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Need to Know: Checking in on the Redskins draft picks after roster cuts

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Need to Know: Checking in on the Redskins draft picks after roster cuts

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, September 4, eight days before the Washington Redskins open their season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Off day, no availability

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 238 days ago. It will be eight days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 14; Browns @ Redskins 28; Redskins @ Ravens 35

Checking in on the Redskins’ draft picks

WR Josh Doctson (1st round)—He is now off of the active/PUP list because there isn’t one after the cut to 53. The wide receiver is now eligible to practice for the first time since OTAs. But that doesn’t mean that he will. We won’t really get a read on that until Thursday, when the Redskins issue their first injury report.

LB/S Su’a Cravens (2nd)—He was all over the place during preseason games. Although he played inside linebacker during those games, it wouldn’t surprise me if they have been carving out an additional role for him during the practices that have been closed since after the second game. Cravens may not always be where he's supposed to be but he does make plays.

CB Kendall Fuller (3rd)—There were concerns about his knee coming in but he was very nearly a full go from the moment he arrived for the offseason program. He appears to be in competition with Dashaun Phillips for the nickel cornerback role. For the moment it looks like Phillips is ahead but it could be decided in practice this week.

DL Matt Ioannidis (5th)—The only draft pick to get cut today, he has to qualify as a disappointment, at least in these early stages. It’s possible that he could land on the practice squad, work on his fundamentals, and land back on the roster as a productive player whether it’s later this year or in 2017. But for now, I'm looking at  a defensive line that got no help from the draft and at all of the wheeling and dealing for future picks that Scot McCloughan did around the fourth and fifth rounds in the draft and wondering if he could have done better. He was the third highest drafted player to get cut.

QB Nate Sudfeld (6th)—It’s a good thing he wasn’t being judged by his preseason numbers. Sudfeld completed just 52.8 percent of his passes and gained 4.5 yards per attempt. But he didn’t throw an interception and that along with his steady improvement in practice since OTAs likely helped convince Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan that he is worth trying to develop.

LB Steven Daniels (7th)—Daniels suffered a shoulder injury early on in camp and landed on injured reserve. He was a project and may not have made the 53 even if he had been healthy. Daniels will get a year to go to meetings and the injury happened early enough so that there is a good chance that he will be ready to go for the offseason program.

RB Keith Marshall (7th)—We’ll never know what he would have done with his chance to make a case for a roster spot during that third preseason game against the Bills because he suffered a sprained elbow on his first carry. Marshall has the physical tools to be a good back but he has to learn to stay on the field.

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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 25, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 175 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 77 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 22
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 46
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 69

The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here are the five running backs on the Redskins’ schedule who gained the most yards in 2017. We looked at the top QBs last week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 1,631 yards in 2016—The NFL’s leading rusher didn’t pop for a big day against the Redskins as a rookie last year. He still did plenty of damage in two games with a combined 180 yards and three touchdowns. We’ll find out in Week 8 just how much the Redskins’ rushing defense has improved.

David Johnson, Cardinals, 1,239 yards—Yeah, him again. He chewed up the Redskins in Arizona last year, picking up 84 yards rushing and another 91 yards receiving. I think I might pick Johnson over Elliott in a draft simply due to Johnson’s versatility.

LeGarrette Blount, Eagles, 1,161 yards—Blount picked up those yards with the Patriots last year and rushed for 18 touchdowns for good measure. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, 27th among qualifying running backs. It should be noted that the Eagles probably have a better offensive line than the Patriots do. It’s safe to say Blount is one dimensional; none of the top 50 in rushing yards had fewer than his seven receptions.

Mark Ingram, Saints, 1,043 yards—While Ingram had a good year, the Saints apparently weren’t overly impressed. They signed Adrian Peterson as a free agent and they drafted RB Alvin Kamara in the third round. We’ll have to see who is healthy and on the field in Week 11

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, 997 yards—The 2015 first-round pick missed the last three games and most of another one with an injury. When healthy, he was very effective. His stats projected over 16 games come to over 1,300 yards.

Best of the rest: Carlos Hyde of the 49ers just missed the top five with 988 rushing yards last year Besides Kamara, the only running backs drafted in the first three rounds the Redskins will face are Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs). It will be interesting to see if new Rams coach Sean McVay can revive Todd Gurley, who followed a 1,100-yard rookie season with a 4.8 per carry average by gaining 885 yards with a paltry 3.2 average in 2016. Marshawn Lynch comes to town with the Raiders after spending a year in retirement; with the Seahawks, he picked up 111, 72, and 132 on the ground against the Redskins. 

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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Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

After NFL minicamps end in mid-June, and before the grind of training camps start in late July, players are free to have a little bit of fun and try to relax. For Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins that evidently means a game of Jenga.

Fun at Kirk's 10 year high school reunion!!!

A post shared by Julie Cousins (@juliehcousins) on

The video comes from Cousins' wife Julie, and the caption explains that the couple were attending the quarterback's 10-year high school reunion. Looks like a fun scene, and the Michigan waterfront looks even better.

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

For anybody that has watched Cousins on the practice field or listened to him mic'd up during a Redskins game, the competitive outburst is no surprise. Cousins likes to win, period. Even at life-size Jenga during his 10-year high school reunion. 

Obviously, contract talks between Cousins' representatives and the Redskins continue, and likely will until the July 17th franchise tag deadline. Last season, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 passing yards, completing 67 percent of his passes to go with 25 TDs and 12 INTs. He's allowed to have a little fun here and there.

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