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Need to Know: 5 NFC East draft picks who will get the Redskins' attention

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Need to Know: 5 NFC East draft picks who will get the Redskins' attention

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, May 14, two days before the Redskins’ hold their rookie minicamp.

Nickel coverage

Here are five NFC East draft picks who should concern the Redskins:

WR Odell Beckham, NYG—The Giants lost Hakeem Nicks, who appeared to be in decline, to free agency. They replaced him with Beckham, who is faster and will start giving the Redskins fits right away.

OL Zack Martin, DAL—A couple of years ago the Cowboys’ offensive line was a joke. Now the left side and center are solid as a rock. Martin is penciled in at left guard between tackle Tryon Smith and center Travis Frederick. That will give Tony Romo some of the best blindside protection in the league.

DE Demarcus Lawrence, DAL—It will be very interesting to watch how the career of Lawrence develops as this was the player the Cowboys traded up with the Redskins to acquire.

OLB Marcus Smith, PHI—They said that he was a “reach” in the first round (pick 26) but that won’t matter much if he ends up chasing Robert Griffin III around during their twice a year meetings.

WR Jordan Matthews, PHI—Technically he’s DeSean Jackson’s replacement but, at 6-3, he’s obviously a very different player. He won’t break off many big plays like Jackson but he will catch a lot of passes and move the chains in Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense.

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Timeline

—It’s been 136 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 116 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 2; Training camp starts 70; Preseason opener Patriots @ Redskins 85

In case you missed it

Gruden on the draft

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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.