PASADENA CA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans drops back to pass against the UCLA Bruins during the first half at the Rose Bowl on December 4 2010 in Pasadena California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Early 2012 NFL Mock Draft Has Redskins Taking QB Matt Barkley

It's never too early to think about next year. One 2012 NFL Mock Draft projection has the Redskins taking QB Matt Barkley with the third pick in the draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft Has Redskins Taking QB Matt Barkley

The 2011 NFL Draft just ended, which means it's time to look ahead to next year. Given the way the draft has become a year-round thing, it's never too early to consider a 2012 NFL Mock Draft. Right?

The answer is yes, especially if you're already reading this page. So who are the Redskins currently projected to take in a 2012 Mock Draft. Brian Galliford and Andy Hutchins of SBNation.com put together one on Saturday night, and they project the Redskins to have the third-worst record in the NFL. They also project the Redskins to do what they didn't do this year: select a quarterback in the first round. That quarterback is USC's Matt Barkley.

3. Washington Redskins: Matt Barkley, QB, USC. During ESPN's draft telecast this weekend, John Beck's name was floated as a possible starter. So yeah, the Redskins are taking a quarterback early next year.    

Only San Francisco and Carolina are projected to have worse records than the Redskins. So yeah, let's prove them wrong, everyone!

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Todd McShay Round Two Mock Draft Has Colin Kaepernick, Ryan Williams To Redskins

The Redskins have a bunch of holes on the offensive side of the ball that need to be filled, and their two picks in the second round are a pretty good opportunity to do that. ESPN's Todd McShay just released his second round NFL Mock Draft, and he has the Redskins adding a couple skill position players, and a local talent for good measure.

With the 41st overall pick, he has the Redskins taking Colin Kaepernick, which is the developmental quarterback prospect the team needs. I think I'm higher than Kaepernick than most, but I really like his potential. If the Redskins are serious about adding a potential starting quarterback and Kaepernick is still on the board, this is a good shot to do so.

With their next second round pick, McShay has the Redskins taking Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams at 49th overall. Williams is a pretty good prospect and could help ease the blow of losing the production of Clinton Portis.

If the Redskins decide that they want to add two offensive players that aren't lineman, these are two pretty good options for them.

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28, and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare: NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it out at SB Nation's NFL Draft page and our NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft.

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Mel Kiper Round Two Mock Draft Has Ryan Williams, Torrey Smith, To Redskins

The Redskins addressed a need on the defensive side of the ball in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft on Thursday with Ryan Kerrigan. With two picks in Friday's second round, they might try to solve some of their offensive issues. ESPN's Mel Kiper just came out with his second round NFL Mock Draft, and he has the Redskins taking two skill position guys on offense. And they just happen to be the best two local talents.

With the 41st overall pick in the Draft, Kiper thinks the Redskins will take Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams, who he calls the second best running back in the draft. I think Williams would be a good fit for the Redskins, and would be some pretty solid value here.

With the 49th pick, acquired from Jacksonville on Thursday, Kiper has the Redskins taking Maryland receiver Torrey Smith. I'm very high on Smith and I think he would be a great pick for the Redskins.

The only question is if they can afford to take skill position guys with these two first round picks when they have needs all over the field. But if they decide that they need to upgrade the offense, and give local journalists like yours truly a couple juicy storylines, Williams and Smith would be fantastic picks.

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Round Two NFL Mock Draft: Colin Kaepernick, Rodney Hudson To Redskins In Latest Projections

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft is over, but if you think we're done speculating and guessing. There are still six rounds of the NFL Draft left, which gives us plenty of time to do some more Mocking. The guys over at SB Nation just came out with their official 2011 NFL Draft Second Round Mock, and they have some interesting picks for the Redskins. The first is Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick at 41st overall.

I still think it's likely that the Redskins look for a developmental quarterback, and Kaepernick has considerable upside.

It's entirely possible that I like Colin Kaepernick more than I should, but I think he would be a pretty good developmental prospect for the Redskins. I think they need to take a quarterback at some point in this draft, and this is just about as good a time as any. It also doesn't help that the other positions still on the board that the Redskins might need are outside linebackers, which they filled with Ryan Kerrigan.

With the 49th overall pick, which they acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars, SB Nation has the Redskins taking Florida State guard Rodney Hudson. Here is their rationale.

Hudson is an ideal fit for the zone-blocking scheme, and has the versatility to play center.

Full disclosure, I don't know a lot about Hudson. But the Redskins do need a lot of help on the offensive line and if they think that Hudson is the best prospect on the board at that position then I think the Redskins should pull the trigger.

It will be interesting to see how the Redskins use these two picks, which have given them a little bit more flexibility than we expected heading into the draft.

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Todd McShay 2011 Mock Draft Has Redskins Taking Robert Quinn

ESPN's Todd McShay has come out with his final 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and he has the Redskins picking the same player as ESPN colleague Mel Kiper does. McShay's final analysis lists North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn to the Redskins with the No. 10 pick.

Quinn did not play in 2010 but would help upgrade Washington's pass rush with his blend of size and speed.    

McShay's NFL Mock Draft has the Redskins taking Quinn over other possibilities such as Patrick Peterson (11th), Anthony Castonzo (12th), Tyron Smith (13th), Mike Pouncey (15th), Cameron Jordan (17th), Da'Quan Bowers (27th), Christian Ponder (34th), Jake Locker (38th) and Ryan Mallett (39th). 

McShay's mock draft also projects every single pick beyond the first round. Here is who he he the Redskins taking with their remaining picks.

  • 41st: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
  • 144st: Darvin Adams, WR, Auburn
  • 155th: Chykie Brown, CB, Texas
  • 177th: Keith Williams, OG, Nebraska
  • 213th: John Graves, DT, Virginia Tech
  • 224th: Chris White, LB, Mississippi State
  • 253rd: Chas Henry, P, Florida

 

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28, and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare: NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it out at SB Nation's NFL Draft page and our NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft.

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Rick Gosselin NFL Mock Draft Has Redskins Taking Christian Ponder

Dallas Morning News football writer Rick Gosselin historically has one of the most accurate NFL mock draft track records of anyone in the business. On Wednesday, Gosselin came out with his 2011 NFL mock draft, and he has the Washington Redskins, in a major surprise, picking Christian Ponder of Florida State at No. 10.

Via Hogs Haven:

Mike Shanahan is not going to enter a second season with Donovan McNabb, so the Redskins spent all day Wednesday trying to move up. Gabbert was the target. Failing there, they take the next best QB on the board.        

Ponder is widely expected to be a second-round pick, so having him this high is a massive surprise to many. It is worth noting, though, that the Redskins are reportedly very high on Ponder, and we all know how much they need a quarterback.

The guess here is that Mike Shanahan would ideally like to trade down in the draft and pick Ponder later in the first round. However, if that cannot happen, don't rule out Shanahan making the unpopular pick. He's been known to do that before.

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NFL Mock Draft 2011: Cameron Jordan To Redskins In Final SB Nation Mock

The 2011 NFL Draft is here, and the action gets started on Thursday at 8 p.m.. But there is still plenty of time for idle speculation and educated guessery. SB Nation just released the final version of their 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and they have the Redskins taking Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan. Here is their rationale.

A prototypical 3-4 defensive end, Jordan helps the re-building Redskins while also offering some pass rush to a defense that needs it.

I think Cameron Jordan is a really solid pick because the Redskins need a lot of help along the defensive line. He is the prototypical 3-4 defensive end that could step in right away and have an impact on the defense. He might not be as flashy as some of the other players who could still be on the board, but he will be a very solid if unspectacular player. This is a solid pick, and the kind that the Redskins need to start making to be successful.

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28, and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare: NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it out at SB Nation's NFL Draft page and our NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft.

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Mel Kiper 2011 Mock Draft Has Redskins Taking Robert Quinn

It's finally here! The 2011 NFL Draft gets started on Thursday. And that, my friends, is Mel Kiper's time to shine. Simply put, he lives for this time of year. He just released his latest, and final, Mock Draft at ESPN, and I have to say that it looks pretty solid. He has the Redskins taking North Carolina defensive end/outside linebacker Robert Quinn. Here is his rationale.

This is a guy who could be a feared pass-rusher off the edge in a 4-3 alignment, with the size and strength to take on blocks and hold up against the run, or an almost impossible guy to block consistently in the 3-4. Washington could also move down to maximize picks, but if Quinn had played last season for North Carolina, I truly believe we're talking about a possible No. 1 overall pick. That's a lot of value to get at No. 10.

I like Quinn as a prospect for the Redskins. I think it would be better to take him here than to reach on prospects at a greater position of need. Like Kiper said, he represents incredible value at No. 10, and those are the types of picks that the Redskins need to be making.

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28, and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare: NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it out at SB Nation's NFL Draft page and our NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Jake Locker, Julio Jones Projected To Redskins In Latest Mocks

For a team with several major issues on the defensive side of the ball, the Washington Redskins sure are projected to take a lot of different offensive players with the No. 10 pick in the latest 2011 NFL mock drafts. CBS Sports experts Rob Rang and Chad Reuter have submitted their latest mock drafts, and they have the Redskins taking Jake Locker or Julio Jones with their No. 10 pick.

Rang suggests the Redskins will look to trade down in the NFL Draft and get Locker later on. However, he ultimately thinks they won't be successful and will therefore take Locker anyway.

The key area of concern is at quarterback as Donovan McNabb will surely be playing elsewhere, leaving the team with the unsigned Rex Grossman as a potential starter and journeyman John Beck as the only passer currently on the roster. Locker's athleticism and accuracy outside of the pocket is an ideal fit in coach Mike Shanahan's version of the West Coast Offense. If the Redskins feel like gambling, they could elect to trade down and hope Locker is still available. If unable to do so, Shanahan is one of the few coaches with the authority (and guts) to pull the trigger on Locker this early.    

Reuter also believes the Redskins will try to trade down. However, he too thinks they will be unsuccessful. In the end, he has the team taking Jones over pass rushers like Cameron Jordan, Aldon Smith and J.J. Watt.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Redskins Take Jake Locker In Latest SB Nation Mock

For a while there, I wasn't sure it would ever come. It was just a sea of never ending NFL Mock Drafts without an end in sight. But against all odds, we made it; and the NFL Draft is just a few days away. But with those few days, comes even more Mock Drafts and speculation than you could possibly imagine. SB Nation just released the newest edition of their 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and they have the Redskins taking Washington QB Jake Locker with the No. 10 overall pick. Here is their rationale.

This might strike many as a risky pick, but Locker's a high-character kid that fits Mike Shanahan's offense extremely well.

This pick invokes an argument that has surrounded the Redskins since the whole Donovan McNabb scenario became irreparable; Do the Redskins absolutely need to take a quarterback in the Draft this year? If they fell like that is the case, than I could see them reaching for a player they like in Locker in the first round.

But to be honest, taking Locker at No. 10 is not a good pick. This would be a pretty serious reach for Locker, and the Redskins need to get as much value out of their draft picks (because they have so few) as they can. If they really like Locker that much, then they could trade back and get some picks, as well as their quarterback. But there are other teams that need a QB (particularly the Vikings at No. 12) who could make a similar reach on Locker, making that situation uneasy. I wouldn't mind if the Redskins walk away from this draft with Jake Locker, but if they do it without adding some additional value, I don't think it is a very sound decision.

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28, and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare: NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it out at SB Nation's NFL Draft page and our NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Redskins Will Have Options With Tenth Overall Pick

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Todd McShay for getting creative with his Mock Drafts. There is so much repetition in these Mocks that it is important to set yours apart. Last week McShay brought in two NFL scouts to help him form the first round. Today, he released a new Mock that didn't just have one pick for each team, but rather a few different options for what they might do at that selection. 

He give the Redskins three different options. The first is to stay put at No. 10 and draft Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt, who could help them out as a 3-4 DE and a pass rusher in certain situations. Personally, I think this is just a little bit to high for Watt because he lacks elite upside. He would be a good value pick, but I think that I would rather take Cal's Cameron Jordan who can fill a similar need.

The second option is still to draft tenth, but to take North Carolina OLB Robert Quinn. Quinn would be an excellent bookend for Brian Orakpo and would give the Redskins two feared pass-rushers. He has a lot of upside and would be good value with this pick. McShay has him going to the Texans with the next pick.

The third option is to move either up or down the Drat board to get a quarterback. I'm not sure they have the ammunition to trade up (anybody want McNabb?) so if they do decide to make a move for a quarterback, it would probably be back in the first round for someone like Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Robert Quinn To Redskins In Peter King's Mock Draft

Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King's mock draft has the Washington Redskins taking a defensive player with their No. 10 overall pick. In the current issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands this week, King has the Redskins taking North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn with their pick.

A 6'5'', 270-pound defensive end, Quinn has vaulted high up most 2011 NFL mock drafts. Quinn missed his entire junior season because he was one of several Tar Heels who was suspended for lying to investigators about receiving improper benefits. In 2009, as a sophomore, Quinn was a first-team all-ACC selection, garnering 11 sacks on the season. His physical tools, specifically his ability to rush the passer, have drawn comparisons to fellow North Carolina alum Julius Peppers.

King, however, says that while he believes the Redskins will take Quinn, the team should instead take offensive lineman Mike Pouncey out of Florida, in order to solidify a weak area that has existed on the team for several years. 

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Who Will The Redskins Take In The First Round?

