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Need to Know: Will all seven Redskins draft picks make the roster?

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Need to Know: Will all seven Redskins draft picks make the roster?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 5, eight days before the Washington Redskins hold their rookie minicamp.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 116 days ago. It will be 130 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 8; OTAs start 19; Redskins training camp starts 84

Hot topic

Last year the Redskins drafted 10 players. Out of that group, six made the initial 53-man roster. WR Evan Spencer was waived-injured, they tried to get CB Tevin Mitchel on to injured reserve but the Colts claimed him, ILB Martrell Spaight went to injured reserve, and C Austin Reiter was released and later signed to the practice squad.

This year they selected seven players. Can all seven of them make the 53-man roster?

I don’t think that we have to go into any heavy analysis on the Redskins’ first three picks. WR Josh Doctson, S Su’a Cravens and CB Kendall Fuller are all automatically on the roster just like every other player picked in the first three rounds will be around the league.

Scot McCloughan traded out of the fourth round so their next pick was DL Matt Ioannidis in the fifth round. They certainly seem to have plans for him. “In base, we’re looking at him more at nose, but he can still play the three [technique],” McCloughan said at a press conference this week. “But in sub, which we’re in a lot more than base, he can move around the line.”

Words spoken in May do not necessarily translate to a roster spot and a significant role on the defense in September. But I think it’s fair to say that Ioannidis is about a 90 percent lock to make the roster.

It will be interesting to see what happens to developmental quarterback Nate Sudfeld, taken in the sixth round. Unless he bombs completely he is likely to be employed at Redskins Park this fall. But will he be the third quarterback on the active roster or will he be on the practice squad? If he is showing some promise and looks good in preseason games the organization might not want to risk getting him through waivers to make the practice squad. But if the preseason games end and it looks like he needs a lot of work still the practice squad might be the place for him.

They had two seventh-round picks. ILB Steven Daniels joins a somewhat crowded position with Will Compton, Mason Foster, and Perry Riley vying for starting jobs, Terrance Garvin signing on as a backup who also will help in special teams, and Spaight competing for a roster spot. If Daniels can provide a spark on special teams, something needed by the team following the departures of special teams regulars like Darryl Young and Jeron Johnson, he will have a very good shot at sticking around.

There is an opening for the other seventh-round pick, RB Keith Marshall. The Redskins still haven’t filled the roster spot vacated by Alfred Morris so he will have an opportunity. But it’s hard to see the Redskins making Marshall their only option. It seems likely that a veteran will be signed to compete for the job and one or two promising undrafted players could as well. Marshall may have to fend off some competition from a few players in order to land a spot on the 53.

Looking at the big picture, while all seven have a legitimate shot at the roster I don’t think that they all will. I’ll put the over/under at 5.5.

Stat of the day

The 2015 Redskins outscored the opposition by 57 points in the first halves of their regular season games (212-155). In the second half (including overtime), however, they were outscored by 48 points (1 76-224).

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Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

There continues to be a (ridiculous) debate on whether or not Kirk Cousins can continue to be a successful starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

In the betting industry, there is not much debate with Cousins being listed with 50/1 odds to win the NFL MVP award this upcoming season from Bovada. Among all the other players listed, he is in a tie for 14th. 

He is coming off back-to-back seasons with seven 300 yard passing games, a team record, and has an abundance of fresh, young wide receivers to compliment his passing style. Last year he was third in the league in passing yards with 4,917, trailing only Drew Brees (5,208) and Matt Ryan (4,944). 

The team may not be poised for a Super Bowl run in 2017-18, but if the team makes a post-season run, who will it be on the back of? Jordan Reed? Rob Kelley? Ryan Kerrigan?

No, it will be Kirk Cousins. 

RELATED: Ex-GM outlines staggering contract for Kirk Cousins

Entering this season at 40-years-old, and defending Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady is the overall favorite at 4/1. He is closely followed by Aaron Rodgers, and young quarterbacks Derek Carr and Dak Prescott. 

