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Need to Know: Will the Redskins shift to drafting for need?

Need to Know: Will the Redskins shift to drafting for need?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 19, 39 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 29
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 54
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 66
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 118
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 175

Fan question: Will draft philosophy change with McCloughan gone?

When it comes to the draft I don’t think that any GM is 100 percent best player or 100 percent need. It’s more of a sliding scale with McCloughan favoring the BPA end of it. It’s hard to say where Allen and Jay Gruden, who will have a strong voice in the draft room, will fall on the scale.

Although Allen was a general manager in Oakland and Tampa Bay before coming to the Redskins, he has had final say in just one draft. That was in 2014 the year after Mike Shanahan, who had personnel control, left and a year before McCloughan arrived.

Let’s take a look at his top draft picks to see if we can get any clues. The Redskins did not have a first-round pick in 2014, making the last installment on the Robert Griffin III trade. They held the 34th pick but Allen cut a deal with Dallas (perhaps something to make note of). The Redskins traded back to pick No. 47 and picked up an additional third rounder, No. 78 overall, in the deal.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 5.0

OLB Trent Murphy, Rd. 2, 47th overall—The Redskins had given the franchise tag to Brian Orakpo and his presence beyond the 2014 season was uncertain. They would need an edge rusher to pair with Ryan Kerrigan. This is like McCloughan taking Josh Doctson with the top pick last year. Although it didn’t fill an immediate need, there was a good chance that DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon would leave in free agency so the need was almost certain to be there.

OT Morgan Moses, Rd. 3, 66th overall—They were set at one tackle with Trent Williams but the right side was shaky with Tyler Polumbus penciled in as the starter. Polumbus would lose that job to Tom Compton. Moses played sparingly as a rookie but he was installed as the starter after a week of training camp in 2015 when it turned out that Brandon Scherff was more suited to playing guard.

OL Spencer Long, Rd. 3, 78th overall—They had Shawn Lauvao in the second year of his free agent contract at left guard and the aging (31) Chris Chester on the right side. They certainly needed some young depth if not an eventual starter. Long played sparingly as a rookie but he came in when Lauvao was hurt early in the 2015 season and last year he shifted to center and played most of the season after Kory Lichtensteiger was put on injured reserve. It appears that he is the long-term plan at center.

CB Bashaud Breeland, Rd 4, 102nd overall—The Redskins had DeAngelo Hall at one corner and second-year player David Amerson at the other. Hall was 31 and he would need to be replaced at some point. As it turned out, Hall suffered a ruptured Achilles in Week 3 and Breeland has been starting ever since.

What makes it hard to compare here is that the Redskins were coming off of a 3-13 season had needs all over the field. Safety probably was the biggest immediate need but Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the only impact safety to come out of that draft, was gone to the Packers in the first round before the Redskins ever had a chance.

Perhaps a more defining tell for which end of the scale this Redskins draft will favor came from defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. Last week on ESPN 980 he said, “Right now, we might be in a situation where we’re looking for a nose [tackle] in the draft.”

If they draft a nose tackle in the first three or four rounds it’s likely a need pick. Fans should just hope it’s not too much of a reach. Nothing is worse for building your team that drafting for need and then still having the need a year later because you reached for the wrong guy.

That really doesn’t answer the question but there really isn’t enough information to answer it right now. My guess is that they will lean towards need but not because of Allen. As noted, Gruden will have a lot to say about who gets taken and coaches are more interested in filling out the depth chart than following the draft board. It’s hard to lean towards advocating the selections of guys who might not help for a few years when you could be fired in the meantime.

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 Playbook: 3 under-the-radar players who could make big impact

Redskins Playbook: 3 under-the-radar players who could make big impact

Much of the Redskins offseason has been focused on players like Josh Norman and Kirk Cousins, or the addition of guys like Terrelle Pryor and Zach Brown. Further down the roster, however, is where games are won. Here's a look at three players that will have the opportunity to make a big impact in 2017.