The NFL Mock Draft is now just over a week away, so we are starting to get a better idea of who teams will draft, as opposed to just the (semi) educated guesses of professional bloggers like myself. So now that we have a little bit more intel from the teams we can begin to narrow the potential selections of each team down to just a handful of prospects. So having said that, who might the Redskins take this year at No. 10 overall? I believe that it will come down to either a quarterback, a wide receiver, or a player on the defensive side of the ball. As for who that player may be, there are a few factors that might determine that.

Quarterback:

We know how much the Redskins need a quarterback, and I think in an ideal situation, they would like to take one of the top two prospects in the Draft in Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert. But at this point we can pretty safely say that those two players will be off the board when the Redskins pick. Since they lack the ammunition (and hopefully the desire) to trade up in the first round, that probably won't happen.

So that leaves a few options. They can either reach on a quarterback who doesn't deserve to be taken at their selection (Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett for example) or trade back in the first round, and hope to land one of the second-tier QB's (Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder or Colin Kaepernick). If the Redskins do walk away from this Draft with a quarterback, I would hope, and expect them to take that second path. So that means that a quarterback should not be in play at No. 10, so we can't really predict one to be taken there.

Wide Receiver:

There has been some talk about the Redskins taking a receiver, either A.J. Green or Julio Jones, that slips to them in the first. Nobody actually expects Green to be on the board, but there is a strong possibility that Jones would be the pick if he is there. But we have also heard rumblings that a team such as the Rams might trade up past the Redskins to ensure they can take him before Washington has a chance to.

Jones is the kind of player who teams will fall in love with on Draft Day because of an incredible combine performance, so I expect him to be taken way before he is expected to go, or the target of a team that trades up to make sure that they acquire him. I think the Redskins like Jones, but I don't believe they will go out of their way to get him, or be too gravely disappointed if they can't land him.

Defense:

So that leaves us with a player on the defensive side of the ball as the likely selection for the Redskins. If you listen to Mel Kiper, that is where the Redskins are likely to go. It would be the smart choice for a team in dire need of upgrades along the front seven. So barring any trades or unforeseen slips by the top prospects, who might be available?

Kiper throws out the names Cameron Jordan of Cal and Robert Quinn of UNC, and I think both would be good choices for the Redskins. Quinn would be a great bookend for Brian Orakpo, while Cameron Jordan would be a perfect fit at defensive end in the Redskins' 3-4 scheme. Those are the two names that probably have the best value and the best fit, but there are other prospects on the defensive side of the ball (Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara, Auburn DT Nick Fairley, Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers and Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt just to name a few) who could fit very well on the Redskins and might be available when they pick.

I think both Jordan and Quinn would be solid value selections and much safer picks than the Redskins typically make. If the Redskins are serious about building their team the right way, and I believe they are, than a player like Quinn or Jordan might be the best option for them, and it is where I expect them to go in the Draft.

For more coverage leading up to next week's NFL Draft, check out the latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft at SBNation.com and visit our blog, Mocking The Draft.

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2011 NFL Draft: Ryan Mallett Coveted By Redskins For No. 10 Pick, According To Report

The 2011 NFL Draft is just nine days away, which means it's time for all the rumors to start flying. The latest rumor involves the Redskins and their first-round pick at No. 10 overall. It's a pick where many players who play all sorts of different positions will be considered. The latest rumor, though, has the team coveting Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett with the selection.

NFL Network's Michael Lombardi reported on television Monday that the Redskins have interest in selecting Mallett with the No. 10 selection, according to a source "extremely close" to the team. Via Pro Football Talk:

Specifically, Lombardi asked the source about Shanahan's targets with the tenth pick in the draft. The source told Lombardi, "Don't rule out Ryan Mallett" becoming Shanny's next franchise quarterback.    

The Redskins have scouted Mallett extensively, though they have not and likely will not bring Mallett in for an individual workout. However, many, including Mike Jones of the Washington Post, feel this is simply a smokescreen. Coach Mike Shanahan does tend to be tight-lipped about which players he desires, and most believe he is more interested in Washington's Jake Locker than in Mallett.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will The Redskins Take A Risk On Jake Locker?

The Washington redskins have the tenth overall pick in the upcoming Draft, and a pretty sizable hole at quarterback. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to put those two things together and project them to take a QB with their first round pick. SB Nation just came out with the latest version of their 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and they expect the Redskins to follow that line of thinking. They have the Redskins taking Washington qb Jake Locker; here is their rationale.

Mike Shanahan is confident and bold, and there's more than enough for him to mold in Locker.

I understand that the Redskins have liked Locker since the draft last year, and I wouldn't be surprised if they found some way to get him on Draft day, but I think that the No. 10 overall pick is way too early for him. If they really like Locker, I think they could probably trade down a little bit in the draft, get their man later in the first round, and get an extra middle round pick or two for the trouble. I like Locker, just not this high.

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2011 NFL Draft: Redskins Reportedly Trying To Move Back In The First Round

The Redskins hold the tenth overall pick in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft, but varying reports have them targeting a quarterback who might not be available/could be bad value when they have their selection. There are, of course, two ways to solve this problem; trade up to get one of the top two prospects (Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert) or trade back in the first round to get one of the second tier prospects while gaining another mid round draft pick.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports reports that the Redskins may be attempting the latter.

The Redskins, who pick 10th overall, would like to get a second-round pick from a team in exchange for moving back to their spot in the first round. They could then use their two second-round picks to bolster the defense.

Prisco reports that the Redskins could target quarterbacks like Florida St.'s Christian Ponder or TCU's Andy Dalton. For a team that always ends up with fewer draft picks than are owed to them, this would be a delightful change of pace.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Von Miller Visiting The Redskins On Monday

Von Miller, the standout linebacker from Texas A&M, will be visiting the Redskins on Monday in Ashburn, according to the National Football Post at Yahoo.com. Miller is expected to be one of the first four or five names called on Draft day, so it is unlikely that the Redskins will get a chance to draft him at No. 10 overall.

"I love watching the kid on tape," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock told the National Football Post. 'I can’t tell you how many times I wrote down, ‘Wow.' He might have the quickest get-off explosion in the draft. He almost defies gravity. he's a phenomenal pass rusher.

Miller has used strong performances at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine to climb up draft boards to the point that he is almost guaranteed to be a top-five pick. If the Redskins really want to draft him, they would likely have to trade up to the Cardinals' pick at No. 5 and hope that Miller gets past the Bills at No. 3.

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2011 NFL Draft: Bruce Allen Speaks, But Reveals Little, About Redskins Draft Plans

During this time of year, NFL executives usually lie or are incredibly vague when discussing their plans on the upcoming draft.

You can put Redskins GM Bruce Allen in the latter category.

After speaking today at an event in Northeast Washington, Allen met with some members of the media for several minutes to discuss the upcoming draft.

And as usual, he didn't reveal a lot in his briefing. Here are some quotes courtesy of CSNWashington.com:

On trading picks  for other draft picks: “We have eight choices for this draft and we have an opportunity to do well in the later rounds,” he said. “Could there be trades to acquire new picks? It’s possible.”

On if the lockout effects the teams draft strategy: “A lot of people, in previous years, go by the draft board and go by the ratings and don’t try to overreach for a player,” he said. “Obviously, if you think somebody is going to go, you might have to take them half a round higher than you project.

“We’re going to follow our draft board. That’s the safest way to do it and if it’s a position we feel we have a need, that will work even better for us.”

On the current CBA negotiations: “There will be a CBA; it’s just when,” he said. “We need to be prepared for when there is an agreement. … Hopefully they’ll get it done. I think it’s good that they’re talking and you can only make progress by having conversations." 

Bruce Allen is a veteran when it comes to talking without saying anything, and he certainly put that on display again (minus the CBA part) in his brief session with the media.

But Allen's actions will speak louder than his words when the draft rolls around come April 28th, as we will all find out which direction the Redskins will go.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Anthony Castonzo To The Redskins According To The Sporting News

The Sporting News just came out with their final Mock Draft before the actual NFL Draft in a few weeks. It's a full seven round mock, but we'll just focus on the first two rounds because the Redskins don't have any picks in rounds 3-5, and who really cares about rounds six and seven anyway?

In the first round, they have the Redskins making a little bit of a surprise pick in Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo. Castonzo projects to be a pretty good player in the NFL, but this is much higher than I have seen him taken in any Mock Draft I have seen. I don't think it would be very good value for them to take Castonzo at No. 10 overall.

But they make up for that transgression in the second round where they give the Redskins a pick who would be uber-valuable in Jake Locker. I am pretty sure that at this point Locker will probably go somewhere in the mid-to-late first round. And if he makes it to the second round, there are a lot of teams drafting before the Redskins that also need a quarterback and would be happy to snag him before the Redskins have a chance.

So we have two picks, and I don't think either of them are very good. Not that I don't think these players would be good for the Redskins, I just don't think either of them will go anywhere near where they have them being picked.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will The Redskins Take Robert Quinn In The First Round?

Very rarely do Mock Drafts get even a majority of their picks correct. I believe the reason for that is that they are formed by people who aren't actually close to any NFL decision makers, so they're projections are more "who they should take" as opposed to "who they will take" which is what the purpose of the Mock Draft should be. But that's what makes this new mock from Todd McShay at ESPN (Insider) so intriguing. It isn't just McShay's opinions this time, he brought in two actual factual NFL scouts to help him out.

They have the Redskins taking Robert Quinn, the outside linebacker from North Carolina.Despite the questions that surround Quinn, I kind of like this pick for the Redskins. You can put him on the other side of the field from Brian Orakpo and have your outside linebacker core sewn up for years to come. Because they already have Orakpo, it might not seem like that big of a need. But when you boost the pass-rush, it makes the other parts of your defense better. Less time for the quarterback to throw means less time that the secondary has to cover. If they are comfortable with the way Quinn can play in space, I think he could be a good pick at No. 10 overall.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Redskins Could Go Offense In First Two Rounds

Trying to guess the NFL Draft is somewhat of a fool's errand. Even in the first round, we have no idea what the teams are thinking, so trying to figure out whom they may pick doesn't make a ton of sense. Picking the first round is hard, but picking the entire draft is nearly impossible.The guys over at Opposing Views tried to do just that, and they had some interesting picks for the Redskins.

In the first round, they have the Redskins taking USC offensive lineman Tyron Smith. Smith has gone to the Cowboys one pick before the Redskins in most of the recent mocks I have seen, so I don't think he will be on the board for the Redskins. But if he is, I think he would be a good selection.

They have the Redskins taking Jake Locker in the second round. Like Smith the pick before, I would be surprised to see Locker available at that pick. But I think the Redskins would be ecstatic if he was.

After that it gets a little bit hairy because the Redskins don't pick again for about 100 selections, so we'll just keep it there. I think this would be a good draft for the Redskins, but I also don't think it is a very realistic one.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will The Redskins Go Receiver In The First Round?

Our NFL Draft blog, Mocking The Draft, has come out with the latest edition of their 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and it follows the trend of giving a receiver to the Redskins in the first round. They have the 'Skins taking Georgia receiver A.J. Green, who falls to them at No. 10. Here is their rationale.

At this point, Green represents great value at a position of need.  Washington has a need at the wide receiver position and Green is a potential gamebreaker.  This selection will help the upcoming transition at the quarterback position.

There are a lot of Mocks out there that give the Redskins either A.J. Green or Julio Jones in the first round. I think they should probably go somewhere on the defense with that pick, but if Green is still on the board, I'm not sure they can pass him up. He is one of the best prospects in the draft at any position, so I'm not sure he'll be here at No. 10. But if he is, the Redskins probably can't afford not to take him, even though it would leave their needs on the defensive side of the ball unaddressed.

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2011 NFL Draft: Purdue Defensive End Ryan Kerrigan Visiting The Redskins Tuesday

The 2011 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching, and teams are scrambling to solidify their draft boards. Well, maybe not scrambling, since it's really the only thing they are allowed to focus on, but they are still working hard, I'd imagine. Teams will be hosting prospects at their facilities over the next week or so. According to Aaron Wilson at National Football Post, Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan will be visiting the Redskins on Tuesday.

All-American Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan is scheduled to visit the Washington Redskins today and the New York Jets on Wednesday, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

Kerrigan is an interesting prospect for the Redskins because he isn't a really great fit in their scheme. I don't think he has the ability to play outside linebacker, and he isn't quite big enough to play defensive end in the 3-4. He's a very good player, but he might be better suited as a pure pass rusher in a 4-3 scheme. It is possible, however, that the Redskins are seeing something in him that I don't and envision him as the bookend for Brian Orakpo. And If that is the case, I think they could probably find a better prospect to fill that position (Robert Quinn for starters) who might represent better value at No. 10 overall.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Redskins Take Cameron Jordan In Latest SB Nation Mock

The guys over at SB Nation just came out with their latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and they have the Redskins taking Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan. Here is their rationale.

This is another spot where a pass rusher makes sense, as the Redskins could use a complement to Brian Orakpo. Quarterback is a possibility. Jordan, however, quietly remains this year's most versatile and pro-ready prospect.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I think Cameron Jordan is a great fit for the Redskins. It would be an even better value pick if they are able to trade down a few spots to get him. But Jordan is tailor-made for the defensive end spot in a 3-4 defense, and the Redkins have a huge hole there. He won't make huge home run plays like some of the other higher-profile prospects in this draft, but he will be incredibly solid and should be able to play right away. He's the exact kind of safe pick that the Redskins need to be making.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Redskins Still Linked To Jake Locker

As we approach the 2011 NFL Draft, some names are starting to appear in Mock Drafts around the Internet more than others. And they might not be names that make Redskins fans very happy. the Redskins were reportedly infatuated with Jake Locker before the last Draft, and that interest has led to the Redskins taking him in the various Mocks. The latest is from NFL Draft 101. Here is their rationale.

