Rich Tandlers five things that may or may not be related to the Washington Redskins and other matters.5. To give you a sneak preview our Draft Talk Live review show on CSNwashington.com today, I really like the pick of linebacker Keenan Robinson. For the next two years hell be a special teams contributor who will come up with a big hit on a regular basis. After that, hell be all over the field as London Fletchers replacement at Mike linebacker. The Redskins were caught without a succession plan for Fletcher and were over a barrel during their recent contract negotiations with their defensive captain. They checked that item off of their to-do list on Saturday.4. One thing we will be breaking down here during the upcoming OTAs is how the offensive line is going to shake out after the Redskins drafted three O-linemen to add to nine who had game experience for the Redskins in 2011. Third-round pick Josh LeRibeus could get a look at first-team guard during OTAs while Kory Lichtensteiger continues to rehab his knee. That is, if he can stay ahead of fourth-round guard Adam Gettis and Maurice Hurt, the 2011 seventh-round choice who started half of the season at left guard. Sixth-round pick Tom Compton will battle with Willie Smith to be the heir apparent to Jammal Brown at right tackle. The end result here will be some interesting competition in training camp and some players with some significant game experience might not make the roster.3. It was somewhat surprising that the Redskins didnt take a wide receiver at some point during the draft if only because it was one of the stronger positions available. But, then again, there already is an overload of bodies at the position. Most of the year the Redskins carries six or, if you count returner Brandon Banks as a receiver, seven wide receiver on the 53-man roster. They were able to do that in part because they carried only two quarterbacks. The addition of QB Kirk Cousins in the fourth round makes it very likely that there will be three quarterbacks on the roster in 2012 with Robert Griffin III and Rex Grossman joining Cousins. That could well squeeze a receiver roster spot out and we could see an interesting scramble for the last two jobs behind Pierre Garon, Joshua Morgan, and Leonard Hankerson.2. The Redskins will have 13 players who were rookies last year (12 draft picks plus the undrafted Willie Smith) joining the nine 2012 draft picks on the offseason roster. Lets say that 10 of last years rookies and seven of this years selections make the 53-man roster. If that happens, nearly one third of the roster would be first- and second-year players. That would be a remarkable transformation as the Redskins were the oldest team in the league just two years ago. Of course, youth doesnt do you any good if the kids cant play and with the exception of Ryan Kerrigan we dont know if any of them can. And the unknowns include Griffin, who is over four months away from taking his first NFL snap. But the transformation to youth was a stated goal of Mike Shanahan and we will see what they can do.1. Griffin was impressive as he met with a media throng at Radio City Music Hall after he was drafted on Thursday. There arent many press conferences that Ive been to that Ill remember for a long time but this one of them. It will rank right up there with the return of Joe Gibbs to Redskins Park in January of 2004 in my book. The most impressive part Thursday was when he went to a smaller room behind the main interview area and dealt with numerous one-on-one sessions as well as some small groups. He answered every question sincerely whether it was the first time he has been asked it or the sixth time. If he can play at even a competent level he will become one of the most popular sports figures in the country.Days until: Rookie minicamp 4; OTAs start 21; Preseason opener 101; Redskins at Saints 132Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.
Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 27, 2 days before the March 1 NFL franchise tag deadline.
—NFL Combine (3/2) 3
—Start of NFL free agency (3/9) 10
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 49
—NFL Draft (4/27) 59
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 195
Monday morning Redskins musings as free agency approaches
1. It appears that the Raiders are going to let Latavius Murray, who rushed for over 1,800 yards combined in the last two seasons, test free agency.
I'm told #OAK expects to let RB Latavius Murray go into FA. Source: "The door will remain open for a posb return after he tests his market."— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) February 26, 2017
I’d be surprised if the Redskins showed any interest. I’m not sure that they will be jumping into the RB free agent pool, at least not into the deep (expensive) end of it. They might draft a back to compete with Rob Kelley, Matt Jones, and Mack Brown. Chris Thompson will remain the third-down back.
