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Putting the class of '11 to work

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Putting the class of '11 to work

The Redskins will be brining back all 12 members of the draft class of 2011 this year. Which players will have the same role as they did in 2011, which will have increased responsibilities and which will have diminished roles this year? After OTAs and minicamp, here is how it shakes out:Same workloadOLB Ryan Kerrigan (1056 snaps, 9 sacks in 2011)You cant do much more than he did last year. Kerrigan didnt miss a snap and recorded nine sacks last year. He hit a rookie wall, getting only one sack in the last five games. If he can produce consistently 2012 should be the first of many double-digit sack seasons for Kerrigan.RG Roy Helu Jr. (554 snaps, 151 carries, 640 yards, 2 TDs)Helu had a chance to put a stranglehold on the starting halfback job for this year but he could only get on the field for 11 plays in the past two games. Health issues derailed him during minicamp as well. Based on last year, it looks like he will have some great games in 2012 and he will be a spectator for some games as well.LB Markus White (no defensive snaps in 2011, active and played special teams in two games)Special teams are likely to Whites role again as it will be hard to get three-down players Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo off of the field.NT Chris Neild (163 snaps, 2 sacks)Neild should continue doing what he did last year, giving Barry Cofield an occasional breather. His roster spot is probably safe although Chris Baker could make a run at the job.Increased workloadDE Jarvis Jenkins (on IR all of 2011)He is still recovering from that knee injury but once he gets into football shape it will be hard to keep him out of the starting lineup.WR Leonard Hankerson (126 snaps, 13 receptions, 163 yards)He showed enough in his limited action last year for the organization to have some confidence in his ability but not enough to where they felt they could stand pat at the position. Hankerson should see plenty of playing time and will have a chance to make a big impact.S DeJon Gomes (210 snaps, 19 tackles, 3 QB hurries)We looked at Gomes in some depth in a recent article. The bottom line is that he has a chance to be a starter either this year or next. In any case, he should get more than 210 snaps.TE Niles Paul (164 snaps, 2 receptions)Pauls storyline will be among the most interesting to follow this year as he transitions from wide receiver to being an undersized tight end.RB Evan Royster (158 snaps, 56 carries, 328 yards)Royster came a long way last year. He looked lost in training camp but he finished out the year strong with two 100-yard efforts in the last three games. It is unlikely that he will become the primary back this year but he will get some opportunities as there is likely to be no primary back on the team.WR Aldrick Robinson (did not play in 2011)In minicamp, Robinson has had the look of someone who is ready to make the roster and contribute. He is someone to watch in training camp.Decreased workloadCB Brandyn Thompson (4 snaps in 2011)Thompson has some playmaking ability and that kept him around. But he didnt flash much in the offseason practices and he could end up losing his roster spot to rookies Chase Minnifield and Richard Crawford.OL Maurice Hurt (557 snaps, started 8 games)The player who saw the most offensive snaps as a rookie last year could be in danger of not making the team in 2012. He has been playing tackle during the offseason workouts and he will have to beat out Willie Smith, Tyler Polumbus, and James Lee. Might not make it.

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Need to Know:Redskins starters quick hitters—Kelley, Lauvao top depth chart, for now

Need to Know:Redskins starters quick hitters—Kelley, Lauvao top depth chart, for now

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 26, 32 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 22
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 47
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 59
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 111
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 159

Redskins starters quick hitters—offense

QB Kirk Cousins—No need to worry about him; he has plenty of incentive to play well even if he remains a “lame duck”. His is long-term contract, wherever he may be, can be either enhanced or reduced by how well he plays in another contract year.

RB Rob Kelley—The word is that they like Kelley and that he will line up with the first team when the time comes for them to do such things. But it could be a “love the one you’re with” type of situation and if someone bigger and faster is on the draft board Kelley could find himself in a serious competition to hold on to his spot.

WR Terrelle Pryor—I’ve never been a big fan of the Wildcat formation but it may not be a bad idea to get Pryor behind center occasionally. He was a 57 percent passer the one season where he got over 150 attempts and in 2013 he had a 93-yard touchdown run from the quarterback position.