With the Donovan McNabb experience failing miserably in the nation's capital and with backup Rex Grossman staring free agency in the face, the Redskins are in dire need for a signal caller at some point this offseason. With a lack of free agency, owner Daniel Snyder was unable to make his usual big splash, so I expect the team to go with a guy they've been smitten with for quite some time now. Locker was expected to be a top selection when the Redskins held the fourth overall pick in 2010, and after he decided to stay in school Washington is again a potential landing spot. I think he's a great fit for coach Mike Shanahan's offense, and while there will be a growing period needed I think Locker is the guy the Redskins need.

I'm not sure Locker has the accuracy to succeed as an NFL quarterback, but he does have everything lse you need. And if the Redskins have gotten a good enough look at him and feel comfortable with his accuracy, or at least his ability to improve it, than I won't be too mad about this pick if it happens.

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2011 NFL Draft: Washington Redskins Must Use Pick On Defensive Player

The Redskins have many needs to fill in the 2011 NFL Draft, but none is bigger than the need for more defensive talent in their 3-4 defense. Von Miller would be ideal.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Todd McShay Has the Redskins Going Offense In Latest Mock

We just talked about Mel Kiper's latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft, so now let's turn our attention to his foil at ESPN Todd McShay, who also just released his latest Mock this afternoon. His version looks pretty different from Kiper's which I think reminds all of us how much of a guessing game this whole thing really is. He goes three rounds, but since the Redskins only have picks in the first two, we'll focus our attention there.

In the first round, he has the Redskins taking Julio Jones of Alabama, who is a pretty popular pick for them around the Internet. Here is his rationale.

Jones is worth the pick despite recent surgery to repair a fracture in his foot, and in addition to his pass catching ability he is a perfect fit in an offensive system that requires its receivers to play big roles as blockers in the running game. The Redskins also need major help along the defensive front seven and could trade back in order to get more picks with which to address that need, but if they stay put here Jones makes the most sense.

I think the trading back option might be the most intriguing. The St. Louis Rams would be an interesting trade partner because they need receivers and would love to get their hands on Jones. If the Redskins trade back to 14th, they would still be able to get an impact player like Corey Liuget of Illinois, Mike Pouncey or J.J. Watt (at least in this mock), in addition to the extra picks they would receive from trading back. 

In the second round, he has the Redskins taking Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick. I'm a little worried that Kaepernick would be a bit of a reach that early in the draft, but there are already six other WB's off the board by the time the Redskins pick in the second round. If it comes down to taking the seventh best QB in the draft or another player at a different position of need, I hope the Redskins don't stay committed to taking a QB just for the sake of taking one.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: J.J. Watt To The Redskins In Mel Kiper's Latest Mock

Mel Kiper is the biggest name in the Mock Draft game, so when he comes out with a new Mock Draft, it's fairly big news. Today, he released his latest Mock at ESPN, and did a chat this afternoon to help explain himself. In the first round of his new mock, he has the Redskins taking Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt. Here is his rationale.

One pressing need on the other side of the ball is at defensive end, and Watt has a chance to be a tremendous player at that position. A high-energy guy capable of diagnosing plays, contributing in various schemes, and holding up well against the run while getting after quarterbacks in the pass game, he's the kind of low-risk pick that makes sense for the Skins.

There have been questions about whether or not Watt can play effectively as a defensive end in the Redskins' 3-4 scheme, but if the Skins are comfortable putting him there, he can be a good fit for them. But there are other players still on the board here (Robert Quinn, Da'Quan Bowers, Prince Amukamara and Cameron Jordan) I think the Redskins might like a little bit better.

In the second round, he has the Redskins taking Christian Ponder at No. 41, which is significantly lower than I have seen him in other recent mocks around the Internet. If he is there at that pick, I think it would be a good risk for them.

As for his chat, here are some highlights of his Redskin-centric analysis.

  • He lists four running backs that the Redskins could target in rounds 5-7: Roy Helu (Nebraska), Darren Evans (VT), Bilal Powell (Louisville), Anthony Allen (GT).
  • The Redskins would likely "jump" on Baylor NT Phil Taylor if he is available at No. 41, but he has Taylor going off the board late in the first.
  • If they want to go defense in the first round, it could come down to Quinn and Watt.
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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Redskins Could Go Offense In First Two Rounds

As the 2011 NFL Draft approaches, the Mock Drafts around the Internet are starting to become a little bit more involved and (hopefully) informed. Today, we turn to WalterFootball.com who has some of the most in depth Mocks you'll find. They tackle all the rounds of the Draft, but we're going to focus on the first two for the Redskins for two reasons. First, it's even harder to guess picks in the later rounds than it is in the first, and second, the Redskins don't have any picks in rounds 3-5

In the first round, they have the Redskins taking Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, which is starting to become a trend. Here is their rationale.

Jones makes a ton of sense for the Redskins; with Santana Moss hitting free agency, their top receiver is currently Anthony Armstrong. Something must be done about this. Also, Jones' run-blocking really has to intrigue Mike Shanahan, who will probably have to make do with Ryan Torain again next year.

I'll say about this pick what I've been saying all along - Jones makes sense, but I think there are players at positions that are a greater need that would make more sense. They continue to go offense in the second round with TCU qb Andy Dalton.

Mike Shanahan will draft a quarterback this April. There are rumors that he likes Jake Locker, but Shanahan is usually tight-lipped throughout the draft process. When he selected Jay Cutler, he had never even worked him out.

I'm glad they mentioned Locker, because I found it interesting that they have the Redskins taking Dalton while Locker is still on the board (he goes a few picks later to the Vikings). I think that if they can get Locker in the second round, it will definitely happen. It's dangerous to try and guess which quarterback a team will take based on smoke-screens and misinformation.

Both of these picks make sense, but I think that most Redskins fans would want them to go defense at least once in the first two rounds. And I would expect them to that as well. It would be surprising if they just went offensive skill positions (not even a lineman) in the first two rounds.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Cameron Jordan Would Make Sense For The Redskins

SB Nation has come out with the latest edition of the 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and they have a new name going to the Redskins at No. 10; Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan. Here is their rationale.

There are plenty of flashy routes the Redskins could take here - Julio Jones and Robert Quinn chief among them - but they went relatively conservative with Trent Williams a year ago. Jordan would be conservative, too. He's also a great fit for Jim Haslett.

Finally, a pick that Redskin fans can get on board with. They've had quarterbacks and receivers going here for a little while, but I think Jordan makes more sense than all of them. There aren't any quarterbacks that will be available and worth the tenth overall pick, and the Redskins need to use this pick on a layer who can make a more consistent contribution than a receiver would. Jordan could be that guy.

The Redskins need a lot of help along the defensive line, and Jordan would be an excellent fit at defensive end in their 3-4 scheme. He has shot up draft boards with strong showings at the postseason All-Star games and the combine, and would be good value for the Redskins in the first round. Like they said, he isn't the flashiest pick, but he is very safe and a good system fit. That's exactly the kind of player that the Redskins should be targeting.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Redskins Will Have A Lot Of Options In The First Round

As the NFL Draft approaches, it seems like we have a new Mock to pass along to you every single day. Today's version is from USA Today, who assembled the Super Friends of NFL Mock Draftery. They have six guys making picks for every team in the First Round, and somehow, it's even more confusing then I just made it sound. The only thing they can agree on, is that that they have no idea who the Redskins will draft.

The six different drafters took five different players for the Redskins at No. 10 overall, with Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara being the only player to get two votes. The other four players are Alabama's Mark ingram, Wisconsin's J.J. Watt, Alabama's Julio Jones and Georgia's A.J. Green. Let's break them down.

I think Amukamara would be a good fit for the Redskins but I don't think he'll make it past the Cowboys, and I'm not sure the Redskins want to invest a top-ten pick on a player who plays the same position as DeAngelo Hall, whom they already pay handsomely. They definitely need a running back, but there isn't one in this draft that deserves to go as high as they have Ingram here. Watt is a good player, but I have concerns about what position he would play in a 3-4. Of these picks I like the wide receivers the best, but I don't think that the Redskins will go in that direction.

So let's just call this a swing and a miss for USA Today. Six drafters, five players, and not one I could see the Redskins seriously considering on Draft day. But then again, what do I know?

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2011 NFL Draft Order: Washington Redskins Have Eight Picks

The official 2011 NFL Draft order was released Thursday night, and the Washington Redskins will have eight draft picks. The team gained an additional compensatory pick when those were released, and also got another seventh-round pick from the Indianapolis Colts for the Justin Tyron trade in the summer.

Here are the Redskins' eight draft picks.

 

  • First Round, 10th overall
  • Second Round, 41st overall
  • Fifth Round, 144th overall
  • Fifth Round, 155th overall
  • Sixth Round, 177th overall
  • Seventh Round, 213th overall
  • Seventh Round, 224th overall
  • Seventh Round, 253rd overall
The Redskins do not have a third- or fourth-round pick due to trades for Donovan McNabb and Jammal Brown. They do pick up the Saints' fifth-round pick in exchange for surrendering their fourth-round pick. All other picks are their own originally, except for the final one, which is a compensatory pick.

Six of the Redskins' eight draft picks are past the fifth round, which means the success of this year's draft class may lie with how the team does with those late picks.
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2011 NFL Draft: Redskins Will Host Florida Center Mike Pouncey For Workout

If the name Mike Pouncey sounds familiar, that's because his brother Maurkice Pouncey (more specifically his ankle injury) became the biggest story leading up to the Super Bowl this year. Pouncey was a rookie center for the Steelers, and played well enough to earn a Pro Bowl berth. Now his brother Mike is entering the draft, and the Redskins are reportedly interested in him, via Hogs Haven.

Florida C Mike Pouncey visiting Bengals today, Cowboys April 5 and then Chiefs and Redskins.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

The Redskins hold the tenth overall pick in the draft, and that is much higher than Pouncey has gone in Mock Drafts around the Internet. And that is much higher than most teams are willing to draft a center or guard. But it does show that the Redskins are serious about trying to upgrade their offensive line, and that should be some welcome news.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will The Redskins Target Robert Quinn?

Just in case you weren't aware, SB Nation has a blog that is dedicated to everything NFL Draft, and it is called (quite ironically) Mocking The Draft. They've rounded up contributors from all of SB Nation's NFL team blogs to participate in a Community Mock Draft of the first two rounds that will go right up until the actual draft in April.

For the Redskins' pick, they went to Kevin Ewoldt at Hogs Haven, and he took Robert Quinn, the pass rushing defensive end out of North Carolina. Here is his rationale.

The Redskins only had one player who had more than 2.5 sacks in 2010 - Brian Orakpo. Robert Quinn would seem to be able to change that. He would look great as the pass rusher opposite Orakpo, and would significantly upgrade the 3-4 linebacking corps. If he had played at UNC in 2010, there is no way he would even be available here. We're still shocked he is.

Mocking The Draft contributor Dan Kadar reacts to the pick.

Character is not what should be questioned in Quinn. What should be is whether or not he'd be able to transition to playing linebacker. At North Carolina, Quinn was almost always used moving forward from the defensive end spot. He'll also go to a team being extremely rusty after sitting out the 2010 season.

Quinn is anything but a safe pick, and I think that is something that most Redskins fans would want the team to use their first round pick on this year. There have been enough "potential" guys to bust in Washington that a safe choice might be welcome.

But in terms of talent, Quinn has enough pass rushing ability to get to the quarterback on a regular basis, and should make a frightening bookend for Brian Orakpo. But like Kadar, my biggest concern is in his ability to play in space. If the Redskins are satisfied with his ability to do so, than I think that he would be good value here. But that is a big "if."

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Jake Locker Shows Improved Accuracy During Pro-Day

With the Combine and the Postseason All-Star games far in the rear-view, Pro-Days are the only things left that can dramatically affect how our 2011 NFL Mock Drafts look. And the big boards of the individual teams I suppose, but it's too early to start worrying about that. Jake Locker, someone the Redskins have reportedly had their eye on for quite some time now, had his Pro-day yesterday. According to the Seattle Times, he looked very impressive.

Locker threw 40 passes, his receivers caught 38 of them, continuing Locker's trend of getting better during three months of predraft evaluations.

"I felt like I was able to improve on my combine performance and be a little more consistent and a little more fluid," Locker said. "I was very happy with what I did today."

Let's not forget that Locker could have been the first overall pick had he come out last year. He has slipped down draft boards a little bit this year because he didn't show very good accuracy in his senior campaign. but he has looked better in that regard during all of the post-season events.

I'm not sure the Redskins will want to take him at tenth overall, and I'm pretty sure the fan base would be upset if they did. But if he is still there in the second round (however unlikely), I'm sure he would get a long look from Shanny and the boys.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will The Redskins Take A Chance On Jake Locker?

We're getting closer and closer to the NFL Draft in April, and the Mock Drafts are pouring in faster than ever. Evan Silva just posted his latest at Pro Football Talk, and he has the Redskins taking Washington QB Jake Locker in the first round. Here is his rationale.

