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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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In case you missed it

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

After a poor first preseason showing and some questions about the physicality of Redskins training camp, JP Finlay talks with Patriots Insider Phil Perry from CSN New England to discuss the differences between Washington's camp and how they run things in New England.

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

Few Redskins players draw more heated fan reaction than Ryan Grant. In three seasons with Washington, Grant has never missed a game, but he also hasn't produced much. His career stats: 39 catches for 412 yards and two touchdowns. 

Regardless, Jay Gruden and the Redskins coaching staff appreciates Grant in a way few fans understand. Grant is able to back up both the slot and outside receivers, and knows the roles of all the players.

"He’s really strong, he’s in great shape, and he’s Mr. Consistent," Gruden said of Grant. "Everything we ask him to do he does, and he does it right."

When Jamison Crowder missed time in Richmond with a hamstring strain, Grant stepped into Crowder's slot role. When Josh Doctson hurt his hamstring and missed time, Grant stepped into his role on the outside of the offense.

Throughout camp, Grant has displayed good hands and an adept knowledge of the offense. 

"No matter where he lines up, no matter what we ask him to do, he can come in the core and block the safety, whatever we want him to do, he can run whatever route from whatever positon and he runs at the right depth, perfect angles coming out of them," Gruden said. "He’s just ‘Steady Eddie,’ and that’s why I like him. I like consistent, smart players and that’s what Ryan is."

Against the Ravens in the Redskins first preseason game, Grant hung on to a tough catch over the middle to give the team one of very few offensive sparks. The problem for fans as it relates to Grant has not been preseason play. It's been inconsistent play in regular season games. 

Gruden believes that could change this year.

"I think people may be surprised with how many balls Ryan Grant might catch. Either way, could happen, I don’t know. I can’t foresee the future there, but I would be just fine with Ryan Grant being the target of a lot of balls."

To state the obvious: Grant is definitely making the roster. Behind Terrelle Pyror, Crowder and Doctson, Grant is the Redskins fourth wideout and one of the few players on the roster that is interchangeable among the Washington receiver positions. 

Grant's career best season came in 2015 when he caught 23 balls for 268 yards and two TDs. Based on his preseason, it seems Grant could surpass those totals in 2017. Much of his early season work has been a result of injuries to Doctson and Crowder, but make no mistake, Grant has been impressive in practice. 

Will it translate to the real games? The opprotunity seems only likely to arise if the Redskins deal with injuries at the receiver spot. 

Last year, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 yards, but DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon accounted for more than 2,000 of those yards. Doctson, Crowder and certainly Pryor are likely to be the major recepients of Cousins' aerial prowess. Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Chris Thompson accounted for another 1,618 yards last year.

Keep in mind, this is the last year of Grant's rookie contract. If there was ever a time to show in games what coaches have long seen and loved in practice, this would be the year. It seems only an injury would give him a major opportunity. If the situation came to pass, Gruden would have faith in Grant. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!