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Skins MUST Make Edwards Deal If. . .

Skins MUST Make Edwards Deal If. . .

It’s not all that complicated, really.

If the Redskins are 100% convinced that Braylon Edwards will be the next great receiver, the next Rice, the next Monk, the next Don Hutson, they have to make a deal to move up to draft him. Trade the two firsts, throw in Rod Gardner, Tony Stewart and Redskins One if you have to.

If they are much less than dead certain, say 98.6% certain or less, they have to pass on any trade that would involve their two first-round draft picks. This team is not one very good player away from a title.

That’s just one of the possibilities for the Redskins entering this draft, of course. Here’s one viewpoint on what might transpire.

While there’s a lot of stuff swirling around, there is one thing that can be stated with a high degree of certainty (and even this starts with an “if”): If the Redskins don’t use the #25 pick that they got from Denver earlier this week as part of the ammunition to trade up to take Edwards, they will use it as is. If they trade down out of 25 the trade value charts get all out of whack in regards to their original deal to get the pick and they don’t have the assets to move up. A corollary here is that they can’t trade up from #9 without using the #25 also. Without a second or third, again, they don’t have anything to deal with.

So that breaks down to three possibilities for the first round; use both picks to trade up to the top three and take Edwards, use both #9 and #25 as they are or trade down the #9 and use #25 as is.

We’ve dealt with the first possibility, so moving on to the second one; this seems to be the most likely of the three. They’ll try to move down but it takes two to tango and while it’s certainly possible that they’ll be able to find a partner, chances are that they won’t find a buyer who’s willing to pay an acceptable price.

Should the Skins draft at #9, the pick likely will be Auburn cornerback Carlos Rogers. Barring any real stunning moves by teams drafting in front of them, he will be the best player left on their board and since he is at a position of need, that would make him a strong favorite to take the stage in New York with the Skins jersey with the number 1 on the back.

One of the possible causes of an upset here could be the presence of USC wide receiver Mike Williams on the board. He seems to be slipping on some draft boards because he’s a big receiver without a whole lot of speed. Such a receiver would give the Skins a nice balance of speed with Santana Moss and David Patten and size with Williams.

A wild card here is Maryland defensive end Shawne Merriman. He has the potential to be a disruptive pass rusher the likes the team hasn’t seen since the heyday of Mann and Manley.

A trade back that moves them back about a half a dozen slots could net them any of those three plus some picks in later rounds to replenish their depleted supply. If any or all of these players are gone, Wisconsin DE Erasmus James and Georgia DE David Pollack would come into play as could South Carolina receiver Troy Williamson. It’s also possible that West Virginia CB Pac Man Jones, long thought to be the target of the Skins’ #9, could still be there in the middle of the first round.

The further back they go, the closer that pick gets to the #25, so they would be choosing from a very similar pool of players. Oklahoma WR Mark Clayton, his Sooner teammate DE Dan Cody, Nebraska CB Fabian Washington, Notre Dame DE Justin Tuck, and Clemson CB Justin Miller.

So, what’s going to happen? The talk of moving up to take Edwards has some credence to it, but in addition to the huge gamble it would be in terms of using so many assets for one player there would be salary cap issues caused by trying to fit a contract with a $15 million or so signing bonus under a cap that has just about $2 million of room.

The chances of them keeping the #9 are about 50/50. If they do, Rogers is the pick with Williams being an outside possibility if he’s there.

There is a myriad of possibilities for a trade back, but let’s say that Kansas City at #15 wants Merriman badly enough to send the Skins a third and fifth to move up. At #15, the Redskins would take Jones if he’s there or Pollack or maybe Williamson if he’s not.

One more trade back possibility to throw in there is the Redskins trading that #9 pick in a deal that does not return a 2005 first-rounder but one next year and a second rounder this year and a nice haul of middle round picks as well. The chances of this are slim, but it has to be considered one of the reasons why they got the other first-rounder from Denver.

The pick at #25 has too many variables to focus in on with any degree of certainty, but we’ll take a stab at the pick being Fabian Washington if a corner hasn’t been drafted or UAB receiver Roddy White if one has been.

Buckle your seat belts. It’s going to be a wild ride.

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Over/under: Redskins pass catchers in 2017

Over/under: Redskins pass catchers in 2017

Our offseason over/under predictions for the Redskins rumbles on.

Today we are predicting the numbers involving the Redskins pass-catchers.

Redskins receivers/tight ends over-under

The Redskins’ receiving corps was forced to undergo some changes after top wideouts DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon departed via free agency.

How will their replacements do?

How will the talented holdovers perform? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins pass catchers stats.  

RELATED: OVER/UNDER - KIRK COUSINS

WR Terrelle Pryor, 1,000 receiving yards

Tandler: I know that a lot of people, including Finlay, are looking for a huge year out of Pryor. I think he’ll do well, but a thousand yards is going to elusive. He did go over 1K last year with the Browns with terrible QBs throwing to him. But Pryor also had the benefit of being one of few viable receivers in Cleveland. That’s not the case here. He won’t get anywhere near the 140 targets he got last year. Under

Finlay: Not sure when I said a huge year for Pyror, that seems like Tandler throwing shade, but I do think he is capable of 1,000 yards. The quantity of targets will certainly drop, but the quality should be much greater. In today's NFL, 1,000 yards is no longer the benchmark it once was. The bulk of the league deploys a pass-first offense, and the Redskins definitely do. 25 wideouts went over 1,000 yards last season, including two on the Redskins. Over 

RELATED: WHO IS NEXT AT QB FOR THE REDSKINS?

