Fred Davis hopes to return for OTAs

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Fred Davis hopes to return for OTAs

Fred Davis says there were no complications stemming from his surgery last week and he expects to be back on the field in time for OTAs in May.

“It’s not fun [because] I hate sitting out,” Davis said Friday after visiting with teammates at Redskins Park. “This is my first injury, so I’m dealing with.”

Davis had his left Achilles’ tendon repaired Oct. 23 in Charlotte, N.C., by Dr. Robert Anderson, the same foot and ankle specialist who operated on Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs. The Ravens’ linebacker had a similar procedure in May and returned to the lineup earlier this month – just five months after the surgery. 

“You have to look at the positive side of it: It’s an Achilles, not a knee or anything serious that takes a long to get back from,” said Davis, walking with the assistance of crutches and wearing a cast of his lower left leg. “I definitely have seen Suggs out there making plays. I went to the same doctor and we had the about the same tear.”

Davis said he’s looking forward to resuming physical activity six weeks from now. 

“Sometimes it gets stronger, [Dr. Anderson] said,” Davis added. “It’s one of those 100-percent type injuries. They just put it back together. I should be good.”

Davis was en route to having his best all around season when he injured himself while running a routine pass route in the first quarter against the Giants. When he went down, the 26-year-old had 24 receptions for 325 yards and had made significant strides in pass and run blocking.

The Redskins used their franchise tag on the tight end last season. Now, Davis could hit unrestricted free agency as he attempts to bounce back from a significant injury.

“We’ll see,” Davis said, asked if the injury might have cost him financially. “I just try to put as much good stuff on film as I can. If a team looks at that and sees my [progress] from last year. …Even in 2009, I was productive. If a team looks at that and sees that I’ve grown as a blocker. We’ll just roll the dice and see what happens.” 

Redskins trade for another 2017 pick

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Redskins trade for another 2017 pick

Redskins GM Scot McCloughan clearly intends to own the 2017 NFL draft, at least the latter stages of it.

For the second time today and for the third time since the draft started on Wednesday, the Redskins have made a deal that got them a 2017 draft pick.

The latest one was a deal with the New York Jets. With the Redskins on the clock with the 21st pick of the fifth round (No. 158 overall) the Jets gave them their 2017 fourth-round pick in exchange for that fifth rounder.

After getting 2017 picks on Thursday and today, the Redskins now have two picks in the fourth round next year and two in the sixth. They also now have a the Saints’ fifth-round pick after dealing their own pick in that round to the 49ers for tight end Derek Carrier.

And the Redskins now have three more picks in this year’s draft, one in the sixth and two in the seventh. If they use those picks they will have a total of seven, having already taken four players.

Redskins finally take a defensive lineman in the NFL draft

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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.

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

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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.