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Need to Know: Cooley doesn't think RG3 should have played Week 1 last year

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Need to Know: Cooley doesn't think RG3 should have played Week 1 last year

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 28, 26 days before the Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

—Chris Cooley stated on ESPN 980 earlier this week that after looking at game video from the early part of last season that it was clear to him that Robert Griffin III should not have been playing (I don’t have the exact quotes, I was driving at the time). He did make it clear that he did not believe that Griffin was still injured, and that he was not risking further injury by being out there. But in Cooley’s view Griffin was not prepared to play against the Eagles and Packers, the Redskins’ opponents in Weeks 1 and 2.

—That is a conclusion that has been reached by others who don’t have Cooley’s trained eye in the film room. You didn’t really need to look past the fact that he threw three interceptions in the first two games of 2013 after throwing just five in all of 2012. But my question for those who say Griffin should have been sidelined early in 2013 is this: What should he have done while he wasn’t playing? How was he going to get better? Griffin didn’t play in the preseason and wasn’t permitted to do much in training camp. Like it or not, those early season games against Philadelphia and Green Bay were his preseason. If he sits them out, he’s probably just as rusty in Weeks 3 and 4 or whenever he came back. If he was healthy enough to play Week 1 you can make a good case that he needed to play.

—So it’s easy to say that Griffin should not have played last September. But the reality is far from cut and dried. There are too many “what ifs” involved to reach any firm conclusions. Perhaps the solution would have been for him to play in a couple of preseason games. Maybe Dr. James Andrews would not have cleared him but we don’t know if he was asked to or not. Mike Shanahan knew there would be a firestorm if Griffin had been hurt in a preseason game so perhaps him sitting out until the season opener was as much a coach’s decision as it was a medical decision. We’ll never really know.

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Timeline

—It’s been 181 days since the Redskins played a game; in 71 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Training camp 26; Preseason opener vs. Patriots 40; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 78

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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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