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Need to Know: Who were Scot McCloughan's best late-round picks?

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Need to Know: Who were Scot McCloughan's best late-round picks?

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 25, five days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Nickel coverage

A week from today it will be Day 3 of the NFL draft. This is the time where GM’s and scouting departments really earn their money, finding late-round contributors. While he was the GM in San Francisco for the 2005-2009 drafts he had some solid finds on Saturday, although he didn’t find any breakout gems. Let’s compare what McCloughan drafted in rounds 4-7 to who the Redskins took in the same rounds in the same drafts.

Best Players (by AV)

McCloughan: S Dashon Goldson (AV 42, 4th round, 2007), DE Parys Haralson (37, 5th, 2006)
Redskins: DL Kedric Golston (26, 6th, 2006), S Reed Doughty (22, 6th, 2006)

You had probably had heard of Goldson even before he came to the Redskins; he was the first-team All-Pro safety in 2012. Haralson, drafted in the fifth round in 2006, was still in the league last season, starting 12 games and picking up three sacks for the Saints. The 49ers got seven seasons, 68 starts, and 21.5 sacks from him. Golston is still on the Redskins’ roster, although he may be on the bubble after all of the free agent acquisitions on the defensive line.

Players with at least one season as a starter

McCloughan: 10
Redskins: 5

With three seasons as a starter Golston is the only player in this group for the Redskins who has more than one year as a starter to his credit. The 49ers have Goldson and Haralson with six, DB Tarrell Brown with four, and TE Delanie Walker and WR Josh Morgan with three each. One of Morgan’s seasons as a starter came after he signed a free agent contract with the Redskins.

Players with 75 or more games played

McCloughan: 10
Redskins: 2

Only Golston (125) and Doughty (107) have played at least 75 NFL games. Among the 49ers who have that many games under their belts is recently-signed Redskin Ricky Jean Francois.

Players who played in an NFL game in 2014:

McCloughan: 8
Redskins: 2

In addition to Goldson the only other Redskins player in this group who played a snap in 2014 was QB Jordan Palmer, a sixth-round pick in 2004. He mopped up in one game for the Titans last year. None of the 49ers in this group played in San Francisco last year but the fact that they are still active is rather impressive in itself.

Just to compare that last stat for McCloughan with some other teams around the league who have reputations for drafting well, three members of the Giants drafted on Saturday from 2005-2009 were still active, five from the Ravens are, 12 Packers, seven Patriots, eight Steelers, and four Seahawks.

If you want to see more details of the drafted players that we’re discussing here, go here for the 49ers and go here for the Redskins.

Timeline

—It’s been 118 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 141 days until they play another one.

Days until: 2015 NFL Draft 5; Redskins minicamp starts 52; Redskins training camp starts 96

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: Redskins looking for consistency from Preston Smith

Need to Know: Redskins looking for consistency from Preston Smith

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 9, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 12:05; Jay Gruden and news conference and open locker room after practice approx. 2:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 10; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 15; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 23

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot),
Thursday injury report

Around Redskins Park

—The Redskins’ third-down defense is the worst in the NFL in a long time. They are giving up first downs on 48 percent of opponents’ third downs. Since 2002 only one team, the 2011 Chargers, has been worse over the course of a full season. The Redskins have a chance to improve in the last four games of the season. Their remaining opponents rank 15th, 22nd, 26th, and 27th in converting third downs on offense. So, while the damage is done perhaps they can avoid historically bad territory.

—Perhaps one of the reasons why the Redskins haven’t done well on third down is because Preston Smith, a player they were counting on to generate pass pressure and rack up sacks, isn't getting that done. He has 3.5 sacks on the year, two of them coming into one game. What are they looking for out of Smith? “Consistency is the truest measure of performance,” said defensive coordinator Joe Barry. “You have got to show up every single week . . . Preston is giving great effort, he’s trying. He just has got to show up in the statistic column.”

—Barry was candid in admitting that they were taken by surprise when the Cardinals snapped the ball on the fourth and one play from their own 34 in the fourth quarter. “I think everyone was a little shocked that the ball actually was snapped and they ran a play, but that’s football,” Barry said. The center’s hand is on the ball, ball is ready, the ball can be snapped, we have got to be ready to execute.” Should the season go south from here that play will be remembered as the turning point.

—Although whether or not the season goes south will largely be dependent on the play of Kirk Cousins, he doesn’t think about the pressure. “I just go about my business. I think you take it one game at a time, that’s the best way to manage it, and just enjoy the process,” he said. “We’ll see where we are in a few weeks but I can’t play the game today, I can’t play next week’s game today. All I can do today is prepare and go to practice and have a great practice, and I thought today I had a great practice and that’s a good step.”

—Jay Gruden wants to see the defense improve in two specific areas in addition to third downs. “Turnovers the last couple of weeks and red zone,” he said. “Those are three big time areas of concern . . . We’ve been lacking in all three of those categories of late.” They have had just one takeaway in their last three games and in their last five games teams have punched it into the end zone on 14 of 17 red zone opportunities (82.3%).

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A little more left arm use by Reed on this catch. #Redskins

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Redskins injury report: Three return but still plenty of question marks

Redskins injury report: Three return but still plenty of question marks

The Redskins’ injury report is looking a little better today, three days away from their game against the Eagles. 

DE Chris Baker (ankle), CB Will Blackmon (concussion), T Ty Nsekhe (ankle), C Spencer Long (concussion) didn't practice today. That is a substantial reduction of the number of players who were out of practice on Wednesday.

Going from out yesterday to limited participants today were S Donte Whitner (illness), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), and DE Anthony Lanier (leg).

Also limited were TE Derek Carrier (knee), ILB Will Compton (hip), TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and OLB Preston Smith (groin).

A player moving from out of practice to limited is no guarantee that he will be able to participate come Sunday but it’s a step in the right direction.

On area of concern is the offensive line. Three players who started against the Cardinals have not practiced this week. One was Nsekhe and he already was headed to the bench after the return of Trent Williams from suspension.

RELATED: Five Redskins who need to perform vs. Eagles

According to Jay Gruden, the line will have enough bodies even if Long, Nsekhe, and Lauvao are out. Second year guard Arie Kouandjio would start at guard and John Sullivan, who finished up after Long left the game on Sunday, would be the starting center. They could activate Kory Lichtensteiger from injured reserve to back up guard and center and Vinston Painter would be the backup tackle.

It appears that Reed is making progress from the AC joint separation he suffered in his left shoulder on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas.

“He looked good out there today,” said Gruden. “He’s still a little sore. Right now I have absolutely no idea (if he will play).”