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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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Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

Rich Tandler and JP Finlay wrap up the Redskins offseason and prepare for what will be the most intriguing and the most overplayed storylines at training camp in Richmond.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back