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Need to Know: Is this the year for the Redskins to draft a cornerback in the first?

Apr 21, 2016, 4:56 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, April 21, 7 days before the NFL Draft.


—The Redskins last played a game 102 days ago. It will be 144 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: 2016 NFL draft 7; Rookie minicamp 22; Redskins training camp starts 98

Hot topic

All of the pre-draft talk has the Redskins going with a defensive lineman with their top draft pick or perhaps a run stuffing linebacker. But perhaps they should look at another position that they have long neglected in the early part of the draft—cornerback.

Many who advocate taking a D-lineman first have pointed out that the Redskins have not drafted a player at that position in the first round since they took Kenard Lang in 1997. But they haven’t take a corner in the first round in a long time, either. Their last first-round cornerback was Carlos Rogers, taken in 2005. Washington took Fred Smoot in the second round in 2001 and David Amerson in the second in 2013. That’s it as far as cornerbacks with premium picks in the last 16 drafts.

This year might be a good year to take a cornerback in the first round. For one things, there are several who are first-round talents. Jalen Ramsey for Florida State and Vernon Hargraves of Florida are the two best and both probably will be gone. But there doesn’t seem to be a great need for corners among the teams drafting ahead of the Redskins. In some other years corners like Eli Apple of Ohio State, William Jackson III of Houston and Mackensie Alexander of Clemson would be off the board in the teens. But it seems likely that at least one and perhaps all three will be available when the Redskins pick at No. 21.

There is plenty of depth in the pool of defensive linemen available in this draft so perhaps the Redskins could go corner in the first and D-line in the second or even third without too much of a drop off in talent on the line.

The Redskins could get through the season with the corners they have now but with Chris Culliver coming off of a knee injury and possession high cap numbers for the remaining three years of his contract, Will Blackmon turning 32 before the bye week, and the other corners besides Bashaud Breeland being inexperienced, they would do well to get some insurance and provide for the future.

Stat of the day

Today’s is in Twitter form, in response to a question on yesterday’s post.

In case you missed it


  1. austrianhttrfan - Apr 21, 2016 at 5:52 AM

    maybe good that I´m the first comment, but you absolutely forgot Carlos Rogers….

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 21, 2016 at 7:10 AM

      Oops, I dropped the ball on that one! Fixed, thanks.

  2. gc84 - Apr 21, 2016 at 6:17 AM

    I think you forgot Carlos Rogers 2005!

  3. Brent - Apr 21, 2016 at 6:23 AM

    I do believe Carlos Rogers was a first rounder:-) Same year we drafted J.C. In the first round.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 21, 2016 at 7:09 AM

      Sorry, I dropped the ball on that one! Fixed, thanks.

  4. Lex - Apr 21, 2016 at 6:39 AM

    Front end makes the back end better but id go after a cb first due to the equality in first and second round DL no real difference imo. Apple, Jackson or alexander rd1

  5. colorofmyskinz - Apr 21, 2016 at 7:37 AM

    We need front line period. What did we see in the Super Bowl? A defense win the game with front line and edge rushers. All it took was one edge rusher and 2 Dline to completely turn the Pathers potent offense upside down. We have OK edge rushers right now. We need a front line on the D that places huge fear in the other team. We Alison need a real center. Someone here commented on stabilizing the center of the line on both O and D and I agree. Draft DL or NT first, then center, then another DL. In that order. Then get your Dbacks, RBs, and WRs.

  6. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 21, 2016 at 7:46 AM

    CB Kendall Fuller was going to be a likely 1st-rounder before his knee injury.

    He got good news at his combine recheck, so possibly he’s back in the mix there again.

  7. nomaan78 - Apr 21, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    I say we cut Culliver, Andre Roberts, Niles Paul, Perry Riley and sign Josh Norman. Norman and Breeland would be nice. Then we trade down out of the first round and select Saftey karl Joseph West Virginia with a high 2nd round pick, and then Austin Johnson DT Penn state with the 2nd 2nd round pick.

    • abanig - Apr 21, 2016 at 8:02 AM

      You don’t have to cut Paul for $ to sign Norman. Paul is a versatile player that can play TE, FB, WR and is good on special teams. All his coaches have always said no one works harder in the weight room and on the practice field to learn new things and get bigger and stronger then him.

      The only way I’d cut Cully us if we are sure we can get Norman and if Normans signing won’t jeopardize us signing Reed & Cousins long term.

      • kenlinkins - Apr 21, 2016 at 8:38 AM

        I agree, trying to sign Norman IMO would be a mistake. $14 to $17 million a year? No Way he is worth that. The idea is to find the NEXT Norman in this years draft (in the 4th or 5th round) and then to keep finding the NEXT Norman year after year.

        • abanig - Apr 21, 2016 at 8:42 AM

          Agreed. I’d rather draft Apple, Alexander, Jackson, Fuller or Howard etc. I really don’t think McCloughan & Allen are going to overpay for a corner who I believe just became the first player in NFL history to have a franchise tag rescinded. There’s a reason why the Panthers rescinded his franchise tag. My guess is Norman is way too arrogant and has a bad attitude which they feel is bad for their lockeroom and I think it would be bad for the skins lockeroom as well.

