Last week I wrote that the Redskins had fewer starts by their own draft picks in 2011 than any other NFL team. Of a total of 352 starts (22 starters times 16 games), draft picks made 121 of them.With a great emphasis being put on the draft by Mike Shanahan than we saw in the past in Washington, one would expect the Redskins to have more starts by home-grown talent in 2012 than they did last year. Now well look at how many draft pick starts they might have in 2012. Last week we looked at the offense Today, the defense.DefenseIt is a good bet that the Redskins are planning on starting the three linebackers drafted by the Redskins for all 16 games this year. Brian Orakpo, Perry Riley, and Ryan Kerrigan are mainstays on the defense and are set in the starting lineup.Along the line, Jarvis Jenkins will fight it out with Adam Carriker for the starting job at left defensive end. Both will play a lot but the question here is who gets how many starts. It says here that earlier in the years Carrikers experience will have him on the field first earlier in the years but when Jenkins knee if fully healthy and he gets familiar with the defense, he will get the nod. Give Jenkins, who was drafted in the second round last year, 10 starts in 2012.There is a possibility that no Redskins draft picks will get starts in the backfield. DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are set as the starters at cornerback and Tanard Jackson and Brandon Meriweather are penciled in as the starting safeties. It would not be surprising to see DeJon Gomes match the five starts he got as a rookie in 2011. If Kevin Barnes can beat out Cedric Griffin for the nickel back job he may get a few starts. Beyond that, it is hard to see Brandyn Thompson getting a start and 2012 draft picks Richard Crawford and Jordan Bernstine are probably a year away from contributing at all.With 48 combined starts for the linebackers, 10 for Jenkins and five for Gomes, that projects to 63 starts for the defense. Well add in 10 more for unexpected developments for a total of 73.If you add that to the 78 starts projected for the offense, that makes 161 starts by team draft picks for the Redskins. In 2011, that still would have had them near the bottom of the NFL. Only the Rams (125) and Bills (155) had fewer that 161 starts by their draft picks.The Redskins recent focus on building the team through the draft is, as Shanahan likes to say, a process. Indications are that it it will be a very long process.In 2011, the Redskins had 72 starts by their own draft picks on defense:S Reed Doughty 11S DeJon Gomes 5OLB Ryan Kerrigan 16S LaRon Landry 8ILB Rocky McIntosh 8OLB Brian Orakpo 16ILB Perry Riley 8
The Redskins had a tough, physical game against the Rams last Sunday and it shows on the team’s injury report. Five players are listed as questionable for the coming game against the Raiders at FedEx Field.
TE Jordan Reed (chest), RB Rob Kelley (ribs), ILB Mason Foster (shoulder), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), and CB Josh Norman (shoulder) are the players who are questionable.
Of those players, Reed was the only one to miss a practice this week. He was out on Wednesday and was back on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday. The Pro Bowl tight end told reporters in the locker room that he will be in the lineup on Sunday.
There is particular concern about Kelley’s injury. He is likely to start as he usually does. But CSN is reporting that the team will have four running backs on the game day active list instead of the three they went with in Weeks 1 and 2. Mack Brown will dress for the Redskins after being inactive in both previous games.
MORE REDSKINS: A STRONG START FOR SMITH BUT MORE IS NEEDED
Thursday night's Rams-49ers game was surprisingly fun. It was also unofficially the Check Out All These Ex-Redskins Now Playing or Working in California Bowl.
Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, two former Washington offensive coordinators, are now in charge of the two teams. Old 'Skins like Aldrick Robinson, Derek Carrier and John Sullivan, meanwhile, were a part of the on-field action.
It was Pierre Garçon, though, who pushed Burgundy and Gold fans to take their phones out of their pocket and pen sad tweets. That's because the 31-year-old wideout caught seven Brian Hoyer passes (that's impressive on its own, by the way) for 142 yards vs. Los Angeles on Thursday Night Football.
And while his team lost 41-39, Garçon didn't deserve to with plays like this:
WOW. Pierre Garcon is absolutely BALLIN' tonight. pic.twitter.com/MELHd24W4O— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) September 22, 2017
Even with that standout performance, however, Redskins fans shouldn't be cursing the franchise for letting Garçon go. Not yet, anyway.
This past march, the veteran left D.C. after five seasons to sign with San Fran. His deal was a rich one: five years for $47.5 million ($17 million guaranteed at signing). The Niners can get out of it after two years, but it still is a sizable contract even with that potential exit.
That kind of money is the first thing those who miss Garçon should think about. Now, the Redskins didn't exactly handle their negotiations with him that smoothly, but in the end, unless he gave Washington a nice discount, he just would've cost a lot to keep.
Secondly, it's easy to slam the 'Skins for losing Garçon while Kirk Cousins and Co. have stalled through two games in 2017. But the reason that's happening thus far has more to do with Cousins' inaccuracy in Weeks 1 and 2 and an offensive line that's not at the level it should be than with that familiar No. 88 not lining up outside anymore.
Would Garçon have made a difference for the Redskins against the Eagles and Rams if he were still here? Yeah, probably. But when Jay Gruden's unit starts operating at its normal speed and precision — and it will — the upset voices lamenting Garçon's departure will get quieter.
This is nothing against the guy who was the NFL's 2013 receptions leader and who's well on his way to another productive campaign. It's just that it feels premature to make the connection that allowing him to move on is what's ailing the Washington offense, or that it was a disastrous decision.
Give Garçon's far cheaper replacements (Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson) more time. Wait for the quarterback and his linemen to sync up again. In a league with just 16 games, that's very hard to do, but let's see if those in the area long for Garçon in December as much as they are currently longing for him in September.