McCloughan may use extra 2017 picks to deal for players this year

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McCloughan may use extra 2017 picks to deal for players this year

Scot McCloughan raised some eyebrows by executing draft trades that got the Redskins three picks in the 2017 NFL draft. He says he did it in part with the 2017 draft in mind. But he also wanted some trade assets should any needs arise this coming season.

“A lot of people don’t want to do it because it’s not immediate impact,” McCloughan said at a news conference at Redskins Park. “‘Well, that’s next year. What about this year?’ Coaches want this year, which I understand completely. But what it gives me the opportunity to do is not just worry about next year’s draft and trading up and that kind of stuff, but this offseason and during the season trading. We’ve got multiple picks now.”

So if the Redskins find themselves in need of a player at any point between now and the trading deadline, which falls in early November, they have spare picks in the next draft to be able to do so.

The Redskins acquired 2017 picks in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds. They traded away their own 2017 fifth-rounder last summer for tight end Derek Carrier. They currently have nine 2017 selections, one in each of the seven rounds plus two in the fourth and two in the sixth.

The deal that made some fans moderately unhappy was the one McCloughan made the Jets to give them a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2017. But it’s clear that McCloughan didn’t see much value on his board at that point in time.

“Well, the thing about it was if I was dead set on the guys on the board at that pick, I would have taken them,” said McCloughan. “But knowing I can get a fourth next year for them and knowing that it gives me ammunition to trade around too later if need be this year or next year? Yeah, it’s valuable.”

McCloughan reveals where the Redskins will line up Cravens in base defense

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McCloughan reveals where the Redskins will line up Cravens in base defense

When the Redskins draft Su’a Cravens in the second round, they told him that he would be a nickel outside linebacker. But his jersey number is 36, which is not a linebackers number; it is the number that safety Sean Taylor wore during his rookie year. And he was listed on the roster as a safety.

When speaking to the media yesterday, Scot McCloughan was still unsure what meeting room Cravens would sit in. Apparently the situation has been clarified. This morning McCloughan said that Cravens will play strong safety in the Redskins’ base defense.

“I think he’ll come in as a strong safety,” McCloughan told Mike Florio on PFT Live. “We’ll put him in that room first.”

The fact that they will start him off at safety, however, does not mean that they will not take advantage of his versatility.

“As you’re well aware, he has the ability to play outside backer,” said McCloughan. “The thing we’re excited about . . . is pass rush ability. We see him, in base, probably being a strong safety, in sub, be an outside backer, even play him at inside linebacker in sub.”

McCloughan sees Cravens as a player who can become a playmaker on a defense that doesn’t have many players like that.

“He’s a good football player, you know, he’s instinctive. Day 1, he talked into USC, starting making plays,” he said. “Again, he’s not the biggest, he’s not the fastest, he’s not the quickest but he makes plays. He’s got instincts. That’s what you look for on Sundays.”

Redskins release eight players on first Monday following draft

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Redskins release eight players on first Monday following draft

In addition to releasing veteran cornerback Chris Culliver on Monday, the Redskins also released the following seven players:

— DL Christo Bilukidi

— LB Desmond Bishop

— WR LaRon Byrd

— DL Anthony Johnson

— DL Kamal Johnson

— CB Al Louis-Jean

— LB Derrick Mathews

None of the above players saw a snap for the Redskins last season.

ach was also a long shot to earn spots on Washington’s 2016 53-man roster and probably was displaced by a recent free agent addition and/or draft pick.