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Need to Know: What affect will free agency have on the Redskins' draft?

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Need to Know: What affect will free agency have on the Redskins' draft?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 15, 46 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question is from Twitter:

If you have been paying any attention at all since the Redskins hired Scot McCloughan as the general manager you know that his mantra is that he will draft the best available player on the board regardless of need.

Free agency, on the other hand, is all about filling needs. Unlike the draft, it’s more like grocery shopping. You make a list, figure out your budget, and you go to work.

Some think that because you draft the best player available free agency doesn’t have much of an effect on the draft. The best player before you added some free agents is still going to be the best player. But the definition of “best player available” will change. That is because needs are factored in to the grades that determine BPA. So free agent signings will affect the draft board.

However, just signing a player doesn’t mean that your draft board shifts in a major way. Since the Redskins signed Terrance Knighton, many fans believe that they won’t draft nose tackle Danny Shelton of Washington. But Knighton is only on a one-year deal. The presence of Pot Roast will have a minimal effect on a decision to draft Shelton or a nose tackle at any other point in the draft.

It might be another situation at cornerback. With Chris Culliver now signed and second-year cornerback Bashaud Breeland showing that he can be at least a solid starter for years to come. That will lessen the need at cornerback considerably. That doesn’t mean that they won’t draft a cornerback but that player would have to be the best on the board by a considerable margin, especially in the earlier stages of the draft.

This is something that we'll look at in more detail and name some more names as the Redskins finish up free agency and the draft gets closer.

Timeline

—It’s been 77 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 182 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 36; 2015 NFL Draft 46; Redskins training camp starts 137

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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Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

New Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor has been working out with Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown this offseason. 

The pair documented their receiving drills, ladder drills and even yoga on social media. But what you didn't see, according to ESPN's John Keim, is Pryor practicing with special glasses that Brown recommended. 

Based on Brown’s advice, Pryor has also worn special sunglasses during offseason workouts, designed to prevent him from seeing an object – in this case the ball – until it is almost upon him. Sometimes he takes his gloves off, just to get a feel for the ball with his hands.

The glasses Keim describes sound more like blinders, or even tunnel vision, but the idea is to help Pryor get an instinctive feel for running routes. 

Despite putting up 1,007 receiving yards with the Browns last year, Pryor has only played the position since 2015. His first four seasons in the NFL were spent trying to make a roster playing quarterback. 

Now penciled into a starting receiver role for the Redskins, he knows he has a lot of catching up to do. 

"The good ones, they ask questions and never think they’ve got it. They always want to learn," Pryor said, "I’m not calling myself a great one, but I think I can get there."

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins Playbook: Some good news for Kirk Cousins

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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