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Need to Know: Who will the Redskins pick at No. 5?

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Need to Know: Who will the Redskins pick at No. 5?

INDIANAPOLIS—Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, February 22, 16 days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency.

Question of the day

While I’m here at the NFL Combine this week, I’m going to change it up a bit. I’m going to pose the question each morning centered around the draft and the position group that will be talking to the media on that day. You can find the daily schedule here. Up today, the defensive line.

Who will the Redskins draft with the No. 5 pick?

So, the combine is in the books so let’s see where the Redskins might stand. We will assume here that the Redskins are going to stay where they are and not trade down. A deal could well happen but that would open up more possibilities than we could reasonably outline here. So let’s go with staying in the five hole for now.

Let’s also say that Jameis Winston, Leonard Williams, Marcus Mariota, and Shane Ray are off the board in some order to the Bucs, Titans, Jaguars, and Raiders. If the Redskins go with the best available player at that point, there are the top three possibilities in ascending order of my view of how likely they are.

NT Danny Shelton, Washington—He fits the “big guy” mold (6-2, 339) that GM Scot McCloughan likes. At that size, he played some 900 snaps for the Huskies, an amazing number. When McCloughan puts him under the microscope he will want to figure out if Shelton can move around on the line some for the 50 to 60 percent of the time that the Redskins will run in a defensive front that is not a straight 3-4; the fifth overall pick can’t be a part-time player. McCloughan will have to be satisfied that Shelton can consistently impact games; his presence wasn’t always evident in games against quality opponents.

WR Kevin White, West Virginia—He is not a possibility here because of the 4.35 time he posted in the 40 at the combine (McCloughan isn’t big on times in shorts and T-shirts) but because he is that fast on the field. White is big enough (6-2) and strong enough to outfight any defensive back for the ball. McCloughan will put him under the microscope to see if he is going to work to get better as a pro. White would be a very controversial pick among the fan base but if he checks out he might be too good for McCloughan to pass up.

DE Dante Fowler, Florida—He was the favorite here going in and he did nothing to knock himself out of that spot. Fowler was very much at ease speaking to the media crowd. McCloughan places a lot of stock in interviews and Fowler should ace that. Of course he has to get it done on the field as well and the Redskins will have to project if he can be a consistent double-digit sack performer in the NFL.

Timeline

—It’s been 56 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 203 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 16; Redskins offseason workouts start 57; 2015 NFL Draft 67

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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If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

It still seems like a long-shot the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, but if there is one persistent rumor, it's that the San Francisco 49ers want the Washington passer. The story is too familiar at this point: New Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was in D.C. when Cousins was drafted and wants the quarterback to come run his offense in San Francisco. With the second overall pick, the 49ers have a tremendous asset they can dangle in trade talks.

<<<CLICK HERE TO SEE 5 PROSPECTS FOR THE REDSKINS AT NO. 2 PICK>>>

Whether or not any of this rumor is true, it sure makes for engrossing speculation. With the NFL Draft Combine next week in Indianapolis, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he wouldn't be shocked to see the trade go down.

That's the backdrop. Beyond the debate of the merits of trading an established QB like Cousins, which is a very serious debate, there's also the notion of what player the 'Skins would select with the second overall pick.  

MORE REDSKINS: 2017 top heavy Cap could be a problem

It's worth examining the impact players available to Washington with the second selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the options are varied, including perhaps a new QB. Check it out. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

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Washington Redskins' 2017 cap is top heavy—is that a problem?

Washington Redskins' 2017 cap is top heavy—is that a problem?

It seems almost inevitable that the Redskins will put the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins between now and the March 1 deadline. This will set the Redskins up to have a very top heavy salary cap structure.

As the website Spotrac noted yesterday, if the Redskins do tag Cousins, giving him a cap hit of $24.9 million, he, Josh Norman ($20 million cap number) and Trent Williams ($15.1 million) will account for a total of $59 million against the cap or 35 percent of the estimated $168 million cap for the 2017 season.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

That’s a lot of money to go to 5.6 percent of the players on the roster. To compare, the top three players on the Cowboys’ cap account for 34.2 percent of the cap. The top three with the Giants take up 29.7 percent and in Philadelphia it’s 17.8 percent. In fact, a check around the league shows that none of the 2016 AFC or NFC playoff teams has a higher percentage of their cap expended on its top three than the Redskins have on theirs.

This caused some consternation among Redskins fans and while it’s something to keep an eye on it does not present a big issue for the team at this time.

For one thing, the Redskins still have a good amount of cap room. If you assume the Cousins tag, they still will have about $40 million in cap space with the ability to create perhaps $10 million more by releasing some veterans and/or redoing some contracts.

Also, it’s a temporary situation. Let’s say that the Redskins hang on to Cousins with a long-term deal and he has a $22 million cap number in 2018. If that the case then Cousins, Norman ($17 million), and Williams ($13.9 million) would still be the top three players on the cap number list and they would total $52 million.  On a cap that is projected to be $178 million that would be 29.2 percent of the total. That’s still on the high side but certainly manageable.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

And if you are going to have three players taking up a high percentage of the cap they should be your quarterback, left tackle, and No. 1 cornerback. Those, along with an edge rusher, are the most important players on the team and it’s appropriate to have them among you highest-paid players.

Still, the Redskins must be careful. Signing another free agent with a cap hit like Norman’s is out of the question. And as key contributors like Morgan Moses, Trent Murphy, Jamison Crowder, and Brandon Scherff become eligible for contract extensions or for free agency over the next couple of years, the organization needs to be sure that there is room to retain their own players when the time comes.

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.