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Should the Redskins draft a receiver?

Should the Redskins draft a receiver?

As we noted yesterday, the Redskins have eight wide receivers on the roster. NFL teams generally carry a dozen receivers during minicamps and training camp so they will almost certainly add some wide receivers to the roster.

The question is, will they add camp fodder, bodies who will catch passes in practice, try go get a few good plays on film during preseason games, and then get cut when the games start to count? Might they add some marginal talent that might compete for a spot at the lower end of the depth chart? Or will the aim to bring in a player who will seriously compete for playing time?

The latter option likely means spending a high or mid-round draft pick at the position. In a draft that is deep in wide receivers it is very easy to envision scenario where the Redskins’ turn comes up in, say, round 3 and the best player on the board is a wide receiver. In fact, if teams wait on drafting receivers because there are so many the two or three best players on the board could be wide receivers.

What should the Redskins do? Your third-rounder isn’t expected to start right away but he should at some point in the next year or so. But on the Redskins the top three wide receivers, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, and Andre Roberts, are all still in their primes and under contract for three more years. Since rookies get four-year contracts a 2014 draft pick would be entering the final year of his deal before getting a shot at a starting job.

Still, despite needs in other areas, the Redskins should seriously consider taking the best player available even if that player happens to be a wide receiver.

For one thing, the receivers in line behind the three top are nothing to write home about. Santana Moss will be 35 soon, Leonard Hankerson is coming off of his second major injury in three years in the league and Aldrick Robinson has yet to show that he’s anything more than a fast guy. Should Jackson, Roberts, or Garçon miss any significant time there would be a considerable drop off in ability.

And, as we know, contracts in the NFL are far from ironclad. The Redskins could release Garçon and Roberts next year with minimal cap pain and Jackson could go in 2016. Although right now it’s difficult to imagine circumstances under which the Redskins would want to make any of those moves things can change in a hurry. And they can change very fast if there is a younger and cheaper backup pushing hard for some playing time.

Certainly if the Redskins end up getting a wide receiver at any point during the draft the critics will be out screaming about other needs. They will have a case, especially if a player at a position of need goes shortly after the Redskins’ pick. But injuries happen. Jackson and Garçon missed five and six games with injuries in 2012, respectively. If November rolls around and one or two of the top receivers are sidelined they won’t worry about what was said in early May.

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Redskins Draft Room Revealed: Who works the phones, and who makes the call

Redskins Draft Room Revealed: Who works the phones, and who makes the call

Since the dismissal of former general manager Scot McCloughan, there's been little question who was in charge at Redskins Park. Unofficially anyway. 

Bruce Allen is back running the show, if he ever stopped, and will be at the center of the Redskins draft room and decision making process.

For weeks, Allen and Jay Gruden made clear that the entire Redskins front office - from scouts to the top brass - have input on draft grades. Those grades will determine what players the 'Skins take, and the team is unlikely to deviate from their draft board. 

On Monday, however, Washington director of college scouting Scott Campbell addressed the media and explained that when a decision needs to be made, it will be Allen's call. 

From Campbell:

The way we have the room when the draft is ongoing is we have Eric Schaffer and Alex Santos are constantly calling teams above us. They’re taking the phone calls from the other teams – also behind [us]. A lot of times per Bruce’s instructions, he’ll say, ‘Hey, you take these five teams. You take the next five teams. Start making calls.’ And then we’re receiving calls too at the same time. Once they get that information, they’ll tell the table in the front and say, ‘Hey, we can trade back for this, we can trade up for that.’ It would be me and Bruce and Jay saying ‘No, no, we’ve got enough guys there’ or say ‘I like these guys,’ or like, “Hey, there’s guys there.’ So it’s kind of a discussion amongst the people, and most times it’s Bruce saying, ‘Just tell them we’re not interested,’ or he says, ‘Get the league on the phone. We’re going to make that trade.’”

Campbell's comments reveal quite a lot. To start, it's interesting to know the roles of Schaffer and Santos during the draft. Both men carry a lot of impact in the team's personnel selection. Also, and it was fairly obvious since McCloughan's firing, but Jay Gruden's role continues to increase.

The biggest tell, however, is that ultimately Bruce Allen makes the decisions. It's not a surprise, but it is important to know. Officially.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Redskins won't say if Joe Mixon is on their board but say character does count

Redskins won't say if Joe Mixon is on their board but say character does count

The Redskins may or may not have one of the most polarizing members of the 2017 draft class on their draft board. But they do believe that character counts.

Scott Campbell, the Redskins’ director of college scouting, would not say if  Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who is seen on video striking a woman and knocking her to the floor in an incident that occurred in July of 2014, is on the team’s board.

“We don't announce who's on and off the board for strategic reasons,” said Campbell on Monday at the team’s pre-draft news conference, saying that it’s the team’s policy.

He added that incidents like the one that Mixon was a part of do come into consideration.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 10.0

“Character is very important to me, it's very important to the Redskins,” said Campbell.

He explained that early in the scouting process, character issues are not taken into account.

“What I always told the scouts and how I was trained 30 years ago when I started is when you start to evaluate guys in the beginning, you don't factor in the character, you don't grade character, you grade talent,” said Campbell, who has been with the Redskins organization for 16 years. “You don't throw away somebody early who may have some redeeming quality or a part of the story you didn't know about.”

It’s later on that the scouts gather information on such incidents as problems with the law, failed drug tests, and other quarters of character.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often 

“Our scouts do a great job getting a lot of information,” said Campbell. “Some of the incidents you brought up happened after the season, at the combine, and just a few days ago. All those things are factored into an evaluation as they are gathered.”

With that information at hand, they start the process of elimination, deciding who fits and who doesn’t.

“When it comes close to the draft, you start weeding out all that, getting more information, deciding, OK, that guy's not our kind of guy, that guy's not a Redskin, this guy could be drafted but good luck to them,” said Campbell.

It seems like much more of a gut feel type of process than anything rigid. There is not much of a clue there as to whether or not the team will consider bringing Mixon aboard, who is inarguably one of the most talented running backs in the draft. The upside is that Mixon could provide a jolt to the team’s offense. The downside would be an immediate public relations hit. The team also must consider what will happen if Mixon were to run afoul of the NFL’s domestic abuse policy in the future, which calls for a six-game suspension for a first offense with penalties getting progressively worse if problems persist.

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.