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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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After rookie jitters in Week 1, things are slowing down for Samaje Perine

After rookie jitters in Week 1, things are slowing down for Samaje Perine

Samaje Perine's highlight reel will not feature many clips from his first preseason game. The rookie running back out of Oklahoma struggled in that game, rushing six times for just 15 yards. 

In his second game, however, Perine found his game. Playing with the second team offense, Perine looked strong. He ran eight times for 45 yards, more than 5.5 yards-per-carry, and also caught one pass for 29 yards. 

RELATED: REDSKINS-PACKERS WEEK 2 PRESEASON MUST-SEE PHOTOS

"I just got the first game under my belt. First game jitters always going to happen. Once I got that out of the way I got to settle in," Perine said (full video above). "I got to go out and have fun."

More importantly, Perine didn't make the same mistakes the Redskins saw in Baltimore. He held onto the ball, made an impressive catch, and while pass protection will still take some work, he made tremendous strides from the first game. 

"The first game everything was going 100 miles-per-hour," he said of the difference between Week 1 to Week 2. "Once I got a chance to actually reevaluate, and slow things down, it just became football."

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden noticed the difference in Perine's play as well. 

RELATED: FIVE BIG TAKEAWAYS FROM REDSKINS' 21-17 LOSS VS. PACKERS

"I think there was a major step up and I expected that from Samaje," the coach said. "He’s the type of guy that I figured would bounce back. I’m glad to see him play so hard, so well."

The Redskins first-team offense again struggled to run the ball. Rob Kelley doesn't seem to be doing much wrong, as holes and running lanes have not been present with the top unit on the field, but his stats through two games are paltry (12 rushes, 11 yards). 

Perine might eventually push Kelley for carries, but that won't be the case at least early in the season. More performances like the game against Green Bay could possibly accelrate that timeline. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins Playbook: Jordan Reed is back, but what happens next?

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USA Today Sports

Redskins Playbook: Jordan Reed is back, but what happens next?

Ugly. Bad. Subpar. Any of these words properly describe the Redskins offense through the first two weeks of the 2017 preseason, but that could change quick. On Sunday, the Redskins announced that Jordan Reed had been activated from the PUP list.

That means the star tight end can again practice with the team. Reed immediately becomes Washington's most dangerous offensive weapon, even on a team with guys packed with potential like Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson, or a player that has produced like Jamison Crowder.

RELATED: REDSKINS-PACKERS PRESEASON WEEK 2 MUST-SEE PHOTOS

Reed makes defensive coordinators alternate their game plan, and his health is of paramount importance to the Redskins.

Last season, Reed sustained a separated shoulder on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys. In the five games after that loss in Dallas, where Reed either didn't play or played with limited effectiveness, the Redskins passed for more than 300 yards just once. In the four games before the injury, including the Cowboys game, the Redskins passed for more than 300 yards three times, and 400 yards twice. 

It's simple really: Reed on the field makes the Redskins offense dynamic. It makes Kirk Cousins a better quarterback. 

Looking ahead, the question becomes if Reed will play in the preseason. He doesn't need to. He really doesn't.

RELATED: FIVE BIG TAKEAWAYS FROM REDSKINS' PRESEASON LOSS VS. PACKERS

If he does get through the week of practice healthy and without setback, it seems a safe bet he might play next week against the Bengals. Let Reed get some work, and let the new offense see what it looks like with the No. 1 tight end on the field. 

Reed doesn't need to play in the preseason. His resume, when healthy, speaks volumes. 

But the Redskins might need Reed. The team could use a spark. Against Green Bay's first team defense, the Redskins were wholly ineffective. 

In three seasons, Jay Gruden has never won an opening game as coach of the Redskins. Reed playing in the preseason might not change that, but if Washington is able to get some momentum from an impressive outing against the Bengals, it could help. 

Reed has that type of talent. He's also missd 20 games in a four-year career. Watching him at practice this week will be a major development. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!