WR Jamison Crowder—His 126 receptions are the most for any Redskins player in his first two season in pro football and his 1,451 yards are the fourth most. The acquisitions of Pryor and Brian Quick should allow Crowder to stay in the slot where he is best suited to be productive.

WR Josh Doctson—Although he got extremely limited practice and playing time last year due to his Achilles injury don’t underestimate the value of time spent in meeting rooms and around the team. The point is that he’s not going to be a raw rookie out there. He could surprise some people.

TE Jordan Reed—Over the last two years, Reed’s stats project to 95 receptions for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns if he had played 16 games per season. Those aren’t just Pro Bowl numbers for a tight end, they’re first-team All-Pro numbers and, if they are extended over a decade or so, Hall of Fame numbers.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

LT Trent Williams—Speaking of first-team All-Pros, Williams had a great shot at getting those honors last year but he had that bump in the road in the form of the four-game substance abuse suspension.

LG Shawn Lauvao—He’s not a fan favorite but the coaches plan on having him with the first team. As with Kelley, if a better option pops up on the draft board Lauvao could find himself in a battle. The difference is that even is Kelley doesn’t start he isn’t going anywhere; the team may not want to pay Lauvao $4 million to be a reserve.

C Spencer Long—He didn’t allow a sack in 13 games until the Giants got one on him in the last game of the season.

RG Brandon Scherff—He also didn’t have a sack on his record all year until the season finale. The Redskins are hoping that 2016 was the first Pro Bowl season in a string of many for the 2015 fifth overall pick.

RT Morgan Moses—He proved his mettle by playing through an ankle sprain that would have sidelined many others. Moses suffered the injury the game before Trent Williams was suspended, forcing top reserve to play on the left side. Don’t be surprised to see him get a contract extension at some time prior to the start of training camp.

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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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Draft talk, Ihenacho out

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Draft talk, Ihenacho out

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 25, 33 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 23
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 48
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 60
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 112
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 160

The Redskins week that was

Ihenacho's Redskins career appears to be over—This is based on some tweets he sent out; the team has said nothing officially or unofficially. Duke Ihenacho started 10 games at safety for the Redskins and they still don’t have enough at his position to fill out a depth chart. But apparently, they believe that Ihenacho is not part of the solution going forward and they will not offer Ihenacho, an unrestricted free agent, a contract. I think he’ll get another shot somewhere; he turns 28 in June and when he’s healthy he can play a role on defense and do some special teams.

Will the Redskins shift to drafting for need? Scot McCloughan always preached drafting the best player available rather than drafting for need. However, no GM drafts purely BPA and none draft strictly for need. How will the Redskins go with Bruce Allen having the final say and with Jay Gruden likely to have a strong voice in the draft room? Check out the post.

2017 NFL Mock Draft 6.0—A good job by Ben Standig here although I’m kind of skeptical of his first-round pick for the Redskins for reasons outlined here. And I kind of like his second round pick but I’d think he would be better in the fourth.  

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

Could Miami's Kaaya be the Redskins' heir apparent at quarterback? I think that some Redskins fans have their fingers stuck in their ears and are yelling, “I can’t hear you” when it comes to the quarterback situation. The reality is that there is a very good chance that Kirk Cousins will be gone in 2018. Why wait until he’s gone to start developing his replacement? You can argue that Kaaya is not the guy but there has to be a plan.

Setting the odds on the Redskins' first-round draft pick—Mock drafts are all over the place with the Redskins picks, which is to be expected with pick No. 17. While I respect any analyst who can do a full first-round mock draft, it’s just impossible for them to be up on every team’s depth chart and thinking. As noted, nobody is sure how the dynamic of Allen and Gruden (and we could throw in college scouting director Scott Campbell there as well) will work in the draft room. While things might clear up as April 27 approaches, a big surprise at No. 17 wouldn’t be a surprise, if you know what I mean.

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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