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Need to Know: The Redskins' top five late-round draft picks

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Need to Know: The Redskins' top five late-round draft picks

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 30, the day of the fourth through seventh rounds of the NFL Draft.

Timeline

At FedEx Field: Josh Doctson, Su'a Cravens, Kendall Fuller news conference during draft day party.

At Redskins Park: Conference call with Redskins’ draft picks soon after each one has been made; Scot McCloughan talks to the media after the Redskins’ final selection.

—The Redskins last played a game 111 days ago. It will be 135 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 13; OTAs start 24; Redskins training camp starts 89

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Pay attention to these last four rounds of the draft today. The Redskins have found some pretty good players there. Since 1980 the Redskins have drafted 221 players in Round 4 and later. Here are the five best among those who played most of their careers in Washington.

G Mark Schlereth (Round 10-1989)—He actually split his career between the Redskins and Broncos even though he generally remembered more in Denver. But he played six seasons and went to one Pro Bowl in each city. Two of his Super Bowl rings come from the Broncos, one from Washington.

OL Raleigh McKenzie (11-1985)—Here’s another one that the Redskins drafted in a round that no longer exists. McKenzie might be one of the least-remembered Hogs but he did start for two Super Bowl winners. By the way, he’s currently a scout for the Raiders where he works for his identical twin brother, Oakland GM Reggie.

DE Dexter Manley (5-1981)—He remains the team career sack leader with 91 and with Ryan Kerrigan the active team leader with 47.5 he could be the career leader for quite some time. Manley could have more sacks but they weren’t an official stat until 1982, his second year in the league. In addition, his battles with substance abuse cost him a lot of games.

RB Stephen Davis (4-1996)—He could have threatened John Riggins’ career rushing record of 7,472 yards if Norv Turner had figured out what to do with him sooner. Davis languished on the bench and played some fullback for his first three seasons in the league. When he was made the starter in 1999 he responded by rushing for over 1,400 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns. In seven seasons in Washington he rushed for 5,790 yards before finishing up his career in Carolina and St. Louis.

QB Mark Rypien (6-1986)—Ah, the old days when a quarterback carried a clipboard for a while before being allowed to touch a football during a regulation game. Rypien spent two full seasons learning before replacing an injured Doug Williams in 1988. The rest, as they say, is history. His peak was short—he started 16 games in just two seasons. One of those was 1991 and he was good enough to lead the Redskins to one of the best seasons an NFL team has ever had including the Super Bowl, where he was the MVP.

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Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

You would think that after spending two years as the team’s third-down back, playing more snaps than any other running back last season, and getting a second-round restricted free agent tender that will pay him $2.7 million this year, Chris Thompson might feel comfortable as the Redskins start up the final phase of their preseason program.

But Thompson says that he is as nervous about making the team as he was when he was a fifth-round in 2013.

“Even after the last preseason game when you guys talk to me I’m going to still be nervous when that time comes around because I never forget that feeling,” he told reporters on Monday prior to the Redskins charity golf tournament at Army-Navy Country Club.

“For me, I’ve just got to come out here and work every day to try to secure my job.”

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

The approach has worked for him in the past. He struggled with injuries his first two years in the league, playing a total of just six games. In 2015 he found his niche as the third-down back and he hasn’t given it up.

In fact, he may get more opportunities on first and second downs.

“I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year,” he said. “He [coach Jay Gruden] knows that I’m healthy and I can stay healthy. I think that was one of his biggest concerns, that I can handle the load. I think I’ll get a lot more opportunities.”

Rob Kelley is expected to be the starter and fourth-round pick Samaje Perine should get a significant number of carries. If Gruden plans on Thompson getting more work on the ground, that likely means that the Redskins anticipate running the ball more ofent than they did in 2016, when they were 27th in the NFL with 379 rushing attempts.

Health is key for Thompson. He not only played in all 16 games for the first time in his career last year, he came out of the season in good health. Not having the need to rehab is allowing Thompson to work on refining his game.

“[Being healthy] helps me to get away and focus on the little things that I need to work on,” he said. “Having a full offseason, being able to get away, I’ve been able to focus on those things. Just like my quickness, my route running. I know my route running is big for me to make it in this league so I work on that. . . that was my main goal.”

Thompson’s work ethic and his mindset where he takes nothing for granted have served him well. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and if he continues to produce he will be setting himself up for a nice payday. 

RELATED: OFFSEASON NFL POWER RANKINGS

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RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

Matt Jones entered the 2016 season as the Redskins undisputed starter at running back.

That lasted seven games.

By Week 8, Jones landed on the inactive list, and he never took another snap all year.

With OTAs beginning for the 2017 season, it looks like Jones might not play with the team. 

NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT?

In April at the NFL Draft, reports surfaced that Washington was trying to trade Jones.

Weeks before that, at the NFL Owner's Meetings in Arizona, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden had to be reminded that Jones was still on the roster as the coach talked about the running back situation for this fall.

Robert Kelley surpassed Jones as the top running back on the team last season with Chris Thompson secure in his third down back role. 

Mack Brown even moved past Jones on the depth chart. When the Redskins drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round, that signaled even bigger trouble for Jones' roster situation.

The Redskins will likely only keep four running backs this fall, and with Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Brown, it sure seems like Jones is the odd man out.

It's remarkable considering Jones has size, speed and an NFL resume that has three 100-yard games on it in just 20 games. The Redskins spent a third-round pick on Jones in 2015, and he largely ousted fan favorite Alfred Morris from the RB1 role as a rookie. 

Life comes at you quick in the NFL.

Jones is a clear example of that. 

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ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back