The depth chart, post-Rak and Carriker


The depth chart, post-Rak and Carriker

The Redskins have made their roster decisions and have signed Markus White and Doug Worthington to replace the injured Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker on the 53-man roster. But neither of those players is going to step in as a starter. What will the Redskins depth chart look like going forward?Defensive lineStarters: RE Jarvis Jenkins, NT Barry Cofield, LE Stephen Bowen
Reserves: E Kedric Golston, E Worthington, NT Chris BakerJenkins gets his big opportunity and there is no reason to think that he wont handle it well. After all, the Redskins drafted him in the second round to take over for Carriker at some point and that might have been this year had Jenkins not missed all of last season with a torn ACL.This is not to say that there wont be a dropoff with Carriker out, at least in the short term. He was the starter for a reason and Jenkins is far from a finished product.Jenkins still might fill in to give Cofield a rest in nickel situations while Baker, who was inactive in the first two games, will rotate in at NT on some running downs. Golston moves up to being the top reserve at DE.LinebackerStarters:OLBs Ryan Kerrigan, Rob Jackson; ILBs Perry Riley, London Fletcher
Reserves:OLBs White, Chris Wilson; ILBs Lorenzo Alexander, Keenan RobinsonThe Redskins have been an anomaly in the NFL in that their four linebackers stay on the field for virtually every snap. That could change as the Redskins want to give both Jackson and Wilson at shot at winning Orakpos job. They could end up rotating situationally as they determine the strengths and weaknesses of each.The other reserve linebackers will continue to do what they have done, play special teams and wait to see if their opportunity comes up.

Redskins finally take a defensive lineman in the NFL draft


Redskins finally take a defensive lineman in the NFL draft

After trading down in the fourth round, the Redskins have chosen Temple defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis in the fifth round (No. 152 overall).

At 6-3, 299, Ioannidis is not huge but he is very powerful and able to stand up to double teams. He played both inside and outside with the Owls but it is likely that he will stick to the inside with the Redskins.

Ioannidis is known as a tough, muscular player who can succeed in a two-gap system. He is primarily a run stuffer but he showed some ability to rush the passer as well.

Redskins trade down in fourth round


Redskins trade down in fourth round

The Redskins made a draft day trade with the Saints for the second year in a row.

When Washington was on the clock for their fourth round pick, No. 120 overall, they made a deal with New Orleans. The Saints move up from the 152nd pick to the Redskins’ pick. The Redskins went back to the Saints’ pick, which is in the fifth round, and took New Orleans’ fifth-round pick in 2017.

The Saints took linebacker David Onyemata out of Manitoba, Canada with the pick.

The Redskins now have five more picks in this draft, two in the fifth round, one in the sixth, and two in the seventh.

And by getting the fifth-round pick for next year they recoup the selection they sent to the 49ers last year in exchange for tight end Derek Carrier. They now have eight picks in 2017, one in each round and two in the sixth. They got the extra sixth with a trade down in the first round on Thursday.

Playmaker yes, but playing time questions for Redskins Su'a Cravens


Playmaker yes, but playing time questions for Redskins Su'a Cravens

Don't blink watching the NFL or you will miss the evolution taking place in pro football. For decades stopping the run was the paramount defensive principle, but as offenses around the league transform into a pass-first scheme, changes must happen on both sides of the ball.

For many teams, that means new personnel. And that certainly is apparent with Redskins second round pick Su'a Cravens.

A 6 foot 1, 225 lbs. "football player" Cravens comes to Washington without a clear position. He's likely too small to regularly play linebacker, and with a 40 time of 4.69, lacks the high-end speed to be a true safety.

So, while Redskins coaches are excited about the addition of Cravens, the question lingers: Where will he play?

"They said they see me as a dime linebacker," Cravens told the media Friday night. "So, I’m going to come in and give it my all."

Undoubtedly, Cravens was a playmaker on the college level. Playing a hybrid linebacker/safety role at USC, Cravens took Pac-12 honors and logged 5.5 sacks and two interceptions last season. 

"The fact that Washington called me – which I wasn’t expecting – and told me that’s what they wanted me to play, I feel like it’s a spot where I can fit right in the defense," Cravens said of the dime linebacker position.

It sounds like Cravens could be an impact player for the Redskins defense, however, one hurdle remains. Per Pro Football Focus' Rick Drummond, the Redskins only deployed their dime defense on 138 snaps out of 1,159 total defensive snaps, or about 12 percent of the time. 

So did the Redskins just use a highly valued second-round pick on a player who will maybe play on 12 percent of defensive snaps?

"When you're talking about defensive football nowadays, you want to get people who can do multiple things and be versatile in what they do and figure out ways to get the ball back for your offense," Washington coach Jay Gruden said of Cravens. "He's one of the top guys at his position. He's got position flex. He's a ball hawk. He's a turnover machine and he's a great player."

Gruden alluded to the changing nature of the NFL, and what defenses must do to keep up. The coach's comments still don't address how much or how little Cravens will see the field.

"Once we get him in the building, we will figure out a way to get him on the field," Gruden said.

Drafted in part for his versatility, last year's second round pick Preston Smith emerged to be one of the Redskins best defenders. But unlike Cravens, Smith had the size to stay on the field in multiple packages and played on nearly 50 percent of the Redskins defensive snaps (577).

For Cravens to prove his draft position worthwhile, either he will need to make a tremendous amount of impact plays in the 12 percent of snaps he projects to be on the field, or his role will have to grow larger than just dime linebacker. 

Known for his hard work and football acumen, Cravens seems the type of player fit to grow into a large role. For the Redskins, he better, because he's unlikley to grow large enough to be a full-time lnebacker, or fast enough to be a true safety.