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Enemy intel: Early look at the Packers

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Enemy intel: Early look at the Packers

The Redskins weren’t the only team that had some defensive issues in their season opener. The Packers, their opponent on Sunday, did not have a good day defensively in San Francisco.

Colin Kaepernick lit up their secondary for 412 yards passing and three touchdowns. I think Anquan Boldin just caught another pass against them adding to the 13 for 208 yards and one touchdown on Sunday. Tight end Vernon Davis added six catches for 98 yards and two TDs. San Francisco also rushed for 90 yards, although it took them 34 attempts to get there (2.6 average).

Although the defense struggled, the Pack stayed in the game until the end thanks to Aaron Rodgers (21 of 37 for 333 yards, 1 interception, 3 touchdowns) and his stable of receivers. Two of them went over 100 yards, Randall Cobb (7-108) and Jordy Nelson (1-130).

One good thing for the Redskins is that the Packers don’t have a LeSean McCoy to run at the Redskins. A lot of analysts wanted to hand Eddie Lacy the rookie of the year award before the season even started but he picked up just 41 yards on 14 carries against the 49ers. He’s still a good combination of speed and power and the Redskins won’t sleep on him but he’s no Shady.

Thoughts from Green Bay

—Here are some thoughts on the Packers defense from Packer Geeks, a long running blog about the team:
Yes, the defense tried hard and I liked to see that. But like Mike Sherman, who spent 18-20 hours a day working on coaching stuff – sometimes the amount of effort just doesn’t matter if the job is not getting done. Bottom line – our defense was really bad.
—Packers safety Morgan Burnett, the quarterback of the defense, missed the game with a hamstring injury. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal:
The Packers really, really missed Morgan Burnett in the back end. Colin Kaepernick is that good, but a solid safety would have made a difference on a day when the Packers did not let Kaepernick beat them with his feet.
Burnett’s status for Sunday is undetermined. He did not miss a snap in 2012.

—The Green Bay starting offensive line doesn’t have much of a pedigree. Three of the players were drafted in the fourth round or later, including rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari (4th round) and two are undrafted free agents. Again from the Journal-Sentinal:
Green Bay's front five gave an admirable performance in the Packers' 34-28 Week 1 loss to San Francisco. Facing one of the NFL's top defenses, the line allowed two sacks and helped the Packers roll up 385 total net yards.

"If you play in the league, you play in the league," said Packer center Evan Dietrich-Smith, who went undrafted in 2009. "It's not an 'Oh, I was drafted here' or 'I was drafted there' type of situation.
"If you show up to a camp and you display that you can play in the league, then you're going to play. That's the bottom line. And if you don't, you're going to get cut."

An early preview on that site gives the Packers the advantage at quarterback, receiver, defensive line, secondary, and special teams. The Redskins have the edge at running back and coaching with the offensive line and linebackers being even.

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Final Redskins seven-round mock draft: Defense first, a surprise in the third

Final Redskins seven-round mock draft: Defense first, a surprise in the third

We’re a day away from the start of the NFL draft and all the questions surrounding the Redskins’ intentions will start to get answered when they go on the clock at about 10 p.m. on Thursday.

[More Redskins: Full Redskins Seven-Round Mock Draft]

Speaking at the team’s annual pre-draft news conference, Scott Campbell, the team’s director of college scouting, stuck with the company line when he was asked about making picks based on team needs.

“I’m going to frame the answer, and the age-old answer of ‘I’m going to take the best player available,’” he said. “And if that serves your needs, that’s a bonus.”

It would be a big “bonus” for the Redskins if a defensive lineman who can rush the passer and stuff the run was the best player on the board when their first-round pick comes up at No. 17. But it doesn’t look like the board will play out that way. That’s OK because the Redskins have plenty of needs.

In fact, it’s not hard to do a mock draft for the Redskins because they have needs at virtually every position. Certainly, some needs are more urgent than others. But once you get past the first couple of rounds there is enough doubt at each position, whether it’s immediate depth or possible free agency holes in 2018, to get that need “bonus” with every pick.

Campbell said that this is a strong defensive draft and this is reflected in these mock selections, with six of the 10 picks going to defense including the top two. The first offensive pick may surprise some but the talent was just too good at that point in the draft.

Go here to see the full seven-round mock draft.

Your comments are welcome, as always. Make them here in the comments or hit me up on Twitter and Facebook.  

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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QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

Quarterbacks will come off the board in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night. That much is certain. Where those quarterbacks come off the board, however, matters much more for the Redskins. 

Mitchell Trubisky will be the first passer off the board, and depending on the information, he could be drafted as high as the first overall pick, and will certainly go early.

Trubisky, though, seems like the only certainty of a QB going early. Questions plague guys like Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Those guys could all go in the first half of the draft, but they could all slide into the 20s as well. 

For Washington, the earlier quarterbacks get drafted the better. It seems highly unlikely the Redskins make a draft day trade of QB Kirk Cousins, limiting hardly any interest in a first-round passer.

The more passers that go before the 'Skins pick at 17 means the more high-quality players slide down the draft board. Look around the internet at lists of the best prospects available. Hardly any signal callers crack the Top 20, but the positional need at QB demands the position be overdrafted.

Though the Burgundy and Gold continue to slow-play contract talks with Cousins, he is under contract for 2017 and the team holds an option for 2018. That means Bruce Allen can sit in his draft room and potentially be a trade partner for a team that wants to land a QB, or just wait patiently and watch as they come off the board and send other desirable prospects closer to 17.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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