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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 promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a roster move just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

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Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins

Out

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.

DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.

Questionable

LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.

G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.

T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.

CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.

RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.

Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)

Cardinals

Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.