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