Jan 17, 2015, 4:53 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 17, 103 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock for the first round of the NFL draft.
Question of the day
We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.
Today’s question is from Twitter:
The starting lineup is going to undergo a lot of changes, but some of them will come from promotions from within so they wouldn’t be new to the team. And it’s hard to tell who will be available in free agency and in the draft. For example, a year ago I would have bet anything that they would have a new right tackle. But they couldn’t sign Donald Penn and they drafted Morgan Moses, who turned out to be a project.
But here is my stab at it for 2015:
Free safety—I think this comes via an inexpensive, short-term free agent pickup. They have to get someone to replace Ryan Clark and so they’ll bring on someone who can hold down the fort until a drafted player is ready. Right now I’ll say Phillip Thomas will be the starter at strong safety but that’s far from a lock.
Left outside linebacker—This is assuming that they stick with the 3-4; things will get all shuffled up if they do switch to 4-3. In any case, I think that either Shane Ray or Randy Gregory will be the best available player when they pick at No. 5. They’ll move Ryan Kerrigan to the right side to rush the QB’s blindside and put the rookie in his old spot.
Nose tackle—Again, I’m assuming that the 3-4 base scheme stays. Whoever the new defensive coordinator is will ask up someone bigger than Barry Cofield to man the middle of the line.
Center—Yes, I know that Kory Lichtensteiger was arguably the Redskins’ best offensive lineman last year. I just don’t see Scot “Big Men Win” McCloughan being content with a center who weighs less than 300 pounds. I think he goes out and drafts a big body in the third round and they plug him in at center.
—It’s been 20 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 239 days until they play another one
—Days until: NFL Combine 34; NFL free agency starts 52; 2015 NFL Draft 103
If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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