Rex Grossman is a free agent, and Donovan McNabb won’t see a dime of his $10 million roster bonus after flopping in his first year under Mike Shanahan. Shanahan’s system requires an athletic quarterback, and Locker is at his best throwing outside the pocket.  He could “develop” for a year behind Grossman.

First off, I don't like that the word "develop" is in question marks. I'm not really sure what that's all about.

But about the actual pick: I agree that Locker is a great fit for Shanahan's offense and an interesting developmental prospect, but I don't think the Redskins can afford to take him this highly after the season he just had. I like taking a chance on Locker, just maybe with the second round pick if he happens to still be available.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Could Georgia's A.J. Green Really Fall To The Redskins?

SB Nation just came out with the latest version of their 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and they have a little bit of a surprise player penciled in for the Redskins. Despite being among the most talented prospects in the draft, they have Georgia's A.J. Green falling to the tenth overall pick in the draft (sort of). Here is their rationale.

I don't believe for a second that Green (and maybe even Julio Jones) lasts this long into round one. Both receivers are ideal trade-up targets. Assuming there is no trade-ups though, I don't think it'd take the Redskins more than ten seconds to hand in their pick.

I agree with both parts of that explanation. There is no way the Redskins would pass on Green at No. 10, but there is also no way that he will still be available for them to draft there. They can't factor in trades in these mock drafts, and if Green falls past the first five picks (which is unlikely in and of itself) someone will pounce on the opportunity to get a player of his caliber by trading up. Simply put, he is just too talented to last this long on Draft day. But again, if he is there for the Redskins, this one is a no-brainer; even if they have needs larger than wide receiver.

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2011 NFL Draft: Redskins Receive Additional Compensatory Seventh-Round Pick

For those bemoaning the Redskins never having enough draft picks, fear not! The Redskins have picked up an additional pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, thanks to the compensatory system. Via Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan, the Redskins will now possess the 252nd overall pick in the draft.

The #Redskins have been awarded a compensatory 7th round pick by the #NFL. The pick will be the 252nd of this year's draft. #Redskins

The pick comes from the trade of Justin Tryon to the Indianapolis Colts last training camp. It's one of 32 picks that were awarded on Friday to 23 teams. Technically, all 32 teams can get one, but teams lose them by making free agent acquisitions. Carolina got three compensatory picks, while Baltimore, Minnesota, the New York Giants, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Tennessee got two apiece.

The Redskins now have the 10th, 41st, 141st, 152nd, 174th, 203rd and 252nd picks in the 2011 NFL Draft.

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2011 NFL Draft: Cam Newton Will Work Out For The Redskins On April 15

With the 2011 NFL Draft just over the horizon, workouts and official team visits will start to pick up in the next few weeks. The Redskins are in need of a quarterback, and one of the top two prospects in the Draft (and one of the biggest lightning rods of controversy) Cam Newton, will be working out for the Redskins in a couple weeks, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post.

Newton will be at Redskins Park on April 15, his agent, Tony Paige said. The Redskins reportedly are among nine NFL teams that have interviews scheduled with the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback.

According to an ESPN report, the other eight teams that have visits scheduled with Newton are the Carolina Panthers, who hold the first pick in the draft, the Denver Broncos (No. 2 pick), Buffalo Bills (third pick), Cincinnati Bengals (fourth pick), Tennessee Titans (eighth), Minnesota Vikings (12th pick) and the Miami Dolphins (fifteenth pick).

Based on how he has performed at his pro day and at the Combine, Newton will probably be off the board before the Redskins have a chance to draft him 10th overall. But you have to cover all your bases when preparing for the draft.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will The Redskins Target A QB In The Second Round?

I'm running out of creative ways to say that the Redskins need a quarterback. I know it, you know it, I assume that Mike Shanahan knows it, and the guys at our NFL draft blog Mocking the Draft certainly know it. So when they came out with their latest second round Mock Draft projection, they had the Redskins taking TCU QB Andy Dalton. Here is their rationale.

Washington is in a tough position because they need to figure out if they have to trade up to get their targeted quarterback.  The Redskins could make a move in either round 1 or 2 but they need to select a quarterback somewhere early.

I like this plan a lot better than maybe reaching for a quarterback with their first round pick, I'm just not totally sold on Dalton. He is a winner, but I don't know that his athleticism or arm strength will be good enough for an NFL QB. Unfortunately, the second round quarterback that has performed the best so far in this process, Christian Ponder of Florida St., goes just a few picks earlier. Maybe in the actual draft, he'll still be around.

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2011 NFL Draft: Redskins Will Consider Drafting A QB Despite Lockout

Quarterbacks have more to learn and need more development than any other position on the football field. Very rarely does a quarterback enter the league in a position to succeed. They need to be molded, and that takes a lot of personal attention from the coaching staff.

The Redskins need a quarterback of the future in the worst way, and this draft might present them with the opportunity to get one. But if the Redskins take a quarterback in this draft, and the lockout forces the NFL to cancel this season, the Redskins would lose a full year of important development time with their new franchise signal caller. According to Mike Jones at the Washington Post, that won't stop them from entertaining the idea.

“No, that doesn’t bother me,” Shanahan said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in New Orleans. “I think everybody’s in the same situation, bringing in a rookie quarterback or even a veteran quarterback. I don’t care what it is, if someone’s not familiar with your system, it’s going to take some time.”

But he also understands that he wouldn't have the chance to bring that quarterback along while the the NFL has locked out its players. In fact, they can't even give him a playbook to look at.

“Nope, can’t even do that,” Shanahan said. “We can draft them but we’re not supposed to have any contact. But everyone, if they draft a quarterback, will be in the same situation. We’ll all be limited with what we can do offensively"

So it sounds like that situation wouldn't just affect a new quarterbacks development, but the entire team's ability to instill a successful offensive system. It isn't just a new quarterback that would suffer in this case, but the team as a whole.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Julio Jones Still Linked To The Redskins

There are a few positions that are very strong in this upcoming NFL Draft. While quarterback is probably the biggest need for the Redskins, the draft might not be the best opportunity for them to address it. Wider receiver is another area of concern for the 'Skins and there are two prospects that could go in the top ten in A.J. Green and Julio Jones. Jones, the big target out of Alabama, continues to be linked to the Redskins in Mock Drafts across the Internet, including SB Nation's Mocking the Draft.

They just released their newest first round mock, and sure enough, they have Jones to the Redskins. Here is their rationale.

The Redskins are very thin at the wide receiver position so the Jones selection seems like logical choice.  Jones has great size and speed giving him the ability to be a true playmaker.  He knows how to use his body in traffic and make the tough catch.

I think Jones would be a very good fit for the Redskins because he is the large target they have been without the past few years and appears to fit seamlessly into their system. Some might want the team to go with a player that can have a more consistent impact than a wide receiver, but If he is available when the Redskins pick, I don't think you can blame them if they go in that direction.

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2011 NFL Draft: Redskins Host Workouts For Ryan Williams, Kendall Hunter And Tyron Smith

As the 2011 NFL Draft approaches, the Redskins will be hosting plenty of prospects at their facility in Ashburn in an effort to get to know some of their potential future players. According to Chris Russell, via Hogs Haven, the Redskins had a few late round running backs in recently, as well as an offensive lineman who might interest them with their first round pick.

Former VTech #Hokies RB & Manassas, VA native Ryan Williams will visit #Redskins Park for private meeting on April 14 & 15.

#Redskins will host USC OT Tyron Smith at #Redskins Park on April 18th. He's a perfect fit in zone.

#Redskins have recently 'expressed interest' in RBs Kendall Hunter (OKST) (Rd 2/3) & hell of a pass pro guy & Evan Royster (PSU) (RD 4-7).

It's no surprise that the Redskins are going to target a running back after they released Clinton Portis, and I think all three of these RB prospects would be good value where Russell projects them to go. As for Smith, he is a little bit of a project, but he could develop into an excellent bookend for Trent Williams for years to come. He might not have the bulk to play left tackle like a lot of teams would expect from a player picked in this range, but he could definitely be a competent right tackle, and a smart pick for the Redskins in the first round.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will Georgia's A.J. Green Fall To The Redskins?

In most of the NFL Mock Drafts that SB Nation has been putting out, they have the Redskins taking Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. He is the second best WR prospect in the draft and would be an excellent fit for the 'Skins. But in their latest version of the 2011 NFL Mock Draft they have the Redskins taking the other WR that is projected to be taken early in the draft. 

Despite being among the best prospects in the draft, SB Nation has Georgia's A.J. Green at tenth overall. Here is their rationale.

If talent alone dictated how the first round falls into place, there's no way Green makes it this far. The Redskins will be looking hard at quarterbacks, but Green is such a dynamic talent that it'd be near impossible to let his fall continue.

I had some reservations about the Redskins taking Jones, but Green might be too good of a prospect to pass up. Having said that, I don't think there is any way for him to make it all the way to No. 10. Like that said, he is talented enough to be taken in the top three, and I don't believe that nine teams will be able to pass him up. But if it did play out this way, Green would be a pretty good choice for the Redskins.

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2011 NFL Draft: Cam Newton To Hold 'Private' Workout With Redskins April 15, According To Report

The Washington Redskins could use a new quarterback, and many NFL Mock Drafts have the team taking one with the No. 10 pick. It's still unclear whether the Redskins will pull the trigger, but in another sign that they are at least considering it, it appears they are bringing in Auburn quarterback Cam Newton in for a private workout on April 15.

At least that's the report from ESPN 980's Chris Russell:

Just got word that the #Redskins will officially & 'privately' work out former Auburn QB Cam Newton on April 15th!  

The development, if true, isn't significant in and of itself because the Redskins bring in players for workouts all the time. However, according to Russell, the Redskins aren't bringing in fellow quarterback prospect Ryan Mallet yet, which is interesting. 

Newton, of course, is up there with Blaine Gabbert of Missouri among quarterback prospects, but teams are worried about his maturity and his mechanics. 

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Blaine Gabbert Scores 42 On Wonderlic Test, Cam Newton 21

Nobody is really sure how important the Womderlic Test is to a player's pro prospects. And nobody, other than those who have taken it, is sure exactly what questions are asked. And nobody know why it is called something as silly as the "Wonderlic." But it is one of the many highly scrutinized things that NFL teams use to analyze potential draft picks.

The results are supposed to be confidential, but nothing stays that way for very long these days. Here are the results of the Wonderlic for the top prospects in this year's draft, according to Chris Mortensen.

QBs prepped more in this era. McElroy 43, Gabbert 42, Ponder 35, Stanzi 30, Dalton 29, Mallett 26, Newton 21, Locker 20. What does it mean?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

The test is out of 50 points, and anything above 20 is seen as satisfactory. Obviously the higher the score the better, but teams really won't start worrying about a player's football IQ until he scores below that mark. So none of these guys have a score that would give teams very much pause.

I believe I am contractually obligated to mention that Dan Marino and Jim Kelly both scored just 15 points on the Wonderlic, so a high score definitely does not preclude you from NFL success. But it might effect where you are drafted.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Could The Redskins Take A Chance On Jake Locker?

Ok, so maybe the NFL is in a lockout. But that doesn't mean we can't still talk about the 2011 NFL Draft, does it? No, I didn't think so. SB Nation just came out with their latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and they have a little bit of a surprise slated to go 10th overall to the Redskins. They think the Redskins will take Washington QB Jake Locker. Here is their rationale.

Once upon a time, Mike Shanahan took a quarterback from a bad program that struggled to complete 60% of his passes No. 11 overall. Jake Locker has better upside and better intangibles than did Jay Cutler, and fits Shanahan's offense well.

I'm not sure Jay Cutler is the best person to compare Locker too if you want to inspire the team or their fans. I think we all remember how that worked out. But that's kind of besides the point, as for Locker himself, I think he presents a lot of risks at the 10 spot.

We know that his accuracy is a question. He has all the physical tools to be successful, but athletic quarterbacks that lack accuracy don't fair very well in this league, typically.

I'm afraid this might be a product of "The Redskins need a quarterback" more so than the "Redskins need Jake Locker." I understand how bad their quarterback situation is. But they need to get a good player with this draft pick at any position more than they need to get just any quarterback. I think Locker would be a pretty significant reach at 10. I'm not sure the Redskins are willing to take that risk. They might (and I hope they do) side with a safer pick at another position.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper Has Julio Jones Going To The Redskins

Ladies and Gentlemen, the hair has descended; and he has brought with him his latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft. Mel iper has come out with his latest Mock Draft (insider only unfortunately), and he has a name that is starting to become pretty familiar going to the Redskins. He thinks that the Redskins might target Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones in the first round. Here is his rationale.

The Redskins are certainly back in the market at the quarterback position, but if they don't do something to upgrade the talent at the wide receiver position it won't matter who they have in there. In Jones you have a physical talent who still offers a lot of upside, but already has good hands, great blocking skills and the ability beat people deep or work the middle. He blazed to a 4.39 40 in Indy while carrying 220 pounds. Jones does carry some durability concerns, but has shown the ability play through nicks.

Jones might go higher than 10 now, after his excellent combine performance. But his foot might also scare some teams off. I could see him thriving in Washington. They just might have to take a defensive player who can have more of a consistent impact instead.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Is J.J. Watt A Good Fit For The Redskins?

