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Need to Know: Gruden speaks about the Redskins' draft picks

Need to Know: Gruden speaks about the Redskins' draft picks

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 20, seven days before the start of OTAs.

Nickel coverage

Jay Gruden gave a thumbnail evaluations of his team's draft picks during rookie minicamp last weekend. Here are five of his comments.

G Spencer Long—“He did a great job. From the first day to the fourth day of practice, you can see how effective he’s going to be – how smart he is No 1, [and] how physical he can be . . . He’s going to be competitive right away.”

K Zach Hocker—“He is going to come in here and compete. We have a good field-goal kicker here [in Kai Forbath], but the ability he has with that strong leg is an added dimension for kick-offs, and touchbacks are very, very important. We will see moving forward.”

CB Bashaud Breeland—“But when he’s at the line of scrimmage, one of his strengths is playing bump and run. He’s got the long arms. He’s very physical. That’s his strength. We’ve just got to make sure he just watches the holding and all that, but I’m very impressed with the way he handled the mental aspect of the game, the coverages and also the physical obviously with his technique.”

OLB Trent Murphy—“You know, the knock on him is maybe he’s not the greatest athlete, but I see a guy who, as far as the defensive end and outside backers are concerned, ran as good or even better short shuttle as anybody. The long shuttle he ran as good or even better as everybody else. He’s great off the snap and if you have quickness off the snap and you have great length, you make up for a lot of your speed deficiency so to speak.”

RB Lache Seastrunk—“Baylor has one of the greatest offenses in college football, but they didn’t do anything as far as protections and routing running. He didn’t catch any balls, like I said, so the major reach for him was going to be picking up blitzes and running routes out of the backfield. It’s brand new to him.”

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Timeline

—It’s been 142 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 110 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.

Days until: OTAs 7; Training camp starts 64; Preseason opener Patriots @ Redskins 79

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Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

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. 6 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Cardinals Week 13

3:47 left in Q4, Cardinals ball at their own 34, 4th and 1, Cardinals leading 24-23

David Johnson up the middle to ARZ 48 for 14 yards (Josh Norman).

Related: A team to watch in the Cousins situation

Tandler: What's worse than a punch in the gut? A gut punch you don't see coming. The Redskins had pulled to within a point with plenty of time left to get a winning score—if the defense could get a stop. When Bruce Arians sent out his offense on fourth and one, the Redskins had to watch for Carson Palmer to try to draw them offside. In fact, Joe Barry told the Redskins not to expect a snap and to be sure not the jump. But they did snap the ball and Johnson ran for the easiest 14 yards up the gut you’ll ever see. The air was out of the Redskins’ comeback balloon and Palmer all but put it away a few plays later with a 42-yard TD pass to J.J. Nelson.

More Redskins: Will the first round fall into place?

Finlay: This is not the first 4th Down conversion on our list of bad plays, but perhaps the most important one. Washington desperately needed this stop, and the defense thought they had it on the 3rd down play prior. Only Arians did not flinch about going for it, much to Barry's surprise, and the 'Skins D had no shot at Johnson. This play illustrated the weakness of Washington's defensive front perhaps better than any other run 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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With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.

Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.

Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards. 

The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.

Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.

It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade. 

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!