Here is what you need to know on this Friday, April 7, 20 days before the April 27 NFL draft.
—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 10
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 35
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 47
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 147
Friday three and out
1. It looks like Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey is going to be visiting the Redskins.
Rapoport is alluding to talk among some analysts that there is a growing belief that McCaffrey will be a top-10 draft pick. He reportedly has visited the Panthers, who pick at No. 8.
Carolina has been linked to LSU RB Leonard Fournette ever since the draft order was set in January. But the word is that may want to go with the more versatile McCaffery. If the Redskins do want to get one of the three top backs in this draft, they may have to take Dalvin Cook, who has explosive ability but some fumbling and off-field issues.
2. I still can’t shake the feeling that the Redskins might take a quarterback in the first, with the loss of Cousins as a free agent in 2018 looming. Some mock drafts have Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson going in the top 10. But this one by Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Media has every quarterback in the draft available to the Redskins at No. 17.
The knocks against the quarterbacks in this class are that they will take at least a year to develop. To a team that needs an immediate starter they are not the answer. But could Watson or Trubisky get the job done after developing for a year behind Cousins? It’s something the organization must think about.
3. While drafting a quarterback in the first round might have some howling I don’t think anyone would object to an interior defensive lineman at No. 17. The problem is that when the Redskins are on the clock there might not be one on the board who is worth the 17th picks. Look at this prospect ranking on CBSSports.com. DT Jonathan Allen of Alabama is ranked fourth. Then you look down the list and there isn’t another interior defensive lineman until you get to Malik McDowell at No. 23.
Assuming Allen is gone, the solution for the Redskins may be to trade back. Per the draft trade value chart, they could pick up a third-round pick for moving back from No. 17 to No. 23. That would give them four of the top 81 picks. The obvious potential problem here is that you need to have a team that wants to trade up.
Of course, each team’s board is different and the Redskins may well have a higher grade on a given D-lineman than the outside analysts do. But the point is that there may well be a dry hole when it comes to the defensive line at No. 17 that could force the Redskins to reach, try to trade back, or go with another position.
Out—By my count, 21 of the Redskins who are currently under contract are set to be unrestricted free agents in 2018. That’s a lot but it may not be as bad as it sounds. I count eight who are either on the bubble for making the roster this year, players like Phillip Taylor and Derek Carrier, or who are unlikely to be offered contracts next year, like Shawn Lauvao or DeAngelo Hall.
They should have some cap space to work with, especially if they aren’t paying a quarterback a lot of money (perhaps a good reason to draft their 2018 starting QB this year). Looking at how things stand currently and figuring in some for the draft picks who will be under contract in 2018 the Redskins should have in the neighborhood of $50-$55 million in salary cap space.
Tandler on Twitter
Some hail accumulation here in Ashburn. pic.twitter.com/DtBSXL5JDc— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) April 6, 2017
In case you missed it
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- Redskins D-line depth chart needs major changes
- Should the Redskins shift to a run-first philosophy?