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Need to Know: Five Redskins draft picks with opportunities in 2014

Need to Know: Five Redskins draft picks with opportunities in 2014

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 7, Day 9 of the Redskins’ search for a new head coach.

Nickel coverage

With 21 free agents on the roster and a new coach coming in, there is plenty of opportunity on the 2014 Redskins team. The ideal solution here would be to have a player drafted by the team 2-3 years ago step up and claim a starting job. Here are five 2011-2012 draft picks who will have a chance to step into the lineup:

1. CB Richard Crawford (Round 7-2012)—Virtually the entire Redskins secondary will be free to walk this offseason. Crawford seems to be doing well in rehabbing his injured knee. If he is healthy he should be an asset as a punt returner. He was starting to come around as a nickel corner during the Redskins’ playoff run in 2011.

2. DE Jarvis Jenkins (2-2011)—Yes, he was the starter for a while but he wasn’t by the time the season ended. This year he didn’t progress and perhaps regressed in some ways. If you invest a second rounder in a defensive lineman you expect to have a starter for 6-8 years. Jenkins has some work to do.

3. Keenan Robinson (4-2012)—If the injury bug can stay away from him he could work his way in as a starter at inside linebacker. He’s fast and athletic but one torn pectoral muscle cut short his 2012 season and another cost him all of last year.

4. Aldrick Robinson (6-2011)—They say you can’t teach speed and Robinson has plenty of that. But it appears that the Redskins coaching staff has been unable to teach him what you’re supposed to be able to teach. Perhaps a new staff can get him up to speed (so to speak) on the finer points of the game.

5. Tom Compton (6-2012)—Of the three O-linemen the Redskins drafted in 2012, Compton could have the best chance of breaking through to become a starter. He could play in a zone scheme or add some weight and play in a power blocking scheme. If either Compton, Josh LeRibeus (3rd round), or Adam Gettis (5th) can’t develop into a starter the 2012 draft will be a disappointment despite bringing Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris to town.

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Timeline

—On this date in 2004, Joe Gibbs agreed to coach the Redskins for a second time.

—It’s been nine days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 243 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL free agency 64; Offseason workouts start 90; 2014 NFL Draft 121

In case you missed it

Chris Cooley talks about the coaching search

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The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 7 worst play of 2016

Giants at Redskins, Week 17

4:02 left in Q4, Giants ball 1st and 10 at their own 31, game tied 10-10

Eli Manning pass deep left to Tavarres King pushed ob at WAS 25 for 44 yards (Will Blackmon).

Related: The Redskins week that was

Tandler: It looked like the Redskins were on the verge of saving their season. They were down 10-0 in the third quarter but they battled back to tie it up in the late going. But after lulling the Redskins defense to sleep with running plays and short passes, Manning launched one deep down the left sideline. King, who had one reception for six yards on the season coming into the game, had a step on cornerback Greg Toler and he hauled in the pass for 44 yards. Four plays later Robbie Gould kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Giants the lead.

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Finlay: In a terrible game that led to many more questions than answers for the Redskins, this play was just a huge, huge disappointment. Washington fought back to tie up a game that they had largely been outplayed in, particulrly in the first half. Remember, the Giants had nothing to play for while for the 'Skins, a win would put them in the playoffs. The New York offense was laregly nonexistent in the second half of this game, as it became obvious Eli Manning did not want to get hit. And still, the embattled Redskins defense gave up a long pass play to a dude that had contrbuted basically nothing all season. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Mike Shanahan likes Kirk Cousins, both as a person and as a quarterback. The former Redskins coach has made no secret about that. Luckilly for the 'Skins, especially with Cousins staring at free agency, Mike Shanahan is no longer coaching in the NFL.

His son Kyle, however, seems highly likely to take over as San Francisco 49ers head coach. And soon.

Kyle Shanahan currently serves as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, and once their playoff run ends, most expect Shanahan to be named Niners head coach. 

Why should Washington fans care? Allow ESPN's Adam Schefter to explain:

Kyle Shanahan is set to become the San Francisco 49ers' head coach after Atlanta's season ends. San Francisco needs a quarterback as much as any other team in the league. If Cousins is available, the 49ers would pursue him as hard as they've pursued Shanahan.

Even if Washington tags Cousins, San Francisco could attempt to pry him loose in a trade with a package that could include this year's No. 2 overall draft pick. And if Washington doesn't want to deal now, it could have issues later.

This news should not be a shock to Skins fans, but it should be taken seriously. Remember, Kyle Shanahan was part of the Washington organization when Cousins was drafted and the duo worked together in 2012 and 2013. Most quarterbacks would love to run Shanahan's No. 1 ranked offense from Atlanta, and the guess here says Cousins would probably jump at the opportunity. 

Still, much must be worked out.

While some in the Washington front office might have questions about what the long-term value should be in a Cousins contract, the team still has some control. They can place the franchise tag on Cousins this season, like they did last season, and work until mid-summer on a multi-year deal. Or Cousins can again play on a franchise tag in 2017, like he did in 2016 and passed for nearly 5,000 yards.

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What makes Schefter's report the most interesting is the mention of the No. 2 overall pick. Observing the Redskins in 2016, it became obvious the team needs more impact players on defense, and with the second overall pick combined with their own 17th pick and eight more after that, that could deliver an immediate boost. 

Whatever boost a package of draft picks might bring in will be hard pressed to match the production of Cousins. Finding a starting quarterback in the NFL is exceptionally hard, and while Cousins has shown flashes of a special player, he has certainly confirmed he is a capable player in two seasons at the helm of Jay Gruden's offense.

Scot McCloughan and the Redskins brain trust have a few more weeks before free agency, and with it, the deadline to again place the franchise tag on Cousins. It's nearly impossible to see a scenario where Cousins hits the open market this season, but if the No. 2 overall pick comes into play, other scenarios start to seem more possible. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!