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DL A'Shawn Robinson needs work but could be a good fit for the Redskins

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DL A'Shawn Robinson needs work but could be a good fit for the Redskins

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 45 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.

A’Shawn Robinson
Defensive lineman
Alabama

Height: 6-4
Weight: 307
40-yard dash: 5.20

Projected draft round: 1

What they’re saying
Hard to find an interior lineman with a more well-proportioned frame than Robinson. His size and overall talent level will have NFL teams drooling and projecting him along any and all defensive fronts, but his film might leave them hungry for more. As opposed to teammate Jarran Reed who already plays with polish, Robinson is a projection-oriented two-gapper who can step in right away and help plug holes in a leaky run defense. If Robinson can improve his leverage issues and pass rushing, he has all-pro potential; however, he’s not a sure thing to become a star.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: It’s almost becoming cliché to project a defensive lineman to the Redskins in the first round. It’s an aging unit and the Redskins were one of the worst teams in the NFL when it came to stopping the run (122.6 yards/game, 26th). Add in Scot McCloughan’s preference for big guys and it all makes sense for the Redskins to take a good look at Robinson.

Robinson is nearly the perfect physical specimen for his position, especially his powerful legs, which make him tough to move. In 15 games for the Crimson Tide Robinson posted 46 tackles, 7.5 for loss, and 3.5 sacks. His performance earned him consensus All-American honors and the attention of virtually every NFL scout in the land.

Although Alabama played a two-gap approach in its 3-4 defense as opposed to the one-gap that the Redskins use, Robinson should be able to adjust.

Potential issues: Although he is large and strong, he has some fundamental issues that need to be corrected. In particular he tends to play with his pad level too high. He can get away with that against blockers in college but it’s something he’ll need to fix if he’s going to succeed in the NFL.

Bottom line: Dane Brugler of CBS Sports wrote that Robinson “is the poster prospect for the golden rule of scouting (traits over production).” It’s not as though Robinson is like Robert Nkemdiche of Ole Miss, who admitted at the combine that he took some plays off. But Alabama’s scheme called for the defensive line to occupy blockers to free the linebackers to make plays. The task that McCloughan has is to project his traits into the Redskins’ scheme, which calls for linemen to make some plays, and figure out how he would perform in Washington.

The draft projections have not yet firmed up so just where Robinson might fall in the first round remains to be seen. He’s probably not a top-ten pick but he could well be gone in the 10-20 range, before the Redskins go on the clock at No. 21. But if he makes it to the Redskins one would think that he would be on the short list of players that McCloughan will be considering.

Previously in Combine Countdown:

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Peter King, Ian Rapoport say Redskins can't afford to let Kirk Cousins get away

Peter King, Ian Rapoport say Redskins can't afford to let Kirk Cousins get away

After he signed the franchise tag a couple of weeks ago, the speculation, rumors and, for some fans, panic around Kirk Cousins has largely quieted down.

The Redskins can ink their quarterback to a long-term deal any time between now and July 15, but talks may not pick up until summer rolls around. A trade can also occur, but no recent reports have indicated that one is in the works.

Therefore, it currently looks like Cousins and the franchise that drafted him back in 2012 will be together for at least one more season. And according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, that's a wise choice by the Burgundy and Gold.

"I think they did the absolute right thing in making sure Kirk Cousins is gonna be their quarterback this year," King told CSN Redskins Insider JP Finlay at the NFL owner's meetings in Phoenix. "I absolutely, unequivocally would not trade him. That's a white flag." 

As for why King wouldn't move on from No. 8, his explanation was very simple.

"You don't get rid of a guy who's got the second-most passing yards in football over the last two years," he said.

MORE REDSKINS: WILL JAY GRUDEN'S ROLE IN DECISION-MAKING EXPAND THIS YEAR?

Finlay also gathered input on the Redskins' and Cousins' relationship from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who's another major voice in the league's media. Rapoport first stated that he would be "beyond stunned" if the 28-year-old was not in D.C. for the 2017 campaign and then laid out how he envisions the year unfolding.

"I do not believe he will sign the extension before the season," he said. "So, he's going to go out there, play on another one-year deal, bet on himself like he did last year. You hope it's the same thing. And then we'll see, because I know there's some talk about him not signing an extension — I'm not so sure about that. Everyone has a price, right?"

"If they offer him $25 [million] a year, Andrew Luck's deal, I would imagine plans would change pretty quickly, right?" Rapoport continued. "So you get to the end of the season, assess where you are, assess the value and see if you can make a business deal. It's terrible to have to pay so much money to your quarterback. The only worse thing is not being able to pay so much money to your quarterback." 

King and Rapoport are clearly both in agreement that losing their rising signal caller would be a huge blow to the Redskins. But while King says Washington should keep Cousins because of his production, Rapoport took a different route when concluding how the negotiations will end up.

"Really good quarterbacks never leave their team. It just never happens," he said. "So I would think there's a way to work this out."

RELATED: PRESTON SMITH ENTERING VITAL YEAR

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Josh Doctson's short tweet delivers good news for Redskins

Josh Doctson's short tweet delivers good news for Redskins

Josh Doctson’s tweet left 136 characters on the table but he didn’t need any more to deliver some good news to Redskins fans.

The wide receiver was the Redskins’ top pick in the 2016 draft. At 6-2 and an ability to high point the ball he repeatedly demonstrated at TCU, it was hoped he would add a different dimension to the Redskins’ fast but relatively short receiving corps.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

But it didn’t happen. An Achilles tendon injury flared up during preseason activities and he was very limited in OTAs. He was on the PUP list during training camp and the preseason games. Doctson was on the 53-man roster to start the season but after 31 snaps and one reception in two games he was shut down for the season.

Jay Gruden was apparently frustrated by the injury and throughout the season he wasn’t sure when Doctson would be ready.

MORE REDSKINS: 3 takeaways from talking to Allen

But last month via social media Docston sent out some pictures of him doing some strenuous work at Redskins Park. It appears that he was in Tampa today working with Jon Gruden and some other Redskins. The tweet from Doctson came a short time after this picture from one of Terrelle Pryor’s social media accounts was posted.

It should be noted that doing work in shorts a T-shirts does not equal being effective in an NFL regular season game. But it’s a good first step and considering Doctson barely took any steps last year that’s a good development.

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.