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Need to Know: What will the Redskins do with pick No. 17?

Need to Know: What will the Redskins do with pick No. 17?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 19, eight days before the April 27 NFL draft.


Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 23
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 35
—Training camp starts (7/27) 99
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 144

What will the Redskins do in the draft?

Let’s take a big-picture look at the Redskins’ draft and see what might happen. Here are five possible generic outcomes with the imaginary $100 in casino chips spread around on them.

Draft a defensive lineman, $10—Although the position is the most glaring need on the team it seems likely that the team will go for the 21st straight year without taking a D-lineman in the first round (last one Kenard Lang, 1997). It just doesn’t look like there will be one there who is even remotely worth the 17th pick. Better to hope for Caleb Brantley or Taco Charlton to be there in the second,  

Draft another defensive player, $30—It’s easy to see the Redskins possibly having their choice of a talented inside linebacker like Reuben Foster or Haason Reddick, one of a few very good cornerbacks, or an edge rusher such as Takkarist McKinley or Derek Barnett. Any of those players has the potential to improve the defense immediately.

Draft an offensive player, $30—I get the impression that Jay Gruden likes either Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey a lot. Maybe he likes both of them. It could be that if one or both is on the board at No. 17, Gruden lobbies hard to take the running back. I think both could well be gone and I don’t see another offensive player o the board being a good value. That’s why the chances are better that the pick will be on defense.

Trade up, $10—They could want to jump up and take Foster, Cook, or McCaffrey but it would be costly. Moving up just four spots to pick No. 13 likely would cost them their third-round pick, which is a steep price for a team with a lot of needs.

Trade down, $20—While I think that the Redskins would be more receptive to a trade down over than they would be for one to move up there is still a relatively slim chance. A team has to want to move up and the talent in the last half of the draft is pretty even. It could happen but a lot of moving parts have to fall into place.

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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Redskins focus on defense through three rounds in the NFL Draft

Redskins focus on defense through three rounds in the NFL Draft

Coming into the offseason, there was plenty of talk coming from the Redskins organization that the team needed to upgrade the defense. Those who have been following the team for a while have heard this for many years now. However, usually the talk is just that, with more draft capital and free agency money going to the offense year in and year out.

But this year things are different.

The lion’s share of free agent spending went to the defense. They added linemen Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, linebacker Zach Brown, and safety D.J. Swearinger. Now they have started off their draft with a laser focus in the defensive side of the ball.

RELATED: Redskins add cornerback with first round talent, but injuries pushed him to the third round

In the first round, they were delighted to take Jonathan Allen, the top-rated defensive lineman on their board. In the second round they went with outside linebacker Ryan Anderson, a teammate of Allen’s at Alabama. Then in the third round the pick was cornerback Fabian Moreau out of UCLA.

It’s been 20 years since the Redskins have gone so heavy with defensive picks at the top of the draft. Not since 1997 have they taken defensive players in the first three rounds of the draft. That year they took DE Kenard Lang, LB Greg Jones, and LB Derek Smith in rounds one, two, and three, respectively.

We will see how much impact the three draft picks have on the defense and, as Redskins fans have learned over the years, an influx of free agents on defense doesn’t guarantee improvement on that side of the ball.

But at least the Redskins organization is putting its money, and its draft picks, where its mouth is and that has be considered a positive development.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins make it two Alabama defenders in the 2017 draft class so far

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.