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

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

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 19, 11 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today I’m going to empty out the inbox and answer some good questions that don’t require a full post to answer. Let’s get rolling with the Sunday Quick Hits:

I would say that it’s Spencer Long. I think that he was close to moving up into a starting role last season but he couldn’t quite push Chris Chester aside. Given a full offseason (he was limited last year by a knee injury he suffered as a senior at Nebraska) he should be able to break through and become an upgrade over Chester. I don’t think that it will be a disaster if Trent Murphy starts; I think he’s the type of player who will work to continue to improve every year. Even if he didn’t have the issue of the Lisfranc injury Morgan Moses still might not be ready to start so a draft pick who can compete with Tom Compton at right tackle is almost a necessity.

A few things here. First, he’s an NFL head coach and that is a pressure-packed job. I don’t think Gruden is undergoing any more scrutiny than any coach who won just four games in his first year. But the stories that he is almost certainly out after this season are not based in anything other than sheer speculation. Dan Snyder is not anxious to pay off the final three years of Gruden’s fully-guaranteed contract. Nor are Snyder, Bruce Allen, and Scot McCloughan inclined to tear things up by the roots and start all over again. As long as Gruden shows improvement in terms of handling his job and some of the team’s on-field problems start to go away, Gruden is safe.

Roy, I’m not sure what it’s going to take to persuade fans like you that the Redskins are going to draft the best player available. Here’s McCloughan from his introductory presser: ““I’m never under the assumption that you draft for need. You draft the best available football player on the board.” And Gruden from the combine: “We have a lot of areas that we need to look at, and we’re just going to look at the best available player, period.” Add to that the fact that both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon both will turn 30 next year and will cost nearly $20 million against the salary cap, creating a need at WR and I don’t think there is any smokescreen involved here. If Kevin White or Amari Cooper is the best player on the board, that’s who McCloughan will take.

This is the question that everyone wants the answer to but we really don’t know. It’s been well established that McCloughan has let it be known that he is open to trading the pick but there are a lot of variables beyond that. Who is still on the board that someone might want to trade up to get? How much are the teams willing to give up to move up? If a player like Leonard Williams, perhaps the best player in the draft, is still on the board, do the Redskins abandon any notion of a trade and make the pick? For the time being, we know that McCloughan will make a deal if the right one is there but beyond that we’re just going to have to wait and see how it unfolds.

Timeline

—It’s been 112 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 147 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 1; 2015 NFL Draft 11; Redskins minicamp starts 58

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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Need to Know: Will the Redskins be interested in C Mangold, RB Murray?

Need to Know: Will the Redskins be interested in C Mangold, RB Murray?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 27, 2 days before the March 1 NFL franchise tag deadline.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/2) 3
—Start of NFL free agency (3/9) 10
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 49
—NFL Draft (4/27) 59
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 195

Monday morning Redskins musings as free agency approaches

1. It appears that the Raiders are going to let Latavius Murray, who rushed for over 1,800 yards combined in the last two seasons, test free agency.

I’d be surprised if the Redskins showed any interest. I’m not sure that they will be jumping into the RB free agent pool, at least not into the deep (expensive) end of it. They might draft a back to compete with Rob Kelley, Matt Jones, and Mack Brown. Chris Thompson will remain the third-down back.

2. Do you wonder why the Redskins have been reluctant to draft a safety?

Eventually, someone will need to figure out the safety position in the NFL. With all the spread offenses that safeties face in college the safeties have become more like additional corner. Also, the better defensive backs in college want to be cornerbacks because it pays better in the pros. The pool coming out is generally small to begin with and then it shrinks even further for each team due to the scheme factors that Farrar discusses. Su'a Cravens could be the solution to one safety spot for the Redskins but they continue to be in search of someone to pair with him. 

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 4.0

3. The Jets allowed C Nick Mangold to announce his own release. He was one of the best centers of the past decade; Mangold went to seven Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro twice. But I don’t see him being of interest to the Redskins. They are happy with Spencer Long and even if they weren’t, Mangold is 33 and he missed half of last season with an ankle injury. Those factors likely will make the Redskins steer clear.

4. Maybe some fans don’t care if they are getting information from the team through the media at the combine. Or at the Senior Bowl. Or anywhere. And it is the team’s option to have someone available or not during most of the offseason (a press conference prior to the draft is mandatory). But they are missing out on a chance to give their side of the story.

One of the problems with changing what has been a longstanding practice and going into radio silence is that it leaves people speculating. If the team doesn’t want to put any information out there that is the organization’s option. But if you choose not to fill in the blanks, the fans and media will.

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

5. We have another D-lineman signed as the Panthers retained DE Mario Addison.

Addison, who was with the Redskins for five games in 2012, also had six and 6.5 sacks the previous two year, not bad for a guy who has started just one game in the last three seasons. That average of just over $7 million per year sets another data point for the Redskins to use to try to retain Chris Baker. Addison is a 4-3 end while Baker is a 3-4 end so it’s not an apples to apples comparison but it will help figuring out what a reasonable contract is. Without seeing the details, it looks like Addison gave the Panthers something of a hometown discount as that’s a good price for a guy who was half a sack away from double digits.

In case you missed it

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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A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

This week in Indianapolis the NFL world will converge at the Scouting Combine to watch college football players work out, sprint and lift weights in anticipation of the upcoming draft. For the Redskins front office, this draft needs to be a win.

The 2016 Draft could still yield strong results for Washington, but overall the class did not play particularly well as rookies. This year, Scot McCloughan has nine picks at his disposal, with the extra picks late in the draft in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.

It's no secret that the 'Skins need help along the defensive line, a lot of help. That should be a major area of focus for the Redskins scouts and coaches, and that will make next Sunday arguably the most important of the week in Indianapolis. 

The combine divides players into 11 position groups, but Groups 7, 8 and 9 will matter most. Groups 7 and 8 represent defensive linemen and 9 are the linebackers. That group officially arrives on Thursday but won't work out on the field until Sunday. The days in between include interviews, psychological testing and the bench press.

Obviously the Redskins won't spend all nine picks on only defensive linemen. The team will likely invest in the offensive line as well, and that group will arrive earlier in the week and work out on Friday. Cornerbacks and safeties are the last to work out on Monday, March 6. 

With the likely departure of at least one of DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garçon, and the possible departure of both, it would make sense for the 'Skins to bring in another receiver via the draft. They work out on Saturday, and should the Redskins decide to take a quarterback in the draft, the passers will work out that day too. 

Running back could be another spot the 'Skins invest. Jay Gruden said that Robert Kelley is locked into the RB1 role, but still the team might want increased competition at the position. The backs will work out Friday.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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