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Need to Know: Would the Redskins draft Derrick Henry in the second round?

Need to Know: Would the Redskins draft Derrick Henry in the second round?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 30, 29 days before the NFL Draft.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 80 days ago. It will be about 165 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 19; 2016 NFL draft 29; Redskins training camp starts 120

Hot topic

Yesterday, after news that Anquan Boldin is visiting the Redskins came out, Mike Giardi of our corporate brethren at CSN New England put out a tweet that shed some light on why Boldin is making his first visit almost three weeks into free agency.

“Still out there not because of lack of interest, but $$$ demands,” wrote Giardi.

This is not just the answer to why Boldin hasn’t visited anywhere before yesterday. It also possibly is the answer to “Why aren’t the Redskins interested in (fill in the blank with your favorite free agent safety, running back, tight end, or other position of need)?”

It’s not always a matter of the Redskins not recognizing that this player could help them or thinking that he can’t play. It’s often a situation where the player’s price tag is too high and they want to wait until it drops to a point where they might be able to agree on a reasonable contract.

Sometimes the reason why a team doesn’t show interest in a free agent is because of the lack of a scheme or character fit. But more often than not it’s a matter of money.

Fan question of the day

Not to be too obvious about it, but two things would need to happen for the Redskins to draft Henry in the second round. For one thing, he would have to be there when the Redskins pick at No. 53 overall. I don’t think that the Heisman Trophy winner will be a first-round pick so he likely will be there on the second day of the draft. But will he make it past 21 other teams, several of which have needs at running back, to the Redskins pick? It’s hard to say how a draft will play out but I’d say that chances that he is there are less than 50-50, maybe way less.

If he does make it to No. 53 will the Redskins take him? I don’t see it for a couple of reasons. The word is that they want a faster back, a guy who can score from anywhere on the field, to pair with Matt Jones. And I think that Scot McCloughan will believe that he can find his second running back later in the draft.

With all of that said, you can’t rule it out completely. McCloughan likes big players and at 6-3, 247 Henry certainly qualifies. By all indications he is a high-character player who has the work ethic that the Redskins are looking for. Still, the odds seem to be against it.

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

Stat of the day

Kirk Cousins threw at least one touchdown pass in all 16 games last year.

The Redskins’ 2015 opponents threw at least one touchdown pass in all but two games (@ Atlanta, vs. Dallas). They lost both of those games.

In case you missed it

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Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

You would think that after spending two years as the team’s third-down back, playing more snaps than any other running back last season, and getting a second-round restricted free agent tender that will pay him $2.7 million this year, Chris Thompson might feel comfortable as the Redskins start up the final phase of their preseason program.

But Thompson says that he is as nervous about making the team as he was when he was a fifth-round in 2013.

“Even after the last preseason game when you guys talk to me I’m going to still be nervous when that time comes around because I never forget that feeling,” he told reporters on Monday prior to the Redskins charity golf tournament at Army-Navy Country Club.

“For me, I’ve just got to come out here and work every day to try to secure my job.”

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

The approach has worked for him in the past. He struggled with injuries his first two years in the league, playing a total of just six games. In 2015 he found his niche as the third-down back and he hasn’t given it up.

In fact, he may get more opportunities on first and second downs.

“I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year,” he said. “He [coach Jay Gruden] knows that I’m healthy and I can stay healthy. I think that was one of his biggest concerns, that I can handle the load. I think I’ll get a lot more opportunities.”

Rob Kelley is expected to be the starter and fourth-round pick Samaje Perine should get a significant number of carries. If Gruden plans on Thompson getting more work on the ground, that likely means that the Redskins anticipate running the ball more ofent than they did in 2016, when they were 27th in the NFL with 379 rushing attempts.

Health is key for Thompson. He not only played in all 16 games for the first time in his career last year, he came out of the season in good health. Not having the need to rehab is allowing Thompson to work on refining his game.

“[Being healthy] helps me to get away and focus on the little things that I need to work on,” he said. “Having a full offseason, being able to get away, I’ve been able to focus on those things. Just like my quickness, my route running. I know my route running is big for me to make it in this league so I work on that. . . that was my main goal.”

Thompson’s work ethic and his mindset where he takes nothing for granted have served him well. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and if he continues to produce he will be setting himself up for a nice payday. 

RELATED: OFFSEASON NFL POWER RANKINGS

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RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

Matt Jones entered the 2016 season as the Redskins undisputed starter at running back.

That lasted seven games.

By Week 8, Jones landed on the inactive list, and he never took another snap all year.

With OTAs beginning for the 2017 season, it looks like Jones might not play with the team. 

NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT?

In April at the NFL Draft, reports surfaced that Washington was trying to trade Jones.

Weeks before that, at the NFL Owner's Meetings in Arizona, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden had to be reminded that Jones was still on the roster as the coach talked about the running back situation for this fall.

Robert Kelley surpassed Jones as the top running back on the team last season with Chris Thompson secure in his third down back role. 

Mack Brown even moved past Jones on the depth chart. When the Redskins drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round, that signaled even bigger trouble for Jones' roster situation.

The Redskins will likely only keep four running backs this fall, and with Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Brown, it sure seems like Jones is the odd man out.

It's remarkable considering Jones has size, speed and an NFL resume that has three 100-yard games on it in just 20 games. The Redskins spent a third-round pick on Jones in 2015, and he largely ousted fan favorite Alfred Morris from the RB1 role as a rookie. 

Life comes at you quick in the NFL.

Jones is a clear example of that. 

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ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back