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Need to Know: Possible Friday draft targets for the Redskins

Need to Know: Possible Friday draft targets for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, April 29, the day of the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft.

Timeline

At Redskins Park: Conference call with Redskins’ draft picks soon after each one has been made; Jay Gruden talks to the media after third round is over.

—The Redskins last played a game 110 days ago. It will be 136 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 14; OTAs start 25; Redskins training camp starts 90

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S Keanu Neal, Florida—Neal loves to hit and at 6-0, 211 he can pack quite a punch. He’s probably best at strong safety right now but he played some free at Florida and it looks like he could get the hang of it.

C Nick Martin, Notre Dame—He’s smart, technically sound, and built for power blocking. Not as strong or athletic as his brother Zack of the Cowboys but he comes at a third-round price. Maybe Martin isn’t a Week 1 starter at centerbut he could take over at some point during the season and by the start of 2017 for certain.

WR Mike Thomas, Ohio State—On Wednesday Urban Meyer called him “the most competitive player I’ve ever had.” Guess who loves competitive players? Scot McCloughan could be holding his breath hoping that Thomas falls to the Redskins in the second.

DL Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech—At 323 pounds, he packs the most weight of any of the top 10 defensive line prospects. Like just about all of the other prospects who will be available he has some technique flaws that he needs to work on but he can be very helpful right away.

RB C. J. Prosise, Notre Dame—He’s not small, packing 220 pounds onto his 6-0 frame. Prosise is a former slot receiver and he shows good ability to catch the ball on the run. Friday may be too soon to take a running back but if the Redskins trade back and get multiple third-round picks the possibility increases.

RB Alex Collins, Arkansas—If you want more of a north-south runner than Collins is your guy. He runs with determination and power. He had 17 career 100-yard games and is one of three SEC backs to rush for 1,000 yards in three seasons.

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Vernon Davis 'just can't fathom' the NFL's very strict celebration rules

Vernon Davis 'just can't fathom' the NFL's very strict celebration rules

As he proudly demonstrated in a 27-20 win against the Eagles last October, Vernon Davis has a silky jumpshot. Unfortunately, in today's NFL, celebrating by shooting a football like Davis did in the end zone that fall Sunday is prohibited.

The tight end, who was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and eventually fined more than $12,000 for the move, didn't really get the point of the rule then, and he still doesn't understand it now. And as he told Kalyn Kahler of MMQB, he think it's time for the league to back off their strict stance on celebrations.

"I would just tell guys that when it comes to celebrations, anything is allowed, as long as it isn’t inappropriate," Davis said when asked how he'd change the celebration rules. "Anything that we know is wrong, we shouldn’t do. I think that is the key."

RELATED: THIS REDSKINS RULE PROPOSAL WOULD MAKE KICKOFFS MORE FUN

In Davis' case, he was penalized because of an odd technicality. The NFL doesn't want players using the ball as a prop — which No. 85 did on his jumper — but yet, they allow guys to spike and spin the ball without retribution. That gray area doesn't sit well with him.

"It doesn’t make sense to me at all," he said. "It should be really simple, we should know that we can’t use the ball as a prop for anything. So for them to allow spiking and not allow shooting, I just can’t fathom that."

The 33-year-old hopes that change is near, and he may get it, too, as the competition committee will reevaluate what is and isn't allowed at the upcoming league meetings. But if he and everyone else clamoring for less restrictions are rebuffed, Davis does have a workaround so that when he scores next, he won't get in trouble. 

"I shoot the shot, but without the ball," Davis said. "That’s my go-to now. As long as I don’t have the ball, I’m safe."

MORE REDSKINS: THE TEAM'S RECEIVING CORPS TOWERS OVER PAST GROUPS

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This Redskins rule proposal would make kickoffs more entertaining

This Redskins rule proposal would make kickoffs more entertaining

With his ability to limit opposing team's kickoff returners by consistently producing touchbacks, Dustin Hopkins is a solid weapon for the Redskins in the field position game. 

A rule that Washington is proposing to NFL owners at their upcoming meetings, however, suggests that the Redskins want Hopkins and other strong-legged kickers to become even more of an asset than they already are.

In addition, the rule would also breathe some much needed intrigue into kickoffs, which have been reduced to the second-best time to grab another beer behind a commercial break.

MORE REDSKINS: JEAN-FRANCOIS SIGNS WITH NFC CONTENDER

The proposal is this: If a kicker splits the uprights with his kickoff, then the other team's offense will take the field at the 20-yard line. As things stand now, any touchback — whether it's downed in the end zone, flies out of the back or sails through the middle of the goalposts — is brought out to the 25-yard marker.

A rule this funky isn't likely to pass on its first time through voting. In fact, who knows if it'll ever pass. 

But maybe, just maybe, one day it will, and guys such as Hopkins and Justin Tucker will become a bit more valuable than they are currently. So, if you're ever watching an NFL game and hear the words, "THE KICK IS GOOD!" on a kickoff, you'll know which team to thank.