The Redskins need help at quarterback and across the skill positions. And in many of the Mock Drafts you will see across the Internet, that is the type of player that is generally given to them. But they also need help along the defensive line as they continue to solidify their 3-4 defense.

With that in mind, SB Nation has given them a little bit more beef up front in their latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft with Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt. Here is their rationale.

There's a chance that Mike Shanahan rolls the dice on a quarterback he likes here. There's also a chance that they take a guy like Julio Jones to bolster their receiving corps. Watt, however, is a rising prospect that would immediately help Jim Haslett's still-evolving 3-4 defense.

Watt is a very good player, but I'm not sure that he has the ability to play a defined position in the 3-4. While he could probably help the Redskins defense, I would think that they would want to take someone who is a more natural fit in the scheme they want to employ.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Julio Jones To The Redskins, Blaine Gabbert No. 1?

And now we see the affects of choosing to throw or not to throw at the NFL Combine. Cam Newton made waves last week when he decided to participate in all the drills, something that not a lot of elite quarterbacks do. Meanwhile, Blaine Gabbert took the conservative approach and decided not to throw. And what happened?

Newton didn't perform very well, and Gabbert didn't have the chance to not live up to expectations. So in SB Nation's newest edition of the 2011 NFL Mock Draft, Blaine Gabbert is the first overall pick, while Cam Newton slides all the way down to twelfth. I guess it's better to avoid potential failure than it is to take a chance on succeeding. Only in America.

As for the Redskins, SB Nation has them taking the same guy they have had them taking a lot this mock draft season, Alabama WR Julio Jones. Here is their rationale.

There are a couple of quarterbacks Washington could consider here, but neither is a snug fit for Mike Shanahan. Wide receiver is a huge need, and Jones - who absolutely dominated in Indianapolis - is a really nice fit both schematically and from a need perspective.

Jones ran an incredible 40-yard-dash time and did so on a broken foot that will require surgery. He should be healthy and recovered by the time the draft comes around, so that won't be much of a problem. he actually measured out as a better overall athlete than A.J. Green in most of the combine categories. He would be a nice fit, if the Redskins can afford to take him.

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2011 NFL Draft: Could Cam Newton Be The No. 1 Overall Pick?

As the 2011 NFL Draft gets closer and closer, the prospect of Cam Newton even being available when the Washington Redskins pick at No. 10 has grown dimmer and dimmer. Redskins fans are divided on whether it even makes sense for the team to use the pick on Newton to fill its quarterback hole, but there's a very good chance he won't even be there to take.

So how high will Newton rise? There's ample sentiment that he'll rise all the way at the top and get drafted No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers. Former Dallas Cowboys personnel man Gil Brandt, who has done research on Newton's background, certainly thinks so, telling the Fort Werth Star-Telegram that he thinks Newton will be the No. 1 overall pick.

"It would shock me... if he's not the first player picked," Brandt said Monday. "If I was drafting and I had Carolina's [No. 1] pick, I'd feel really good about who I was getting as far as ability. I just hope he realizes how hard he needs to work. You can have all the ability in the world but if you don't work like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers, you're only going to be semi-successful."

If teams follow Brandt's lead, the Redskins won't have to worry about Newton. Instead, the question will be whether Blaine Gabbert is worth taking at No. 10.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Does Von Miller Make Sense At Tenth Overall?

Our Redskins blog Hogs Haven has been running a mock draft where four of their members take turns selecting players for the various teams. They did the first eight picks yesterday, but we didn't mention that because I'm not sure that many of you are particularly enthralled with whom the Titans are going to pick. But today they posted picks 9-16 which includes the Redskins at ten. They have the Redskins, who are under the control of Ken Meringolo, taking Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, which was a surprise even to him.

As many of you have read, I have advocated dedicating EVERY possible resource to the rebuilding of our offensive line. With both guns blazing, I have told anyone who would listen that I would be okay with spending both our 1st and 2nd round picks on the offensive line.

Imagine my surprise when I totally went and picked a non-offensive lineman.

Here is his rationale.

If we are going to get serious about the 3-4, then we need to upgrade our linebacking corps. There is no way around that. Von Miller is currently considered the best pass rusher in the draft. That will of course change daily between now and the draft, but with him and Orakpo holding down the OLB spots, I would feel a lot better about our defense. Our blitzing options would increase, as would the thought process opposing offenses would have to engage in prior to each snap.

He also makes sure to mention that the chances that Miller is still on the board at ten are slim, but you can't argue with his, ummm, argument. Miller and Orakpo would probably be the most talented outside linebacker combination in the NFL. But the question is, can the Redskins afford to wait on upgrading other positions of need to completely solidify one? Would help to the offensive line help more than Miller can? What about a defensive lineman? I can't answer that question, and that's why I don't have Bruce Allen's job.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Julio Jones Still An Option For The Redskins

SB Nation has been releasing Mock Drafts for a little while now, but this is the last one of a certain era. Their latest Mock is the last one they will release before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, which makes it the last one before .40 times (aka the most important thing about NFL prospects that has ever existed, ever).

.40 times are helpful for evaluating some prospects, but some GM's can get caught up in them and miss players who are talented in pads but not so much in shorts. It also leads to overvaluing players based solely on speed. So while we will know more about the players next week that will cause some movement on the mock draft board, sometimes your first instinct is correct. Just keep that in mind.

As for their latest mock, SB Nation still has the Redskins taking Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones.

With the top two quarterbacks off the board (and one not really a fit for Mike Shanahan's offense to begin with), the Redskins could either address their defense, or try to boost their very weak receiving corps. Jones is good value and a nice fit in Shanahan's scheme.

I feel like I've said this a hundred times before, but here goes nothing. I love Julio Jones. I think he is a phenomenal football player, and could be a great fit for the Redskins. I also think he represents good value at the tenth spot overall. But I just don't think a Redskins team with so many holes to fill can a2011-fford to take a wide receiver that early in the draft. I don't doubt that he can make a positive impact (particularly with his blocking ability) I just think someone who could be involved in every single play would be more valuable. I love Jones, I'm just not sure the Redskins can afford to take him this year. But I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Is USC OL Tyron Smith A Good Fit For The Redskins?

Our NFL Draft blog, Mocking The Draft, says that Tyron Smith should be drafted in the top ten. The Redskins need help along the offensive line and have the tenth overall selection. It seems like it should be a pretty good fit. So let's learn a little bit more about Smith, the slender tackle with enormous potential.

I am sure everyone has heard that the NFL continues to move to  more of a passing league and in order to be successful you need a star quarterback and someone to protect him.

The Redskins definitely don't have the star quarterback in place that they need to be successful, but building an offensive line before you bring that player in is a good way to keep him healthy before (if ever) he arrives.

Smith is considered small for an elite tackle, but he has a big frame and should be able to add weight throughout his career. I know, it's hard to imagine that any human being that weighs 290+ lbs is underweight, but I'll try to wrap my mind around it. Smith just turned 20-years-old and is a lot stronger than he looks.

If they take Smith, and he turns into the front side tackle that he has the potential to become, the Redskins can put him opposite Trent Williams and have the tackle situation all but figured out for the foreseeable future. That would be a situation that the Redskins are pretty familiar with.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: In Depth Profile Of Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick is one of the quarterback prospects that the Redskins might target if they go somewhere else with the tenth overall selection. Mocking the Draft has a full profile on the mobile quarterback from Nevada.

When it comes to athletic ability Kaepernick is right up there with the likes of Cam Newton.  However, like Cam he struggles with the fundamentals of playing quarterback.  His abilities will intrigue a team and might lead to an earlier than expected selection.  But he is going to need time to develop as his technique is far from NFL ready.  Ultimately, Kaepernick is a player with a ton of upside but legitimate question marks.

The main concern with kaepernick is that his release takes way too long for the NFL. He is very tall and has long arms, so part of that problem is just the time it takes to move a football that distance. But there have been plenty of players who have struggled in the NFL because the pace of the game makes it hard to succeed with a slow delivery.

But Kaepernick is an intriguing option in one of the later rounds, especially if Mike Shanahan likes a quarterback that can move around in the pocket a little bit.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Washington Redskins' Biggest Need Is Quarterback, Says Todd McShay

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay gave a conference call with Redskins reporters to discuss his most recent NFL mock draft and what the Redskins should do come April. In that most recent mock, written on February 10, McShay has the team taking Cam Newton. In the call with reporters, McShay said that quarterback is the Redskins' biggest need, but only Newton and Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert are worth selecting with the No. 10 pick.

Via John Keim of the Washington Examiner:

"Gabbert is more polished," McShay said on a conference call. "Cam has rare overall physical tools and a lot of upside. There's also a boom or bust potential with him. Both could fit their system and if either player is there they will probably take a quarterback.... They're very different players and both will need time to transition."

However, McShay said that both players could be picked before the Redskins, and none of the other prospects are worth taking that high. He did have good things to say about TCU's Andy Dalton, Florida State's Christian Ponder and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick, but only if they are taken in the third round or so. Of course, the Redskins do not have a third-round pick.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Redskins Add Julio Jones And Mike Pouncey

SB Nation has been running a weekly Mock Draft for a little while, but now, we're going 3D with it! Which means that they have expanded the Mock from one rounds to two, doubling the amount of speculative goodness in each update. But the more things change, the more they remain the same, especially at the top of their latest draft. They still have the Redskins taking Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. Here is their rationale.

It's still not a lock that the Redskins will take a quarterback here; should they take another route, an offensive skill talent upgrade makes a ton of sense.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I think Jones would be a great player here, I'm just not sure the Redskins can afford to spend this high of a draft pick on a position that makes such little impact overall. The definition of a luxury pick that the Skins may not be able to justify making. I'll leave it at that. The second round pick, is something that I'm sure most Redskins fans would be on board with; Florida guard Mike Pouncey.

Washington's offensive line is far from perfect, and Pouncey has the athleticism required to thrive in Mike Shanahan's system.

Pouncey would be a great fit if he is around at this point. Guard is usually a position that doesn't go in the first round, so even though Pouncey has a ton of talent, he may be relegated to the second. But if you take him, you can put him next to Trent Williams an solidify the left side of your line for the next ten years. Wouldn't that be nice?

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Cam Newton Impresses At Private Media Workout

Cam Newton held his long-awaited media-only workout in San Diego on Thursday, and by all accounts, he wowed everyone there. Most of the members in attendance that were impressed were writers without any professional playing experience, but one that wasn't was ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer. 

What did Dilfer think of Newton's performance? Via Bruce Feldman, he called it "phenomenal" and said that if scouts saw it, they would be "drooling."  

Feldman, for his part, said that he "can't imagine" any prospect shining in an individual setting more brightly than Newton did on Thursday. Private quarterbacks coach George Whitfield, who has been working with Newton since the season ended, said he wanted to conduct the workout to provide viewers a "snapshot" of Newton's development.

"Cam's whole feeling was there have been other big-time quarterbacks -- [Tim] Tebow, Vince Young -- that have come out, and there has been so much mystery around the offense they played in, their mechanics and, 'How is this stuff going to translate?' Cam just said to himself, 'Not me. I'm going to come right out front and center,'"    

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Cam Newton Atop Six Teams' Draft Boards, According To Report

The biggest puzzle in the 2011 NFL Draft remains Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner that has many questions about his intangibles off the field. However, nobody can deny that he has talent, even though he only showed it for one year.

How talented do general managers think he actually is? So talented that six teams have him ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the entire draft, according to a report by DraftInsider.net. Not just the number one quarterback, but the number one prospect at any position.

Last week in San Antonio at least six different teams said they rank Auburn quarterback Cam Newton as the number one prospect in the draft.  The opinions were comprised from scouts, personnel directors and a few coaches.  All had Newton rated clearly higher than Da'Quan Bowers, Nick Fairley, Marcel Dareus and competing signal caller Blaine Gabbert.  We hear the Miami Dolphins have been inquiring heavily into Newton at this stage of the game.    

It's not clear whether the Redskins are one of those six teams, but as SBNation.com's Brian Galliford reminds us, they do need a quarterback. Then again, if this report ends up coming true on draft night, he probably won't be available when the Redskins pick at No. 10 anyway.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Ryan Mallett's Stock Continues To Fall

The 2011 NFL Draft offers a deep quarterback class that could appeal to the Washington Redskins, but don't expect them to use their No. 10 pick on Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett. Mallett's stock took a hit with a poor Sugar Bowl performance, and it looks like it's falling even further due to some off-field issues. 

NFL.com's Adam Caplan said yesterday that Mallett is "almost certain" to drop out of the first round, due to what he deems "baggage, and not the kind you carry." It's not exactly clear what Caplan means, but it's not the first time this has popped up with Mallett. A month ago, sources told NFL Network's Albert Breer that "off-field concerns" will adversely affect his draft stock. The only thing that really supports this as of right now is a 2009 arrest for public intoxication, but that's hardly a rare thing for a college athlete. 

The thinking here is that Mallett's on-field issues - his lack of mobility, his affiliation with coach Bobby Petrino's spread offense - are just as big a concern for NFL scouts as whatever off-field issues he may have. 

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Scouting Report For Delaware QB Pat Devlin

Every day we seem to be digging deeper and deeper into the quarterback lot, looking at players who will go later and later in the draft. Today, that trend continues, as we look at Delaware QB Pat Devlin. Here is an excerpt from Mocking The Draft's analysis of Devlin, and it doesn't sound so good.

