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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—2015 draft set high expectations

Sep 10, 2016, 5:09 AM EDT

Scherff-vs-Lions

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, September 10, two days before the Washington Redskins open their season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:55; player availability after practice approx. 1:15

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 244 days ago. It will be two days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 8; Browns @ Redskins 22; Redskins @ Ravens 29

The Redskins week that was

Here are some of the most popular posts from the past week as the Redskins trimmed their roster to 53 and started preparations for their game against the Steelers.

Redskins roster now at 53—Roster cuts draw interest from everyone. There was some intrigue with bubble players this year and that kept fans checking back on the tracker. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the whole process was that the Redskins made no changes after the 53 was set at 4 p.m. on Saturday. No successful waiver claims, no free agent signings. They will go into Monday night with the same group.

McCloughan’s overhaul means saying goodbye to some tenured Redskins—The amount of turnover wasn’t massive. There were 13 players on the 53 who weren’t with the organization in 2015. But Perry Riley and Logan Paulsen, two players who have been around since 2010, the start of the Mike Shanahan years, were released as was 2012 draft pick Josh LeRibeus. Those moves brought the number of players who were here when Shanahan was the coach to 13.

DeSean Jackson on 2016: It’s going to be something special—Jackson likes both the team and him being under the radar. The guy has been working hard; he didn’t miss so much as a snap a training camp and he seems to be extraordinarily focused. If you participate in any prop bets involving him, take the over.

NTK: Checking in on the Redskins’ draft picks—Four of the seven draft picks made the roster and it’s likely that only three of them will have a chance to contribute this year (QB Nate Sudfeld won’t see the field absent some sort of calamity). That makes it more like a typical draft. While that seems disappointing to some, it isn’t reasonable to compare it to last year’s draft, when seven draft picks made the 53 and five played meaningful snaps.

NTK: The Redskins’ strengths and weaknesses—Surviving in the NFL is all about taking advantage of your strengths and minimizing and/or working around your weaknesses. The Redskins will have to get their receiving corps cranked up and put points on the board in order to compensate for a defensive line that looks shaky.

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Shedding blocks and pursuing. #Redskins

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In case you missed it 

 

  1. redskins12thman - Sep 10, 2016 at 5:41 AM

    Besides Painter, the Redskins did sign two new faces to the practice squad: DL Louis Nix III (previously with Giants) and TE Wes Saxton (previously with Jets) in lieu of retaining players like ILB Carlos Fields and TE Marcel Jensen. I don’t know much about Nix and Saxton, but both Giants defense and Jets tight ends have recently struggled.

    In addition to very visible players like DeSean Jackson and Preston Smith, I thought Martrell Spaight and Dashaun Phillips had strong off-seasons from the very beginning; that’s impressive from these two second year contributors. Deshazor Everett really improved as the pre-season went along too.

    Two UDFA, RB Rob Kelley and DE Anthony Lanier, made the 53. I care about drafted and undrafted additions to the squad.

    Redskins have reinforced the squad with players like Norman, Hood, Bruton, Cravens, Garvin, Toler, Reyes, Fuller, Kelley and Davis impacting mostly defense and special teams. It will be important to see how much each of these ten players contribute.

    We still have our “wanted” sign out for C, LG, RDE and OLB and can easily reach for the one for RB if necessary. Unsure if Scot McCloughan will have as much luck in mid-season pick-ups as last year.

    • goback2rfk - Sep 10, 2016 at 8:45 AM

      Nothing against K.L. at all but I would like to see us go get a beast center next season. Last year the center position was a big problem. We shall see about this season.

      • abanig - Sep 10, 2016 at 9:03 AM

        I’m thinking/hoping our top 2 draft picks next year will be a center and a NT

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Sep 10, 2016 at 9:40 AM

          That depends on someone at the position being worth it when the pick comes up.

          There aren’t that many good centers in the draft each year.
          ~

        • abanig - Sep 10, 2016 at 10:53 AM

          There are plenty of good prospects for the OL and DL for the 2017 draft and even a few for FS also.

          Here are some players to watch at center, defensive line and safety during this college football season to see if we want to draft them in the 2017 NFL Draft:

          Round 1: Johnathan Allen, DE, Alabama; Jabril Peppers, CB/S/LB, Michigan; Malik MacDowell, DE/DT, Mich St; Ethan Pocic, C, LSU; Caleb Brantley, DE/NT, Florida; Marcus Maye, S, Florida; Pat Elfin, C, Ohio State

          Round 2: Davon Godchaux, DE/DT/NT, LSU; Chris Wormley, DE/DT, Michigan; Eddie Jackson, FS, Alabama; Eddie Vanderdoes, DE/NT, UCLA; DeMarcus Walker, DE/DT, FSU; Lowell Lotulelei, NT, Utah; Marcus Willaims, FS, Utah; Issac Rochelle, DE/DT, Notre Dame; Da’Shawn Hand, DE/NT, Alabama; Carlos Watkins, DE/NT, Clemson; Dan Voltz, C, Wisconsin

          Round 3: Charles Walker, DE/DT, Oklahoma; Mason Cole, C, Michigan; Montavarius Adams, DE/NT, Auburn; Jonathan Ford, FS, Auburn; Tony Conner, FS, Ole Miss; Vincent Taylor, DE/DT, Oklahoma St; Jay Guillermo, C/G, Clemson

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 10, 2016 at 12:22 PM

          Go ahead and put Baylor center Kyle Fuller on that list. Probably in the 3rd.