2. Do you wonder why the Redskins have been reluctant to draft a safety?
It's a tough eval because it's such a scheme-specific position now in the NFL. Moneybacker, center fielder, big nickel box guy. https://t.co/TUxVO8GD4r— Doug Farrar (@BR_DougFarrar) February 26, 2017
Eventually, someone will need to figure out the safety position in the NFL. With all the spread offenses that safeties face in college the safeties have become more like additional corner. Also, the better defensive backs in college want to be cornerbacks because it pays better in the pros. The pool coming out is generally small to begin with and then it shrinks even further for each team due to the scheme factors that Farrar discusses. Su'a Cravens could be the solution to one safety spot for the Redskins but they continue to be in search of someone to pair with him.
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3. The Jets allowed C Nick Mangold to announce his own release. He was one of the best centers of the past decade; Mangold went to seven Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro twice. But I don’t see him being of interest to the Redskins. They are happy with Spencer Long and even if they weren’t, Mangold is 33 and he missed half of last season with an ankle injury. Those factors likely will make the Redskins steer clear.
4. Maybe some fans don’t care if they are getting information from the team through the media at the combine. Or at the Senior Bowl. Or anywhere. And it is the team’s option to have someone available or not during most of the offseason (a press conference prior to the draft is mandatory). But they are missing out on a chance to give their side of the story.
One of the problems with changing what has been a longstanding practice and going into radio silence is that it leaves people speculating. If the team doesn’t want to put any information out there that is the organization’s option. But if you choose not to fill in the blanks, the fans and media will.
More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?
5. We have another D-lineman signed as the Panthers retained DE Mario Addison.
The #Panthers signed DE Mario Addison to a 3-year deal worth $22.5M, source said. At 29 years old, he had 9.5 sacks in 2016.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2017
Addison, who was with the Redskins for five games in 2012, also had six and 6.5 sacks the previous two year, not bad for a guy who has started just one game in the last three seasons. That average of just over $7 million per year sets another data point for the Redskins to use to try to retain Chris Baker. Addison is a 4-3 end while Baker is a 3-4 end so it’s not an apples to apples comparison but it will help figuring out what a reasonable contract is. Without seeing the details, it looks like Addison gave the Panthers something of a hometown discount as that’s a good price for a guy who was half a sack away from double digits.
In case you missed it
- A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Combine
- Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?
- Sunday six pack—Cousins' next step and a positive step for Doctson
This week in Indianapolis the NFL world will converge at the Scouting Combine to watch college football players work out, sprint and lift weights in anticipation of the upcoming draft. For the Redskins front office, this draft needs to be a win.
The 2016 Draft could still yield strong results for Washington, but overall the class did not play particularly well as rookies. This year, Scot McCloughan has nine picks at his disposal, with the extra picks late in the draft in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.
It's no secret that the 'Skins need help along the defensive line, a lot of help. That should be a major area of focus for the Redskins scouts and coaches, and that will make next Sunday arguably the most important of the week in Indianapolis.
The combine divides players into 11 position groups, but Groups 7, 8 and 9 will matter most. Groups 7 and 8 represent defensive linemen and 9 are the linebackers. That group officially arrives on Thursday but won't work out on the field until Sunday. The days in between include interviews, psychological testing and the bench press.
Obviously the Redskins won't spend all nine picks on only defensive linemen. The team will likely invest in the offensive line as well, and that group will arrive earlier in the week and work out on Friday. Cornerbacks and safeties are the last to work out on Monday, March 6.
With the likely departure of at least one of DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garçon, and the possible departure of both, it would make sense for the 'Skins to bring in another receiver via the draft. They work out on Saturday, and should the Redskins decide to take a quarterback in the draft, the passers will work out that day too.
Running back could be another spot the 'Skins invest. Jay Gruden said that Robert Kelley is locked into the RB1 role, but still the team might want increased competition at the position. The backs will work out Friday.
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!