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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 offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.

That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

RELATED: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice?

Will Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Finlay: The better question might be what constitutes the next step for Cousins? And going one step further, will it be with the Redskins? Answering the second part first, Cousins will be the 'Skins quarterback in 2017. Taking the next step is trickier, since the passer has thrown for more than 9,000 yards in the last two seasons.

For me, Cousins can still get much better, particularly in the red zone. If the Redskins scored at the same pace they pile up yards, this team would have won 11 games in 2016. 

In 2016, Cousins ranked 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, yet outside of the Top 10 in TDs with 25. To really enter the next phase of his career, Cousins needs to lead an offense that scores more, and that means 30+ touchdowns. He can do it. 

Tandler: I don’t look at the next step for Cousins being about numbers. Sure, maybe he can throw for 5,000 yards and 30-plus touchdowns on year. But being a top quarterback is more than that.

I want to see him go into Seattle next year and rally the Redskins from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. I want to see him go into a playoff game and, unlike what happened against the Packers after the 2015 season, will the team to a win when the Redskins aren’t playing their best and when a QB like Aaron Rodgers is on the other side. I want to see him glare at a lineman who missed an assignment and correct a receiver who went the wrong way on a route.

To be sure, he has led the team to some comeback wins and he has played very well in some key games, like the division-clinching win in Philadelphia in 2015. But a top-flight quarterback can’t essentially negate one of those with a play like the season-ending pick against the Giants. Sure, any quarterback is going to have an off day. But you have to have more pluses than minuses on the ledger.

Cousins has been a starter for just two years so maybe he can develop into a top-shelf quarterback. Putting up good stats is part of the picture but he won’t be there until he elevates and motivates those around him. Maybe he can take that next step but until he does there is no way of knowing if he will. 

More offseason questions: 

What are reasonable expectations for Josh Doctson?

— Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?

— Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

— Is Spencer Long the answer at center?

— How many D-linemen do the Redskins need?

— Should the Redskins draft another QB? 

— With Sean McVay gone, will the Redskins run the ball more?

— Can Cravens handle the transition to safety? 

— Will the Redskins re-sign Pierre Garçon? 

— Will Rob Kelley be the lead running back in 2017?

— Defense in the first round?

— Will they make a change at left guard?

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTuneshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

There hasn't been much good news out of Redskins Park lately, as the team deals with pending free agency for QB Kirk Cousins and others combined with rumors of infighting among the front office. So video of 2016 first round pick Josh Doctson running and cutting comes at a great time for beleaguered 'Skins fans. 

Doctson posted the video to his Snapchat account. When he last spoke after the Washington season ended, Doctson made clear he was feeling much better and that '100 percent health' is his main goal this offseason.

His rookie year, however, was a different matter.

The receiver out of TCU missed all but the first two games of the year. Even in those games, he played a very reduced role. Drafted 22nd overall, he had just two catches all year as an obscure Achilles' injuries landed him on the injured reserve. His plight could not be figured out by a slew of doctors and specialists, and the team finally decided to sit down their prized rookie.

A breakout year in 2017 would serve Jay Gruden's squad well, as the team stands to lose DeSean Jackson and/or Pierre Garçon to free agency. It looks likely the 'Skins will lose at least one of their starting WRs, and losing both is a distinct possibility. That could result in more than 2,000 receiving yards leaving the Redskins offense, and the team will need Doctson to pick up a good chunk of that production.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!