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Need to Know: Will the Norman deal affect the Redskins’ draft strategy?

Apr 26, 2016, 4:30 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 26, two days before the NFL Draft.


—The Redskins last played a game 107 days ago. It will be 139 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: 2016 NFL draft 2; Rookie minicamp 17; Redskins training camp starts 93

Hot topic

Scot McCloughan says that despite the $75 million acquisition of free agent cornerback Josh Norman the Redskins’ draft possibilities remain the same.

“It doesn’t really change. The thing that’s cool about it is that it gives us another good football player on the field. You can never have enough corners—ever . . . You can’t just say, ‘OK, we’re great there. Let’s just forget about it.’ No, I’ve been in situations like that. All of a sudden a guy gets hurt or two guys get hurt, and you’re like, ‘Son of a gun, we had that really good player that we passed on because of a need.’ We’re going to take a football player. A corner? We’d love to.”

It’s easy to dismiss what McCloughan said as typical GM speak a couple of days away from the draft. And it probably is when it comes to early picks. Even though some quality corners such as Eli Apple and William Jackson III could be available when the Redskins’ top pick at No. 21 overall is on the clock it’s hard to see McCloughan bypassing other areas on much greater need to take another corner.

But at almost any point on Saturday it’s certainly easy to see the Redskins dipping into the cornerback pool. As McCloughan noted and emphasized you can’t have enough good cornerbacks. The Redskins learned that the hard way last year when they suffered a rash of injuries in training camp and then saw both DeAngelo Hall and Chris Culliver miss significant time during the season due to injuries. They survived thanks to the early-season pickup of Will Blackmon and the emergence of rookie receiver turned corner Quinton Dunbar.

Like any team, they would rather rely on guys they drafted than guys they picked up off of the street. With Blackmon and Deshazor Everett likely to move to safety, the cornerback position may again be vulnerable to injuries.

Stat of the day

Since 2000 the Redskins have make six trades involving their first-round draft pick. Twice they moved up in the draft (2000, Chris Samuels and 2012, Robert Griffin III). They traded down in 2002 (2 times), 2008, and 2011.

In case you missed it

  1. skinsgame - Apr 26, 2016 at 6:16 AM

    All Scot has ever said is that he drafts BPA and “need” isn’t a factor. If Norman affects the draft then that would make him less than honest. I recall Cerrato in an interview, responding to critics of some of his drafts and how he drafted positions that were not weaknesses of the team. That’s the first time I recall hearing the term “Best Player Available”. Vinny just didn’t have the chops Scot seems to when it comes to rating players and spotting talent. No matter the position drafted, an argument can be made it’s a need for this team.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 26, 2016 at 7:15 AM

      Two things:

      –Need is a factor in determining who is “best available”.
      –A GM less than honest this time of year? I’m shocked, shocked.

      • babyteal1 - Apr 26, 2016 at 7:22 AM

        Never believe a word that comes out of their mouths!!

      • skinsgame - Apr 26, 2016 at 7:33 AM


  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 26, 2016 at 7:24 AM

    I don’t think we’ll take a kicker, either.

  3. renhoekk2 - Apr 26, 2016 at 8:31 AM

    I’m sure they have draft grades on every player in the draft. That doesn’t mean they are all on their draft board. I would imagine a team’s board consists of player’s they are targeting in the draft. No doubt they have a draft grade on OT Laremy Tunsil, but I doubt he’s on their board for players they are targeting in the first round. You don’t spend first round picks on players to be depth. I can see them maybe using a 3rd or 4th round pick on a CB if a player they really like seems to have fallen in the draft and they have him rated much higher than say the best available RB they were targeting in that round. You take the CB and look for your highest rated RB on your board in the 4th or 5th round.

    • John - Apr 26, 2016 at 10:44 AM

      Each team grades players from 1to 224. Based on talent, brains, football sense, etc,. Hence Ramsey or Tunsil at 1 overall in terms of the board.

      Some teams will do like the Rams and Eagles and move up for that elusive “franchise QB”. In regards to best available, you can never have enough of a good thing. Last year the Skins had plenty of guys who could play corner but then they lost Culliver, Hall, Jarrett, etc,. Eventually down to Everett a rookie WR turned into a corner starting in a playoff game. Keep in mind Hall and Blackmon are not youngsters.

      You don’t draft for need. If your turn comes up and you have 2 or 3 there with similar levels of talent, you take the best fit for your team.