WR Josh Doctson, 6.5 touchdown receptions

Tandler: When Kirk Cousins sees how well the 2016 first-round pick can get up and high-point the ball Doctson will immediately become the favorite red zone target. I’ve predicted as many as 10 TDs for him this year. That’s bold, perhaps crazy, but I feel safe going with at least seven. Over

Finlay: 10 TDs for basically a rookie wideout is nuts. You're talking Odell Beckham/Randy Moss production. Doctson does have great size and potential for the red zone, but I need to see before I believe. Only Jamison Crowder got to seven touchdowns in 2016, and that was with Kirk Cousins throwing for nearly 5,000 yards. Under

RELATED: OFF-FIELD MISTAKES WON'T IMPACT ON-FIELD RESULTS

WR Jamison Crowder, 1,000 receiving yards

Tandler: This is the safest bet on the board. His familiarity with Cousins will make him a security blanket when the quarterback gets in trouble. He’s learning and getting better; he ticked up almost 250 yards and 2.5 yards per catch between his rookie and second seasons. And Crowder is durable. Over

Finlay: I like this one. Crowder went for about 850 yards last season, a jump of about 250 yards from his rookie season. Another year with that improvement gets him past 1,000 yards with room to spare. Early last season, Crowder was the 'Skins best receiver. He posted more than 500 yards before the Redskins bye week. In the second half of the year, the focus shifted to DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, which probably wasn't a coincidence as both players demanded the ball knowing they were headed for free agency. I expect Crowder to steadily produce all season in 2017. Over

RELATED: OFFER TO COUSINS NOT NEARLY ENOUGH

TE Jordan Reed, 12.5 games played

Tandler: Although we’re hesitant to make predictions about a player’s health, the fact is that this is the only variable for Reed going into the season. If he is on the field he will produce receiving yards and touchdowns by the bushel. Injuries, not defenses, are what slows him down. He skipped OTAs to spend more time strengthening his body and the results should show. But bad luck happens so this is a tough call. He’s due for some good fortune. Over

Finlay: Tandler is setting these totals with Vegas-like precision. This one is tough. In the last two seasons, Reed has played in 26 games, making 17 starts. I would argue the more important stat is starts, because that's when Reed is actually healthy. Last season, after separating his shoulder against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Reed tried to gut out a few performances against the Panthers and the Eagles. He was ineffective in both, yet those count for games played. In nine starts in 2015, Reed was a monster, putting up nearly 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. Starts are what matter, and the Redskins should hope for at least nine of them. Under

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FINLAY: Redskins' statement was a mistake, but won't impact on field results

FINLAY: Redskins' statement was a mistake, but won't impact on field results

The Redskins made a mistake issuing a statement about their failed long-term contract negotiations with Kirk Cousins. The team offered too much specific information.

On the field, however, starting next week in training camp, the statement will make zero impact.

Centered around the roller coaster that occurred between Bruce Allen’s statement on Monday afternoon and Kirk Cousins’ Tuesday interview with Grant and Danny on 106.7 the Fan, some Redskins fans think that hopes for the Burgundy and Gold are buried this fall. 

Was Allen’s statement a wise move? No. There was no reason to publicly put out the team’s offer, or more importantly, tell the world that Cousins never countered. It seemed like an attempt to control the conversation, and a lame attempt at that.

But here’s the thing: A deal was never happening

Cousins knew that. The Redskins knew that.

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

And the zaniness of Monday and Tuesday should not have any impact on the 2017 season.

If Cousins can do anything, it’s compartmentalize. 

Last season, he dealt with almost the exact same public mess of a contract squabble. The team never offered him remotely close to market value, and the QB still came out and threw for nearly 5,000 yards. 

Cousins will again block out the noise, and deliver his best possible performance for the Redskins. The team should be better too. An improved defense should help immediately (even if that jump goes from bad to average), and a rebuilt receiving group should give Cousins the weapons to again run Jay Gruden’s potent offense. 

There are fan theories that the team might implode, and eventually, go to Colt McCoy or Nate Sudfeld at quarterback. I don’t see that happening. 

Cousins is under contract for 2017. The coaching staff, and the players, know what he can do. Personally, I don’t think the season unravels. Cousins is a good player. He's established a baseline for his performance over the past two years. 

The time since the franchise tag deadline doesn’t change that. The time since the franchise tag doesn’t change Jordan Reed’s ability to get open. It doesn’t change Jamison Crowder’s quickness on the inside or Trent Williams power on the outside.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

I don’t expect the Redskins to run off 13 wins. I’ve already written that I don’t even think the team will make the playoffs. To be clear, however, I don’t think Bruce Allen’s statement will make a difference once the players take the field in real games. 

On Wednesday, Chad Dukes of the Fan asked me if it’s possible that the Redskins season unravels, and things go sideways with Cousins. I don't expect that, and Dukes wondered if I was being overly optimistic. 

Could things fall apart? Sure. Anything is possible in the NFL, and especially with the Redskins. 

For me, however, Cousins' talent in the Redskins offensive system will mitigate the local penchant for crazy. Cousins has thrown for 9,000 yards and completed more than 68 percent of his passes in the last two seasons. He also bet on himself, again, to produce at a high level in 2017.

I think Cousins is smart. I think Gruden's offense will work. I think the Redskins defense will be improved. 

I don’t think this team makes the playoffs, but they should be close. I also don’t think this team implodes. 

Looking at the big picture, I definitely don’t consider myself an optimist. A realist, perhaps, but only time will tell. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! 

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