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Need to Know: Five players the Redskins could have had in the 2008 draft

Need to Know: Five players the Redskins could have had in the 2008 draft

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 25, 72 days before the Redskins start offseason workouts.

Nickel coverage

With the report that Fred Davis is facing a six-game suspension at the start of the 2014 season, the Redskins’ draft class of 2008 is total loss. That’s in large part due to the second round, where the Redskins chose three players from whom they got minimal returns—Davis (48th overall pic) and wide receivers Devin Thomas (34th) and Malcolm Kelly (51st). Here are five players they could have had instead:

CB Brandon Flowers (drafted by Chiefs, pick 35 overall)—Flowers made his first Pro Bowl this year, an honor for which he was long overdue. He has started 87 games and has 17 interceptions.

WR Jordy Nelson (Packers, 36th)—He had more receptions as a rookie, 33, than Kelly had in his NFL career (28). Nelson has been a valuable target for Aaron Rodgers and is coming off of a career-high 85-catch season.

WR DeSean Jackson (Eagles, 49th)—You might note that this is one pick after the Redskins took Davis. Jackson would be of value to the Redskins as a punt returner alone, with his 9.9-yard average and four career touchdowns. That’s not to mention his three 1,000-yard seasons as a receiver, leading to three Pro Bowl appearances.

RB Ray Rice (Ravens, 55th)—Yes, the Redskins had Clinton Portis at the time, but it was clear that with his playing style he wouldn’t last forever. He is still a productive back while Portis has been retired since after the 2010 season.

RB Jamaal Charles (Chiefs, 73rd)—He’s been first-team All-Pro twice and, like Rice, he’s a threat as both a runner and receiver. Had Peyton Manning not had the season that he had Charles would have been a legitimate candidate for MVP in 2013. There are reports that the Redskins were strongly considering drafting him but someone decided to go with Kelly.

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Timeline

—It’s been 27 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 225 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 25; NFL Free agency starts 45; NFL Draft 103

In case you missed it

Defensive prospects at the Senior Bowl

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

lucky-whitehead.jpg

Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have now been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys.

The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr. Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.

The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.

The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation. The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports to the contrary. 

 

Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.

 

 

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Redskins 2017 training camp preview—defense

Redskins 2017 training camp preview—defense

RICHMOND— The Redskins will assemble here tomorrow to get ready for the 2017 season. There are plenty of position competitions and other storylines. Here is a look at what we at CSN will be paying attention to. The key points on offense were published earlier; here’s a look at the defense.

Rebuilding the line

In a way, the situation on the D-line is similar to the one at wide receiver in that free agency and a release has created some holes. Chris Baker, the team’s best defensive lineman last year, left for Tampa Bay as a free agent and Ricky Jean Francois, arguably the second-best DL last year, was cut.

This is not all bad news. The wide receivers were one of the strengths of the team. The D-line was one of the weak spots so perhaps doing some major renovating there is just what the unit needs.

RELATED: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

The big move was one they really hadn’t planned on. Defensive end Jonathan Allen was projected by many to be a top-10 draft pick. But he slipped right into the Redskins’ lap with the 17th pick. He gets to work on Thursday and the sooner he can get up to NFL speed the better. They also signed two free agents in Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain and they re-signed Ziggy Hood. As with Allen, their roles will be determined over the course of the next few weeks of practice and during the preseason games.

Nobody knows who is going to end up playing nose tackle. It could be McGee, Hood, former first-round pick Phil Taylor or one of the 2016 practice squad members, Joey Mbu or A. J. Francis. The fact that there is no obvious candidate is troubling and perhaps a sign that the line will show only marginal improvement this year.

Starters at ILB

The Redskins got an upgrade here late in free agency with the signing of Zach Brown, who was last seen playing in the Pro Bowl for the Bills. How he fits in with incumbent starters Will Compton and Mason Foster remains to be seen. All three are likely to earn substantial playing time and who plays in what situation will be sorted out here in Richmond.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, 11-20

Adjustments at safety

The Redskins could be set at safety for the next several seasons. Or they could be scrambling to make adjustments by midseason. Su’a Cravens moves to strong safety from outside linebacker. He may be a step slower than the ideal for his position and he needs to make up for it by being, as he likes to say, assignment perfect. The Redskins signed D. J. Swearinger, who has been a strong safety for most of his career, to play free safety.

When the dust settles, they could be the best safety tandem the Redskins have had in years. Or they could be showing the effects of trying to put square pegs into round holes.

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.