Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 5, 23 days before the NFL Draft.
—The Redskins last played a game 86 days ago. It will be about 159 days until they play another one.
—Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 13; 2016 NFL draft 23; Redskins training camp starts 114
Jay Gruden is worried about the safety position but cornerback is not often mentioned as an area of concern for the Redskins. Should it be?
If the season started today the Redskins would line up Bashaud Breeland and Will Blackmon as the starters and put Quinton Dunbar in the slot.
Breeland is the best of the bunch. He is developing into a good corner, perhaps a very good one, but he is still a work in progress.
Blackmon did a fine job last year filling in for the injured Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall after joining the team early in the season. But he did well by that standard. Is he really a guy you want to count on starting on OTAs? Maybe you can get by with him but the spot is ripe for an upgrade.
Dunbar played pretty well in spots as a rookie last year. It’s nice to think that the converted wide receiver will continue to improve but there really is no guarantee.
Hall has moved to safety and Culliver is still recovering and may not be ready for training camp. Culliver can be a pretty good corner when healthy but at this point it’s hard to rely on him. Even before the season-ending injury he suffered in practice on Thanksgiving Day last year the Redskins never really saw a healthy Culliver.
To sum it up, the Redskins have Breeland, a fill in turned starter in Blackmon, a project with Dunbar, a question mark with Culliver, and Deshazor Everett, a good special teams player who is untested at corner.
Does this mean the Redskins need to draft a cornerback early later this month? Not necessarily but don’t be surprised if they do. While they may be able to get by with what they have they will need to upgrade the position if they are going to build a solid defense. Looking at the list of needs, it's going to take a few more drafts to get that done.
Fan question of the day
@Rich_TandlerCSN Any word on The Skins bringing back Pierre Thomas, or will they draft a guy and go with Thompson or Silas Redd as #3?— Matt Schofield (@MattyScho1982) April 4, 2016
The Redskins clearly are slow playing the running back situation. Right now, it’s quite precarious. The three on the roster who have NFL experience all are coming off of surgery. Matt Jones had a hip issue repaired, Chris Thompson had a shoulder injury fixed and Silas Redd is rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in the preseason last year. Alfred Morris, of course, is now a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Despite the situation, the Redskins did not jump at the chance to get in on the bidding for any of the top free agent running backs that were available. And they have stayed away from the group of lesser backs as well.
At the owners meetings last month, Jay Gruden indicated that Thomas is still in the Redskins’ radar. “There’s still some options out there [and] I think Pierre is one of them,” he said.
But here we are nearly two weeks later and still no Thomas. With draft just over three weeks away it appears that Scot McCloughan’s strong preference is to land a back to compliment to Jones in the draft. And if I’m Thomas, I’m going to be very reluctant to sign with the Redskins until I’m sure they aren’t going to draft a back. He doesn’t want to spend the next five months in a competition he’s likely to lose.
So I think they will stick with the status quo until after the draft. If they don’t find a back in the draft they will reach out to Thomas or someone similar and try to strike a deal.
(Hit me up on Twitter with #NTK @Rich_TandlerCSN or here in the comments to submit a question)
Stat of the day
The last Redskin to lead the NFL in interceptions was Barry Wilburn with nine in 1987. Since 1990 no Redskin has had more than six interceptions in a season (four times, most recently by DeAngelo Hall in 2010).
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