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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’ Friday draft picks could be just as vital to success as first-rounder

Need to Know: Redskins’ Friday draft picks could be just as vital to success as first-rounder

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 23, four days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 10
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 31
—Training camp starts (7/27) 95
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 140

In search of someone, anyone, to stop the run

One of the areas the Redskins needed to improve last year was their rushing defense on first down. In 2015, they gave up 5.0 yards per carry on first down. That was the worst performance in the league. It’s pretty tough to play defense when a handoff makes it second and five. The Saints, who had a historically bad defense that year, were second, fiving up 4.8 yards a pop.

Well, it was no better for the Redskins defense in 2016. Again, they gave up 5.0 yards per carry on first down, again the worst performance in the league.  Remember, this is on first down, when teams are most likely to run.

The Redskins’ problems on third down were well known. They were dead last in the league allowing first downs on 46.6 percent of third-down attempts. For context, an average performance on third down is allowing about 38 percent and the best teams are around 35 percent.

That doesn’t tell the whole story, however. The Redskins weren’t very good at getting teams to third down. They allowed first downs on 33.8 percent of their opponents’ second-down plays. That put them in the bottom third of the league. Again, you don’t have to look too hard to connect the dots to link that back to the five yards per rushing play on first down. Second and five is a piece of cake most of the time.

You don’t need an advanced degree in statistical analysis to figure out that the Redskins defense isn’t going to get much better if they can’t stop teams from running the ball on first down.

It’s easy to point to the defensive line, which has not been very good, and say that the problem is there. That certainly has something to do with it. But the Redskins didn’t have a very good D-line in 2014 and they allowed 4.1 yards per first-down rushing attempt, a performance that was right at the league average.

The factor that was common in 2015 and 2016 and was different in 2014 was the defensive coordinator. It’s possible that opposing teams found a flaw to exploit in Joe Barry’s scheme that wasn’t there in Jim Haslett’s (which surely had flaws in other places).

But X’s and O’s can only get you so far. The Redskins will be looking to take a defensive lineman early and perhaps use an additional pick or two at the position later in the draft. While getting one who can rush the passer would be a plus, they need a run stuffer who can take snaps on first down and bottle up the ground game.

The focus in the draft will be on the first-round pick but, as has been discussed here many times, that pick is unlikely to be a defensive lineman. There isn’t likely to be one at 17 who would represent good value. That could mean that the Redskins’ second- or third-round pick, perhaps an interior lineman like Caleb Brantley of Florida, Larry Ogunjobi of Charlotte, or Montravius Adams of Auburn, is just as important to the team’s success as the first-round pick.

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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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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