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Need to Know: Redskins view DeSean Jackson as their first-round pick

Need to Know: Redskins view DeSean Jackson as their first-round pick

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 21, 17 days before the NFL draft.

Nickel coverage

Here are five thoughts on the Redskins and the NFL draft, which I think we can all agree is taking forever to get here.

1. The Redskins are looking at DeSean Jackson as their first-round draft pick. Of course, it’s not exactly the same since Jackson will cost more (although not that much more, see below) and is unlikely to be around for as long as the player taken with the second overall pick will be. But the veteran wide receiver is a proven NFL talent who should provide instant impact.

2. What’s the cost comparison? This year, it’s just about even. Jackson’s contract carries a 2014 cap charge of $4.25 million while the No. 2 overall pick will cost the Rams $4.21 million against the cap. But the difference widens quickly. Over the next three years, Jackson’s cap charges will total $22.75 million while the second pick will cost around $15.8 million. That’s why you want to build through the draft.

3. The Redskins may have been targeting a wide receiver with their top draft pick, No. 34 overall. With the draft being so loaded at the position it’s easy to envision a scenario where a wide receiver is one of the best available at that pick. This is also an indication that Gruden wants to run a lot of sets with three wide receivers.

4. Although I’m on record as saying that I think that the Redskins’ top pick will be an offensive tackle, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it’s a defensive front seven player who can get after the quarterback. The Jackson contract will squeeze the cap somewhat next year. It’s not like they will be unable to tag Brian Orakpo for a second time if they want to but it might be better to have a replacement ready so that decision is not made from desperation.

5. I’m going to keep an eye on the Redskins third- and fourth-round picks as an indication of what they think of Keenan Robinson’s chances of moving into a starting role at inside linebacker. If they believe that he can, they are likely to bypass taking a inside linebacker. Should the belief be that Robinson will be nothing more than a backup, the third or fourth would be a good area to target one.

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Timeline

—It’s been 113 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 139 days until they play another one.

Days until: First veteran minicamp 8; NFL Draft 17; Training camp starts 93

In case you missed it

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Report: Redskins sign CB Tharold Simon to futures contract

Report: Redskins sign CB Tharold Simon to futures contract

Looking to add depth to their secondary, the Redskins reportedly signed former Seahawks and Cardinals cornerback Tharold Simon on Monday, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Arizona claimed Simon off waivers after the Seahawks released him following the first week of the regular season. He played in nine games for the Cardinals and was inactive for his final two with the team, which then released him in December.

A fifth-round pick for the Seahawks in 2013, Simon was signed to a future/reserve contract, allowing him to compete for a roster spot during training camp and offseason workouts.

He is the 11th player to sign a futures contract with the Redskins.

MORE REDSKINS: Washington interviewed Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator

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Report: Redskins to interview former Raiders defensive coordinator

Report: Redskins to interview former Raiders defensive coordinator

The Redskins have set up another interview with a candidate to fill their vacant defensive coordinator position.

According to the Washington Post, Jason Tarver, the defensive coordinator of the Raiders from 2012-2014, will meet with the organization. The date of the interview is not known.

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

Before joining the Raiders, Tarver coached in college for five years before the 49ers hired him as a quality control coach. He worked his way up to become the outside linebackers coach, a position he held from 2005-2010. Scot McCloughan was the GM of the 49ers while Tarver was coaching there.

After a year as a defensive coordinator in the college ranks at Stanford, Tarver was hired as the Raiders’ defensive coordinator. He was a defensive assistant for the 2015 49ers and he was out of football last season.

More Redskins: The Redskins week that was

The Redskins have announced interviews with former Browns head coach Mike Pettine and ex-Jaguars coach Gus Bradley. It was reported earlier today that they also will meet with Rob Ryan, most recently the Bills’ defensive coordinator.

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.