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Need to Know: Sorting out the roles for the Redskins' 2015 draft class

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Need to Know: Sorting out the roles for the Redskins' 2015 draft class

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, May 3, 44 days before the Redskins hold their mandatory minicamp.

Role playing

Here is a quick assessment of what the role of each of the Redskins’ draft picks might be in the coming season.

OL Brandon Scherff—He will be plugged in at right tackle and over the course of the season we will see if he is more suited to playing guard or tackle in the NFL.

OLB Preston Smith—I’m not even sure if the coaches know exactly how he will be used at this point. Smith will be used in a variety of roles, playing with his hand in the dirt and in a two-point stance. He and Trent Murphy, who also might line up in a variety of spots, will compete for playing time.

RB Matt Jones—The obvious spot to use him early on is in short-yardage situations, giving him the ball and having him bang out a couple of yards on third and one. He will compete with Silas Redd for carries when Alfred Morris needs a rest.

WR Jamison Crowder—Jay Gruden said that he could well be the punt returner from Day One and he will back up Andre Roberts as the slot receiver. It will be hard for a fourth-round receiver to get very many snaps as a rookie.

G Arie Kouandjio—It’s not realistic to think he could compete for a starting job this year. He will need to battle with Spencer Long (or Chris Chester if Long beats him out for the starting job) and Josh LeRibeus for backup roster spots. LeRibeus and Chester are better suited to the zone-blocking scheme so Kouandjio could benefit from the team’s move to more of a power scheme.

ILB Martrell Spaight—He likely will need to push his way past either Will Compton or Adam Hayward to land a spot as a reserve inside linebacker. To do that he will have to excel on special teams.

S Kyshoen Jarrett—Virginia Tech is known for its emphasis on special teams and that is how Jarrett will have to earn his way onto the 53-man roster. It will be tough for him to get a regular role on defense even if he does.

CB Tevin Mitchel—Like Jarrett, he will have to carve out a role on special teams. Cornerback is rather crowded and it will be tough for Mitchel to earn snaps on defense.

WR Evan Spencer—The same theme continues here; he is also going to need to play some special teams to make the 53. It will be interesting to see if Gruden carves out a roster spot for a sixth wide receiver. Holdovers Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Roberts, and Ryan Grant aren’t going anywhere and Crowder is likely to claim the fifth spot.

C Austin Reiter—Last year Chester was the backup center and that is a typical arrangement on many teams. Reiter might even have a tough time beating out Tyler Larsen, a second-year player signed as a free agent. If he can't work his way onto the 53 a practice squad job is a possibility.

Timeline

—It’s been 126 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 133 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 44; Redskins training camp starts 88; Redskins @ Giants 144

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins' decision on Su'a Cravens doesn't change much immediately

Redskins' decision on Su'a Cravens doesn't change much immediately

When the Redskins announced that safety Su’a Cravens has been placed on the reserve/left team list, ending his 2017 season, some things changed. But mostly, in the short term anyway, things stayed the same.

Before diving into this, let’s acknowledge that Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is reporting that Cravens was going to show up at Redskins Park today and the Redskins put him on the reserve/left team list “out of the blue” and without the five-day notice that the team is required to give the player before putting him on that list. A grievance is a possibility. We will follow that aspect of it carefully but for now, we don’t know much about it and will let Florio’s report stand on its own.

What does not change now is the Redskins’ roster. Since he was on the exempt/left team list he did not count against the 53-man roster. The Redskins started Deshazor Everett at strong safety Week 1 against the Eagles and rookie Montae Nicholson got the nod Sunday against the Rams. It is likely that one of those two gets the start for the rest of the year.

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS' WIN IN LA

Had Cravens reported the Redskins would have had to make a roster move to make room for him. When he left the team right after final cuts were made, offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings was picked up on waivers. He presumably is the 53rd man on the roster but he is safe for now.

So, what changes? The Redskins save some money. Cravens was slated to make $651,408 in salary this year. The money was guaranteed; however, leaving the team voided that guarantee. The team also could send him a bill for $335,631, the one-year prorated portion of his $1.422 million signing bonus he got last year.

It should be noted that the financial aspects of this are pending any grievance proceedings. If the Redskins did not give Cravens proper notice and he reports for work, he could make the case that he is entitled to his money. But, again, that is something that we’ll see about in the coming days and weeks.

MORE REDSKINS: INJURY LIST LONG, PAINFUL BUT NONE SERIOUS

Cravens’ status will be a topic of discussion during Jay Gruden’s podium session and in the locker room on Wednesday. But after that, the focus will return to playing the Raiders and the whole saga will go on the back burner.

What happens after this year? As far as I can gather, the reserve/left team list only applies to the 2017 season. If Cravens follows the terms of his contract and reports for work when required in 2018 the Redskins would have to either let him play, release him, or trade him.

But that is down the road. For now, the Redskins will move on as though he is out for the season with an injury and play with the guys they have.

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.

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Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Rams

Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Rams

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 19, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Raiders at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: No media availability

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Chiefs (10/2) 13
—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (11/23) 24
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 40

Last look at Redskins vs. Rams

—Before the game, I confidently told someone on Twitter that Ryan Grant would get about as many targets (6) against the Rams as he did against the Eagles. But as it turned out, Grant was targeted just twice. The second time was on the game-winning touchdown in the last two minutes. A big difference between this week and last was that Kirk Cousins attempted just 27 passes against LA compared to 40 vs. the Eagles. That led to fewer opportunities for receivers and Grant was one of those who saw his chances drop the most.

—Cousins started well and finished strong but he didn’t do much in the middle. It seems that he was rolling along well until he misfired on a fade pattern to Josh Doctson and then on another throw to Chris Thompson. That ended a goal to go opportunity in a situation where a touchdown would have given the Redskins a commanding 17-0 lead. The next time the Redskins had the ball Cousins was sacked on his first passing attempt and he fumbled a snap a little later. In the third quarter and early in the fourth he completed some passes but many of them were for a minimal gain. To his credit, he didn’t panic and force a turnover. And, of course, he came through on the final drive, completing three of three passes for 42 yards including the 11-yard game winner to Grant.

—During the week leading up to the game, Jay Gruden emphasized the importance of getting to the quarterback. It didn’t play out as well as I’m sure Gruden would have liked. They got two sacks of Jared Goff, one by Preston Smith and one by Ryan Kerrigan, both in the Rams’ possession late in the first half. They pressured Goff on other occasions but overall their pass rush possibly was not as good as it was against the Eagles. Then, they at least got to Carson Wentz even though they had issues bringing him down. Too often, Goff had plenty of time to operate and that helped keep the Rams in the game until near the end.

—Chris Thompson has been the Redskins’ offensive MVP so far. He has improved each year and yesterday he was at his peak. What you really had to like on the 61-yard touchdown run on the draw play was his patience. He was almost standing still as he took the handoff from Cousins as he carried out the pass-blocking fake and chose his path for when he got the ball. He said that the play was designed for him to go one way but his read took him someplace else. It took him to the end zone for the second time that game.

—One surprise early in the game was that Montae Nicholson started at strong safety in place of DeShazor Everett. Nicholson made no glaring errors before he left the game with an AC joint sprain. The depth chart here apparently is set after the team announced that Su'a Cravens, the starter until he left the team to contemplate retirement, will not return this season. 

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.

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