What should you look for in the draft leading up to the Redskins third-round pick, the 69th overall selection?First, look for the live chat well be having right here tonight from 7:00 to 8:00. We can talk about whats coming up and what the Redskins should do and, yes, we can talk about RG3 a bit should he turn out to be a popular subject.OK, end of shameless plug. I think that most agree, Mike Shanahans possible smokescreen notwithstanding, that the Redskins biggest need going in is at right tackle. Certainly Shanahan and company can see that, too. But that does not necessarily mean that they will take one in the third.If they are going to take a player there, they want to have someone who has a reasonable chance of becoming a starter or at least becoming a rock solid backup. If no tackle fits that description they need to look at a position of lesser need.Ah, but only two offensive tackles, Matt Kalil and Riley Reiff, were taken in the first round when many mock drafts had four or even five going on the first night. Shouldnt that mean that there should be plenty of quality tackles for the Redskins to choose from with the 69th pick?Maybe. What you have to look for is a run on offensive tackles at some point during the second round. It is expected that players like Jonathan Martin and Cordy Glenn will go fairly early in the second round.But if names like Bobby Massie, Jeff Allen, and Zebrie Sanders start to come off of the board, the chances of the Redskins being able to get an eventual Jammal Brown replacement in the third round will start to look dim. And if teams are reach for the likes of Donald Stephenson and Tom Crompton late in the third round, start to check your personal draft board for other positions because the Redskins arent going to take a fifth-round tackle in the third round.In fact, a run on tackles could precipitate a trade up by the Redskins if they want a player badly enough to use one or both of their fourth-round picks to move up. If Massie and Sanders go off of the board in the earlier part of the second round, look for the possibility of the Redskins bundling some picks to move up and get their man.If the tackles go early and the Redskins dont move up, look for a cornerback to be the pick. That and wide receiver are the two deepest positions in the draft and since CB is a greater need that would seem to be the best bet.Rich 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 Thursday, March 23, 35 days before the April 27 NFL draft.
—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 25
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 50
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 62
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 114
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 171
The Redskins’ five most valuable backups
QB Colt McCoy—The one time that McCoy came into a game for Kirk Cousins was in 2014, when he took over for the struggling starter at halftime and led the Redskins to a comeback win over the Titans. The way things stand now the only way that McCoy plays this year is if Cousins gets injured. And the fact that Cousins has never missed an NFL snap due to injury doesn’t guarantee that he won’t.
OT Ty Nsekhe—In his seven seasons in the NFL Trent Williams has played in 16 games just twice. That makes the backup player who must protect the quarterback’s blindside very important. It would take just one hit for that Cousins streak to come to an abrupt end. The Redskins had shaky solutions for a backup tackle until they found Nsekhe in 2015.
RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0
DB Will Blackmon—Versatility is the key with Blackmon. With only 46 active players on game day it helps to have someone who can play either side as a corner, cover the slot, and play free safety. He might be a jack of all trades and master of none but the ability to fill in when the need calls for it is important.
DL Ziggy Hood—I’m assuming here that Hood is indeed a backup. That’s what everyone thought he would be last year but due to injuries and free agent flameouts he ended up 14 games and playing 60 percent of the defensive snaps. Hood could be much more effective as a reserve. And consider the injury histories of projected starters Stacy McGee (7 games missed last year) and Terrell McClain (missed most of 2015) and the teams likely reliance on some rookies (durability unknown), a good rotational lineman who can step up and start could be critical.
TE Vernon Davis—The Redskins moved quickly to ensure that Davis will return in 2017, signing him to a three-year deal early in free agency. Jordan Reed proved that he is as tough as they come by playing through his shoulder injury in Dallas but it still cost him a couple of games. Reed has missed between two and seven games in each of his four NFL seasons so a good backup for him is critical.
Tandler on Twitter
@MrDavidB21 There are always surprise picks. Much more likely to trade down than trade up.— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) March 22, 2017
In case you missed it
The Redskins will host Tim Hightower for a visit on Wednesday, ESPN's Mike Triplett reported. Bringing Hightower in at this point represents an impressive story far beyond a mundane free agent visit.
If his career ended today, Tim Hightower's story would already be remarkable. Hightower - a DMV native that played his college ball at the University of Richmond - played for the Redskins in the 2011 season. That season, he tore his ACL, and was limited to five games.
While torn ACL's happen frequently in the NFL, what happened next for Hightower was anything but ordinary. He missed the next three seasons with an undiagnosed infection, before incredibly returning to the NFL in 2015 with the Saints.
His last two years in New Orleans, Hightower has been a solid contributor behind starting RB Mark Ingram. He's rushed for more than 900 yards, gained another 330 yards through the air and hit the end zone nine times in 24 games for the Saints.
In Washington, Hightower would join a backfield of Robert Kelley, Chris Thompson, Mack Brown and Matt Jones. It will be interesting to see if Washington adds any other backs through the draft in April as well.
Born in Waldorf, Hightower went to high school in Alexandria before playing college ball at Richmond. Playing with the 'Skins in 2011, Hightower quickly became a fan favorite, especially with his local ties.
The Redskins run game has not been particularly strong for a few seasons, and questions remain if the current stable of runners will be enough to improve. Hightower doesn't necesarily equal a significant talent boost, but perhaps coaches and front office staff are looking at the group.
Be aware, however, this could be nothing more than a visit. Triplett reported it remains possible Hightower returns to the Saints. He also visited the 49ers last week, and new San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan was running the 'Skins offense in 2011 when the team originally acquired Hightower.
DON’T MISS OUT - #REDSKINSTALK PODCAST PARTY APRIL 5 AT PENN QUARTER SPORTS TAVERN!
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!