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Could the Redskins offense be better in 2017? Jamison Crowder thinks so

Could the Redskins offense be better in 2017? Jamison Crowder thinks so

Offense led the way for the Redskins in 2016, and despite some additions to the defensive side of the ball, the same should be expected in 2017. Jay Gruden's track record suggests that his unit will move the ball at a solid clip, but the team lost a number of offensive weapons, and that could slow the 2017 pace.

DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon left the franchise via free agency, and took more than 2,000 receiving yards with them. Jackson and Garçon accounted for more than 40 percent of Kirk Cousins' franchise record 4,917 passing yards, and their loss will be tough to overcome. 

But don't think the 2017 squad won't try. 

"I think it can still be very explosive like the previous two years I have been here," Redskins wideout Jamison Crowder said Monday on a conference call. 

At first blush, it could seem Crowder is just spouting the company line. The 'Skins offense ranked 12th overall last year, second in passing yards. 

MORE REDSKINS: FedEx Field turning into a golf course during off-season

Then consider what Washington has to replace the departed Garçon and Jackson, and Crowder could be right. Terrelle Pryor went for more than 1,000 receiving yards last year on an awful Cleveland team catching passes from many awful quarterbacks. In Gruden's system, catching passes from Cousins, Pryor's yardage total could pop. 

Josh Doctson remains a total mystery, but there is a reason the 'Skins drafted him 22nd overall in 2016. He has big talent, and if his health is there, he should produce. A humble guy, Crowder proved he can be a major factor in the 'Skins passing game in his first two NFL seasons, and looks poised for a breakout third season in 2017. Add in tight ends Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis, and perhaps more firepower via next week's draft, and certainly it's possible the 'Skins offense can keep the production up in 2016, and maybe improve.

"I feel like the offense can still be explosive, if not more than it was last year," Crowder said. 

Bold claim, but it's the right mindset. Crowder and company will have a chance to prove it this fall. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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The best players left in the draft for the Redskins—Offense

The best players left in the draft for the Redskins—Offense

The Redskins have seven picks in the final four rounds of the draft today. Here are some of the top players available on offense. Will look at the defense a little later this morning.

Offensive line

G Dorian Johnson, Pitt—The Redskins probably would want him to add a few pounds to his frame, as at 6-5 he currently carries “only” 300 pounds. He’s smart, tough, and athletic.

G Nico Siragusa, San Diego State—At 6-4, his weight is about right at 319 pounds. A three-year starter with a great power game and pass protection skills that will need to be coached up.

RELATED: Redskins focus on defense in first 3 rounds

Tight end/receiver

TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech—He’s big enough to be your blocking tight end and athletic enough to line up split out wide.

WR Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma—One of the most productive receivers in the country and a Heisman finalist. He’s a little small at 6-0, 178 but he has excellent deep speed.

Running back

RB Samaje Perine, Oklahoma—As a true freshman in 2014 he set the national record by rushing for 427 yards in a game against Kansas. He probably doesn’t have that kind of monster game in him at the next level but he will be a solid, reliable back who can handle a heavy workload.

RB Jeremy McNichols, Boise State—A very productive runner and pass catcher who posted over 2,200 yards of offense last year.

MORE REDSKINS: Three reasons to like the pick of Ryan Anderson 

Quarterback

QB Nathan Peterman, Pitt—Nobody would have batted an eye if he had gone off the board in the third or maybe even the late second round. If the Redskins are concerned about Kirk Cousins leaving as a free agent, Peterman carries a very similar set of skills.

QB Brad Kaaya, Miami—Another QB many thought may be off the board by now, Kaaya has the mental makeup to succeed at quarterback but his game needs a lot of polish.

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 best Redskins late-round picks of the last 10 years

Need to Know: The best Redskins late-round picks of the last 10 years

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 29, 25 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.

Timeline

At Redskins Park—Fourth through seventh rounds of the NFL draft; conference calls with players selected; Gruden will speak to media shortly after Redskins’ final pick.

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 13
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 25
—Training camp starts (7/27) 89
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 134

The Redskins’ best late-round picks since of the last 10 years

While no aspect of drafting in the NFL is easy, it is much harder to find key contributors on the last day of the draft than it is in the first three rounds. The Redskins will have seven picks in this afternoon's draft to try to find one or two of them. 

Since the 2007 draft the Redskins have taken 56 players from the fourth round on. Of those, 45 played in at least one NFL game but only 12 of them were the Redskins’ primary starter at their positions for at least one season. Here are the five best of those players.

QB Kirk Cousins (round 4, 2012)—He was probably the most controversial pick on this list since the Redskins had just drafted Robert Griffin III a couple of days earlier. History proved Mike Shanahan right.

RB Alfred Morris (6, 2012)—This pick came a few hours after and with much less noise than the Cousins pick did. Many believed that the Redskins were set a running back with Roy Helu and Evan Royster. Morris not only surprised many by making the team but he lined up as the Week 1 starter. He went on to break the team’s single-season rushing record by piling up 1,613 yards rushing.

LB Perry Riley (4, 2010)—He didn’t get into the lineup until midway through his second season. Riley was always solid for four-plus seasons as the starter but never spectacular. The team let him go last year in training camp and he played well for the Raiders after they picked him up.

CB Bashaud Breeland (4, 2014)—Breeland started 15 games as a rookie. At first he was in the slot but after DeAngelo Hall was injured in Week 3, Breeland moved to the outside and he has stayed there ever since. He has seven career interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

WR Jamison Crowder (4, 2015)—At 5-9, many teams thought Crowder was undersized and he didn’t run a great 40 at the combine. But he was big enough and fast enough to break the Redskins rookie record for receptions in a season and then to lead the team in touchdowns with eight last year.

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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