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Need to Know: The Redskins' draft could hinge on their middle round picks

Need to Know: The Redskins' draft could hinge on their middle round picks

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 2, 25 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 15
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 40
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 52
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 104
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 152

Looking for impact in the middle rounds

As of now, the Redskins have two picks in the fourth round and one in the fifth. If they don’t make any trades, those picks will represent 30 percent of the 2017 draft class (they have a total of 10 picks). Hitting on those picks could make or break this draft.

Nothing about the draft is easy, but the chances of getting reasonably productive players in the first three rounds are pretty good. It’s not guaranteed by any stretch but picks in the top 100 should be money.

On the other end of the draft, it’s not that sixth- and seventh-round picks are worthless but you must be very fortunate to get more than a backup or special teams player out of players picked there. Of the 237 players picked in the sixth and seventh rounds in the last three drafts, only 52 have started three games or more and just 20 have started at least 10 games.  Even the best talent evaluators are hard pressed to come up with a highly productive player after the first 175 have come off the board.

That means that the real work in the draft gets done in the middle rounds, the fourth and fifth rounds

Who are the best players the Redskins have taken in those middle rounds (4-5) recently? Looking at their performances with the Redskins only, here are the top five taken since the 2000 draft (you can see all of them here):

*Currently on the Redskins roster

QB Kirk Cousins* (Round 4-2012)—A fourth-round pick who becomes a quality starting quarterback for two years is going to top the list of mid-round picks every time.

ILB Perry Riley (4-2010)—Not a high impact player but Riley did a good job from when he took over as the starter midway through the 2011 season until he was released after the 2015 season.

DL Anthony Montgomery (5-2006)—For a while it looked like he was going to be a real draft steal but he didn’t keep it going. Kedric Golston, drafted in the sixth round the same season, lasted seven seasons longer.

CB Bashaud Breeland* (4-2013)—This is another position of value so he’s on the list after intercepting seven passes in three seasons.

Jamison Crowder* (4-2002)—Crowder and Cousins have contributed to each other’s success. In two seasons Crowder has 126 receptions and nine touchdowns

Among other mid-round players, the Redskins got some production from are RB Roy Helu (4-2011), TE Robert Royal (5-2002), RB Chris Thompson* (5-2013), and TE Niles Paul* (5-2011).

The Redskins currently have nine players who they drafted in the fourth and fifth rounds on their roster. In addition to those listed above they have G Arie Kouandjio (4-2015), WR Ryan Grant (5-2014), DL Matt Ioannidis (5-2016), and ILB Martrell Spaight (5-2015).

The Redskins would be very happy if they can end up with a fourth- or fifth-round player who is as immediately productive as Crowder was as a rookie (at any position), a guy like Breeland, who can hold down a job while still learning, someone like Paul, who can contribute right away on special teams, and perhaps a Spaight, who can do a spot start here and there.

That’s the best-case scenario. The reality is that one or two of their mid-round picks won’t contribute much of anything but the team hopes to acquire some impact early on Saturday afternoon.

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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Redskins Week 3 injury report: Five are listed as questionable

Redskins Week 3 injury report: Five are listed as questionable

The Redskins had a tough, physical game against the Rams last Sunday and it shows on the team’s injury report. Five players are listed as questionable for the coming game against the Raiders at FedEx Field.

TE Jordan Reed (chest), RB Rob Kelley (ribs), ILB Mason Foster (shoulder), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), and CB Josh Norman (shoulder) are the players who are questionable.

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS' WIN IN LA

Of those players, Reed was the only one to miss a practice this week. He was out on Wednesday and was back on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday. The Pro Bowl tight end told reporters in the locker room that he will be in the lineup on Sunday.

There is particular concern about Kelley’s injury. He is likely to start as he usually does. But CSN is reporting that the team will have four running backs on the game day active list instead of the three they went with in Weeks 1 and 2. Mack Brown will dress for the Redskins after being inactive in both previous games.

MORE REDSKINS: A STRONG START FOR SMITH BUT MORE IS NEEDED

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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Pierre Garcon was fantastic vs. the Rams, but don't lament his departure just yet

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Pierre Garcon was fantastic vs. the Rams, but don't lament his departure just yet

Thursday night's Rams-49ers game was surprisingly fun. It was also unofficially the Check Out All These Ex-Redskins Now Playing or Working in California Bowl.

Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, two former Washington offensive coordinators, are now in charge of the two teams. Old 'Skins like Aldrick Robinson, Derek Carrier and John Sullivan, meanwhile, were a part of the on-field action.

It was Pierre Garçon, though, who pushed Burgundy and Gold fans to take their phones out of their pocket and pen sad tweets. That's because the 31-year-old wideout caught seven Brian Hoyer passes (that's impressive on its own, by the way) for 142 yards vs. Los Angeles on Thursday Night Football.

And while his team lost 41-39, Garçon didn't deserve to with plays like this:

MORE: 5 REDSKINS WHO'LL BE UNDER PRESSURE SUNDAY NIGHT

Even with that standout performance, however, Redskins fans shouldn't be cursing the franchise for letting Garçon go. Not yet, anyway.

This past march, the veteran left D.C. after five seasons to sign with San Fran. His deal was a rich one: five years for $47.5 million ($17 million guaranteed at signing). The Niners can get out of it after two years, but it still is a sizable contract even with that potential exit.

That kind of money is the first thing those who miss Garçon should think about. Now, the Redskins didn't exactly handle their negotiations with him that smoothly, but in the end, unless he gave Washington a nice discount, he just would've cost a lot to keep.

Secondly, it's easy to slam the 'Skins for losing Garçon while Kirk Cousins and Co. have stalled through two games in 2017. But the reason that's happening thus far has more to do with Cousins' inaccuracy in Weeks 1 and 2 and an offensive line that's not at the level it should be than with that familiar No. 88 not lining up outside anymore.

RELATED: NEGATIVES LEAD TO POSITIVES FOR CHRIS THOMPSON

Would Garçon have made a difference for the Redskins against the Eagles and Rams if he were still here? Yeah, probably. But when Jay Gruden's unit starts operating at its normal speed and precision — and it will — the upset voices lamenting Garçon's departure will get quieter.

This is nothing against the guy who was the NFL's 2013 receptions leader and who's well on his way to another productive campaign. It's just that it feels premature to make the connection that allowing him to move on is what's ailing the Washington offense, or that it was a disastrous decision. 

Give Garçon's far cheaper replacements (Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson) more time. Wait for the quarterback and his linemen to sync up again. In a league with just 16 games, that's very hard to do, but let's see if those in the area long for Garçon in December as much as they are currently longing for him in September.