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Need to Know: Piecing together McCloughan’s draft strategy

May 7, 2016, 5:58 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 7, six days before the Washington Redskins hold their rookie minicamp.


—The Redskins last played a game 118 days ago. It will be 128 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 6; OTAs start 17; Redskins training camp starts 83

Hot topic

Here are five of the most popular posts from the Redskins week that was.

Grading the Redskins’ draft—Just like mock drafts, fans love to say that they hate draft grades that come out soon after the draft. But just like the mocks, they read the grades. It’s one of the most popular posts of the month every year. I try to recognize here that this is more of an interim grade and not a final judgement on the Redskins’ performance last weekend.

The cap implications of the Redskins cutting Culliver—The Redskins haven’t done an advance June 1 release in quite some time so I walked the readers through the process. The important thing to remember is that the post-June 1 designation doesn’t “save” any money. Instead of taking the dead cap hit associated with cutting a player in the current year, part of the charge is moved to the following league year.

McCloughan may use extra 2017 picks this year—The Redskins’ GM wanted to come out of the draft with 12 picks but he made only seven. But he did make three deals that got the team picks in the 2017 draft. McCloughan says that the players acquired with those picks may be contributing this season.

Skins plan be careful with Fuller—Third-round pick Kendall Fuller needed microfracture surgery last fall. A full recovery is expected but the Redskins aren’t going to rush it. Quinton Dunbar can cover in the slot until Fuller is good to go.

Need to Know: Needs are low on McCloughan’s list of draft considerations—Many scoff at the suggestion that McCloughan doesn’t worry much about need when he is making draft picks. But here is some evidence that he does what he says he does.

In case you missed it 


  1. bk70 - May 7, 2016 at 7:20 AM

    Rich, thanks for educating us with your posts.

    • Rich Tandler - May 7, 2016 at 9:32 AM

      Thanks for reading.

  2. colorofmyskinz - May 7, 2016 at 8:21 AM

    Rich. Fullers knee injury was a torn meniscus and not a torn ACL. A post you had the other day cited it as a torn ACL repair. Please see the tweet from the team:

    The issue with Fullers injury is that he injured it in August 2015 in preseason and tried to play through it and injured it worse 3 games into the season. Meniscus surgeries have great outcomes when they are caught early and repaired. His was not. In fact, the game he injured it further was an end zone play where he came down on it hard. The larger the repair the larger the scar tissue and the greater the risk of reinjury. It sounds like he took the rehab seriously after the repair, but the repair seams significant. The larger scar tissue the more risk for arthritis as well to create a long time nagging issue. ACL tears are more clean of repairs typically. This one however is dicey.

    Let’s hope he followed doctors orders and did not harm the recovery process here. Meniscus replacement is not a pro athlete option.

    • Rich Tandler - May 7, 2016 at 9:32 AM

      @Color, I’m well aware of what Fuller’s injury is. I just did a search to try to find where I referred to it as an torn ACL so I could correct it and I couldn’t find it. If you have the link to the post you’re referring to please post it here so I can fix any errors.

    • mattphillipsdc - May 7, 2016 at 3:49 PM

      The problem with microfracutes is when a person tries to do too much too soon. I just had similar surgery on my ankle using Bio4 with my own plasma as a graft to repair the damaged area. The doctor explained to me what would happen if I tried to do too much too soon. He said it’s like a ping pong ball and once you dent it before it fully healed it will stay that way and will have problems with the ankle fully functioning and develope arthritis in the area. It also depends where the injury is located. The area of my ankle that I had surgry fortunately has a high rate of success to regenerate. I believe that is the same with the knee depending where the damage is the success rate of repair and following the doctors instructions. I’m very active and it’s been a pain limiting my activities for the past few months, but it’s been worth it because my ankle is healing great.

      • John - May 7, 2016 at 5:56 PM

        Most likely scenario for Fuller is that he’ll have a “preseason injury” and end up on IR to learn and develop for next year.

  3. kenlinkins - May 7, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    Two Free Agent seasons and Two Drafts under his belt in DC, The Redskins GM seems to be increasing the over all Talent Level of the roster. There now seems to be areas of the roster that could draw interest from other teams once training camp starts. Over the last few years the Redskins would have had to offer a starting player in order to pull off a trade. Now there seems to be some depth at WR, DB, LB and even OL. The GM has stock piled a few drafts picks for 2017 and has not broken the bank in the process as the Cap is still in good shape. IMO this Redskins team is not yet ready to make a deep play off run, but the over all rebuild is still able to win the NFC East title two years in a row. I still like what I see and still think the Redskins could be something Special in 2017 / 2018. The offense could be ready this year. Rich, Do you think the Redskins offense can have a break out year in scoring points in 2016?

