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Need to Know: What power blocking linemen are available for the Redskins?

Need to Know: What power blocking linemen are available for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 7, 23 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 comes from Twitter:

Yesterday Tarik and I discussed the Redskins’ likely shift to more of a power rushing with Bill Callahan on board. I noted that the Redskins currently have two starting linemen who are ill-suited to power blocking in RG Chris Chester and C Kory Lichtensteiger. Who could replace them?

I know that everyone is all anxious for the Redskins to draft offensive linemen and everything but there are players currently on the roster who could take over as starters this year or next and make the O-line better suited to power blocking.

The potential guard is Spencer Long, last year’s third-round draft pick. At 6-5, 311 (and able to add on more weight if necessary) he has the size for the power technique.

A lot of people were surprised a year ago when center Tyler Larsen went undrafted out of Utah State. He did not play last year and the Redskins were able to pick him up as a street free agent. He’s 6-4, 315, on the large size for a center. Larsen is not a sure thing and he probably needs a year of seasoning to really find out if he will. But he is as good a shot as any mid- to late-round pick will be.

But if McCloughan is unsure about Long and wants insurance in case Larsen can’t make it, there are options in the draft. I did a Draft Countdown post on my favorite guard in the draft a few weeks ago. Laken Tomlinson of Duke is 6-3, 323, and he has the high level of intelligence that is a characteristic of good O-linemen.

I’m not sure McCloughan will take Tomlinson with their top pick in the second round but if they get a later second-rounder in a trade Tomlinson might be in play. If he’s still there in the third he could be hard to pass up.

Cameron Erving is the consensus best center in the draft and he could blast some defenders out of the middle of the line. He has plenty of technical flaws but as a converted defensive lineman that is to be expected. There’s nothing wrong with him technique-wise that Bill Callahan can’t fix.

Erving could be gone by the time the Redskins pick in the second round. If they want him and he’s still there, they have better get him at No. 38.

Timeline

—It’s been 100 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 159 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 13; 2015 NFL Draft 23; Redskins training camp starts 114

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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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Mock drafts, cap bargains

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Mock drafts, cap bargains

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 22, five days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 20
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 32
—Training camp starts (7/27) 96
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 141

The Redskins week that was

Redskins full 2017 schedule released—Even with the Caps and Wizards in full playoff mode, the DMV stops to take a look and see when the Redskins will be playing. The Thanksgiving game was surprising. It’s another working day but I worked at various places since I was 14 and last year was the first time I’ve had to work on Thanksgiving so I can’t complain too much about working two in a row. It’s a small price to pay for having the best job in the world.

Don't count out any RB for Redskins at 17—Yeah, I know that NFL teams aren’t supposed to take running backs in the first round any more. But that is one of those trends that comes and goes. In 2013 and 2014 there were no RBs taken in the first. Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott in the last couple of years began to shift the thinking. If the Redskins think that Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey can help them win games more than any other player on the board they should pull the trigger.

Rise of Patrick Mahomes could bring big payoff for Redskins—It seems likely that quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky will be taken before the Redskins pick at No. 17 goes on the clock. That means that two players in whom the Redskins might be interested will be available, pushed back by the quarter backs. Could Mahomes, out of Texas Tech, push a third player back to Washington. The buzz is that a team might grab him in the first half of the first round.

The Redskins' five best salary cap bargains for 2017—When I started pulling the numbers for this post I thought I’d find more key players with salaries of under $1 million. I only found three and one of them is the kicker. This means that they don’t have very many late-round or undrafted players who are contributing a lot of value. They need more out of players like Anthony Lanier, Matt Ioannidis and Maurice Harris. That is how a team thrives in the salary cap era. A couple of Saturday picks could make or break this draft.

Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often—There are a lot of ways the first 16 picks of this draft can work out. It seems almost certain that everyone’s favorite first-round pick, a stud defensive lineman, won’t be a realistic option on the board. This could send things in an odd direction for the Redskins. It’s fun to do a mock and I’ll do one or two more prior to draft day but there are too many variables to think that it has a high degree of accuracy. 

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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Chris Thompson will be with Redskins for at least one more year, team announces

Chris Thompson will be with Redskins for at least one more year, team announces

Coming into Friday the Redskins had two unsigned restricted free agents. Now, they have just one. 

The team announced that running back Chris Thompson has re-signed. If he signed his restricted free agent tender, he will be under contract for one year with a salary of $2.7 million. 

The announcement came just as the deadline for RFA’s to sign offer sheets with other teams passed. That meant that Thompson had no other practical options than to sign with the team. 

MORE REDSKINS: ONE REASON EACH GAME ON THE SCHEDULE WILL BE MUST-SEE TV

Still unsigned is linebacker Will Compton. He got a restricted free agent tender for $1.8 million. We will see how his situation plays out. 

Last season, Thompson was the team’s third-down back and he played in all 16 games for the first time in his career. He posted 68 rushing attempts for 356 yards and three touchdowns and 49 receptions for 349 yards and two touchdowns. All those stats were career highs for Thompson, a fifth-round pick of the Redskins in 2013.

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.