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Need to Know: Which Redskins will surprise in 2017?

Need to Know: Which Redskins will surprise in 2017?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, May 22, one day before the Washington Redskins start OTAs on May 23.

Timeline

It’s been 141 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 111 days.

Days until:

—Redskins minicamp (6/13) 22
—Training camp starts (7/27) 66
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 80

Who will surprise in 2017?

Here are four Redskins who I think will surprise in 2017; two who will exceed expectations and two I think will fall short of expectations.

Two up

OLB Preston Smith—If you have been reading this space for a while you know that I have predicted that Smith is on the verge of a breakout multiple times. Here is one more time.

We have seen the good-to-great version of Smith on multiple occasions—the last four games of the 2015 season including the playoff game, when he terrorized Sam Bradford and saved that Vikings game with an interception, and against the Bears when he blocked a field goal. I think that competition from rookie Ryan Anderson will give him the jolt he needs to become a consistent defensive force.

CB Bashaud Breeland—Breeland never quite seemed to find his groove last year. When he started off the year he was guarding the likes of Antonio Brown and Dez Bryant as teams took advantage of Joe Barry’s reluctance to have Josh Norman follow the opposition’s top receiver. Later in the year he reportedly had disputes with former secondary coach Perry Fewell over how he was being utilized.

This year he should be more comfortable defending mostly No. 2 receivers. That, and the fact that he is entering the final year of his rookie contract, should propel him to a solid year.

Two down

TE Vernon Davis—I don’t think that Davis will fall off terribly at age 33, even though Father Time is undefeated. But he isn’t going to sneak up on anybody this year and the added attention from defenses could depress his production. His numbers (receptions, yards per catch, catch percentage) all fell off in the second half of 2016 compare to the first half. The stats could take another dip in 2017.

DE Jonathan Allen—No, Allen is not going to be a draft bust. He will be just fine. But some are expecting him to be the second coming of J.J. Watt right off the bat. Watt was good as a rookie, recording 5.5 sacks, but not great. It wasn’t until his second season that he started to rack up double-digit sacks and became a perennial All-Pro.

So, don’t be surprised if Allen doesn’t wow you immediately. There is a big adjustment when going from college to the NFL, even after playing in the SEC. Allen will put in the work it takes to develop into a very good player. But the work may not bear fruit until towards the end of this season or may not until 2018.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: How well will the Redskins' defense adjust to six new starters?

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Need to Know: How well will the Redskins' defense adjust to six new starters?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, May 21, two days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs on May 23.

Timeline

It’s been 140 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 112 days.

Days until:

—Redskins minicamp (6/13) 23
—Training camp starts (7/27) 67
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 81

How will the Redskins’ defense adjust to new personnel?

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Roster projections, rookie camp

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Roster projections, rookie camp

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 20, three days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs on May 23.

Timeline

It’s been 139 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 113 days.

Days until:

—Redskins OTAs start (5/23) 3
—Training camp starts (7/27) 68
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 82

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular post of the past week at www.CSNmidatlantic.com and www.RealRedskins.com.

Redskins rookie camp practice observations—Nobody is going to make the team at rookie camp. And no draft pick is going to get cut at the end of it either. But impressions are formed. What the media can observe is just one of two practices. A lot of those impressions are formed in meeting rooms as coaches find out who is prepared and who didn’t do his homework. Anyway, here are a few observations from Redskins Park last week.

Jay Gruden shoots down report of 49ers draft day trade offer—On our latest podcast, JP and I disagree on whether the 49ers ever did call the Redskins’ draft room about trading up. Gruden’s denial is good enough for JP. I say that Peter King was in the 49ers draft room and he didn’t just make it up.

Predicting Redskins' 53-man offensive roster—I’m rarely very confident when I do May roster projections. But I am about this one, at least on offense. I’d be very surprised if I’m wrong on more than one or two spots here. I’m less confident in the projections on the defensive side of the ball; you can find that right here.

Redskins coaches have decisions to make following rookie camp—After rookie camp the Redskins made some roster adjustments, waiving three players, including two who had been on the practice squad last year, and adding three tryout players. The shuffle will continue as some players fall by the wayside during OTAs and the coaches and personnel executives find better alternatives. It is unlikely that we will see any veterans shuffled off the roster during OTAs but you never know. Two years ago G Chris Chester and CB Tracy Porter early in OTAs.

Rookie camp notes—Seventh-round CB Holsey has a shot—Does the last player the Redskins picked have a chance to make the team and contribute? Gruden loves both Kelley and Perine but there’s only one football. And can a rookie push a favorite of Gruden’s off of the roster?

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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