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Need to Know: Who will be the Redskins' top pick on Thursday?

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Need to Know: Who will be the Redskins' top pick on Thursday?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 29, one day before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Setting the odds on the top pick

Yesterday, my man Ben Standig put up a post on CSNwashington.com with his idea of who the top 10 possibilities for the Redskins’ top pick are. Let’s take his top five possibilities, get out an imaginary $100 in casino chips, and lay them down according to the chance I think each one of them has of being the Redskins’ top pick. Please note that the possibilities include players who would be taken only if the Redskins trade down from their top pick at No. 5.

—OLB Dante Fowler, $35—I’d put even more chips down on Fowler if I was sure he is going to be on the board. The talk of the Jaguars taking him with the third pick makes sense and it seems to be more than a smokescreen. If he’s there I think it will take a trade offer that Scot McCloughan can’t refuse to keep him from turning in the card with Fowler’s name on it.

—OL Brandon Scherff, $25—I don't think the tough, nasty Scherff is a possibility with the fifth pick but he is a trade-down possibility if the Redskins don’t go too far back. A trade with, say, the Falcons, who pick eighth, could end up with the Redskins landing the Iowa product. If he was a sure-fire tackle, even a right tackle, I might have some more chips on him.

—DL Leonard Williams, $15—My big question about the Redskins taking Williams used to be centered on his availability. But on Monday it sure sounded to me like Scot McCloughan was practically begging teams to call him if Williams is still on the board when Washington picks. One way or the other the chances of Williams ending up in burgundy and gold look pretty slim.

—OT Ereck Flowers $15—McCloughan used the word “big” about a dozen times while describing the type of players he likes so if they trade back to the middle of the first round they could take one of the biggest players available. Flowers needs a lot of polish to his technique but he could step in at right tackle right away and if they have trouble getting Trent Williams re-signed he could eventually take the left tackle spot.

—OLB Vic Beasley, $10—His Redskins stock dropped some on Monday. In order to be a top prospect as a pass rusher, “You need to have speed and you need to have quickness but you also need to have power,” said McCloughan. “If you get all three, now you’re talking about a really good prospect.” Beasley lacks the power. There likely is some interest in Beasley but probably not at No. 5.

Timeline

—It’s been 122 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 137 days until they play another one.

Days until: 2015 NFL Draft 1; Redskins minicamp starts 48; Redskins training camp starts 92; Redskins @ Giants 148

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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Will Jay Gruden increase his 'big role' in the Redskins' personnel process?

Will Jay Gruden increase his 'big role' in the Redskins' personnel process?

While it hasn’t been the best offseason for the Redskins organization in many respects it has been a good one for coach Jay Gruden. In the midst of turmoil over the status of general manager Scot McCloughan, Gruden got a two-year contract extension.

Although the final agreement on the deal came on March 4 in a steakhouse in Indianapolis during the NFL Combine, team president Bruce Allen said that talk of extending Gruden started much earlier.

“It was after the season, Dan [Snyder], Jay and I got together and we talked about the game plan because we’d made some changes on the coaching staff as well following the season,” Allen told CSN’s JP Finlay at the owners’ meetings in Arizona.

Gruden became the team’s head coach in 2014. His original five-year contract was set to expire after the 2018 season but now he is in the fold through 2020.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

Gruden’s record in Washington is 21-26-1, not the kind of record that normally has an organization rushing to extend a head coach. But after a 4-12 inaugural season, Gruden has led the Redskins to records of 9-7 and 8-7-1 the last two years. While by many standards that is a modest achievement, it marked the first back-to-back winning seasons in Washington since 1996-1997. The hope is that Gruden will keep them moving in the right direction.

The extension is likely to be popular in the locker room as players have come to like Gruden’s style.  

“His directness, his sarcasm and at the same time he gets his coaching point in but the guys do like his sense of humor as well,” said Allen. 

It’s not known if Gruden’s extension gives him more authority over personnel. His original deal gave him very little, with first Allen and then McCloughan having the final say in personnel selection and control over who makes the 53-man roster. Some NFL head coaches have final say in free agency acquisition and in the draft while many have control over who makes the 53.

MORE REDSKINS: 3 takeaways from talking to Allen

Gruden does have some informal influence when it comes to the draft.

“He’s got a big role,” said Allen. “First of all, he coordinates all the coaches’ reports and when we set the draft board, Jay will be up there. He watches every player who will be on the draft board and he will have an opinion.”

There is a power vacuum at Redskins Park with McCloughan gone. A new general manager won’t get hired until after the draft and the authority of that GM will have will be a matter of negotiation. It would not be surprising to see Gruden ending up with roster control.

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: What is the Redskins' plan for QB Kirk Cousins?

Need to Know: What is the Redskins' plan for QB Kirk Cousins?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 28, 30 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 20
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 45
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 57
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 109
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 157

Tuesday three and out

1. Maybe Bruce Allen and the Redskins have a master plan for saving the whole Kirk Cousins situation but right now it just looks like they’re stuck without a solution to paying $24 million to a quarterback who likely will be gone in a year. That’s money that could either be rolled over into future seasons if Cousins gets traded or used as a down payment on a long-term Cousins deal. Maybe there’s a master plan there somewhere but right now it looks an awful lot like the organization is just stumbling around in the dark, stubbing its toe while trying to find the light switch.

2. WR Brian Quick will cost the Redskins less against the salary cap than they are paying him. That’s because his contract takes advantage of the minimum salary benefit. He gets the sixth-year minimum salary of $775,000 plus an $85,000 signing bonus, a total of $860,000. Because of the minimum salary and low signing bonus the CBA rules allow the team to essentially discount the cap hit for the contract down to $695,000. The rule is designed so that younger players are necessarily cheaper, at least when it comes to the salary cap.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

3. Allen hinted that the Redskins won’t necessarily hire a general manager after the draft. While talking to colleague JP Finlay he said, “We’ll talk about what we need after the draft from a staffing standpoint.” Not “we’ll search high and low for the best GM in the business” but that needs will be examined. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

And out—Allen didn’t have much to say when JP asked about the stadium project that was a hot topic a year or so ago, only confirming that talks are ongoing. The fact that he had so little to say, not even some platitudes about the desire to build a great environment for the fans. Reading between the lines, this makes me think that a deal is getting close and the less that is said about it at this point the better. Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe will be term limited out of office next January and the feeling is that he will want to leave a Redskins stadium deal as his legacy.

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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