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Need to Know: 5 Redskins thoughts including O-line competition

Need to Know: 5 Redskins thoughts including O-line competition

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, May 21, six days before the start of OTAs.

Nickel coverage

With the draft and rookie minicamp in the rear view mirror and the start of OTAs almost a week away, here are five thoughts on the Redskins.

—With the exception of Shawn Lauvao, who just got here, every member of the starting offensive line has had his job handed to him for the past two years. There was not any serious training camp or in-season competition for any of the jobs during the four years that Mike Shanahan was the head coach. This year Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, and Tyler Polumbus will be pushed by Mike McGlynn, Spencer Long, and Morgan Moses. We will see how they respond.

—It’s easy to connect a few hypothetical dots and see the addition of DeSean Jackson will help Robert Griffin III rack up some solid passing stats. But then I look at the case of Griffin’s fellow class of 2012 quarterback Ryan Tannehill. As a rookie Tannehill averaged 6.8 yards per pass attempt. Prior to the 2013 season the Dolphins added receiver Mike Wallace, who was supposed to add the same deep-threat dimension that Jackson should bring to Washington. But last year Tannehill’s average per attempt actually fell, down to 6.7 yards. There isn’t necessarily cause and effect there but the addition of a fast receiver doesn’t mean an automatic boost to the QB’s numbers.

—It’s the turnovers, folks. The Redskins turned the ball over 34 times last year; only one team, the Giants, turned it over more often. They had only one turnover-free game the entire year. If they are going to turn their record around, they need to change that situation.

—I think that the NFL Players Association should be able to approve of any expansion of the playoffs. But I can’t for the life of me figure out why they wouldn’t approve it. They shouldn’t need a “concession” in return. The additional revenue will expand the salary cap and 106 more players per year will get a chance to play for the Super Bowl title. That’s the concession.

—Back to Griffin—if he plays better than he did last year, the Redskins will not necessarily be an improved team. But they will not be better if he doesn’t play better.

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Timeline

—It’s been 143 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 109 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.

Days until: OTAs 6; Training camp starts 63; Redskins @ Eagles 123

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The best players left in the draft for the Redskins—Offense

The best players left in the draft for the Redskins—Offense

The Redskins have seven picks in the final four rounds of the draft today. Here are some of the top players available on offense. Will look at the defense a little later this morning.

Offensive line

G Dorian Johnson, Pitt—The Redskins probably would want him to add a few pounds to his frame, as at 6-5 he currently carries “only” 300 pounds. He’s smart, tough, and athletic.

G Nico Siragusa, San Diego State—At 6-4, his weight is about right at 319 pounds. A three-year starter with a great power game and pass protection skills that will need to be coached up.

RELATED: Redskins focus on defense in first 3 rounds

Tight end/receiver

TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech—He’s big enough to be your blocking tight end and athletic enough to line up split out wide.

WR Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma—One of the most productive receivers in the country and a Heisman finalist. He’s a little small at 6-0, 178 but he has excellent deep speed.

Running back

RB Samaje Perine, Oklahoma—As a true freshman in 2014 he set the national record by rushing for 427 yards in a game against Kansas. He probably doesn’t have that kind of monster game in him at the next level but he will be a solid, reliable back who can handle a heavy workload.

RB Jeremy McNichols, Boise State—A very productive runner and pass catcher who posted over 2,200 yards of offense last year.

MORE REDSKINS: Three reasons to like the pick of Ryan Anderson 

Quarterback

QB Nathan Peterman, Pitt—Nobody would have batted an eye if he had gone off the board in the third or maybe even the late second round. If the Redskins are concerned about Kirk Cousins leaving as a free agent, Peterman carries a very similar set of skills.

QB Brad Kaaya, Miami—Another QB many thought may be off the board by now, Kaaya has the mental makeup to succeed at quarterback but his game needs a lot of polish.

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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Need to Know: The best Redskins late-round picks of the last 10 years

Need to Know: The best Redskins late-round picks of the last 10 years

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 29, 25 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.

Timeline

At Redskins Park—Fourth through seventh rounds of the NFL draft; conference calls with players selected; Gruden will speak to media shortly after Redskins’ final pick.

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 13
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 25
—Training camp starts (7/27) 89
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 134

The Redskins’ best late-round picks since of the last 10 years

While no aspect of drafting in the NFL is easy, it is much harder to find key contributors on the last day of the draft than it is in the first three rounds. The Redskins will have seven picks in this afternoon's draft to try to find one or two of them. 

Since the 2007 draft the Redskins have taken 56 players from the fourth round on. Of those, 45 played in at least one NFL game but only 12 of them were the Redskins’ primary starter at their positions for at least one season. Here are the five best of those players.

QB Kirk Cousins (round 4, 2012)—He was probably the most controversial pick on this list since the Redskins had just drafted Robert Griffin III a couple of days earlier. History proved Mike Shanahan right.

RB Alfred Morris (6, 2012)—This pick came a few hours after and with much less noise than the Cousins pick did. Many believed that the Redskins were set a running back with Roy Helu and Evan Royster. Morris not only surprised many by making the team but he lined up as the Week 1 starter. He went on to break the team’s single-season rushing record by piling up 1,613 yards rushing.

LB Perry Riley (4, 2010)—He didn’t get into the lineup until midway through his second season. Riley was always solid for four-plus seasons as the starter but never spectacular. The team let him go last year in training camp and he played well for the Raiders after they picked him up.

CB Bashaud Breeland (4, 2014)—Breeland started 15 games as a rookie. At first he was in the slot but after DeAngelo Hall was injured in Week 3, Breeland moved to the outside and he has stayed there ever since. He has seven career interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

WR Jamison Crowder (4, 2015)—At 5-9, many teams thought Crowder was undersized and he didn’t run a great 40 at the combine. But he was big enough and fast enough to break the Redskins rookie record for receptions in a season and then to lead the team in touchdowns with eight last year.

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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