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Skins stock up on seconds

Skins stock up on seconds

I've always liked second-round draft picks. First-round caliber talent can slip into the second round of selections for various reasons from drafting for need to bad scouting, but the players don't have nearly the price tag that first-rounders do. On top of that, a player taken there doesn't have the expectations that come with the first-round label. Often a second-rounder will play a chip on his shoulder, wanting to prove something to the teams that passed over him. The icing on the cake is that players taken in the second round rarely are involved in contract holdouts.

It appears that the Washington Redskins share my viewpoint here. As I was perusing the makeup of the roster (you can find out how to get the spreadsheet I use to do this here), one number that caught my attention immediately was 15. That's the number of second-round selections the Redskins have on the roster.

They are, in order of their overall selection numbers, Devin Thomas (34), Rocky McIntosh (35), Jon Jansen (37), Cornelius Griffin (42), Todd Collins (45), Fred Smoot (45), Fred Davis (48), Malcolm Kelly (51), Clinton Portis (51), Todd Wade (53), Eric Shelton (54), Ladell Betts (56), Randy Thomas (57), Marcus Washington (59), and Antwaan Randle El (62).

Since the Skins had three seconds this year, you would expect the number to be a bit skewed in that direction. Still, it's unusual to find more second-rounders on a roster than firsts (9) and thirds (4) combined. There are more seconds than thirds, fourths (4) and fifths (2) combined.

With the exception of Shelton, all of the second-round players should be on the final 53-man roster. That means that over 25% of the team will be composed of #2 picks.

Of course, not all of the second rounders originally were selected by the Redskins. Eight of them—Griffin (Giants), Collins (Chiefs), Portis (Broncos), Wade (Texans), Shelton (Panthers), R. Thomas (Jets), Washington (Colts), and Randle El (Steelers)—got the call from other teams on draft day. Most of them accepted their relatively modest rookie contracts and played well enough to earn big-bucks deals with the Redskins.

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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. 

Related: NFL Mock Draft 1.0

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Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

The Redskins have interviewed some high-profile candidates for their open defensive coordinator position. When it was reported that they will meet with former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, the reaction among the fans was, “Who?”

Let’s take a look at what Tarver’s qualifications are to get the job of running the Redskins’ defense.

Before becoming a coordinator: At the age of 22, Tarver took a coaching job at West Valley College in California, and did that while earning his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Santa Clara. After that he was a graduate assistant at UCLA for three years before getting into the NFL in 2001, when the 49ers hired him as a quality control coach. Tarver worked his way up to outside linebackers coach in 2005 and did that job until 2010, when he was let go went Mike Singletary was fired as the head coach. After a year as the defensive coordinator at Stanford, Dennis Allen hired Tarver to run the Raiders defense in 2012.

More Redskins: Early first-round draft possibilities

Note: If you want more complete stats on Tarver’s defenses check out his page on Pro Football Reference. DVOA stats via Football Outsiders. A negative DVOA percentage is better than a positive number. Zero is average.

For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro

2012 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,672 (18th), points 443 (28th), takeaways 19 (26th), 3rd down 39.1% (20th), DVOA 12.5% 29th
Notable players: DT Richard Seymour, DE Lamarr Houston

It should be noted that Allen had a defensive background so he had a hand in these numbers. This team just wasn’t very good as indicated by the fact that Seymour, at age 33, was one of their best defensive players.

2013 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,918 (22nd), points 453 (29th), takeaways 22 (21st), 3rd down 43.1% (28th), DVOA 10.3% (26th)
Notable players: S Charles Woodson

They did make an effort to shore up the defense by bringing back Woodson and drafting cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round. But Hayden only played in eight games and Woodson could only contribute so much at age 37. The pass defense struggled, ranking 29th in DVOA.

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

2014 Raiders (3-13)

Rankings: 5,721 (21st), points 452 (32nd), takeaways 14 (30th), 3rd down 38.5% (14th), DVOA 6.3% (26th)
Notable players: LB Khalil Mack, S Woodson

Allen was fired after an 0-4 start and Tony Sparano took over as interim head coach the rest of the way. Sparano has an offensive background so perhaps Tarver is more fully accountable for these results than those in other seasons. They did draft Mack with the fifth overall pick but his impact as a rookie was limited as recorded four sacks. Hayden again missed half of the season and, again, the defense was near the bottom of the NFL.

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.