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Redskins’ draft offers plenty to chew on

Redskins’ draft offers plenty to chew on

Most years, you have to worry about being too early in looking at the Washington Redskins' draft.

Free agency changes needs and, despite all the talk that all teams talk about taking the best available player, the draft revolves around needs. In past years, the Redskins have been filling many needs through free agency, sometimes well into April.

That has made their draft needs a moving target. As soon as one draft article saw the light of day, a signing filled a hole and the picture shifted, often invalidating the freshly-minted analysis.

This year, however, there is no moving target. In retrospect, given the Redskins' lack of activity in free agency, a serious look at the upcoming draft could have started on February 9, when Jim Zorn was hired as the Redskins' head coach.

There actually is quite a bit to chew over. The Redskins have all of their selections in the first three rounds, six out of the seven in all and in about a week or so it should be confirmed that they will get some compensatory picks, perhaps one as high as a third-rounder.

So, no three-picks and out draft like 2003 and no one and done until round five as we saw last year. There's a lot of meat on the bone this season.

So, it's time to jump into that fray here. In case you're new here, a few things about how the subject will be approached

For the most part, the focus will be on the first three rounds as far as matching any specific players to specific picks goes. I might bat around a few names in rounds five through seven, but that's just way too much of a shot in the dark to qualify as meaningful, intelligent discussion.

I will not do a mock draft. It's tough enough for me to figure out the Skins' needs and who is on their radar screen. I'm not about to pretend that I have a good enough handle on the needs and desires of the other 31 teams in the league. Of course, 99.9% of all mock drafters are in the same boat, but they don't let their lack of meaningful insight stop them. I have other ways to make a fool out of myself.

I'm actually going to be introducing (drum roll, please) multimedia into this staid old blog with some You Tube videos that I'm creating. I'm still trying to figure out some of the nuances of the software I'm using, but I should have everything ready in the next day or so.

As usual, I'm not going to be following any set pattern, wide receivers one week, linebackers the next, anything like that. This space is event-driven and it will go where events such as prospect visits and the like take it.

As always, your questions and comments are welcome.

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Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 18, 99 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 43
NFL free agency starts 51
First Sunday of 2017 season 236

The coordinator search and more

Did the Redskins underachieve this year? I know that a metric like Football Outsiders' DVOA is not the final word in the quality of a team but looking at it year after year it usually does work out that the teams with the better numbers in DVOA usually win more games than those with worse numbers. The Redskins finished 2016 eighth in DVOA. Considering that 12 teams make the playoffs, that could be considered a playoff quality team. Yet 15 teams finished with a better record than they did. I’m sure there are some holes in the formula for the stat but just looking at that it sure appears that the Redskins did leave some wins out on the field.

John Keim is reporting that the Redskins are prepared to switch to a 4-3 defense if that is what their new defensive coordinator prefers. They have been in the 3-4 since Mike Shanahan arrived in 2010. Whether it is because of the scheme or lack of draft and free agent resources spent on the line and at safety, the defense hasn’t been very good. As Keim notes, they will need to make some personnel changes if they do change but with a full load of draft picks and $62 million in cap space this may be the time to do it.

I expected the angst that was all over Twitter when word of the Rob Ryan interview got out. But it’s pretty dumb to get all worked up over an interview (with all due respect to readers here who may have been upset). It’s not a hiring. Look, somehow or another Ryan managed to stay employed as an NFL defensive coordinator for 12 straight seasons. I don’t know how to research it without going through some very time consuming and tedious steps but I’d be willing to bet that only about a few dozen men in the history of the league have been able to remain a defensive coordinator for that many season in a row. The organization can learn something from sitting down and talking to him for a few hours.

I understand that we want things to talk about in a relatively slow time. But I just don’t see why there is fear out there over the possibility that Kyle Shanahan will get hired as the coach of the 49ers and somehow steal Kirk Cousins away to be his quarterback. The Redskins can maintain his rights via the franchise tag. They could tag Cousins and trade him to the 49ers but there would be a heavy price in terms of draft picks. But while it’s possible, it’s unlikely. The chances are very, very good that Cousins will be in a Redskins uniform this year via either the tag or a long-term deal. 

Tandler on Twitter

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 www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

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