  4. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 7, 2016 at 9:28 AM

    Do reporters have access to rookie minicamp, Rich?

  5. Chuck - May 7, 2016 at 5:30 PM

    Will the Redskins play more aggressive on defense this year and stop with that prevent defense even when having a lead.

    • bangkokben - May 7, 2016 at 9:08 PM

      I think the answer will depend on the injuries. If Norman and Galette get injured and Fuller can’t go because of his knee, I’d expect some of you say is Prevent. Now if all’s well on the health front, a four man rush with Kerrigan and Galette coming off the edges and Norman, Breeland, and Hall in some trap zones; it may not look like prevent but look aggressive when in fact it’s an effective stratagem with the right personnel.

    • Jimmy kubas - May 8, 2016 at 9:20 AM

      I hope they quit playing that prevent always leads to that..o no,here we go again scenario… Ends up being a nail biter or a loss in a game we should have clearly won.

  6. Skulb - May 7, 2016 at 5:38 PM

    The best cure for post-draft hype is to visit other teams’ forums and websites. On Blogging With the Boys for instance, the Dallas Cowboys have already become a “scary contender” after their 4-12 season. Before long I have no doubt they will become locks for the Super Bowl again, just like they become every offseason on that site.
    The Skins are looking like they should be good in 16. But until I see what they can do against the Steelers I’m going to stay cautiously optimistic. 7-9 will be OK, 9-7 will be good and anything above that a success, exactly like last year. The only real change is that winning a playoff game if they get there would be more demanded this time around. We don’t want to become the Bengals here do we?

    • wvredskins - May 7, 2016 at 7:54 PM

      It would be better to be the Bengals then to be the redskins of the past 20 years

      • Skulb - May 7, 2016 at 8:05 PM

        That goes without saying. But now that we might be on the rise I’m not sure I’m content with crashing out of the POs every time. If anyone should demand more it’s sports fans in DC I think. Isn’t this what all the DC teams already do?

        • bangkokben - May 7, 2016 at 9:13 PM

          Until recently, all teams but the Redskins. Now, we’ve had two home playoff games in four years and lost them both. I’d be disappointed if we lost another home playoff game too but not if my bar was as low as yours.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 7, 2016 at 8:30 PM

      The Cowboys and Giants are both shorter odds to win the Superb Owl than the Redskins.

      Of course, at one point last year we were 300:1. Then we made the playoffs.

      *But still didn’t win the Superb Owl

      • bangkokben - May 7, 2016 at 9:23 PM’s Elliot Harrison still has the Redskins atop the NFC East in their latest power rankings at #13.

  7. bangkokben - May 7, 2016 at 9:33 PM

    From on Jordan Reed:

    “Because Reed was under contract already for the year for $1.671 million the effective cap cost for the Redskins will be $8.61 million a year and, unless they used some type of option bonus, wont carry any dead money for the final year of the contract. Those are all benefits of extending a player early, even if its to a high priced deal like this one.”

    This is from a perspective that also make’s the connection that Rich does in his recent CSN article:

  8. Jon Humphrey - May 8, 2016 at 3:59 PM

    How could Kendall Fuller fall to the third round even with the injury he is easily the best cover corner in the draft. I may be biased because I played for Va Tech.. but you got to be good to play at ‘DBU’ with the likes of D hall, Kyle Fuller, Macho Harris. Etc. Bud foster asks a lot out of his corners and that includes playing man to man without watching the ball. Mark my words by year two Kendall Fuller will be the starting corner beside Norman. Just look at his stats they speak for theirself. His brothers all played in the NFL and he’s by far the best. There’s no way Fuller isn’t a top 5 corner back in his own class nor is he third round talent.. just take a look at other dbs that fell in the draft like Kam Chancellor who is now the best safety and Kyshon Jarret who was selected in the 7th round and was one if not our best db. Really sad to hear his career may be over due to nerv damage to his shoulder he was a great player. #HTTR #GoHokies Archives

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