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Need to Know: Could the Redskins’ draft be an indicator of Morgan Moses’ long-term future?

Need to Know: Could the Redskins’ draft be an indicator of Morgan Moses’ long-term future?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 18, nine days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 24
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 36
—Training camp starts (7/27) 100
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 145

Could the Redskins’ draft indicate Morgan Moses’ long-term future?

Very early in the offseason there was buzz that the Redskins and Morgan Moses were talking about a contract extension. As the starting right tackle has completed three years of his rookie deal he is now eligible for a new one. There hasn’t been much talk since but there is plenty of time to get one done before the season starts. New contracts for Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams were completed in August the season before each would have been a free agent.

We might get an indication of how well any extension talks are going in the draft. If the Redskins take an offensive tackle early that may be an indication that talks with Moses are not going well. They could be in search of a possibly replacement for Moses who could take over in 2018. If they take one sometime late on Saturday or bypass the position altogether that could be a sign that talks are going well and it is just a matter of time before a deal is done.

The Redskins do have enough cap space to get a deal done. They currently stand at $8.1 million in available space. They will need a couple of million dollars to sign their draft picks (details on that coming in the next day or two) but they will recoup when they complete negotiations with DeAngelo Hall for a new deal that will lower his $4.25 million salary.

They will be able to craft an extension for Morgan, who should get a deal with an average annual value of $6-$7 million, so that it costs only about $1.5 million more than the $1.97 million he already counts against the cap.

Moses is one of four 2014 draft picks who are eligible for extensions. Spencer Long is another prime candidate, although the team might want him to have more than one year as the starting center under his belt before committing to him long term.

I get the sense that even if the Redskins wanted to work out new deals with Trent Murphy and Bashaud Breeland, both players would rather wait. Both could substantially increase their potential earnings by having good seasons while playing premium positions.

But it’s worth keeping an eye out for extensions for all four players. The organization does a good job of keeping these talks under wraps. The news of extensions for Kerrigan, Williams, and Jordan Reed all came without warning so new deals for the others could spring up at any time.

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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Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Alabama dominates college football in a way few teams ever have. In the last two seasons, the Crimson Tide has lost just two games, winning one national title and narrowly missing a second.

The strength of 'Bama, year after year, is their defense. Nick Saban coaches it, Nick Saban knows it, and Nick Saban demands the best from his players. 

Oddly, however, a few recent Alabama defenders drafted to the NFL have not produced. Or at least their production did not match their draft status. 

It's not too hard to pick names that fit that perception. Rolando McClain. Terrance Cody. Dre Kirkpatrick. And at running back, Trent Richardson didn't help.

Still, the Redskins invested heavily in the Tide during the 2017 draft. Their top two picks played for Saban's defense last year, and Washington coach Jay Gruden does not buy any part of the perception that 'Bama products regress in the NFL.

"I don’t see any negative whatsoever with them going to Alabama," Gruden said late Friday night.

The 'Skins selected Jonathan Allen in the first round and Ryan Anderson in the second. Both guys started on the Tide's front seven, and both players dominated.

"They come there and they are well coached. Anytime you watch college football, and you watch other defenses, no disrespect, and then you flip on an Alabama game, it’s different," Gruden said. "The speed is different. They are well-coached, they are in their gaps, they play hard, they play physical, and that’s from Week 1 until the end. That has to appeal to you as a coach. They are using their hands, they are physical, they are chasing the ball, they are running to the ball."

The perception, right or wrong, has two main positions. The first is that the Alabama defense looks so good because it is full of five-star recruits. When everyone is good, or great, on the college level, it's hard to truly judge any singular player's game tape. The second is that Saban is so exhausting, so demanding of his players, they arrive to the NFL with too many reps.

For those around the NFL, both theories are laughable. Pro scouts know game tape. How else can they judge a future first rounder when he matches up against a walk-on? And for every alleged 'Bama bust, think about Haha Clinton-Dox or Landon Collins or C.J. Mosley or Dont'a Hightower. 

Might some Tide players get overdrafted because of their success and high profile? That's a different conversation. What's certain is the Redskins are quite confident in both of their Alabama draft picks.

"We know they are both highly intelligent guys. They understand football, understand X’s and O’s and they both play very hard with a high motor and they are well-coached."

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