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Need to Know: The five best offensive linemen drafted by the Redskins

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Need to Know: The five best offensive linemen drafted by the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 1, seven days before the NFL draft.

Nickel coverage

Yesterday we looked at the five best offensive linemen who have been drafted in Round 2 since the start of the common draft in 1968. Let’s bring it a little closer to home with the top five O-linemen drafted by the Redskins (per the career Approximate Value metric used by Pro Football Reference).

Russ Grimm, Round 3/overall pick 69, 1981 (Career AV 76)—He’s the only one on this list who is in the Hall of Fame. An original Hog and a first-team All-Pro selection three times.

Mark Schlereth, 10/263, 1989 (CAV 69)—His story is pretty well known due to his post-playing career at ESPN. Although he is usually identified as a Bronco he did split his 12-year career evenly, spending six years each in Denver and Washington.

Raleigh McKenzie, 11/290, 1985 (CAV 64)—His longevity got him onto this list. McKenzie, who started at all three interior line positions, never made a Pro Bowl but he managed to stay in the league for 16 years, the first 10 of which were with the Redskins. As a member is the second iteration of the Hogs, he started for two Super Bowl winners in Washington.

Mark May, 1/20, 1981 (CAV 62)—This just goes to show you that where you’re drafted doesn’t always matter; May was the second-best lineman the Redskins took in this draft (see Grimm above). He was drafted as a tackle but moved inside to guard after his rookie year.

George Starke, 11/272, 1971 (CAV 69)—It says something here that of the five players on this list, three were drafted in rounds that no longer exist in the draft today. It says that the organization has been able to find late gems but perhaps they don’t put much value in the position. You also have to be alarmed by the fact that none of the players on this list were drafted in almost 25 years.

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Timeline

—Former Redskins receiver Gary Clark was born on this date in 1962.

—It’s been 123 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 129 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.

Days until: NFL Draft 7; Training camp starts 83; Preseason opener Patriots @ Redskins 99

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Need to Know: Redskins look for fifth straight win over Eagles

Need to Know: Redskins look for fifth straight win over Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 5, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 1:05; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 17; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 25

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion)
Long's concussion could force roster move

First look at Redskins vs. Eagles

The last time: The Redskins won 27-20 at FedEx Field in Week 6 in a game that was not really as close as the score indicated. The Redskins outgained the Eagles 493 yards to 239 and had the ball for 10 more minutes. Philly scored on a kickoff return and an interception return in a three-minute span in the second quarter and that was about all they had. The Redskins have now beaten the Eagles four straight times. 

The Eagles leaders: Quarterback Carson Wentz got off to a hot start, posting three passer ratings of over 100 in his first four games. In eight games since his passer rating is 70.1 and his high in a game is 91.4. Leading rusher Ryan Mathews had his first 100-yard game in Week 10; he shares the load with Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles. Jordan Matthews (57 receptions, 686 yards) is expected back after missing last week with an ankle injury. Sacks leader Brandon Graham (5.0) has only one sack in the last six games.

Be on the lookout: The Eagles have been getting it done on special teams for years. This year they have two kickoff return touchdowns and Darren Sproles averages 13.7 yards per punt return including a 66-yarder.

Hodgepodge: A Washington win would put them 2.5 games ahead of the Eagles with three to play. Barring a Philly win out/Redskins lose out scenario the Redskins would be out of last place in the NFC East in consecutive years for the first time since 2002-2003 . . . The Redskins already are ensured of avoiding double-digit losses in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2001-2002 . . . The Eagles have allowed over 400 yards of offense in two of their last three games.

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When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

The Redskins best pass cacther did not play in a loss to the Cardinals, and it appears there is still no clear timeline for Jordan Reed's return to the field. 

"Jordan will be day-to-day," Washington coach Jay Gruden said. "You know, we just have to wait and see."

Gruden issued the same statement on Reed last week, and the tight end proceeded to miss all Redskins practices for the week and was announced out for the Arizona game on Friday. Reed's injury came on Thanksgiving in Dallas when he separated his shoulder diving in the end zone for a Kirk Cousins' pass during the first half.

Incredibly, Reed returned in the second half and caught two touchdowns while playing in immense pain. Gruden and Cousins used words like 'stunned' and 'surprised' talking about Reed's return in the Dallas game, but looking forward to Philadelphia, it's hard to know what to expect from the tight end's shoulder.

"Everybody is different with these types of injuries and hopefully he is a fast healer but we’ll take him day-to-day, get him his treatment and go from there," the coach said. "I can’t predict it."

For the season, Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns in just nine games. Reed missed two games earlier this year after sustaining a concussion against the Ravens.

Without Reed in the lineup against the Cardinals, the Redskins offense dipped in production. Cousins threw for less than 300 yards for the first time in three games, though backup tight end Vernon Davis had five catches for 47 yards. 

If Reed practices Wednesday, even in a limited role, would be a good sign for the 'Skins tight end. 

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