Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, April 28, the day of the first round of the NFL Draft.
—At Redskins Park: Conference call with Redskins’ first-round pick soon after pick has been made; Jay Gruden talks to the media after first round is over.
—The Redskins last played a game 109 days ago. It will be 137 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: Rookie minicamp 15; OTAs start 26 Redskins training camp starts 91
—Get ready for a late night. The latest that the Redskins have drafted in the first round since they went with the 8:00 prime time start for the first round is 16th, when they took Ryan Kerrigan in 2011. They picked fourth in 2010 (Trent Williams), second in 2012 (Robert Griffin III), and fifth last year (Brandon Scherff). Those were pretty early nights. With 10 minutes between picks the Redskins won’t be on the clock until at least 11:00, maybe closer to 11:30.
—Get ready to hear about all of the flaws of the Redskins’ first-round draft pick. This just in—players picked past the top five all have flaws. The further down in the first round you go the more issues the players have. Scot McCloughan isn’t going to be looking for a perfect player. He will be looking at that player’s issues and trying to figure out if the coaches can fix them and/or work around them. But perhaps most importantly, McCloughan will have looked into that player’s background to see if he is willing to put in the work needed to improve his game.
—Get ready to be surprised. As many possibilities as there are with 20 picks before the Redskins go on the clock and the unorthodox way that McCloughan looks at “football players”, the Redskins’ pick could be someone who hasn’t been on anybody’s radar. Yes, I know you wouldn't really be shocked if the "experts" are wrong. The focus has been on five to ten possibilities, there are probably twice that many actual possibilities.
—Get ready to see the Redskins come away empty handed. Being that close to the end of the first round, a trade back could easily land with them having their first pick of the draft come in the second round. That doesn’t start until 7 p.m. on Friday.
In case you missed it
New Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor has been working out with Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown this offseason.
The pair documented their receiving drills, ladder drills and even yoga on social media. But what you didn't see, according to ESPN's John Keim, is Pryor practicing with special glasses that Brown recommended.
Based on Brown’s advice, Pryor has also worn special sunglasses during offseason workouts, designed to prevent him from seeing an object – in this case the ball – until it is almost upon him. Sometimes he takes his gloves off, just to get a feel for the ball with his hands.
The glasses Keim describes sound more like blinders, or even tunnel vision, but the idea is to help Pryor get an instinctive feel for running routes.
Despite putting up 1,007 receiving yards with the Browns last year, Pryor has only played the position since 2015. His first four seasons in the NFL were spent trying to make a roster playing quarterback.
Now penciled into a starting receiver role for the Redskins, he knows he has a lot of catching up to do.
"The good ones, they ask questions and never think they’ve got it. They always want to learn," Pryor said, "I’m not calling myself a great one, but I think I can get there."
MORE REDSKINS: Redskins Playbook: Some good news for Kirk Cousins
The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.
Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.
The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10.
After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.
Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too.
The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list.
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