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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

Hot topic

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.

In case you missed it

 

 

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Jay Gruden opens training camp with Kirk Cousins name joke

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CSNMA

Jay Gruden opens training camp with Kirk Cousins name joke

On Wednesday afternoon, Jay Gruden took to the podium in Richmond, Va. to officially open the start of the Washington Redskins' training camp.

The head coach when through the particulars: injuries, conditioning, what he's expecting, etc.

But as Gruden is to do from time to time, he fired off a great zinger.

When asked by a media member about Kirk Cousins' one-year deal, Gruden asked for clarification.

"Kirk or Kurt? Kirk with a K?," he quipped in reference to the kerfuffle regarding Bruce Allen's pronounciation of Cousins' first name.

Gruden is a funny guy, a lot funnier than he propbably gets credit for.

Lets hope this continues, because recurring jokes are the best.

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A possible trade destination for Redskins RB Matt Jones?

A possible trade destination for Redskins RB Matt Jones?

RICHMOND—The Redskins reportedly have been looking to trade running back Matt Jones since just before the draft. They may be able to find a partner just up I-95.

The Baltimore Ravens are in need of a running back after Kenneth Dixon suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this week. Terrance West, who gained 774 yards on the ground last year, is healthy and returning but the Ravens want more depth at the position.

That is where Jones could come into play. The 2015 third-round pick of the Redskins was the unquestioned starter going into last season. But fumbling and other issues prompted Jay Gruden to make him inactive the last nine games of the season. Jones further fell out of favor by skipping OTAs this year, a move he made on the advice of his now-former agent.

RELATED: Is Cousins overrated?

Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh said last year that he liked Jones “a lot” in the 2015 draft and he could well still be intrigued by his size and speed. ESPN Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley said that Jones could be a good fit for the Ravens in their current situation.

It should be noted that Hensley seems to be engaging in informed speculation and not relaying anything he heard from the team’s decision makers. He also speaks of the possibility of Baltimore picking up Jones after the Redskins release him.

But there could be some incentive for the Ravens to talk trade with the Redskins rather than waiting for Jones to hit the waiver wire. For one thing, getting their new back in sooner rather than later would benefit the Ravens, allowing the player to get acclimated to his new quarterback and offensive line. While the Redskins are inevitably going to cut Jones, they have no incentive to do so before the final cuts just before the start of the season. Perhaps the Ravens will want to give up some minor compensation, something like a swap of sixth- and seventh-round picks, to get Jones in for the start of training camp.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

Hensley also mentions the possibility that the Ravens will look at former Redskin Alfred Morris for depth at running back. He currently is buried on the Cowboys’ depth chart behind All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott and Darren McFadden. However, there is the possibility of a domestic-violence suspension on the horizon for Elliott. While the suspension is likely to be brief the Cowboys probably don’t want to depart with any running back depth until the matter has been settled.

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