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Need to Know: 5 best defensive backs drafted by the Redskins

Need to Know: 5 best defensive backs drafted by the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 2, six days before the NFL draft. Nickel coverage Could the Redskins be looking for a defensive back in the draft? Here are the five best defensive backs the Redskins have drafted since the advent of the common draft in 1968 (per the career Approximate Value metric used by Pro Football Reference).

1. Champ Bailey, Round 1/7 overall, 1999 (Career AV 114)—You can debate the circumstances of his departure and the impact of Clinton Portis compared to Bailey. But Bailey has had one heck of a career.

2. Darrell Green, 1/28, 1983 (CAV 100)—Feel free to take a shot at the CAV metric here. Although Bailey has been great, I’m not sure an objective observer would take him over Green in their primes. And they both had long primes. You could blame honors voters during Green’s career for this as well. They voted Bailey to more Pro Bowls (12 for Bailey to 7 for Green) and named Bailed first-team All-Pro more often (3-1). Those honors affect the CAV calculation.

3. Carlos Rogers, 1/9, 2005, (CAV 47)—It’s quite a drop from the top two on this list to here, from Hall of Fame caliber to above average. Rogers was notorious for dropping potential interceptions; he had only eight in six seasons with the team. But I always pointed out that the dropped picks meant he was always around the ball.

4. Fred Smoot, 2/45, 2001, (CAV 43)—He made an immediate impression with his outgoing personality and distinctive Southern style of speaking and he was a pretty good player to boot. He ended up playing seven of his nine NFL seasons with the Redskins.

5. LaRon Landry, 1/6, 2007 (CAV 38)—Two words here—unrealized potential. He would have had a chance to team up with Sean Taylor until he was tragically lost. Then Landry was frequently lined up 30 yards deep from the line of scrimmage, leaving him too far away to utilize his aggressive skills. Then, after looking like an all-world safety in the Redskins’ new 3-4 scheme in 2010 for half a season, an Achilles injury and subsequent disagreements over treatment ended his Redskins career.

Update: Since I've already received inquiries about Sean Taylor's spot on the list, I should note that he he is ninth with a career AV of 33. Of course having a long career is key to that metric and it certainly wasn't the fault of Taylor or the Redskins that he didn't have a long, productive career. You'd have to think that at this point in time he would be third on this list had he lived, well above Rogers and perhaps on the way to closing in on Green and Bailey (although corners to tend to have longer careers than safeties).

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—It’s been 124 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 127 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.

Days until: NFL Draft 6; Training camp starts 82; Preseason opener Patriots @ Redskins 98

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Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

New Redskins defensive lineman Jonathan Allen is looking to pattern his game after two All-Pro linemen. 

"I'm a very versatile player and can do anything. I love watching Geno Atkins and Aaron Donald," Washington’s first-round draft pick told reporters on a conference call.

The Redskins will be very happy if Allen can be as productive as Atkins and Donald. Atkins has played for the Bengals since the 2010 season. He has been durable, playing in 16 games in six of his seven seasons, and effective, producing 52 sacks, a good total for a defensive tackle. 

MORE REDSKINS: A COMPLETE RECAP OF ROUND 1

Donald was a first-round pick of the Rams in 2014. He was a first-team All-Pro in each of the past two seasons, recording a total of 28 sacks in his three seasons. 

Both players combine outstanding physical talent and high motors. Allen has selected two pretty good role models to follow. 

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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Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Jonathan Allen was the perfect pick for the Redskins, filling a need with a player who clearly was the best on the board.

Allen’s slide from a top-five prospect to the middle of the first round is believed to be because of issues with both of his shoulders. During his time at Alabama he suffered labral tears in both of his shoulders that were surgically repaired and he also suffers from mild arthritis in both of them. That apparently scared some teams off but not the Redskins.

“We didn't have any concerns,” said coach Jay Gruden. “We talked to Dr. [James] Andrews, he gave thumbs up on him. We feel very good about the injuries.”

Then why did a top talent slide all the way back to the Redskins’ pick?

“As far as him falling to us, their were a lot of things that happened in the draft, three quarterbacks went, a couple of receivers went pretty high, a lot of offensive players went that probably not a lot of people expected,” said Gruden. “So, some of these very good defensive players fell to us and we're happy.”

Allen told reporters that the shoulders did not cause him any problems while he was playing.

“I didn’t even wear a brace for the [2016] season,” Allen said. “So, I mean, it doesn’t even affect me. Every team I talked to, shoulders were medically cleared, no problems. Probably the best I’ve felt in the last four years, to be honest.”

Alabama team doctor Lyle Cain’s assessment of Allen’s shoulders align with those of the player and Gruden.

"He's played without any problems," Cain told NFL Media last month. "This is something that a lot of offensive linemen and defensive linemen have, things guys play with their whole careers. It's just a little earlier for him because he got hurt in college."

We will see how this plays out. It’s possible that his injury problems could limit his effectiveness or cut his career short. But clearly the Redskins saw that the Allen’s talent made the injury risk a worthwhile gamble.

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.