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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins draft targets at safety

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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins draft targets at safety

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 31, 97 days before the NFL Draft.

Nickel coverage

As you read here yesterday, the Redskins have a huge hole in the middle of their defense now that it’s been determined that Brandon Meriweather is going to be a free agent. They will need immediate help and last week we looked at some free agents they could sign. Here are some who they could look at in the NFL draft.

1. Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois—Tarik did a profile of him during the Senior Bowl. He picked off seven passes for the Huskies and defended another 14. Ward has solid coverage skills but like most safeties coming out of college he’ll have to prove that his tackling is good enough for the NFL. (Projected round 2-3)

2. Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama—You always have to wonder about damaged goods and Sunseri qualifies as such after he suffered a torn ACL in October. Most thought he would come back to the Crimson Tide to boost his draft stock. If the Redskins are in a gambling frame of mind they could go for the 6-0, 210 prospect. He could well be available when the Redskins pick in the fourth or maybe even fifth round. (Projected round 5)

3. Ed Reynolds, Stanford—According to Rob Rang’s scouting report he “understand his role as the last line of defense”, “takes excellent angles” and is a “reliable open-field tackler”. In other words, he could be better than any safety the Redskins employed in 2013 right off the bat. (Projected round 2)

4. Terrence Brooks, Florida State—He’s a touch short at 5-11 but he has 30-inch arms to compensate. A former cornerback who is tough and aggressive and is another one who needs to sharpen his tackling technique. Brooks was often overshadowed on FSU’s undefeated team but he can make plays both near the line of scrimmage and back deep in coverage. (Projected round 4)

5. Deone Bucannon, Washington—Here’s your big, “Legion of Boom” guy at safety. Bucannon carries 215 pounds very well on his 6-1 frame. Rang said that he delivers “bone-rattling hits” and has a knack for big plays and turnovers. (Projected round 2-3)

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Timeline

—It’s been 33 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 219 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 19; NFL Free agency starts 39; Offseason workouts start 66; NFL Draft 97

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Need to Know: Betting on the Redskins' playoff race outcomes

Need to Know: Betting on the Redskins' playoff race outcomes

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 3, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Arizona Cardinals.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No availability

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 8; Panthers @ Redskins 16; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5

Resetting the playoff odds

The Redskins start their stretch drive to the playoffs tomorrow. The will play five games in 29 days. After that, they will have either earned the right to keep playing or will they go home.

Let’s get out the imaginary $100 in casino chips and look at the various possibilities of the finish to the season and spread out the chips based on how likely each scenario is. As always, you are welcome to jump into the comments if you agree or disagree.

Win NFC East, $0—This might be worth a buck or two but this place doesn’t have any chips smaller than $5 and it’s not worth investing even that much in the chance of this happening. The scenario would have to be the Redskins winning out, the Cowboys losing out, and the Giants losing at least two more games. I’d put something on the first scenario and a few chips on the last one but no way is Dallas going 0-4. Keeping my chips in my pocket on this one.

Wild card as No. 5 seed, $40—To do this the Redskins would have to stay ahead of the wild card contenders behind them (see next scenario) and make up a game and a half on the Giants. They play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins would have to make up one game between now and then and they could then determine their status on January 1 at FedEx Field. The Giants go to Pittsburgh on Sunday and host Dallas a week after that so we will see how that looks in a couple of weeks. As of now, the No. 6 seed would go to Detroit for the first round of the playoffs while the No. 5 would play the Falcons in Atlanta. That, of course, is subject to change.

Wild card as No. 6 seed, $35—I think getting the five seed is slightly more likely than getting the six since I think the Giants are a mirage. But even if New York keeps it going, the Redskins can clinch a spot by running the table in their last five games. That would make them 11-4-1 and no other wild card contender could catch them. If they win four of five, only the Bucs can catch them and it would take a 5-0 finish for Tampa Bay. Winning three of five still gives them a good shot at getting in although at that point you are also opening the door for the Vikings, Saints, Packers, and Eagles to catch fire and jump ahead of them.

Out of playoffs, $25—I might be putting a little too much here but it’s the NFL and it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that the Redskins could finish 2-3 and miss out altogether. Their margin for error is slim and an injury here and a bad break there could have them on the outside looking in.

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When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon just filled out his ballot for the annual NFL Top 100 Players list.

Let's just say it's pretty one-dimensional. 

Straight like that

A photo posted by Pierre Garcon (@pierregarcon) on

As you can see, the form asks guys to rank who they consider the top 20 players in the league. But instead of naming 20 different players, Garcon voted for the same player 20 times. Talk about stuffing the ballot box. 

No surprise, but he's hyping his quarterback Kirk Cousins. 

Cousins is having a career year with the Redskins. His stock has soared over the last three weeks especially. Take a look at his numbers in that span: 84 completions on 116 attempts for 1,086 yards (72 percent), eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

Those efforts earned the Michigan State product NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors. And more importantly, Cousins has the Redskins in favorable position to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.

So far this season, Garcon has caught 52 passes from Cousins for 636 yards and two scores. 

MORE REDSKINS: Reed out, 7 other Redskins questionable