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Need to Know: Redskins still have more holes to patch in free agency

Need to Know: Redskins still have more holes to patch in free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 10, 38 days before Washington Redskins start offseason workouts on April 17  


Days until:

—NFL Draft (4/27) 48
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 75
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 127
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 184

Redskins still have free agency work to do

Ideally, a team should be able fill its basic needs during free agency. They should be able to field a team with 22 competent starters by the end of March. That way they can draft by their board and not because of need. Relying on a draft pick to start is very risky business. The draft should be about depth and the future.

The Redskins still have some work to do in free agency to get there but they got off to a good start on the first day that the marketplace officially was open.

Starting from the back of the defense first, they took care of the hole at safety by signing D.J. Swearinger. They can now line up two safeties in Swearinger and Su’a Cravens. They likely will try Swearinger at free safety, where he played some with the Cardinals last year. If that alignment doesn’t work, they still have Will Blackmon, who started six games at free last year and played reasonably well.

On the line, the Redskins added Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee on a day when Chris Baker signed with the Bucs. You could line up with McClain, McGee. Ricky Jean Francois rotating and end and Phil Taylor at nose tackle if you had to. However, that is not a line that would hold up very well. If they can add another good lineman over the next few days, perhaps Bennie Logan or Jonathan Hankins. They would be off to a good start on the line if they can do that and then add another D-lineman in the first few days of the draft.

While many think the team needs to upgrade at inside linebacker, they could still field experienced players there, at outside linebacker, and at cornerback if the season started today.

On offense, Vernon Davis is back so they have depth at tight end. Their starting offensive line is back as are the top four on the running back depth chart. According to reports Kirk Cousins will drop by Redskins Park to sign his franchise tag soon so QB is set, for this year, anyway.

Wide receiver needs some help with Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson gone. Jamison Crowder the only receiver on the roster with as many as 40 career receptions. There is hope that Josh Doctson, last year’s first-round pick, will be healthy and productive. But they need more, which is why Terrell Pryor was visiting with the Redskins last night. There was nothing reported out of Redskins Park last night but it seems likely that the visit will continue this morning.

Whether it’s Pryor or perhaps Terrance Williams of the Cowboys, the Redskins need to add one more experienced wide receiver to the mix.

They are off to a solid start in Day 1 of free agency but they still have a lot of work to do.

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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 draft oft-injured Auburn CB Joshua Holsey with their final pick


Redskins draft oft-injured Auburn CB Joshua Holsey with their final pick

The Redskins haven't shied away from using draft picks on players with an injury history, and that trend continued all the way to their final pick of the draft with Auburn CB Joshua Holsey.

Holsey missed parts of the 2013 and 2015 seasons at Auburn due to torn ACLs, but rebounded with a strong season in 2016. He had 30 tackles, three interceptions and 10 passes defended in his senior season.


He was overlooked through most of the draft process due to his injury history and was snubbed at the combine. 

The seventh round is a spot to take a flier on a guy who has some traits you like, and this certainly fits the bill with the pick of Joshua Holsey. 


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All or nothing? Redskins roll dice on 7th-round safety with lots of talent

All or nothing? Redskins roll dice on 7th-round safety with lots of talent

With two picks in the seventh round, the Redskins rolled the dice and selected Josh Harvey-Clemons. A safety from Louisville that started his career at Georgia, Harvey-Clemons was a five star recruit out of high school that eventually left Georgia due to multiple positive drug tests.

His junior year at Louisville, however, was a breakout season for Harvey-Clemons. Here are three things to know:

  1. Testing - At Georgia, Harvey-Clemons dealt with multiple suspensions for marijuana. That had a major impact on his draft status, and will have the eyes of the NFL watching him on the next level.
  2. Size - Harvey-Clemons has the size to play safety in the NFL, or maybe even more of a hybrid role like Su'a Cravens as a rookie. He's listed at 6-foot-4 and 217 lbs. NFL.com describes him with an "alpha mentality."
  3. Keep it together - After sitting out a transfer year, Harvey-Clemons played well at Lousville for two seasons. He logged more than 140 tackles and took ACC conference honors in 2015 and 2016. Whatever problems he had early in his college career (cough pot cough) he controlled at Louisville. If that continues, Harvey Clemons could have a chance at making the Redskins roster.

Simply put? The Redskins rolled the dice on a kid with good size and tackling ability who had problems with marijuana early in his college career. A lot of college students have problems smoking marijuana early in their college career. In the 7th round, this seems like a good gamble.


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