Devlin possesses some good skills but the fact that he didn't dominate in division II brings some concerns.  He also struggled at the East/West shrine game which has negatively impacted his draft stock.  The biggest concern is his arm strength and whether or not he will be able to make the necessary throws in the NFL.  I didn't see anything that makes me believe that he can make those throws.  However, he has some potential as a game manager type quarterback.  Look for Devlin to be in the 4th or 5th round discussion.

It seems like Devlin has entered the Draft conversation because he has good size for the possession and excellent composure. But the fact that he can't make all of the throws is a huge concern. I'm not sure the Redskins, particularly Mike Shanahan, would be happy with a Chad Pennington type guy at quarterback moving forward. I'm sure they would want someone with a little bit of a stronger arm.

But composure is an important characteristic in an NFL quarterback, so Devlin should definitely be looked at in the later rounds of the upcoming draft.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Scouting Report For Florida St. QB Christian Ponder

There is no question that the Redskins need a new quarterback. But there is some debate, however, as to whether or not they should spend their first round pick on one. One idea is to take a different player in the first round, and try to find a quarterback prospect later. One such prospect is Florida State's Christian Ponder. Here is a scouting report on him from Mocking The Draft.

I really like Christian Ponder as an NFL quarterback prospect.  He doesn’t have the physical attributes like others in this draft but he has a better feel for the game.  The things that will really hold him back are his arm strength and injury history.  But overall he has the accuracy, fundamentals, and anticipation to succeed as an NFL quarterback.  At this point I would only select Ryan Mallett and Blaine Gabbert ahead of Ponder and that is due to their upside.  Ponder is a 2nd or 3rd round talent that is more polished but possessing less potential.  However, he has the tools to be a successful quarterback in the NFL.

It will be a gamble to wait on ponder for a later round because he just had a very impressive senior bowl, and teams always seem to fall in love with quarterbacks. it wouldn't surprise me at all if some team decided that they absolutely had to have Ponder and traded up into the first round to make sure they got him. I just hope that team isn't the Redskins, because they can't afford to package any of their picks together.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Julio Jones To Washington Redskins In Latest Projections

Now that Super Bowl XLV is over, it's time to turn our attention to the draft. The Redskins have the 10th pick, and according to the latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft over at SBNation.com, the team will use that pick on Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones.

There is an abundance of 3-4 talent available here that Washington may consider, but this is a deep year for defensive linemen. Jones is favored to Georgia's Green by some NFL scouts, and the Redskins need a lot of help at the receiver position.    

Jones would certainly give the Redskins the kind of gamebreaking talent they may be losing if Santana Moss signs elsewhere, but given the struggles of the Redskins' defense last year, it probably makes little sense to pass on so many players who could conceivably fit in the 3-4 defense. Here is a list of defensive lineman and linebackers selected after Jones in this mock draft.

  • Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri (11th)
  • Cameron Jordan, DE, California (14th)
  • Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue (16th)
  • J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin (18th)
  • Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa (20th)
  • Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia (21st)
  • Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon (24th)
  • Cameron Hayward, DE, Ohio State (28th)
  • Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA (30th)
Not all of those guys would be perfect fits for Jim Haslett's system, but they surely would fill a bigger need than a big-play wide receiver, even though Jones is a special talent. 
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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Julio Jones, Alabama Wide Receiver, To The Redskins

The Senior Bowl is over, which means NFL teams will have to use non-football performances to evaluate players from here on out. There will be a lot of players who move up and down draft boards when the Combine and various pro days come around. But for the vast majority of players, the lion's share of the evaluation process has come to a close. So let's refer to this as the first Mock Draft of the rest of your life.

SB Nation just released their first Mock Draft of the next era of speculation, and the result is still the same for the Redskins as it was last week. They have the 'Skins taking Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. Here is what they have to say about the fit.

This would be an intriguing scenario for Mike Shanahan, who would have his pick of the quarterback crop here. They'd still give serious consideration to Jones, one of the draft's most under-appreciated prospects that some believe will be a better pro than Georgia's Green.

I'll say again what I said last week. I think Jones would be a very good fit with the Redskins, and that they would be a much better team for having him. But I'm not sure that he represents the most possible improvement the Redskins acquire with a top ten pick. Some help on the offensive and defensive line might be a more stabilizing force.

An interesting thing to note about this particular mock is that SB Nation doesn't have a quarterback going before Blaine Gabbert to the Minnesota Vikings at 12. They had the Redskins taking a quarterback for the first few mock drafts before assigning them Jones in the last few. It's odd that there aren't any quarterbacks in the top 11 picks, but none of the premier prospects set themselves apart in the post season all-star process. After the Senior Bowl it might make more sense for the Redskins to wait and take a different prospect, like game MVP Christian Ponder, in one of the later rounds.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Cam Newton's Media-Only Workout Questioned

Cam Newton continues to follow his own path as he prepares for the 2011 NFL Draft. The Auburn quarterback is having his own private workout in front of the media only. No scouts, no NFL personnel. Just media. The workout will take place on February 10, and will last for anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.

Unsurprisingly, this arrangement has ticked off a number of NFL personnel people. Rob Rang of CBS Sports talked to a number of high-level scouts, and all of them wondered what Newton has to gain in this situation. One put it in these words:

"The Newtons would be best to realize they aren't in college anymore. Regardless of how good he looks for [the media], there isn't going to be a bidding war for him. We're not recruiting him. They could wind up turning more people against them than for them with this [workout]."    

That seems hard to believe, but it's still an odd arrangement, one that has been dubbed a "publicity stunt" by a NFL executive quoted in Rang's piece.

Then again, the private workout doesn't preclude other workouts with team personnel. George Whitfield, the quarterbacks coach that set the workout up, said the real purpose is simply to differentiate Newton from Vince Young or JaMarcus Russell. That would seem to indicate that the workout is simply an additional step beyond what normal prospects go through during the pre-draft process. Maybe those scouts are overreacting. 

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper Evaluates Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker In Redskins Media Conference Call

ESPN's NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper gave a conference call to Redskins reporters, during which he discussed whether a number of the top quarterback prospects - Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker among them - would be good fits for the Redskins at No. 10. Kiper currently has the Redskins taking Newton with the 10th pick, and he said he's sticking to it (via Larry Weisman).

Kiper said Newton has "all the upside you want," according to Rich Campbell of the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. Newton would have to be "molded," Kiper said, and the important thing is whether his intangibles are sound. If so, he should be a good pick for the Redskins, Kiper said.

As for Locker, Kiper was not impressed. Via Ryan O'Halloran of Comcast SportsNet:

 "Sub-par year against college defenses ... And I'm being kind calling it sub-par."    

Kiper even downplayed Washington's win over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl, saying the Cornhuskers "didn't show up." He added that if Locker couldn't get it done against college defenses this year, he probably won't get it done in the pros. Via Campbell, he actually ended up comparing Locker to Kyle Boller, which isn't flattering. 

As for Gabbert, via Campbell, Kiper said he was intriguing, but there are concerns that the system at Missouri inflated his numbers.

On the whole, Kiper said he thinks the Redskins need a young quarterback, not merely a stop-gap option. 

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Julio Jones Taken By The Redskins In SB Nation's Newest Mock

SB Nation has come out with a new Mock Draft and surprise, surprise, they don't have the Redskins taking a quarterback. They have the Redskins turning their attention to another aspect of their struggling offense that needs help, pegging them to take Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. Here is what they have to say about his fit.

With Gabbert off the board, it's anyone's guess which of the remaining QB prospects Mike Shanahan might prefer. He couldn't go wrong advocating for Jones; the team really needs a top wideout, and some believe Jones is the best receiver available this year.

I personally think that Jones would be an excellent fit for a Redskins team that is in need of a big playmaker at the wideout spot. When he was coming out of high school, Jones was considered one of the elite prospects in the nation along with Georgia's A.J. Green.

Jones made a lot of plays during his career at Alabama, but he was never the game controlling player that many people projected him to be; and I don't think that is really his fault. He went to a school that didn't feature him as the focal point of their offense like he could have been had he went to a school with less talent around him. Alabama had to spread the wealth, so while Jone was their biggest threat through the air, he had to share the rock with a lot of the players around him.

As a player he is a great fit for the Redskins. He has the height, speed and ability after the catch to be a big time threat in the Redskins offensive system. They could be the beneficiary of having two top flight WR prospects in this draft, because if A.J. Green had decided to stay in school, Jones would be the top prospect by far, and might not be on the board when they are picking.

In terms of skill position players, Jones is somewhat of a sure thing, I believe. Receiver is considered a bit of a luxury pick, and I'm not sure the 'Skins can afford to take him. But if they are set on improving their offense and there isn't good value at this pick for an offensive lineman, Jones would be a good pick.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: A Large Number Of Mocks Have The Redskins Taking A QB

Mock drafts are by no means an exact science. In fact, one could argue that they are the furthest thing from that. It's mostly just speculation from people who have no more inside information than you or me. It's mostly just opinion, actually.

But they are a good measure of public opinion. They can help solidify public opinion, and give a good idea of what most people consider to be a team's biggest needs. This year, for this Redskins team, that perceived need is quarterback. If you haven't seen D.C. Pro Sports Reports Mock Draft Database, you need to check it out. It compiles mock drafts from all over the Internet, with a focus on the Redskins. They recently updated, and many of the mocks listed have the Redskins going signal caller in the first round.

According to the Database there are 147 mock drafts taken into account. Of those 147, 60 have the Redskins taking a quarterback. Which is a pretty high number considering there are 22 positions on a football field and the Redskins need help at all but three or four of them. Here is how those 60 votes break down across the four quarterbacks that are considered mid-to-high first round picks.

Cam Newton - 18

It's no surprise that Newton garners the most votes. He has been one of the hottest names in terms of the Redskins pick over the last few days. even if it's just among those who write about the draft on the Internet, Newton's name continues to pop up.

Jake Locker - 17

Locker could have been the number one pick last year, and now I see him as a little bit of a reach at 10. If the Redskins really like Locker, I think they could probably trade down and get him a little bit later.

Blaine Gabbert - 13

After Andrew Luck pulled out of the draft, Gabbert became the consensus top quarterback in the class. He is so far down on this particular list because many of the mock drafts him him going before the Redskins would have an opportunity to draft him. If he is available at 10, he would likely be a strong possibility.

Ryan Mallett - 12

Mallett's stock has dropped significantly since his BCS Bowl performance. Like Locker, I think he would be a bit of a reach at the 10 spot. I don't expect his stock to rise any further at the combine either based on his limited mobility. This is one of the guys I would very much not like to see the Redskins draft.

So there you have it, if you ask those of us on the Internet who don't really know anything other than our own opinion, the Redskins are DEFINITELY going to take a quarterback.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Scouting Texas A&M Linebacker Von Miller

I know, I know. You want the Redskins to take a quarterback. Wouldn't that just be so neat?!?!? But there are plenty of good players in the draft, and a quarterback might not be the best available prospect when the Redskins pick at 10th overall. In fact, based on the list of draft eligible candidates, it is highly likely that will be the case. so it behooves us to look at some of the other available prospects.

One player I have seen linked to the Redskins in a number of mock drafts is Texas A&M defensive end/outside linebacker Von Miller. Miller played DE in college, but he'll probably be switching to a 3-4 outside linebacker when he gets to the pros, which is the exact system the Redskins run. For more on Miller, we turn to SB Nation's draft blog, Mocking The Draft:

Right now, Miller just doesn't have the lower body strength to consistently play his side of the field. Will enter the NFL raw in pass coverage and suspect against the run. Was mostly used at A&M as an upfield player and will start his pro career in the same role. If a team needs someone to purely get after the quarterback, that's Miller. He could be a big-time mover up draft boards, similar to Matthews two years ago and Koa Misi in 2010.

Mocking the draft compares Miller's pass rushing ability to Green Bay's Clay Matthews, which is pretty high praise. He has some other holes in his game, but that might be the result of playing on the line in college. He could certainly learn coverage techniques and how to play the run while training as a full time linebacker at the next level.

How he would fit on the Redskins is a little bit of a question mark. As I said he would play 3-4 outside linebacker, a position currently occupied by one of the Redskins' best players, Brian Orakpo. You need two of those guys, but having one player at that position who is already established makes Miller a bit of a luxury pick. Which is something the Redskins can't really afford to do.

Paired with Orakpo, he would form a pretty scary pass rushing combination off the edge. But is that the kind of thing the Redskins need more than help at wide receiver or on either of the lines? I think it comes down to the best player available when the Redskins pick. If that is Miller, than I could see them taking him and being set at outside linebacker for the next half decade.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Redskins Showing Interest In Texas A&M QB Jerrod Johnson

We knew the Redskins would at least be interested in a quarterback during the NFL Draft in April, but I'm not sure this is the kind of quarterback everyone had in mind. Hogs Haven has just posted a little exchange they had with one of the SB Nation NFL bloggers who is at the East/West Shrine Game, and you might be surprised to find out which QB the 'Skins are showing interest in.

[Hogs Haven]: I know the Redskins are there. Are we in stealth mode??

[Big Cat Country blogger Alfie Crow]: Saw the Skins talking to Jerrod Johnson, QB from TAMU... who's been awful. Most of the Skins scouts were old guys hobbling around. Kid you not.

Steelers blogger: haha, thats funny. I believe it. There's a reason the skins are miserable and it probably has a lot to do with scouting.