      • ET - Apr 26, 2016 at 1:01 PM

        You just contradicted yourself in that last paragraph. BPA doesn’t occur in a vacuum (except among Internet Armchair Experts)—positional value, positional need and organizational fit (or “need” on a scheme basis) are all factors in the draft decision-making process. These aren’t racehorses, they’re humans involved in a fairly complex team sport.

        • Henry - Apr 26, 2016 at 5:40 PM

          “Need” is a tie breaker. Nothing more.

        • Rich Tandler - Apr 26, 2016 at 7:40 PM

          Not really, but if you want to think so, feel free.

    • John - Apr 26, 2016 at 10:48 AM

      If they trade back and Cody White hair is there and you all ready have Long who is wanting, Kouanjo who is untested and Lavau with bad wheels, hell yeah, you take that guard from Kansas State because he’s way better than what you all ready have.

  4. mtskins - Apr 26, 2016 at 9:01 AM

    I think last year definitely proved you can never have enough corners. The injuries in the backfield had the team using some interesting backfields. If Culliver ends up being a cap casualty to the Norman deal or doesn’t come back fully from his injury may need another starting corner as soon as 2017. Dunbar has flashed but seems like he needs more time at the position and Jarrett’s return is this unknown. As has been mentioned here it usually takes a little time for guys drafted in the mid-late rounds to develop into starters so CB this year would make a lot of sense. I agree they don’t go CB in the first and while the 3rd of 4th makes a lot of sense if Kendall Fuller is there at the bottom of the second he might be too good to pass on.

    • bangkokben - Apr 26, 2016 at 9:08 AM

      If any of the top corners fall to the Redskins in the 2nd AND they have experience playing in the slot, THEN the Redskins will think hard about making the pick but the Redskins are definitely taking corners middle to late in the drat and then from the pile of undrafted free agents. (The slot by the way is different in college due to the hash marks.)

  5. bangkokben - Apr 26, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    Rich, I loved your question to McC about the tight end position and LOVED his answer about Ys and Us. No doubt, there will lamentations by your readers if the Redskins don’t draft a blocking tight-end.

    • Trey Gregory - Apr 26, 2016 at 9:27 AM

      Are there even such things as blocking TEs coming out of college anymore? It’s nuts.

      • John - Apr 26, 2016 at 10:32 AM

        There are some out there. Just not as many as in the past. Teams run the spread because of the placement of the hashmarks on a college field cause defenses to have to worry about the wide side/back side of the field.

        • Trey Gregory - Apr 26, 2016 at 12:01 PM

          Oh yeah, I get it. I was just being sarcastic because it’s so bad.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 26, 2016 at 9:28 AM

      Thanks. Yeah, I think instead of looking for a big tight end they might look for a small, zone-style tackle instead.

      • kenlinkins - Apr 26, 2016 at 10:18 AM

        Rich, I am not sold on the using a tackle (even a small one who can zone block) as a TE unless he can get out into a pass pattern and force a defense to account for him by making one or two grabs a game. Was Compton playing TE a part of Gruden’s offensive system or just a way to help the running game due to not having a TE that could run block? Even the biggest, best run blocking TE on most teams will end up with 25 or so targets and 15 grabs per year. Not so for Compton.

        • John - Apr 26, 2016 at 10:28 AM

          They were forced to put Compton out there after all the injuries. Paul and Paulsen went down in camp. Initially they used Reed, Carrier and the rookie in 3 tight sets. Later on, Carrier went out with the knee and the rookie as cut loose. Weeks later they worked in Alex Smith. Its not like Compton was destined as the blocking tight end. It just worked out that way because of the lack of available blocking tight ends due to the spread in college.

        • bangkokben - Apr 26, 2016 at 2:29 PM

          A small zone blocking tackle DRAFTED as tight end would then be given a tight end’s number and not have to report every time he enters the game. He would then likely have similar role to Compton in that he would stay in and block on most passing downs BUT he’d likely slip out on occasion getting five to ten reception over the course of the season.

  6. bk70 - Apr 26, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    What about Cody Booth who we recently signed? He has one year experience as OT and 3 years experience as TE. He can compete with the 6 TEs and 4 OTs on the roster before we add more during the draft.

  7. wncskinsfan - Apr 26, 2016 at 1:16 PM

    Year two of what appears to be a promising rebuild, and the most impactful Redskins squad we will have seen in years. We have a talent . . . who is in charge of talent evaluation. I will be happy with any player that Scot picks. I hope he gets his trades, and goes to town. Archives

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