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Need to Know: Will the Redskins draft a center with their top pick?

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Need to Know: Will the Redskins draft a center with their top pick?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 28, 31 days before the NFL Draft.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 78 days ago. It will be about 167 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 21; 2016 NFL draft 31; Redskins training camp starts 122

Hot topic

For some reason, the idea of the Redskins drafting Alabama center Ryan Kelly in the first round has caught fire with the fan base. I have been asked about it out of the blue multiple times on Twitter. My answer is always some variation of saying that he’s a good player and they might draft him No. 21 overall. But the team needs impact players, playmakers. You don’t get those by drafting interior linemen in the first round for two years in a row.

Let me state the obvious here—it’s always good to have a great player on the team no matter what position he plays. Having a great center and a great right guard, assuming that Kelly and Brandon Scherff, who was last year’s first-round pick, both develop into great players, would be a good thing for the Redskins.

But a great center has much less impact on a game than a great wide receiver or a great running back has. A cornerback who can dominate a game is better to have than a guard who can dominate his man. There are reasons why good wide receivers generally get drafter higher than good centers and why top cornerbacks make a lot more money than top guards.

The best way to get good players at the impact positions is to draft them and, generally speaking, the higher the better. Good interior linemen can be found later in the draft. Scot McCloughan needs to look at impact positions, including the defensive line, when making this year’s first-round pick. They can either choose a center from the several options on the roster or take one later in the draft.

Fan question of the day

I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking about so I’ll take it in two directions. The defensive player who will have the green dot on his helmet, the one who gets the signals radioed in from the sideline, will be Will Compton. As the Mike linebacker, he will call the signals in the huddle. So, in that respect he will be the quarterback of the defense.

But who will be the leader of the unit, the defensive captain? That is up in the air right now. Last year it was Dashon Goldson but he has been released. There is a possibility that he may return but nothing has happened beyond just talk that the door is open. And he may or may not be the captain if he comes back.

There are two obvious candidates to replace Goldson. One is DeAngelo Hall, who was a captain for a while when Mike Shanahan was here and was one with Gruden in 2014 before he tore his Achilles in Week 3. The other is Ryan Kerrigan. He has shied away from taking a leadership role but he now has the tenure (going into his sixth season) and the paycheck (5-years, $57.5 million extension given last year) that say he should step up and lead.

(Hit me up on Twitter with #NTK @Rich_TandlerCSN or here in the comments to submit a question)

Stat of the day

In 2014 Kirk Cousins’ passer rating on third down was 46.4. Last year it improved to 100.9.

In case you missed it

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Josh Norman once again brings his soccer skills to training camp

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CSNMA

Josh Norman once again brings his soccer skills to training camp

The Redskins reported to Richmond, Va. on Wednesday to begin 2017 training camp.

While walkthroughs and practices don't begin until Thursday, the team had closed conditioning on Wednesday, followed by an introductory press conference from Jay Gruden.

After the press conference ended, the players weren't exactly itching to get back to their accommodations.

Josh Norman and Will Blackmon stayed behind to partake in one of Josh Norman's favorite non-football activities: Futbol.

With Josh Norman back on the field, the soccer ball is not far behind.

RELATED: JAY GRUDEN BRINGS THE PRONUNCIATION JOKES TO CAMP

Norman, as you may remember, is a huge soccer fan, and is close friends with French international star Paul Pogba.

Perhaps Pogba will make a stop in Richmond while his Manchester United side is in America on their summer tour. Not that Norman needs much help, though. 

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Full Redskins PUP list not announced but rookie CB Moreau won't be on it

Full Redskins PUP list not announced but rookie CB Moreau won't be on it

RICHMOND—In his press conference to start training camp, Redskins coach Jay Gruden confirmed two players who will start training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list but he was not ready to announce the full list.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

Earlier it was reported that safety DeAngelo Hall and outside linebacker Houston Bates would begin camp on PUP. Both suffered from torn ACLs last season.

Gruden said that there will be “probably a couple more” players on the list when it is announced before practice starts on Thursday.

There was some good injury news. Gruden said that third-round pick CB Fabian Moreau, who did not participate in the offseason program after he suffered a torn pectoral muscle prior to the draft, will start camp on the active list.

RELATED: Is Cousins overrated?

“I think he’ll be limited,” said Gruden. “He can do some individual stuff and walkthroughs . . . He’ll be limited as far as contact.”

This is good news for Moreau. If he was deemed unable to participate he would fall further behind and his prospects for being able to contribute when the season starts would be dim.

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.