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Need to Know: More defense in the draft for the Redskins?

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Need to Know: More defense in the draft for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, April 17, 13 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

The Redskins have indeed loaded up on the defensive side of the ball this offseason with every free agent signing the team made going to help Joe Barry’s unit. So far they have signed three linemen, a cornerback, and two safeties. That alone could well help a unit that was near the bottom of the barrel in most significant statistical categories.

But I don’t think that they are done. Yes, Scot McCloughan will continue to give the defense some building blocks in the draft.

Two big areas are likely to be addressed. It’s no big secret that the best available player is likely to be an edge rusher and that is an area of need due to the departure of Brian Orakpo. Yes, the Redskins do have Trent Murphy but you can’t have too many pass rushers and they likely will take one early in the draft if not with their top pick.

The other defensive position it seems likely that McCloughan will address is free safety. Dashon Goldson will turn 31 early in the season and he is essntially on a one-year deal since his salary doubles to $8 million next year. The Redskins will need a long-term replacement. The draft is thin at the safety position but there are some cornerbacks who could be converted to safeties as well.

I also think that at some point they will want a linebacker or two who can help out on special teams but those will probably come at some point on Saturday afternoon.

Depending on how the draft unfolds edge rusher and safety could be two of the top three draft picks. I think the other top three pick will be used to address the offensive line or perhaps running back but you never know how things will fall.

Timeline

—It’s been 110 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 149 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 3; 2015 NFL Draft 13; Redskins minicamp starts 60

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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In case you missed it

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Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 18, 99 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 43
NFL free agency starts 51
First Sunday of 2017 season 236

The coordinator search and more

Did the Redskins underachieve this year? I know that a metric like Football Outsiders' DVOA is not the final word in the quality of a team but looking at it year after year it usually does work out that the teams with the better numbers in DVOA usually win more games than those with worse numbers. The Redskins finished 2016 eighth in DVOA. Considering that 12 teams make the playoffs, that could be considered a playoff quality team. Yet 15 teams finished with a better record than they did. I’m sure there are some holes in the formula for the stat but just looking at that it sure appears that the Redskins did leave some wins out on the field.

John Keim is reporting that the Redskins are prepared to switch to a 4-3 defense if that is what their new defensive coordinator prefers. They have been in the 3-4 since Mike Shanahan arrived in 2010. Whether it is because of the scheme or lack of draft and free agent resources spent on the line and at safety, the defense hasn’t been very good. As Keim notes, they will need to make some personnel changes if they do change but with a full load of draft picks and $62 million in cap space this may be the time to do it.

I expected the angst that was all over Twitter when word of the Rob Ryan interview got out. But it’s pretty dumb to get all worked up over an interview (with all due respect to readers here who may have been upset). It’s not a hiring. Look, somehow or another Ryan managed to stay employed as an NFL defensive coordinator for 12 straight seasons. I don’t know how to research it without going through some very time consuming and tedious steps but I’d be willing to bet that only about a few dozen men in the history of the league have been able to remain a defensive coordinator for that many season in a row. The organization can learn something from sitting down and talking to him for a few hours.

I understand that we want things to talk about in a relatively slow time. But I just don’t see why there is fear out there over the possibility that Kyle Shanahan will get hired as the coach of the 49ers and somehow steal Kirk Cousins away to be his quarterback. The Redskins can maintain his rights via the franchise tag. They could tag Cousins and trade him to the 49ers but there would be a heavy price in terms of draft picks. But while it’s possible, it’s unlikely. The chances are very, very good that Cousins will be in a Redskins uniform this year via either the tag or a long-term deal. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

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