        • abanig - Sep 10, 2016 at 2:27 PM

          Sounds good, but I think we’ll take a center in round 1 or 2. There are 3 or 4 centers who seem worthy of us drafting them in round 1 or 2 and I hope we take one of them.

        • bangkokben - Sep 10, 2016 at 7:16 PM

          Jonathan Allen is trending out of the Redskins reach — hopefully. He is looking like a top ten pick. He was in the early mocks to the Redskins at 21st even with the other Alabama boys coming out. I’d be shocked if the Redskins will be picking high enough for him.

        • abanig - Sep 10, 2016 at 7:20 PM

          Yeah, I agree but it’s way early and I think he deserves a mention as most likely he’ll go in the teens.

          That being said, if Pocic is there and the skins are picking in the 20s again or even dare I say… 32… He’s the guy I’d like them to get. I’d be awesome to get another big nasty on the interior of that OL and I don’t see any NT’s worthy of a first round pick but there should be some available for us to take in round 2 or 3.

    • abanig - Sep 10, 2016 at 9:02 AM

      Agreed

  2. mtskins - Sep 10, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Not that he was huge game changer but Wheaton sounds out for MNF as well now. Certainly getting a Steelers team that isn’t at full strength. Hoping that team can capitalize and get the season started off right.

    • redskins12thman - Sep 10, 2016 at 11:21 AM

      I thought Wheaton was going to play so this is good news. The Steelers are very deep, but every threat that can’t play, the better it is for the Redskins.

      That said, the fact that Eli Manning can be dangerous with OBJ and other role players, then Big Ben is definitely a threat with the Steelers squad — Bell, Bryant and Green are out and they hardly miss a beat. If Wheaton doesn’t play, they still have more than a half dozen playmakers — Brown, Rogers, Williams, James, Hayward-Bey, Coates and others. Like the Redskins, the Steelers are loaded with weapons.

      • mtskins - Sep 10, 2016 at 11:58 AM

        DNP yesterday. In article from Pitt-Tribune Friday Todd Haley basically said he was trying to play and was excited about him but after Wheaton had missed a bunch of time he was more worried about guys that were available and playing.

        Outside of Brown and Williams they have a lot of unproven weapons on offense and their receiving corps isn’t nearly as deep as the Skins. But I think you make a good point that Big Ben has the capability to elevate his supporting cast.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 10, 2016 at 12:25 PM

          Actually they have a very, very deep receiving corps. You just might not have ever heard of them. But if Bryant wasn’t suspended I would hands down say that’s the best WR corps in the league. Sammie Coats and Eli Rogers might be two guys you don’t know very well who end up being a pain Monday night.

        • redskins12thman - Sep 10, 2016 at 2:06 PM

          You’re spot on. Wheaton is declared out for Monday’s game.

        • redskins12thman - Sep 10, 2016 at 2:08 PM

          Rogers is very involved in offense. Phillips and / or Fuller will have their hands full. I imagine Cravens will be guarding Jones but not sure.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 10, 2016 at 2:19 PM

          I doubt Cravens starts. And he shouldn’t. He’s too raw right now. He has amazing potential but him being out of place just a couple times could cost us the game.

          But yeah, I expect Rogers will be very active. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s their second leading receiver after AB.

        • mtskins - Sep 10, 2016 at 2:56 PM

          I might give you raw talent as far as depth but I’m gonna stick with unproven. Coates has 1 game in the regular season and fairly good performance in a playoff game. That’s it. Rogers is a UDFA and while he looks good in preseason he has yet to play an NFL snap. Not sure how you can blast everybody for overhyping late rounders and UDFAs then turn around and sell Rogers right out of the gate. He’s lining up against some unproven CBs so you might be right he gets targeted a lot but will have to wait and see what he does with the opportunites. Like I said Big Ben being able to put the ball on these guys definitely increasese their chances so maybe you will be right.

          Bryant is suspended for the year. Green is out with a Concussion so their depth chart looks like this:

          WR1-Brown (Big plus here)
          WR2-Wheaton (out plug in Coates or DHB)
          WR3- Rogers
          TE- Jesse James

          Skins depth chart with Crowder back:

          WR1-Jackson
          WR2-Garcon
          WR3-Crowder
          TE-Jordan Reed

          Brown is obviously elite but as far as depth goes I’ll take the Skins

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 10, 2016 at 5:51 PM

          If you’re strictly speaking of the game on Monday night, then yes, the Redskins have the advantage at WR. Even though Antonio Brown is so good that I’m honestly not sure how much. Wheaton not being there is a big loss and the other receivers are unproven.