        • bangkokben - Apr 21, 2016 at 9:13 AM

          If you sign Norman and BREELAND becomes the next Norman, can you sign him? Doubt it. Finding the next Norman and Sherman are easier said then done but certainly worth striving for.

        • abanig - May 1, 2016 at 8:36 PM

          How about $20 M for his 2017 salary? That’s starting QB money and too much to spend on a corner IMO. I know he’s very good, even great corner but I just don’t agree with giving the contract we did to Norman. It was too rich. I’d rather save that $ for Cousins, Baker, Breeland, Reed & Djax.

    • renhoekk2 - Apr 21, 2016 at 11:31 AM

      They have to resign Cousins, Reed, Baker, either Garcon or Jackson, and maybe Galette next off season if he bounces back this year. Say you mange to squeeze all of that in somehow. 2018 FA are Breeland, Moses, Paul, and Long. And I’m just touching on the main characters in FA. There are depth and special teams guys I’m sure they want to keep around. Tough to do all of that and pay Norman the $16M/yr he’s looking for.

      • ET - Apr 21, 2016 at 12:17 PM

        A team has to be swimming in cap money to justify $16M-ish to Norman (maybe it’d be justified?). And even if the Skins had the money, that ain’t the Scotty Way.

  8. abanig - Apr 21, 2016 at 7:57 AM

    It could be. I still think NT & FS are the bigger needs but corner may be the best player available

  9. kenlinkins - Apr 21, 2016 at 8:29 AM

    IMO I see more talent at CB in this draft than I do DT. There are about 20 guys at CB that will be drafted in 2nd – 5th rounds who could end up stating by the end of 2016. Every one keeps talking about the great number of DT’s in 2016 draft but outside the first round IMO the talent level ready falls off. IMO it will be harder to find starting DT’s after the 1st round and easier to find CB’s. If the Redskins can gain extra picks by trading back, IMO they could really help themselves by drafting 2 or maybe even 3 CB’s in rounds 2 thru 5. IMO the Redskins need to get one of the top six DT’s and that can only happen with a 1st round pick. The only DT that I like after the 1st round is Ridgeway.

    • ET - Apr 21, 2016 at 12:46 PM

      My guess is Scot adds three or four DBs through the draft. One or two will be later-round ST ballers or developmental guys. There will be some very nice options in rounds 2-4, both at CB and S. It wouldn’t shock me to see a CB picked at 21, but my guess is Scot addresses other needs first. On the other hand, I would be surprised if the Skins don’t take a DB in the first three rounds.

  10. smotion55 - Apr 21, 2016 at 9:08 AM

    Corners are deep in the draft as are d-line but d-line bigger need. This GM does well with later round secondary picks so why change now. d-line and free safety, RB, Center, then CB

  11. celeoinc - Apr 21, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    In my humble opinion we need to get a Defensive End that can rush the QB. Unfortunately the options at 21st are not good. It would be nice if Trent Murphy could be that guy, but that’s a big IF. I don’t think SM is looking for a NT with the 21st pick. I think he will trade down if chooses go NT first. The way it is I believe we will get the best player available and that player could be a wide receiver. That’s my opinion.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 21, 2016 at 9:50 AM

      Jonathan Bullard would be a nice 2nd round pick, if he makes it to 53.

  12. Mr.moneylover - Apr 21, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    If scot m. Can pull off getting josh Norman then that will be crazy we are the second team who showing the most interest in him the 49ers showing the most interest… We will have junior gaullet as a pass rusher then if we get josh Norman who can shut down one side of the field that will be crazy…we will definitely win the NFC east again unless something crazy go wrong

  13. Mr.moneylover - Apr 21, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    If they can somehow pull off the josh Norman deal do it then you draft a DL like Vernon Butler or Andrew Billings our defense will be almost fixed…you will have great competition at CB you already got great competition at the pass rushing position draft Vernon bulter then our defense will be straight then draft a guy like CB Sean Davis in the second round

  14. waqgman1 - Apr 21, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    After Will Blackmon and Breeland , all the other corners are inexperienced? Was sure I read somewhere last week that the Redskins signed Greg Toler. He’s got about 8 years of experience. Looks like another “oops” to me. Having a bad day, Rich?

  15. vtsquirm - Apr 21, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    too expensive… I think we can improve without signing Norman.

  16. cowboyhater - Apr 21, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    Norman is too old…too expensive. Need young and hungry athletes from the draft. Bad enough we are sticking with Hall and Blackmon. Neither will last through the season. They both played decently last year, but lets face it….it’s another year and their bodies will not hold up for an entire season. Bottom line if we stay at 21, best player available. Someone is bound to drop into our hands at 21. Not all GM’s have the talent to pick players, so I’m sure a blue chipper will fall to us. Archives

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