  1. Kendall Fuller - Let's be honest: the second-year Hokie had a tough rookie year. He started the season injured, and probably wasn't all the way up to speed when he began playing Week 4. Early on he produced at a good level for a rookie, but quickly, the league saw how to beat him. In a November game against the Vikings, Fuller repeatedly got beat on the inside by Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs. After that, the Redskins coaching staff looked elsewhere for a slot corner. 2017 is a new season, and Fuller will be a full year removed from his knee injury. He still has good vision and hips, an NFL pedigree, and should have the first crack at the slot corner role. If he can produce like many expected from him in 2015 - when he was an assumed first-round pick - Fuller could make a big difference for the Washington defense. Third round draft pick Fabian Moreau might also push for snaps at corner, once he gets healthy. 
  2. Stacy McGee - A new addition to the defense, McGee might be the answer Redskins fans want at nose tackle. Last season was by the far the best of McGee's career, and he emerged as a strong run stopper in Oakland. With his frame, and Jim Tomsula's coaching, McGee might play a big role this fall. His biggest hurdle? Staying healthy. In four seasons in the NFL, McGee has only played 16 games one season. Last year, he was limited to just nine games.
  3. Spencer Long - A free agent at the end of the season, Long comes in to 2017 looking to prove he can be a top tier center in the NFL. He excelled in pass blocking and calling the assignments on the Redskins line, but his run blocking could improve this fall. The literal centerpiece of a strong, young 'Skins line, 2017 will be a big opportunity for Long. Don't forget Washington moved up to draft Chase Roullier from Wyoming in the 6th round, and he played center and guard in college. Life in the NFL always has pressure, and Long will be facing some.

Always something on social: Enjoy the weekend folks.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Who will surprise, who will play NT

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Who will surprise, who will play NT

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 27, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp on June 13.

Timeline

It’s been 146 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 106 days.

Days until:

—Redskins minicamp (6/13) 17
—Training camp starts (7/27) 61
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 75

The Redskins week that was

Here are some of the most popular post from the last week on www.CSNmidatlantic.com and on www.RealRedskins.com

How well will the Redskins' defense adjust to six new starters? The Redskins unquestionably got an infusion of defensive talent but as we have seen in the past that does not guarantee better results. Throw a new defensive coordinator into the mix and it could take some time for this unit to reach its full potential. I think that there will be struggles early in the season and a better (but not dominant) unit by the time November rolls around.

Which Redskins will surprise in 2017? Every player carries expectations into the season. Some will be better than we believe right now (think of what many thought Vernon Davis would do last year) and some will play worse (Josh Doctson). I take out the crystal ball to figure out who will exceed expectations and who will fall below them.

Don't count out 3rd straight franchise tag for Cousins—Yes, Bruce Allen said that he is willing to franchise tag Kirk Cousins for a third time next year, a move that would cost $34 million for one season. But I think that’s a total bluff; the Redskins’ salary cap situation for 2018 would make such a move very difficult for them to pull off. The best hope for Cousins being a Redskin in 2018 is getting him signed to a long-term contract by July 15 of this year. The tone of the conversation regarding a new deal has been positive lately but the team must come up with a serious offer for a deal to happen.

For Redskins, finding a nose tackle needs to be a priority—Well, it’s up to Jim Tomsula to “make” a nose tackle. Phil Taylor is a true NT and he will get a shot. But he hasn’t played a snap since 2014. Undrafted free agent Ondre Pipkins also has nose tackle size at 6-3, 325. But he is a long shot, as are the Redskins’ chances of being significantly better against the run if they don’t find someone, anyone to be an adequate solution as the nose tackle.

Did Vernon Davis make the NFL change celebration rules? Although I prefer the John Riggins way of celebrating a touchdown—hand the ball to the referee because you’ve been in the end zone before and you expect to be back again soon—elaborate celebrations don’t bother me. After a TD in a game I’m covering I’m focused on writing about the scoring drive. When I’m watching at home, my attention goes to Twitter or to the refrigerator. I do think that it was dumb for the Redskins to lose 15 yards of field position because Vernon Davis put a jump shot over the crossbar so that’s why I’m glad that the NFL changed the celebration rules.

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.