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Need to Know: If Griffin is not the answer at QB the Redskins must act now

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Need to Know: If Griffin is not the answer at QB the Redskins must act now

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 12, 49 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Depth chart pre-free agency

Now that John Clayton’s report that the Redskins will draft Marcus Mariota if he is still on the board when the fifth pick in the draft has had a day to circulate around Redskins fans and media, let’s take a look at what we have here.

The conventional wisdom is that the whole thing is a smokescreen. The Redskins, many say, have no intention to take Mariota, that the whole thing is being set up to try to drive up the value of the fifth pick in the draft so that they can get a bigger haul in a trade.

That is a logical explanation for it and it’s a very reasonable and it’s likely to be true. But that doesn’t mean that it is true. You can’t rule out the possibility that the Redskins do intend to draft Mariota if he is on the board.

We can’t rule it out because we have no idea what Scot McCloughan’s evaluations of Robert Griffin III and Mariota are. It’s really quite simple. If McCloughan believes, based on his film evaluation, that Griffin will not cut it as an NFL quarterback and that there is a very good chance that Mariota will, it’s a move that he almost has to make.

Why? I’m not sure if this is Charley Casserly’s quote but I’ve heard him say it a lot: “If you don’t have a quarterback you don’t have anything.”

In other words, if the Redskins have a need at quarterback, that trumps any other needs they have. They would almost have to take Mariota if McCloughan believes he can be a franchise type QB.

The best thing for the franchise would be if Griffin works out. But if the GM and coach determine that it just won’t happen for him (or for Kirk Cousins) the sooner they move on the better. And if they think that Mariota is the answer they need to take him should the opportunity arise.

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Timeline

—It’s been 74 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 185 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 39; 2015 NFL Draft 49; Redskins training camp starts 140

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

After a poor first preseason showing and some questions about the physicality of Redskins training camp, JP Finlay talks with Patriots Insider Phil Perry from CSN New England to discuss the differences between Washington's camp and how they run things in New England.

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

Few Redskins players draw more heated fan reaction than Ryan Grant. In three seasons with Washington, Grant has never missed a game, but he also hasn't produced much. His career stats: 39 catches for 412 yards and two touchdowns. 

Regardless, Jay Gruden and the Redskins coaching staff appreciates Grant in a way few fans understand. Grant is able to back up both the slot and outside receivers, and knows the roles of all the players.

"He’s really strong, he’s in great shape, and he’s Mr. Consistent," Gruden said of Grant. "Everything we ask him to do he does, and he does it right."

When Jamison Crowder missed time in Richmond with a hamstring strain, Grant stepped into Crowder's slot role. When Josh Doctson hurt his hamstring and missed time, Grant stepped into his role on the outside of the offense.

Throughout camp, Grant has displayed good hands and an adept knowledge of the offense. 

"No matter where he lines up, no matter what we ask him to do, he can come in the core and block the safety, whatever we want him to do, he can run whatever route from whatever positon and he runs at the right depth, perfect angles coming out of them," Gruden said. "He’s just ‘Steady Eddie,’ and that’s why I like him. I like consistent, smart players and that’s what Ryan is."

Against the Ravens in the Redskins first preseason game, Grant hung on to a tough catch over the middle to give the team one of very few offensive sparks. The problem for fans as it relates to Grant has not been preseason play. It's been inconsistent play in regular season games. 

Gruden believes that could change this year.

"I think people may be surprised with how many balls Ryan Grant might catch. Either way, could happen, I don’t know. I can’t foresee the future there, but I would be just fine with Ryan Grant being the target of a lot of balls."

To state the obvious: Grant is definitely making the roster. Behind Terrelle Pyror, Crowder and Doctson, Grant is the Redskins fourth wideout and one of the few players on the roster that is interchangeable among the Washington receiver positions. 

Grant's career best season came in 2015 when he caught 23 balls for 268 yards and two TDs. Based on his preseason, it seems Grant could surpass those totals in 2017. Much of his early season work has been a result of injuries to Doctson and Crowder, but make no mistake, Grant has been impressive in practice. 

Will it translate to the real games? The opprotunity seems only likely to arise if the Redskins deal with injuries at the receiver spot. 

Last year, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 yards, but DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon accounted for more than 2,000 of those yards. Doctson, Crowder and certainly Pryor are likely to be the major recepients of Cousins' aerial prowess. Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Chris Thompson accounted for another 1,618 yards last year.

Keep in mind, this is the last year of Grant's rookie contract. If there was ever a time to show in games what coaches have long seen and loved in practice, this would be the year. It seems only an injury would give him a major opportunity. If the situation came to pass, Gruden would have faith in Grant. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!