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Need to Know: Piecing together McCloughan's draft strategy

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Need to Know: Piecing together McCloughan's draft strategy

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 7, six days before the Washington Redskins hold their rookie minicamp.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 118 days ago. It will be 128 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 6; OTAs start 17; Redskins training camp starts 83

Hot topic

Here are five of the most popular posts from the Redskins week that was.

Grading the Redskins' draft—Just like mock drafts, fans love to say that they hate draft grades that come out soon after the draft. But just like the mocks, they read the grades. It’s one of the most popular posts of the month every year. I try to recognize here that this is more of an interim grade and not a final judgement on the Redskins' performance last weekend.

The cap implications of the Redskins cutting Culliver—The Redskins haven’t done an advance June 1 release in quite some time so I walked the readers through the process. The important thing to remember is that the post-June 1 designation doesn’t “save” any money. Instead of taking the dead cap hit associated with cutting a player in the current year, part of the charge is moved to the following league year.

McCloughan may use extra 2017 picks this year—The Redskins’ GM wanted to come out of the draft with 12 picks but he made only seven. But he did make three deals that got the team picks in the 2017 draft. McCloughan says that the players acquired with those picks may be contributing this season.

Skins plan be careful with Fuller—Third-round pick Kendall Fuller needed microfracture surgery last fall. A full recovery is expected but the Redskins aren’t going to rush it. Quinton Dunbar can cover in the slot until Fuller is good to go.

Need to Know: Needs are low on McCloughan’s list of draft considerations—Many scoff at the suggestion that McCloughan doesn’t worry much about need when he is making draft picks. But here is some evidence that he does what he says he does.

In case you missed it 

 

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Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”

He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.

Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).

Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.

“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”

“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”

Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).

Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.

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Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

RGIII is finally getting another chance to play.

Plagued by injury after injury — most recently breaking a bone in his left shoulder in the Brown’s 29-10 loss to the Eagles in their season opener — the former Redskin is set to start for Cleveland against the Bengals on Sunday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.

Griffin was cleared for contact last week after missing the majority of the Browns’ 0-12 season, and the team is coming off a bye week after its last loss to the Giants over Thanksgiving weekend.

In 2015, Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin as starting quarterback, and the Redskins released him at the end of the season. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract with Cleveland in March.  

In Griffin’s absence, the Browns have relied on Cody Kessler and Josh McCown, who boast a 65.5 and 54.5 completion percentage, respectively. The two combine for just 12 touchdowns this season.

Will Griffin be the key to ending the Browns’ winless season? We’ll find out Sunday.

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