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Need to Know: Five key questions that will impact the Redskins’ draft

Apr 17, 2014, 4:58 AM EDT

Hall-TD-vs.-Lions

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, April 17, 21 days before the NFL draft.

Nickel coverage

The draft does not happen in a vacuum. Future plans for veteran players impact draft day decisions. Here are the top five questions about their current team the Redskins need to answer before next month’s NFL Draft:

Do they plan on signing Brian Orakpo long term? If they are, there is no need to bring in a pass rusher with one of their top picks. If they are going to let him walk after playing under the franchise tag this year they should try to maneuver into position to take Orakpo’s replacement.

How long will Ryan Clark play? I have heard him say he’d like to go for two or three more years. He is, however, under a one-year contract and he will be 35 before the Redskins’ bye week this coming season. How soon will they need to replace him?

Will Kirk Cousins play out his rookie contract in Washington? Cousins has two years left on his rookie contract. If they don’t plan on trading him this offseason or next they are set at backup quarterback until 2016. But if the talk that they aren’t interested in trading him is just some sort of smokescreen, they will need to consider taking a late-round QB to develop as a backup.

Can Tyler Polumbus start for another year? Many Redskins fans will cringe at this thought but Chris Cooley recently said that he was the second-best offensive lineman on the team last year and that it wouldn’t be a disaster if he was the starting right tackle in 2014. If the Redskins agree they can take their time in trying to replace him. If they want to try to upgrade immediately, a high draft pick is the only option at this point.

How much of his contract will DeAngelo Hall play out? Hall will be 31 by the time the season is halfway over and nobody really expects him to play out all four years of the contract he signed before free agency started. His base salary jumps from $1.25 million this year to $4 million in 2015. Will a 32-year-old corner be worth that much? They can always use depth a cornerback but how much they need this year might depend on Hall’s future status.

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Timeline

—It’s been 109 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 143 days until they play another one.

Days until: First veteran minicamp 12; NFL Draft 21; Training camp starts 97

In case you missed it

  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 17, 2014 at 7:36 AM

    We need another safety and another interior offensive lineman…unless those guys are already on the team. But I don’t think we’ll know for sure if one of our existing players is ready to step up before the draft.

    And regardless of how long D. Hall plays, we need another CB.
    ~

  2. thankslittlebrandonbanks - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:18 AM

    Good thoughts Rich. I believe it was on your site that the idea of converting corners to safeties was floated as a possibility. Specifically I have read folks mention Amerson and / or Hall. Is this a realistic possibility and are there successful precedents for it? Thanks.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:29 AM

      Woodson (both Charles and Rod) did it as have a few others. Most of that discussion regarding Hall and Amerson was before Meriweather and Clark had signed, doubt we will see any corners moving this year except for a few packages here and there and in case of injury/emergency.

      > >

  3. alextwrs - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Rich, any word on whether we bring back Adam Carriker for the minimum and give him a shot at a spot on the roster.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      Right now the word is no, not happening. Doesn’t mean it could change but that’s where we are at the moment.

      > >

      • alextwrs - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        Thanks Rich.

  4. alextwrs - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    I think Polumbus gets a bit of a bad rap, kind of the Reed Doughty effect. I think if there is a stud DT or MLB that slips we should pick em up. Cb’s have a good chance of making an impact from the nickel spot on day one as well. I would love a massive RT but I think Gruden and company want a stout DEF to build on. Hageman is tempting as well.

  5. ET - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    All great questions.

    The idea of searching for quality prospects at interior and outside LB is daunting, though, particularly in light of all the over needs (S, OL, CB, etc.).

    I don’t envy Allen—he’s got a lot of tough choices to make with a limited number of picks.

  6. jorance72 - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Nice Article Rich! I’m gonna throw in another Question/Comment.

    Do we currently have someone on D that can deal with our biggest Divisional nemesis…LeSean McCoy? Ahhhh,…NO. He torches us every time we play Philly. Keenan Robinson is our fastest ILB, but is an unknown commodity, since he’s had trouble staying on the field. Not sure what Haz and Co. think about K. Rob, but if a fast tackling machine like Shazier from Ohio State drops, I’d love for us to grab him with our 2nd rounder.

    • alextwrs - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Our defense in 2012 led the league in rushing yards allowed or was top three I think. The way it happened was our line men up front (with a healthy Stephen Bowen) were collapsing the opposing oline and not letting any lineman to the second level. Not sure what Mccoys stats were the two games we stomped the eagles in 2012 but he obviously didnt kill us those games. Short memories fade, but London Fletcher had a career yr becuase of the room he had to manuever. Rob Jax was a tackling machine as well.
      I love Shazier and Skov but I would bet Van Noy has the best NFL career. He reminds me of Kerrigan: a playmaker. We could use his versatility at all LB positions.

      • jorance72 - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        You’re correct….in 2012 we held him to around 50 yards both games. Amazing what a better Offense does to our Defense! I like Skov too. Maybe he’s there for our 3rd round pick. Just hope we can hit on these next couple drafts and set us up for some sustained success!

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