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Jarmon selection is succession planning

Jarmon selection is succession planning

The Redskins' selection of Jeremy Jarmon came as a surprise to many; to almost everyone, in fact, except for readers of this blog (sorry, on the rare occasions that I get one right I have to toot my horn). Few were even aware that the Supplemental Draft was going on, not surprising given that the Redskins never before had taken a player in that draft.

But even though Mel Kiper wasn't present and it was conducted via email instead of in Radio City Music Hall, there was instant analysis everywhere. Message board posters who had not heard of Jarmon in the morning were panning the pick in the afternoon. The negative reviews were based mostly on the fact that the posters never had heard of Jarmon and the Redskins had a lot of nerve spending a third on a guy they'd never heard of.

Others compared it to the Jason Taylor trade of a year ago. Never mind that Taylor was well north of 30 and that Jarmon barely is old enough to drink legally. Apparently, expending a pick for a defensive end is expending a pick for a defensive end, no matter what the other facts are.

Then you have Ben at The Curly R saying that Jarmon has to get on the field in 2009 in order to justify the selection and agreeing with Greg at Hog Heaven saying that the third was a bit too high and that the pick was a sign of impatience.

The view here is that Jarmon doesn't have to play a single down in 2009 for the pick to be a good one and that the selection displayed some forward thinking for which the Redskins aren't known.

Actually, it would be disappointing if Jarmon did not see time on special teams. At 6-3, 278 with a 4.79 time in the forty, he would be a scary sight rolling down the field on kick coverage. But with Phillip Daniels starting at left defensive end and Renaldo Wynn backing him up there is no need to line up Jarmon at DE this year. He has the frame to pack on another 15 pounds or so and when he does that he will be the perfect size for a run-stuffing defensive end.

Unfortunately, Jarmon won't be able to accomplish that in the month of August. I see him getting a few snaps in the rotation but not much more than that (barring injury, of course).

And that's fine. Because in drafting Jarmon, the Redskins have done what they have failed to do so often in the past--succession planning. Daniels and Wynn are unlikely to be here in 2010 and certainly both will be gone in 2011. So the Redskins have replaced Daniels. They have their starting left DE of the future on the roster.

Was a third too high? Again, instant analysis of the value of a draft pick is an exercise in futility. It certain, however, that the Redskins would not have been able to get him had they bid a fourth-rounder for him. Lions GM Martin Mayhew has acknowledged that his team had bid a fourth and 0-16 Detroit would have had first priority.

But even if you don't buy Vinny Cerrato's assertion that with a full offseason workout and a combine appearance Jarmon would have been a second you can still make a case that he was worth a third. In the NFL, it's common practice to give up a pick in next year's draft that's a round better to acquire a pick in this year's draft. You pay a premium for getting the services of the player a year early. So, if you take the assessment that Jarmon was a fourth-round talent in the 2010 draft it's fair value to spend a third to get him a year early.

It's a good sign that the Redskins actually are thinking ahead. This doesn't mean that this will become a pattern or that Jarmon won't be a bust. But it is one small step away from the Cycle of Futility in which the team has been mired for much of this decade.

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Despite one-year contract, Gruden unequivocal about Kirk Cousins' position

Despite one-year contract, Gruden unequivocal about Kirk Cousins' position

RICHMOND - Looking at the contracts for the two most important people associated with the Washington Redskins, a clear discrepancy arises. The head coach, Jay Gruden, is under contract until 2020. The quarterback, Kirk Cousins, is only under contract for 2017. 

Some speculation suggested that, given the diverging deals, at some point Gruden might look to develop another passer that's locked in with the Redskins for the long-term. Backup QB Colt McCoy is under contract for the next two seasons, and second-year passer Nate Sudfeld is under team control through the 2019 season. 

Gruden made clear that isn't the case. Crystal clear. 

"We're focused on Kirk," the head coach said. "He's our starter and he's going to get all the starter reps. Period."

Cousins should obviously be the focus. In the past two seasons he's twice broken the Washington single season passing yards record, and his rise has coincided with the Redskins first back to back winning seasons in 20 years. 

As for practice reps, Cousins will get the vast majority. McCoy will get work, and Sudfeld too, but this Redskins team is focused on winning this season. 2018 contracts are not on the coach's mind in July of 2017, nor should they be. 

"Colt [McCoy] will take advantage of his reps, I'm sure he will. And Nate [Sudfeld] will get a few sprinkled in there. We're trying to develop Nate also for the future. But, this is Kirk's team right now, and it's our job to get him ready for Philadelphia and really surround him and make him feel good about the people around him. Trying to get him used to [Josh] Doctson, get him used to [Terrelle] Pryor, we have some new weapons around him, so it's a matter of getting him ready. But Kirk will get all of them."

With a rebuilt defense and plenty of options offensively, the Redskins should compete for a playoff spot this year. Is there a scenario where the team sputters and spirals into a lost season? Maybe. And in that hypothetical scenario, perhaps at some point it makes sense to see what another passer can do. It's a long shot. 

For Redskins fans, know that Cousins is the unequivocal starter. Period. 

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Focus will be on Redskins' tight end depth during Jordan Reed's absence

Focus will be on Redskins' tight end depth during Jordan Reed's absence

RICHMOND—The Redskins will be without Jordan Reed in training camp for an unknown period of time. Although his toe injury does not appear to be serious, others will have to fill the gap until he is able to return. And the Redskins just so happen to have one of the deepest tight end groups in the NFL and they added another one with NFL playing experience on Thursday.

Jay Gruden said that the Redskins needed to sign E.J. Bibbs, who has one NFL catch in his career, because Vernon Davis, the backup tight end, has “a little bit of a tweaked hamstring.” Davis, who caught 44 passes for 583 yards last year, seemed to me moving fine in practice after Gruden spoke to the media but he could need some reps off on occasion so they brought in Bibbs to fill in the gap. There is no point in pushing the 33-year-old Davis if it’s not necessary.

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The Redskins have even more options at tight end. Niles Paul is back and he appears to be fully recovered from the shoulder injury that sidelined him for the last eight games in 2016. Paul is going into his seventh season and while he is mostly relied on for special teams play he does have a 500-yard season on his resume (2014).

During offseason practices fifth-round rookie Jeremy Sprinkle looked like he had a lot to learn as he goes from a run-based offense at Arkansas to the Redskins’ sophisticated pass-first scheme. He will need to find his comfort level before he takes any snaps in Reed’s place.

The forgotten veteran is Derek Carrier, who now appears to be fully healthy after he missed the first half of last season with a knee injury he suffered late in 2015. He had just two receptions for 10 yards last year in limited playing time on offense.

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Joining Bibbs in the long shot category is Manasseh Garner, a first-year player out of Pitt. While neither player seems to have a shot at the 53-man roster, the Redskins could carry one of the tight ends on the practice squad.

Depth is a good thing to have and the Redskins have done a good job assembling a backup plan at tight end. But you just can’t replace Reed, one of the best few tight ends in the NFL, without a significant drop off in production. The Redskins will let the backups compete and learn in training camp and will keep Reed either on the sideline or doing very light work until he is fully ready to go (and then some).

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.