          But I didn’t take your statement to mean just Monday night. Like I said, if we were just looking at rosters for the best WRs corps in the NFL the Steelers would be my #1 if Bryant wasn’t suspended. But he is so I guess that doesn’t matter. Washington would be in my top 5 though. I see them as #3, maybe #2 right now.

          Coats was a phenomenal college WR but he had major issues with drops. That’s the key for him. If he fixed that, then I expect him to be dangerous. If no, still dangerous but not as much. And you’re right, I do not like it when people over hype low round draft picks and undrafted rookies. I’ve just heard some people who I very much respect speak highly of Rogers. They actually went to Steeler’s camp, evaluated him, and gave rave reviews. Their opinion goes a long way with me. It’s not fan hype, it’s actual evaluation. That’s how I can do that.

          These are the same people who came away with their jaws dropped from Redskins camp because the team was a lot better than they thought and they picked us to win the division again. Let’s hope they know what they’re talking about.

      • bangkokben - Sep 10, 2016 at 7:22 PM

        Brown, Rogers, Williams, James? Weapons? C’mon man. That’s like saying Niles Paul and Rob Kelley are weapons. You’ve got to have a semblance of a track record before you can be called weapons.

        • bangkokben - Sep 10, 2016 at 7:26 PM

          Antonio Brown is, of course, the best weapon in football. For some reason I was thinking of Cliff Brown who is NOT a weapon.

  3. blazerguy234 - Sep 10, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    With regard to only 4 of the 7 draft choices making the 53, it is important to consider the free agents signed, and the guys injured last year who will be better than rookies. Last year the D Backfield was a huge problem..it is now a strength. Hard to predict how our pass rush will be..but it should be decent. The major question is can this defense stop the run? They weren’t to good at doing so last year.
    Bold prediction..Robert Kelly, over time, may over take Matt Jones and become the starting running back. I was really impressed with his patience and vision. He seemed to find and hit almost every hole created. He never put the ball on the ground. Jones has to show that problem is behind him. Lastly, Jones has had numerous injury problems recently, and in his past.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 10, 2016 at 7:58 PM

      I’m on the Kelley bandwagon too. I was very impressed with him in preseason.

      And we won’t care too much about only 4 draft making the roster if guys like Kelley and Lanier end up working out.

  4. bangkokben - Sep 10, 2016 at 8:55 PM

    Bad teams get all their drat picks on the roster. The Browns had all 14 draft picks make their initial roster. Claimed four guys off waivers and then only one of those draft picks got cut and put on the practice squad.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 11, 2016 at 2:21 AM

      That’s a good point. There has to be a balance of youth and veterans. I mean, I guess there doesn’t HAVE to be. But that seems prudent to me.

      I generally think of 4th and 5th round guys as someone who should make a roster. But obviously Scot pushed this year’s 4th to next year and Ioannidis is…. still a question. It’s a little troubling that Ioannidis couldn’t break into a squad that is perceived as a weakness. But even the best GMs miss from time to time and maybe the line is better than we think. And Maybe Ioannidis makes he pro bowl in 3 years. Only time will tell.

      But if we assume that 1st-5th round guys generally make a roster (maybe even 6th) then we can reasonably assume we will have a few more rookies next year. We have 6 picks 1st-5th (two fourths) plus two 6th rounders that Scot could turn into another higher pick or something. Who knows? But it’s reasonable to assume we could have 6-7 new draft picks on the roster next year, and maybe some undrafted guys. Just in time for some of our older players to maybe be leaving in free agency or getting cut. These things all have a way of working out if you have a good GM.

      And the two undrafted guys make six rookies. As I’ve stated, I think Kelley could be a big contributor too. As well as Doctson, Cravens, and Fuller. So that’s four rookies who may make key contributions. Not bad at all.

      • bangkokben - Sep 11, 2016 at 9:08 AM

        I’m not at all concerned with the draft class. We know sometimes you get more than you should and sometimes you get less. It all as a way of working out IF you have competence in picking, and you’re picking for the type of team both the GM and coach envision. The thing with all rookies (UDFA and picks) is that a 1/3 to 1/2 are in a dog fight to make it the next year and the following year. The average NFL career is 2.7 years. Not every guy that has potential develops. Take Deshazor Everette. He was the last guy on the initial 53 last season as an UDFA and one of the last guys on this year’s team. Had he not made the team this year, no fan would’ve lamented because he wasn’t a draft pick. Who knows if he will develop into something or have a four year career where he was the last guy on the roster?

        If we’re playing percentages, I’d say 1st-4th round picks have 100%, 5th rounders 90%, 6th and 7th rounders 50%, and UDFA 10% chance of making the team their rookie year. Those percentages probably go down 3-5 points the following year. The thing is that all depends on whether you have a good team or not. Expecting a trending upward team, I’d say we can expect 6-7 rookies on the final 53 next year. (Inevitably one or two will be on IR.)

        The ‘skins only have nine guys who are currently 30 or above – three of which are 32 or older. Injury will factor in whether we can expect another year out of Davis and Hall. Of Blackmon, Toler, and Golston, it is unlikely that more than one will be back. Not all veterans can be replaced by rookies as well.

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