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First look: Redskins vs. Giants

First look: Redskins vs. Giants

Osi's back

NFL games are about matchups and the Washington Redskins have one that doesn't work in their favor when they take on the Giants on Sunday.

The Redskins' weakest unit is their offensive line. New York is loaded with talent on its defensive line. Some mismatches spell trouble. This one potentially spells disaster.

It did in 2008. The Redskins mustered just seven points in each of their two games against the Giants last year. The low point total wasn't due to mistakes or bad luck or turnovers. New York simply dominated the line. Clinton Portis had nowhere to run; Jason Campbell had no time to throw.

And that Giants D-line did not have Osi Umenyiora, who was out for the season with a knee injury, or Chris Canty, who was playing for the Dallas Cowboys before coming over as a free agent.

Last year it didn't seem like Jim Zorn adjusted to the Giants' DL dominance. It looked like he was figuring that if he ignored it, it would go away.

It's difficult and usually futile but you can try quick passes, traps, screens and an occasional deep pass with maximum protection. We didn't see much of that last year and the Redskins really never had a chance in either game.

This doesn't mean that all is lost for the visitors. Even though the Giants have a strong offensive line they could struggle to score. The Redskins' defensive backfield against the Giants' receivers is a good matchup for Washington. Until someone emerges as a genuine threat to replace the departed Plaxico Burress Eli Manning will have difficulty finding someone to throw to.

The Redskins' defensive line will be put to the test. The key to stopping Brandon Jacobs is to get him moving sideways. If he's allowed to get up a head of steam into the second level defensive backs end up getting posterized.

I'll make my prediction later in the week. The good news is that the Redskins will face such an OL-DL mismatch just a few times this year but they're going to have to figure a way around it if they want to steal that most precious of regular-season NFL prizes, a division road win.

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How playing at Alabama may have actually hurt Jonathan Allen's draft stock

How playing at Alabama may have actually hurt Jonathan Allen's draft stock

For the past few seasons, Jonathan Allen was a stud at the heart of Alabama's defense. He was far from the only stud, however, and that might be another factor in why he slipped to the Redskins at pick No. 17 on Thursday night.

The chief concern about Allen is the health of his shoulders, but there's also the question of how he'll do when he's no longer with Nick Saban's star-laden unit. It's easy to succeed when you're a part of a loaded ensemble cast, the thinking might've gone when it came to Allen, but how will you do on your solo project?

In addition to Allen, the Crimson Tide featured Marlon Humphrey (who went 16th to the Ravens), Reuben Foster (who went 31st to the 49ers) and others, like Tim Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson and Ryan Anderson, all of whom could go in Friday's second and third rounds. Together, that's a tremendous defense, but in the NFL, they'll be striking out on their own.

MORE REDSKINS: NORMAN, COUSINS, OTHERS WELCOME ALLEN TO D.C.

That's another possible explanation for why the Redskins were able to nab what was almost a consensus top-five prospect so late in the event.

"He's a really talented pass rusher but he's always been surrounded by enough talent that it's been hard for offenses to game plan their protection for him," one NFC director of player personnel told NFL.com.

Now, it's not like Allen is joining a bunch of nobodies in Washington. Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith and Zach Brown will also be lining up with him in Greg Manusky's front-seven. Oh, and Allen is no slouch either — the list of his strengths in this particular scouting report contains words like "superior," "proficient," "consistent" and "excellent."

But it is probably fair to say that, comparatively speaking, the rookie won't be amongst as many skilled guys as he was in college. By rushing to the podium to snag him, however, the Redskins clearly expect him to handle the NFL transition just fine.

RELATED: REDSKINS REPORTEDLY LOOKING TO TRADE ONE OF THEIR OWN    

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Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon could be out of reach for Redskins per oddsmakers

Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon could be out of reach for Redskins per oddsmakers

Florida State running back Dalvin Cook visited Redskins Park earlier this month. The Redskins did their homework on Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon in advance of the draft.

All of that pre-draft work might not matter though as Cook and Mixon will be off the board before the Redskins pick in the second round. At least according to oddsmakers.

Bovada.lv set over/under scenarios for both players. Cook lands at 38.5 and Mixon landed at 42.5.

[Related: Top end talent still available for Redskins in second round, but red flags remain]

Certainly both guys can go past the numbers established by the oddsmakers, but there's a reason drinks are free in Las Vegas. Oddsmakers tend to be very, very close when they set lines.

Considering that, if Washington wants either player, the team would likely have to trade up.

Much speculation has Cook the first player off the board to the Packers with the 33rd pick. It seems like a good fit.

[Related: Casserly says that Jonathan Allen is a more talented player than Solomon Thomas]

Mixon is more interesting. His loathsome action a few years back that was caught on video will continue to haunt him, but he will get drafted in the second round. He has the talent.

Bruce Allen has the capital to make a move. The team has nine more picks in the next six rounds. There's also the report that the team is shopping third-year pro Matt Jones.

Could a package of Jones and a late round pick entice a trade? It could.

Much like Thursday night, there will be plenty to watch Friday night.

More Redskins: Need to know: Five possible second and third round picks for the Redskins