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Need to Know: Who's it going to be for the Redskins at No. 21?

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Need to Know: Who's it going to be for the Redskins at No. 21?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 27, one day before the NFL Draft.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 108 days ago. It will be 138 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: 2016 NFL draft 1; Rookie minicamp 16; Redskins training camp starts 92

Hot topic

OK, we’re about 36 hours away from the first round of the NFL draft. The window for taking bets on who the Redskins will take with their top draft pick is about to close. Let’s break out the imaginary $100 in casino chips and place our final bets on who will be holding up the Redskins jersey with No. 1 on it after sharing a bro hug with Roger Goodell.

ILB Reggie Ragland, $35—Even though I don’t think that inside linebacker is the three-alarm fire that some fans think it is (and from what I heard, the team doesn’t think so either) I like the idea of Ragland stuffing the run and dishing out hard hits in the middle of that front seven.

S Karl Joseph, $30—A lot of this rests on the medical reports on his injured knee. I don’t think that Scot McCloughan is terribly worried if Joseph will miss OTAs and part or all of training camp. As long as the knee is sound for the long run, I think the Redskins will be willing to wait if he can be part of the solution to the longstanding issues the Redskins have had at safety.

DL A’Shawn Robinson, $20—The more I think about it, the more I think the Redskins will take advantage of the depth on the defensive line in this draft and wait until the second round to get their man. But if they do, I like Robinson over his Alabama teammate Jarran Reed because he has a little more pass rush ability.

WR Laquan Treadwell, $10—I think that many are now starting to recognize that wide receiver is a real need and waiting until next year, when Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson could both be gone, to address it is too late. Treadwell doesn’t have the 40-yard dash speed that many want and that could let him fall to the Redskins, where McCloughan couldn’t care less about what the stopwatch says.

C Ryan Kelly, $5—I may be underrating his chances because I continue to think that taking an interior lineman in the first round for the second year in a row would be a bad idea. I’ll take Nick Martin in the third or fourth, thank you very much. But I can’t rule it out so I’m going to leave the window open just a little bit.

Stat of the day

The Redskins drafted 21 players combined in the 2011 and 2012 drafts. Only four players from those drafts remain on the roster (Ryan Kerrigan and Niles Paul from 2011, Josh LeRibeus and Kirk Cousins from 2012).

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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%).

Tandler on Instagram

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

A video posted by Rich (@richtandler) on

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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).”