BOVADA 2017-18 NFL MVP ODDS:

Tom Brady, NE — 4/1
Aaron Rodgers, GB — 7/1
Derek Carr, OAK — 9/1
Dak Prescott, DAL — 12/1
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT — 12/1
Russell Wilson, SEA — 12/1
Matt Ryan, ATL — 16/1
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL — 20/1
Drew Brees, NO — 25/1
Andrew Luck, IND — 25/1
Cam Newton, CAR — 25/1
David Johnson, ARI — 33/1
Marcus Mariota, TEN — 33/1
Sam Bradford, MIN — 50/1
Antonio Brown, PIT — 50/1
Kirk Cousins, WAS — 50/1
Julio Jones, ATL — 50/1
Eli Manning, NYG — 50/1
Carson Palmer, ARI — 50/1
Adrian Peterson, NO — 50/1
Philip Rivers, LAC — 50/1
Matt Stafford, DET — 50/1
Odell Beckham Jr., NYG — 66/1
Rob Gronkowski, NE — 66/1
Alex Smith, KC — 66/1
Ryan Tannehill, MIA — 66/1
J.J. Watt, HOU — 66/1
Jameis Winston, TB — 66/1
Blake Bortles, JAX — 100/1
Andy Dalton, CIN — 100/1
Joe Flacco, BAL — 100/1
T.Y. Hilton, IND — 100/1
Marshawn Lynch, OAK — 100/1
LeSean McCoy, BUF — 100/1
Von Miller, DEN — 100/1
DeMarco Murray, TEN — 100/1
Carson Wentz, PHL — 100/1

RELATED: After Derek Carr deal, Cousins' best option may be short-term

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True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

Robert Kelley emerged as the Redskins top running back in 2016, an incredible story of an undrafted guy working his way to the top. Of course, Matt Jones' problems with fumbling helped push Kelley to the top. 

Redskins coach Jay Gruden speaks highly of Kelley, particularly his fluidity and vision, but the team drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round this year to provide additional competition in the backfield.

Here's the crucial statement: Rob Kelley will lead the Redskins in rushing yards in 2017.

Finlay: True.

Kelley averaged 4.2 yards-per-carry last season and the Redskins ground game is very much centered on a "4 or more" philosophy. Washington running backs coach Randy Jordan joined the #RedskinsTalk podcast and explained that the team wants a runner it can count on for positive yards more than creating big plays. The Redskins offense, as designed by Gruden, sets up for big plays in the pass game, and the run should allow for proper use of play action. 

In just nine starts last year, Kelley gained more than 700 yards. Project that out over 16 games, and he would be over 1,000 yards rushing. Perine has much to learn about the NFL, and understanding pass protections will take time for the rookie out of Oklahoma. Chris Thompson will be a key part of the offense, but much of his yardage will come via the pass game. 

Kelley will lead this team in rush yards. He's looked great in OTAs and minicamp while the coaching staff believes Kelley is in much better shape this year than he was as a rookie. Write it down in pen. 

RELATED: How will Kelley and Perine share the carries?

Tandler: True.

After the draft and during rookie camp I was saying that there was a chance that Perine could lead the team is rushing this year. But after seeing Perine playing with the big boys in OTAs and minicamp it’s apparent that he has a long way to go to become a consistently productive running back.

One thing Kelley seems to have going in his favor is that he has a very sensible outlook on the NFL. As JP noted, Kelley showed up to Redskins Park in better shape than he did as a rookie. This indicates to me that he understands that being an NFL players is a year-round job. Staying in great shape is important in the league but at running back it’s vital. Kelley gets that and because he does, his chances of being available for 16 games are much higher.

In turn, that improves his chance of being the team’s leading rusher. I’m not sure if he’ll get 1,000 yards—Perine will get things figured out enough to take some carries before the season gets too old—but Gruden will make sure that he gets fed plenty as long as he is available. 

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