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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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—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

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police


Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have no been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys.

The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr. Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.

The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.

The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation. The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports to the contrary. 


Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.



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Redskins 2017 training camp preview—defense

Redskins 2017 training camp preview—defense

RICHMOND— The Redskins will assemble here tomorrow to get ready to get ready for the 2017 season. There are plenty of position competitions and other storylines. Here is a look at what we at CSN will be paying attention to. The key points on offense were published earlier; here’s a look at the defense.

Rebuilding the line

In a way, the situation on the D-line is similar to the one at wide receiver in that free agency and a release has created some holes. Chris Baker, the team’s best defensive lineman last year, left for Tampa Bay as a free agent and Ricky Jean Francois, arguably the second-best DL last year, was cut.

This is not all bad news. The wide receivers were one of the strengths of the team. The D-line was one of the weak spots so perhaps doing some major renovating there is just what the unit needs.

RELATED: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

The big move was one they really hadn’t planned on. Defensive end Jonathan Allen was projected by many to be a top-10 draft pick. But he slipped right into the Redskins’ lap with the 17th pick. He gets to work on Thursday and the sooner he can get up to NFL speed the better. They also signed two free agents in Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain and they re-signed Ziggy Hood. As with Allen, their roles will be determined over the course of the next few weeks of practice and during the preseason games.

Nobody knows who is going to end up playing nose tackle. It could be McGee, Hood, former first-round pick Phil Taylor or one of the 2016 practice squad members, Joey Mbu or A. J. Francis. The fact that there is no obvious candidate is troubling and perhaps a sign that the line will show only marginal improvement this year.

Starters at ILB

The Redskins got an upgrade here late in free agency with the signing of Zach Brown, who was last seen playing in the Pro Bowl for the Bills. How he fits in with incumbent starters Will Compton and Mason Foster remains to be seen. All three are likely to earn substantial playing time and who plays in what situation will be sorted out here in Richmond.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, 11-20

Adjustments at safety

The Redskins could be set at safety for the next several seasons. Or they could be scrambling to make adjustments by midseason. Su’a Cravens moves to strong safety from outside linebacker. He may be a step slower than the ideal for his position and he needs to make up for it by being, as he likes to say, assignment perfect. The Redskins signed D. J. Swearinger, who has been a strong safety for most of his career, to play free safety.

When the dust settles, they could be the best safety tandem the Redskins have had in years. Or they could be showing the effects of trying to put square pegs into round holes.

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.