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Need to Know: The five best players drafted with the 34th pick


Need to Know: The five best players drafted with the 34th pick

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 9, 29 days before the NFL draft.

Nickel coverage

Here are the five best players drafted with the 34th pick since the first AFL-NFL common draft in 1966. (per the Pro-Football-Reference.com Approximate Value metric):

1. LB Jack Ham, career AV 112 (drafted in 1971 by the Steelers)—Ham went straight into the starting lineup as a rookie and started all but three games of the Steelers run of four Super Bowl titles in six years. He was first-team All-Pro six times and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

2. CB Lem Barney, 99 (1967, Lions)—A shutdown corner before the term was invented, Barney was one of the bright spots on a string of mediocre to awful Lions teams from 1967-1977. He made six Pro Bowls, was first-team All-Pro twice and he has a bust in Canton as well.

3. DB Carnell Lake, 81 (1989, Steelers)—Lake played for the Steelers from 1989-1998, a time when they were winning games but they were unable to add “one for the thumb”. They lost his only Super Bowl appearance following the 1995 season. He made four Pro Bowls with the Steelers (plus first-team All-Pro honors in 1997) and one more in Jacksonville in 1999. He finished up his career with the Ravens in 2001.

4. G Chris Snee, 75 (2004, Giants)—Snee was with the Giants for both of their recent Super Bowl wins and has been one of the more solid lineman in the league since he came to the Giants in 2004. He has four Pro Bowls and earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2008. Snee is the only active player on this list.

5. DB Tim McDonald, 71 (1987, Cardinals)—Quite the ball hawk at safety, McDonald picked off 40 passes in 13 NFL seasons. He spent the first six with the Cardinals before moving to the 49ers. After becoming the Cardinals’ starter at strong safety in 1988 he missed just five starts in 12 years. McDonald made six Pro Bowls including five straight from 1991-1995.

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—It’s been 101 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 151 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Draft 29; Training camp starts 105

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Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Plenty of Redskins fans wanted the team to interview Rex Ryan for defensive coordinator.

Well, a report shows they aren't talking to Rex, but instead, his brother Rob, according to Albert Breer of MMQB

Rex Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is very impressive.

Rob Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is, uh, less impressive. 

In 12 seasons as a coordinator, first in Oakland and then with Cleveland, Dallas and New Orleans, Rob Ryan has two Top 5 finishes in yards allowed. He also has finished 31st out of 32 teams in the league in yards allowed three times.

Below is a chart from Pro Football Reference showing his defensive ranks from 2004 when he became coordinator in Oakland all the way through his last job as a coordinator in New Orleans in 2015.


The results aren't pretty.


It should be noted that in 2016, Rob Ryan served as assistant head coach in Buffalo on his brother Rex's staff.

That team's defense finished 19th in yards allowed. 

Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine have interviewed with the Redskins for their vacant defensive coordinator opening.

Washington is also reported to have reached out to Wade Phillips, who took the same position with the Rams, and Steve Wilks, who took the same position with the Carolina Panthers. Internally, outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky also seems to be under some consideration for the position, and a report last week linked former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula with the Washington defense.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!


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Award Tour: Tandler & JP name Redskins' Defensive Player of the Year

Award Tour: Tandler & JP name Redskins' Defensive Player of the Year

With the 2017 offseason about to kick into high gear, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler are going to take one last look at 2016 in the coming days.

That’s right, it’s time to hand out awards for Coach of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.

We’ve picked our top coaches and the Special Teams POY. Today we select the Defensive Player of the Year.

Tandler: This is tough because there were no real standouts on a mediocre unit. Ryan Kerrigan was the only defensive representitive to the Pro Bowl and had 11 sacks but his impact plays were few. You could make a case for Chris Baker, who was the only consistently effective player on the defensive line.

The pick here is Josh Norman.

He also was invisible for long stretches for good reasons. The only quarterback to throw his way more than seven times in the last half of the season was the Bears’ Matt Barkley and Norman made him pay with two interceptions. A Norman pick set up the clincher in the Browns game and he forced a fumble that put the Packers game beyond even an Aaron Rodgers miracle.

Outside of that, he set the tone during the week, staying out a minimum of 30 minutes after every practice, working on his craft.

If the defense can get two or three more players just like Norman they’ll be fine.


Finlay: Norman is a strong pick, but since Tandler stole that selection from me, I will go with Kerrigan.

I've heard the lack of impact plays argument, and don't agree. His strip-sack to end the Eagles game, a win the reeling Redskins desperately needed, was probably a Top 5 defensive play this season. Without that sack, Philly had all the momentum and a chance to knock the 'Skins out of playoff contention. He also played through a number of injuries, starting every game for the sixth straight season.

Baker's name deserves recognition, as does Trent Murphy. The best part of Murphy's eight sack breakout campaign: Excellence is expected of Norman and Kerrigan. With Kerrigan, the expectations are so high that 11 sacks is almost dismissed by some fans and media. Murphy emerged as a viable sack threat for Washington this season, something that he can build upon next year. 


Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!