitude toward the treadmill is very different from most humans.

LOOK. AT. THIS. DAMN. VIDEO:

Judging by the speed and tilt of the machine, the Redskins' second-year RB turned every setting on that thing to its maximum number. Even the obnoxious overachievers at your gym don't have the courage to go above level 8.

Honestly, he's going so hard that you almost feel bad for the treadmill. Someone get that treadmill into an ice bath ASAP. 

Earlier this week, Guice provided an update on his comeback from a torn ACL, saying he's still "strong as an ox" and "getting it back." If this is what it looks like when he's "getting it back," what's it going to be like when he's fully gotten it back?

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