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Need to Know: DT Billings, WR Thomas to Redskins in latest mock draft

Need to Know: DT Billings, WR Thomas to Redskins in latest mock draft

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 25, 34 days before the NFL Draft.

I’m changing around the Need to Know format a bit. There may be some more tweaks in the coming days and weeks; your comments are welcome.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 75 days ago. It will be about 170 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 24; 2016 NFL draft 34; Redskins training camp starts 125

Hot topic

Todd McShay of ESPN has a new mock draft out (here's the link but it's behind a paywall) and many Redskins fans would be pretty happy if the top of the actual draft, which starts five weeks from yesterday, turned out like McShay predicts.

In the first round McShay has the Redskins going with Baylor defensive lineman Andrew Billings. He could fill the hole at nose tackle and play end as well. He is a load at 6-1, 311 and, as you can see in the GIF in my article on Billings, he plays hard.

In the second round McShay sends Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas to Washington. I’d like to congratulate someone in the national media for recognizing the Redskins’ need to draft a WR, with both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson turning 30 later this year and both entering the final years of their contracts. And who is going to complain about the team finally landing a big (6-3) wide receiver?

It seems that Billings will be there when the Redskins pick at No. 21. Thomas could be gone by early in the second round but you never know how things will unfold.

Fan question of the day

It’s true that Scot McCloughan wants to get more picks in the draft but it’s not necessarily because he sees a lot of defensive talent that he can stockpile. His philosophy is like that of many GMs—the more picks he has the better chance he has of hitting on them.

If you want to hit on, say, six solid players in a draft you probably aren’t going to do it with seven draft picks. You need, as McCloughan said earlier this week, more “swings”. Not all of your picks are going to succeed so if you want to build through the draft, having more picks increases the chances you will be able to do so.

This draft is strong on the defensive line but it’s just OK elsewhere on defense. There aren’t many strong edge rushers and, as seems to be the case frequently, safety is also weak.

So McCloughan’s desire for more draft picks is not about rebuilding the defense so much as it is a general team building philosophy at this phase of the team's development.

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

Stat of the day

Jamison Crowder set the Redskins rookie record last year with 59 pass receptions. The most receptions for a Redskins player in his first year in the NFL was 72 by Gary Clark in 1985. Clark had played in the USFL prior to coming to the Redskins so he was not a rookie by the NFL definition.

In case you missed it

 

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Jordan Reed back at practice with Redskins but in limited role

Jordan Reed back at practice with Redskins but in limited role

After missing all of last week with a shoudler injury, Redskins tight end Jordan Reed was back on the practice field for Washington, though his role was limited. 

Reed took part in team stretching and then caught passes as part of individual drills. Reed did not do blocking work with the tight end group and Reed watched as the Redskins got into one-on-one and team drills.

Reed has missed three games this season. He sustained a concussion Week 5 against the Ravens that forced him out for two games, and on Thanksgiving in Dallas he injured his shoulder, which forced him to miss last week's loss in Arizona. 

For the year, Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns. Washington coach Jay Gruden called Reed "day to day" for Sunday's game against the Eagles and the coach said he can't predict how quick the tight end will return. 

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Redskins designate Kory Lichtensteiger for return from IR

Redskins designate Kory Lichtensteiger for return from IR

After being placed on injured reserve in September, center Kory Lichtensteiger has been designated for return, the Redskins announced an Wednesday afternoon.

The 31-year-old lineman suffered a calf injury in Week 3 against the Giants, which resulted in the Redskins moving Spencer long to center and signing veteran center John Sullivan.

Long started the Redskins' last nine games before suffering a concussion in Week 13 against the Cardinals.

Now that he has been designated for return, Lichtensteiger will begin a 21-day practice period in which he remains on injured reserve.

Lichtensteiger started his previous 24 appearances at center following a four-year stint at left guard with the Redskins.