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Need to Know: A possible drafting dilemma for the Redskins at No. 21

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Need to Know: A possible drafting dilemma for the Redskins at No. 21

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 29, 30 days before the NFL Draft.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 79 days ago. It will be about 166 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 20; 2016 NFL draft 30; Redskins training camp starts 121

Hot topic

A mock draft done by Peter Schrager of Fox Sports highlights what could be an interesting dilemma for Scot McCloughan.

In the mock, he has the Redskins taking defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson of Alabama with their first-round pick, No. 21 overall. That’s not an issue; The Redskins want to get younger along their defensive line and he would be a good fit. But in this mock draft Robinson is the seventh defensive lineman off of the board.

With the next pick, Schrager has the Texans taking Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. He is the first receiver off of the board. With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon both turning 30 this year and both in the final year of their contracts, wide receiver is very much a need in this draft.

Assuming Scot McCloughan is on the clock with Treadwell and Robinson on the board, what should he do? Should he take the best receiver in the draft? Or the seventh-best defensive lineman?

McCloughan’s short answer would be “best available player”. But at some point, you have to figure that you run out of defensive linemen who are better than the best receiver in the draft (and if you want to say that’s Josh Doctson that’s fine; Schrager has him going to the Vikings at No. 23). So McCloughan could decide to go with a wide receiver in the first and come back in Rounds 2 and/or 3 on Saturday and stock up the defensive line. The bigger names, of course, will be gone but this draft should have some quality linemen left on Saturday.

It must be noted that this is just a mock draft and that the way things actually unfold on April 28 could be quite different. But teams do go through mocks drafts just to figure out how they will handle such situations. McCloughan will undoubtedly have a plan for such a scenario. But he's not about to tell you and me what it is.

Fan question of the day

Not sure what you mean by “heavy” but the way I would use it the answer is probably no.

I think you could have a Week 1 a rookie starter on the defensive line. You’ll probably have all veterans at linebacker. In the secondary a rookie safety could emerge if they take one in the first few rounds. Same with a corner, although I think that if Chris Culliver is healthy by Week 1 he and Bashaud Breeland will be the starters. So that would be two and maybe three rookie starters out of 11 positions. By my thinking you would need to have one or two more rookie starters to call it “heavy” on first-year players.

Same thing if you’re talking about the entire depth chart. Let’s say that Scot McCloughan gets the 12 draft picks he wants and he takes seven defensive players with them. We’ll probably see five of them make the team. There will be between 24 and 26 defensive players on the 53-man roster. So, again, I wouldn’t necessarily call that “heavy”.

I think a better term to use might be youth heavy. The only likely starter over the age of 30 is safety DeAngelo Hall. Only two other defensive players, Will Blackmon and Kedric Golston, are over 30. The rest are 28 or younger.

(Hit me up on Twitter with #NTK @Rich_TandlerCSN or here in the comments to submit a question)

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Five takeaways: A lot to like about the Redskins' dominant primetime win.

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Five takeaways: A lot to like about the Redskins' dominant primetime win.

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 27-10 win over the Raiders:

This was the Redskins best defensive performance since 1991. That was the last time they held an opponent to under 128 total yards. They were physical, smart, determined and they made plays. If not for two turnovers they would have had a shutout. Oakland did not cross the Washington 48 without the benefit of a gift. Just dominant. 

With a strong defense, you can do what you want to on offense. I asked Kirk Cousins how much running for a couple of yards a pop as Samaje Perine was doing early in the game helped the offense. He answered in part by saying that the offense can afford to run for a low average per carry when the defense is playing so well. That's true. A punt isn't a bad play when you are confident that you are likely to get the ball back three plays later. 

Chris Thompson just keeps getting better every week. His patience when he has the ball in his hands and his ability to burst into the opening when it's there are textbook excellent. Oh yeah, his open field speed, which he gets to show off after being patient and cutting is amazing. Even the smaller plays, like two near the end of the half, when he wove his way through the cracks in the defense and then got out of bounds after gaining everything he could, are fun to watch. He is the Redskins' offensive MVP so far. 

Doctson showed why the Redskins drafted him on one flash. Nobody is going to give Josh Doctson an MVP award but we did see his potential when he went up and took that deep pass away from David Amerson for the touchdown. Plays like that make you see why the Redskins drafted him in the first round and why they have been patient with him. He will need to develop consistency but in the meantime, splash plays like that help a lot.

It’s hard to find fault in this one. Normally in these posts, I try to find a positive in a loss and something to be critical of in a win. But it’s really hard to find much to be critical about in the immediate aftermath of this one. Jamison Crowder’s muff of a punt certainly was an issue and perhaps Samaje Perine could have made more out of the line’s blocking for him. But from the defense to Cousins to Thompson to Zach Brown to D.J. Swearinger and many more, it was as dominant a game as we’ve seen from this team in a while. Can they keep it up? Tune in next Monday from Arrowhead Stadium and we’ll find out.

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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With one catch, Josh Doctson proved just how dangerous he can be for the Redskins

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With one catch, Josh Doctson proved just how dangerous he can be for the Redskins

LANDOVER, Md. — It took a while, longer than likely anyone expected, but Josh Doctson's first career touchdown catch may just have been worth the wait.

In the third quarter of the Redskins' 27-10 win over the Raiders on Sunday night, Kirk Cousins lofted a deep ball from a bit beyond midfield toward Doctson, who was being boxed out by David Amerson. And as the pass made its descent, Amerson went up to go snag it.

There was just one problem for the corner: Doctson went up and got to it first.

The result? A 52-yard touchdown that made the score 21-0 in favor of the hosts but, far more importantly, opened — quite forcefully, too — everyone's eyes to the sheer talent No. 18 possesses.

MORE: WHY THE DEFENSE'S EFFORT WAS SO ENCOURAGING

"I just made the play," the second-year wideout said afterward, about as nonchalantly as he made the TD look even though it absolutely wasn't. "It was pretty simple to be honest."

Against the Eagles and Rams in Weeks 1 and 2, Doctson suited up for Washington's offense but wasn't involved at all. And in the early going vs. Oakland, it again looked like he'd walk off the field with the same statline as an inactive player, on the verge of facing more questions about why he isn't producing. 

But that all changed on one jump-ball, which is exactly what his head coach has been anxiously waiting for.

"I think it was some relief for him," Jay Gruden answered when asked about the highlight. "I think the players have seen him do that in practice quite often but nobody else has... It wasn't a perfectly thrown ball, but to give him a chance where he can go up and make a big time catch, hopefully we'll get more of that."

RELATED: REDSKINS PLAYERS SIT AND KNEEL DURING ANTHEM

Doctson's QB, who gestured toward him during the post-score celebration as if to say There's the dude you've all been hearing about for months, certainly appreciated it.

"I do like Josh's ball skills and his ability to catch the ball up in the air and I thought, 'You know what, I'm going to give him a chance, they have been asking me to give him that chance and let's give it to him," Cousins said.

As fans of the team know all too well by now, Doctson isn't someone that can be counted on yet. He's oft-injured, and the grab he made over Amerson, while spectacular, was just the third of his career. 

But that sequence provides hope that many more similar to it will follow if he continues to stay healthy and gains more of Gruden's and Cousins' trust this year. He's still far from validating his 2016 first-round selection, but it's now obvious he has the skills to distance himself from those who so badly want to label him a bust.