Well thanks a lot for rubbing it in, unnamed Steelers blogger. Don't you think we already knew that? As for Johnson, if you hadn't heard about him in a while, its because he had a pretty terrible 2010 season. Hogs Haven has a little bit more on him.

Johnson, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder in the off-season, began the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate.But he struggled at times with his accuracy and seemed to have less zip on his passes than in previous seasons.

He threw nine interceptions in a three-week stretch that led to his demotion. Johnson conceded Monday that coming back from the surgery was "a little bit" harder than he anticipated but he did not regret the decision to have it.   

Johnson obviously wouldn't be in consideration for the tenth overall pick in the first round, but he may be an option if the Redskins decide to go in another direction early. In fact, if they take him late on the third day, they could do a lot worse than to bring in a QB with a ton of physical talent. He may never materialize, but not many guys drafted that late do.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert Among Those On Official Early-Entry List

We now know which underclassmen are officially eligible for the 2011 NFL Draft. The NFL just released the early-entry list, and it includes 56 players. The most notable names on there include Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green and Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallet. 

Newton and Gabbert in particular have been projected to get drafted in the Redskins' range by many different mock drafts. However, there are other names on this list that could also go there, and there are obviously many others who might be available later in the draft.

Here is the complete list of players, via SBNation.com.

Player

Pos.

College

Adams, Darvin

WR

Auburn

Austin, Marvin

DT

North Carolina

Ayers, Akeem

LB

UCLA

Baldwin, Jon

WR

Pittsburgh

Bowers, Da'Quan

DE

Clemson

Brown, DeAndre

WR

Southern Mississippi

Burton, Brandon

DB

Utah

Casey, Jurrell

DT

Southern California

Clay, John

RB

Wisconsin

Claytor, Nick

T

Georgia Tech

Cobb, Randall

WR

Kentucky

Dareus, Marcell

DE

Alabama

Doss, Tandon

WR

Indiana

Evans, Darren

RB

Virginia Tech

Fairley, Nick

DT

Auburn

Gabbert, Blaine

QB

Missouri

Green, A.J.

WR

Georgia

Gurley, Tori

WR

South Carolina

Guy, Lawrence

DT

Arizona State

Hamler, Jamel

WR

Fresno State

Harper, Jamie

RB

Clemson

Harris, Brandon

DB

Miami

Hill, Will

DB

Florida

Houston, Justin

LB

Georgia

Hynoski, Henry

RB

Pittsburgh

Ingram, Mark

RB

Alabama

Jones, Julio

WR

Álabama

Keiser, Thomas

LB

Stanford

Leshoure, Mikel

RB

Illinois

Lewis, Dion

RB

Pittsburgh

Lewis, Javes

DB

Oregon

Little, Greg

WR

North Carolina

Liuget, Corey

DT

Illinois

Mallett, Ryan

QB

Arkansas

Moore, Rahim

DB

UCLA

Newton, Cam

QB

Auburn

Parr, Zane

DE

Virginia

Peterson, Patrick

DB

Louisiana State

Quinn, Robert

DE

North Carolina

Ridley, Stevan

RB

Louisiana State

Rodgers, Jacquizz

RB

Oregon State

Rudolph, Kyle

TE

Notre Dame

Sands, Robert

DB

West Virginia

Sash, Tyler

DB

Iowa

Siliga, Sealver

DT

Utah

Smith, Aldon

DE

Missouri

Smith, Torrey

WR

Maryland

Smith, Tyron

T

Southern California

Tarrant, Jerrard

DB

Georgia Tech

Todman, Jordan

RB

Connecticut

Vereen, Shane

RB

California

Watt, J.J.

DE

Wisconsin

Wilkerson, Muhammad

DT

Temple

Williams, Aaron

DB

Texas

Williams, Ryan

RB

Virginia Tech

Wilson, Martez

LB

Illinois

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Cam Newton Still A Possibility For The Redskins

Another day, another NFL Mock Draft to analyze. One theme that I keep seeing over and over again is the Redskins taking a quarterback. I'm not sure if they need a quarterback more than any other team in the draft, if their need happens to match up with the value of players available when they might be selected or if the public nature of their quarterback situation is influencing the Mocker's minds. But for whatever reason, mock draft after mock draft has tabbed the Redskins to take a quarterback.

SB Nation's draft blog Mocking The Draft just released their newest mock version and they have the Redskins taking Cam Newton.

Rex Grossman is Washington's starting quarterback. Does anyone really think Grossman is the long-term answer for Washington? What he could be is a stop gap for a developmental quarterback. If that's the case, there may be no better developmental player in this draft than Newton.

Their logic is sound in analyzing the Redskins need for a quarterback, I'm just not sure that Newton is the best prospect or just the best quarterback available. It's worth noting that Blaine Gabbert, the Missouri quarterback who has been linked to the Redskins in various other mocks, is already off the board by the time the Redskins pick in this one.

The big question is whether or not Cam Newton's style of play will translate to the NFL game. He has all the physical tools one would look for in a quarterback, but there have been many players like him who dominated in college but failed to make a serious impact in the pros. I would like to think that he is different than those players, but there really isn't any way to be sure.

If the Redskins feel that Newton is the type of player who could succeed at the next level, then I think he represents the best possible situation for the Redskins at this pick. Nothing instills hope into a fanbase more than bringing on a "quarterback of the future," and one with Newton's athletic ability would certainly bring a lot of optimism to the franchise. Having said that, if he turns out to be a bust, then it could set the franchise back five years or more.

If this was a Madden franchise that I was running, I would definitely take Newton. But the stakes are considerably higher here. There are other positions of need that the Redskins can fill over quarterback if they feel a better prospect is still on the board. Drafting by position is what keeps teams near the top of the draft, it's always safest to just take the best talent available. If that happens to be a quarterback, than so be it. But I just hope the Redskins aren't married to the idea of getting their quarterback of the future, when they should be looking to just improve the team the best way they can.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Blaine Gabbert, Von Miller And Julio Jones All Possibilities For The Redskins

I'm no expert, but it seems to me that NFL Mock Drafts take up somewhere in the range of 40% of all content on the Internet. It could be more, but I'm not sure. They are constantly changing, so we'll try and keep up with them over the next three months or so. As of right now, the hottest name on these mock drafts in terms of the Redskins is Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert. Here is what Running The Zone, one of the sites that has the Redskins taking Gabbert, says about the decision.

A proven veteran who’s played in many big games to a quarterback who plays in a gimmick offense that doesn’t usually translate to the NFL? Sounds like Mike Shanahan might have made the wrong call on that one. But if there is a quarterback on the board, the Redskins almost certainly have to go that route, unless they want to roll with Rex "I fumble a lot" Grossman.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it does kind of make sense. The Redskins need a quarterback and they may feel compelled to take one even if it isn't the best value where they pick. Let's cross our fingers that doesn't happen.

If the Redskins choose to go defense, one of the prospects who may make sense is Texas A&M pass rushing specialist Von Miller. Here is more on Miller from one of the sites that has the Skins taking him, Qi Sports.

Andre Carter did not work out in that 3-4 Defense so he probably won't be back. Von Miller as the other Rush-LB on the other side of Brian Orakpo would be SCARY! 

True dat. But I do question whether it makes sense for the Redskins to take a guy who plays the same position as arguably their best player when they have so many other holes to fill. But Miller won the Butkus award this year and would really help their defense. If he is the best player on the board when the Redskins pick, then they have to seriously consider pulling the trigger.

One of the other possibilities is that the Redskins choose to help out their offense at a position other than quarterback, namely at wideout. The Redskins could use a big play making receiver opposite Santana Moss and there should be one available to them when they draft. A.J. green will be long gone, but Alabama's Julio Jones should be available. Here is more on Jones and how he fits in the Redskins from FF Toolbox.

Washington needs to give McNabb (or Grossman) some weapons if either of them is going to succeed. Shanahan has proven he can run the ball with almost anybody and adding Jones to Moss, Cooley, and Fred Davis would give the Redskins offense a chance while they rebuild the defense and look for their next franchise signal caller.

Jones would be a good fit here in Washington, but I'm not sure that the Skins can afford to make that kind of pick in such an important draft. You can find good receivers in the later rounds, the Skins may need to take someone who can have a bigger impact this early. We'll keep you updated on the trends as they change.

 SR

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Blaine Gabbert Projected To Be In Redskins Range

SB Nation has come out with a new version of their 2011 NFL Mock Draft and not much has changed for the Redskins. They still have the 'Skins taking Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Here is their rationale.

Mike Shanahan appears to have a short-term starter for his team in Rex Grossman - who'd have guessed we'd be reading that sentence a year ago? - but the team still lacks a long-term answer. Gabbert isn't ready to play by any stretch, but he's got the tools and the smarts to eventually be a good player in Shanahan's system.

Let's go a little more in depth with Gabbert, because with the Redskins need for a qb and his talent level, he seems likehe could be a very real possibility for them. Here is part of his writeup from SB Nation's NFL Draft site Mocking the Draft.

As a pocket passer, Gabbert is loaded with potential. The first noticeable thing about Gabbert is his size. He maybe a legit 6-foot-5 and has and NFL frame at 235 pounds. His arm strength is at a top level, he gets great ball placement and his throwing motion is crisp and sound. Some of the bigger concerns about Gabbert – coming from a spread where he doesn't have to make many reads – are disconcerting but coachable. Because of that, Gabbert may be the kind of quarterback who is taken in round one but could be better served with a year as a backup.

So that may mean a full year with Rex Grossman as your starting quarterback of the Washington Redskins. That may not be the most attractive concept for Redskins fans, but if they have a "QB of the future" waiting in the wings, it may be something that they can stomach.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Cam Newton Projected To Be Picked In Redskins' Range

Now that Cam Newton has gone pro, he will officially become the most scrutinized player in the draft. People will dive into his on-field performance, his mechanics, and, mostly, his off-field concerns. As a matter of fact, SB Nation's Mocking The Draft says that Newton is the most polarizing player out there.

Newton is a rare talent. With his size, athleticism and arm strength, Newton has more potential than any player in this year's draft. That alone will get him picked in the first round. He also displays great leadership skills that are impossible to teach. In only one year at Auburn, the Tigers rallied around Newton and he led them to a  national title.

But his negatives may scare some teams off completely. Newton will have to greatly refine all of his mechanical flaws if he wants to succeed in the pros. His field vision and pocket poise are average, at best. Then there are the questions about his character - fair or not. He's had multiple off-field issues and has bounced around from Florida to Blinn Junior College to Auburn.     

But as of right now, it looks like Newton will indeed be within the range of the Redskins' 10th overall pick. SB Nation's Joel Thorman took a look at some prominent mock drafts, and all have Newton going within the 7-16 range of the first round. None have him going to the Redskins, but as we all know, the Redskins need a quarterback, so Newton is certainly a possibility. 

A lot can change though in a few months, especially for a guy like Newton whose stock is so dependent on the interview process. 

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2011 NFL Draft: Cam Newton Officially Decides To Go Pro

Not that there was any doubt, but Auburn quarterback Cam Newton will officially be a part of the 2011 NFL Draft. The Heisman Trophy Winner announced he will put his name into the draft yesterday, saying it was best for his family. 

"This decision was difficult for me and my family," Newton said. "After talking to Coach Chizik and Coach Malzahn, I think it is best that I make that next step in my career and forgo my senior season and enter the NFL Draft. It was a very hard decision for me, especially after coming off the great season we had at Auburn. I'm blessed to have been around an excellent environment and have great teammates, coaches and support from the Auburn family."

Newton is obviously the big unknown this year, as draft experts disagree about his pro potential. He's expected to go in the first round, but where is the big question. The Redskins have a big need for a quarterback, and they have had a tendency to go for the big splash, so he will be linked with the Redskins all the way up to the draft. On the other hand, the Redskins could go with another quarterback prospect, like Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Mallet or even Jake Locker, and they could also elect to fill one of their other holes. 

Either way, Newton was going to be a possible selection for the Redskins. Now, we know it's official.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Nick Fairley Leads List Of Defensive Line Prospects For The Redskins

We've spent a lot of time wondering which quarterbacks may be the best option for the Washington Redskins at the 2011 NFL Draft, but there's a school of thought that going with a quarterback isn't a good idea. Instead, many feel the Redskins should focus on the defensive line. In particular, the Redskins desperately need a nose tackle.

So who might be available to the Redskins at No. 10 if that happens? Here are a couple possibilities. All three may be off the board before the 10th pick, but if not, they are the consensus top three defensive tackles in the draft.

Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

Fairley is a hot name right now because of the way he dominated Oregon in the BCS Championship Game. He consistently got behind the line of scrimmage and stopped Oregon's running plays before they started. Considering the Redskins' need for a nose tackle, Fairley is a name that surely will draw interest. However, he will probably be off the board before the No. 10 pick.

The other issue for Fairley is whether he would be able to adapt to a 3-4 defense. SB Nation's Mocking the Draft has its doubts:

As a three-technique tackle, Fairley's game is pressure and quickness. His game isn't based on strength. That showed early in the national title game when Fairley was controlled pretty well in the first quarter.    

Regardless, Fairley probably won't be available at No. 10.

Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

Dareus has declared for the 2011 NFL Draft, a smart decision because he is shooting up the draft boards. Unfortunately for Redskins fans, he has a lot of the same weaknesses as Fairley. Alabama's defense fell off a bit this year in part, and Dareus missing two games didn't help. He's also more of a pass rusher than a guy who can play in a two-gap system.

Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State

Now here is a guy who may be more up the Redskins' alley. Paea is not an elite pass rusher, mostly because he doesn't really have outstanding lateral quickness, but he has been a rock in the middle of Oregon State's rush defense. He isn't the most technical player, but he has the size and strength to be a run blocker in the center of a 3-4 defense. As Mocking the Draft writes:

Paea might not be the widest of bodies, but he is a rock in the middle of Oregon State's defense. He anchors especially well because of his lower body strength. He's hard to move off the line and routinely requires double teams. As a senior, Paea faced a lot of triple teams in the run game.    

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: More On Quarterback Possibilities For the Redskins

We've been talking about quarterback prospects who could entice the Redskins seemingly since Rex Grossman was named the starter towards the end of the season. John Keim breaks down the prospects at the Washington Examiner, including a bunch of prospects we have already talked about here; Ryan Mallett, Cam Newton, Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert. But he also talks about a couple other guys that we haven't mentioned who should be available to the 'Skins in the later rounds.

First, Delaware's Pat Devlin:

He's from the same school as Joe Flacco, but does not have the same rocket arm as the Ravens quarterback. Devlin is accurate, giving receivers a chance to run with the ball after the catch. He has an OK arm, but he does a lot of other things well, such as setting up quickly and with good mechanics. But the question in some expert's minds: downfield arm strength.

"The Redskins like to roll out and throw deep balls," Lande said. "That's where he would have trouble."

Next, Nevada's Colin Kaepernick:

Lande calls him the second best quarterback in the draft -- and a guy Shanahan might love -- though he rates him as a second-rounder. The 6-foot-6 Kaepernick is faster than Newton and has a strong arm -- with no questions about his character. The big question, though, is Nevada's run-option system, an offense that hasn't produced NFL quarterbacks.

It might make sense for the Redskins to take one of these guys, or another quarterback in one of the later rounds, because taking a quarterback carries a lot of risk. None of the guys with first round grades are sure things, so the 'Skins could look for help at another position early then try to find a quarterback prospect they like later.
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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Cam Newton Inspires Mixed Reviews In BCS Championship Game

Both teams were playing for a BCS National Championship last night, but no one player had as much on the line as Cam Newton. Because he only has one year of full-time starting experience against high level opposition, nobody is really sure how his Heisman skills will translate to the NFL. This game would be Newton's best opportunity to show the Country, and NFL scouts, that he is worthy of a high first round pick.

So how did he play? Pretty good. Not great, but not horribly. Overall solid, I guess. He certainly didn't play at the level we had grown accustomed to this year, but he did play well enough to win, and that certainly means something. But Oregon wasn't the best defense that Newton faced this year, and they made him seem human when he had been anything but all season long. So what does all that mean for his draft stock?

Our old friend Michael Wilbon wrote on ESPN.com that Newton's ability to play through pain was inspiring, and that there is no way he shouldn't be the first overall pick in April's NFL Draft.

The reports that A.J. Green, the Georgia receiver, ranks higher on some NFL draft boards than Newton is laughable. Talent evaluators sometimes overthink these things, such as when they decide the Matthews boys should be passed over in favor of others who are supposedly more talented. Sure, right.

Strong words from someone with no history of professional talent evaluation. Newton has shown that he has the talent to be an elite quarterback, but let's not forget that there are reasons that this is his first season of competitive football. I personally think Newton will be able to play in the NFL, but it is far from the lock that he makes it out to be; and I've been known to be wrong about that type of thing before.

It's easy for Wilbon to make those claims when his job wouldn't be on the line for making that pick and he isn't the fan of a team that could make a potentially franchise altering decision. Niners Nation, our San Fransisco 49ers blog is pleading that their team not spend their sixth overall pick on Newton.

if there's one thing I can take from the game, it's that I do not, under any circumstances, want Cam Newton as the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers next season. I'm not basing it solely off of that game, but it definitely affirmed and solidified my position. He's just not that great of a passer, he doesn't make the best decisions and he's not all-that accurate. I see no upside to drafting him, honestly. I don't really know who I want at this point, but I imagine the picture will become a bit clearer in the coming months.

When it boils down to it, taking Newton is a risky proposition for an NFL franchise. When you're drafting high in the first round, a risk is the last thing you want to take. He could pay off big, but missing on a selection in the top ten, particularly at quarterback, could really hurt a franchise. But it only takes one team to fall in love with a guy to make him a top ten pick. That team very well could be the Redskins, if they feel that he has enough talent to make it worth the risk at tenth overall.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Reaction To Nick Fairley's Dominant BCS Championship Game

Cam Newton was probably the biggest name in the BCS Championship Game but he didn't have the best performance, and he certainly won't be the player picked highest when the NFL Draft rolls around in April. That distinction goes to Nick Fairley, Auburn's dominant defensive tackle who spent most of his time in the Oregon backfield last night.

Chris Low had some quotes on ESPN.com from Fairley himself and those most affected by his performance, namely Oregon coach Chip Kelly.

“Nick Fairley proved he was the best defensive lineman in the country. It was a tough matchup for us,” Kelly said

As for Fairley, he was ready to take the credit as a defensive unit as opposed to just personal accolades.

“Man, our defense … we showed America everything we’ve done each and every Saturday out there on the field,” Fairley said. “Like I said, we’ve been doing this for 14 weeks.”

Fairley was already a consensus top ten pick, but with his performance last night he vaulted himself into the conversation for first overall pick. If he was even remotely thought about as a possibility for the Redskins at ten overall, then those notions can be laid to rest. I wouldn't expect him to last any later than the first three or so picks.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation's Latest Mock Has Redskins Taking QB Blaine Gabbert

SB Nation is compiling a new mock draft each and every Monday and this week's edition has good news for Redskins fans that want the team to spend its first round pick on the quarterback of the future; if you put a lot of stock in what these mocks mean for actually draft strategies that is.

The Mock Draft that came out today has the Redskins taking Blaine Gabbert, the Missouri quarterback that declared himself eligible for the draft last week. Here is what they have to say about how he fits.

Mike Shanahan tried the veteran quarterback route in 2010, and now Donovan McNabb is on his way out of D.C. Expect the Redskins to stick with Rex Grossman in the short-term while Shanahan works with another project.

I think that Gabbert would be a great pick for the Redskins. He would give the fan base the optimism and hope that a new quarterback brings to the franchise, but he seemingly represents a lot less risk than some of the other elite signal callers who could be available when the Redskins are drafting.

Cam Newton only has only been performing at a high level for one year, and there is not telling if his skills will translate to the NFL. Jake Locker really hurt his stock with a mediocre senior campaign and represents some of the same risks as Newton in terms of being too reliant on his mobility. Ryan Mallett showed in the Sugar Bowl that his incredible lack of mobility could be harmful at the next level.

Gabbert might not have the flash or numbers that those three guys have, but he is good enough in all aspects of the game to be a successful NFL quarterback. He has enough mobility to evade a pass rush and a good enough arm to get the ball down the field accurately. Among quarterbacks in the first round, he should be the safest choice, which is a path the Redskins don't normally tread. But it might be a good option this time around considering their draft failures in the past.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: BCS Championship Game Prospects That Could Be Good Fits For The Redskins

The BCS will crown its national champion tonight and there are two very good teams vying for that honor. Such achievement almost always comes on the shoulders of extremely talented players, guys who will be continuing their careers at the next level. There are a lot of players in the game tonight who will be eligible to be drafted, and their performances will somewhat dictate where they are selected.

So let's take a look at some of the players who will be playing tonight that could be a good fit for the Redskins in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Auburn:

Cam Newton, QB:

Newton is obviously the cream of the crop here and will probably be the best player on the field tonight. The big question is whether or not his skills can translate into the pro game. It's a question that a lot of teams will have to think long and hard about before investing a high first round pick in him this spring.

Newton has all the physical ability needed to be a major difference maker in the NFL. He has ideal size for the position, and remarkable athleticism considering his frame. He has also demonstrated that he has a strong and accurate arm to go along with all of his other physical gifts.

The big question is if Newton's decision making is good enough to succeed at the next level. He hasn't shown anything that suggests it won't be, but the big problem is that there just isn't that much good film on him. This is his first year at Auburn so we just haven't seen enough of him. I personally think he would be a good pick for the Redskins because I think that he will be able to succeed at the next level. But I understand that he represents a significant risk and the Redskins organization might want to avoid that type of player all together.

Nick Fairley, DT:

While Newton is a risk, Fairley is as close to a sure thing as you are going to get in this draft. He should be the best defensive player on the field tonight. He is a game-changer from the defensive tackle position, but I'm just not that sure he fits into the Redskins scheme.

Fairley is the type of penetrating and disruptive tackle that would be perfect in a 4-3 defense, a la Warren Sapp. The defensive tackle the Redskins need for their 3-4 would be more of a block-occupying nose tackle type. I suppose Fairley could work as a defensive end in the Redskins' scheme, but I'm not sure that would be a good fit for him or for them.

That also doesn't take into account that Fairley probably will be long gone by the time the Redskins pick. It sure is nice to dream though.

Josh Bynes, LB:

Bynes isn't the first round lock that Newton and Fairley are, but I think he could be a good fit for the Redskins if they choose to bolster their linebacking core later in the first round. He is a rangy athletic type in the Rocky McIntosh mold that would be a good fit to step in should the Redskins choose to go in a different direction this Winter.

Bynes should be available on the third day of the draft, and because of his physical gifts for the position, would probably be a good pick there.

Oregon:

LaMichael James, RB:

Based on conventional wisdom, James is too short to play running back in the NFL. But I'm putting in here because I believe in the end, talent wins out over stereotypes like that.

James is a sophomore, but he is eligible to declare for the draft because he red-shirted a year when he first got to Oregon.

He is an explosive runner and has excellent balance, two things that translate very well to the next level. James might not go in the first round because of the fears about his size, but he'll be a steal for some team in the draft whenever he gets picked. He might not be able to be a full time running back, but he can certainly share carries in the NFL.

Casey Matthews, LB:

The Matthews family has such good NFL draft lines that it might be smarter to just take one when they are available instead of potentially missing out on a big time difference maker.

Casey is a different type of linebacker than his older brother Clay, a DPOY candidate for the Green Bay Packers. While Clay spends his time getting after quarterback, Casey plays from the middle of the field and tackles anything that moves.

Casey is a good fit for a 3-4 defense. Having a block-occupying nose tackle in front of him will give him the chance to just run around the field and make plays without obstacle. That is something the Redskins have in London Fletcher. Fletcher is getting up there in age, and it's never too early to thin about bringing in a potential replacement. Especially if one like Matthews is available in a round where he would represent good value.

There are plenty of other players in this game who will be playing on Sunday, but these are five guys that I think would be able to succeed in the NFL, and could really thrive as members of the Redskins.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Potential Redskins Target Ryan Mallett Declares For The Draft

This should come as no surprise, but Ryan Mallett has declared himself eligible for the 2011 draft, after a very strong (regular) season. Here is an excerpt from the press release in which he announced his intentions.

"Ever since I was a kid, my dream has always been to play for the Razorbacks and I am thankful I had the opportunity to do so. A year ago, when I returned to school I said I wanted to help lead this team to a place among the nation's elite and for the Razorback community to have a mindset to expect greatness. There is no doubt we got there together and this program will continue to play games on the biggest stages and when it does we'll come out swinging. Playing in the NFL is a goal of mine and I am grateful to the people that have prepared me to take the next step."

My first question is, was playing at Arkansas really a dream of yours considering you only attended the school after transferring there from Michigan? But that's besides the point.

Despite a relatively poor performance in the Sugar Bowl against Ohio St., Mallett still figures to be taken in the middle of the first round, which means he should be available when the Redskins pick either 10th or 11th. Is he the type of quarterback that Mike Shanahan would like to build his team around for the foreseeable future?

Conventional wisdom says no. Shanahan usually likes to have a quarterback who can move around in the pocket. I'm not saying they need to be Michael Vick, just more so Ben Roethlisberger. Someone who can move around and throw accurately while in motion. Mallett has demonstrated an absolute cannon of an arm that is accurate when he is standing still in the pocket, but has not proven that he can maintain that accuracy and arm strength when moved out of the pocket. The game clinching interception he threw in the Sugar Bowl came with a little bit of pressure that forced Mallett to move ever so slightly.

The Redskins need a quarterback, and Mallett should be available. We'll have to wait until April to see if the Redskins feel as though he is a good fit.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Is Wisconsin Defensive End J.J. Watt A Good Option For The Redskins?

Over the next week or so a lot of underclassmen will be declaring for the NFL Draft. Some of them will be first round picks, some of them will go undrafted. It's a pretty hard process to get a handle on. One player that doesn't have to worry about whether or not he will get picked is Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt.

Watt has declared for the draft, and figures to be picked in the top half of the first round. He has become a high riser after originally joining the Wisconsin team as a walk on. He certainly has the talent and motor to play at the next level, the only question is where.

Now teams will have to determine where he plays. Is he 4-3 end or a 3-4 end? He may not have the power base to consistently hold the end on a 3-4 or the athleticism for the 4-3.

The Redskins could use help all over their defensive front, but I'm not so sure that Watt is a good fit. I see him more of a 4-3 pass rusher in the John Abraham, Jared Allen mold. He doesn't appear to have the size to play defensive end in a 3-4, which is really almost like playing defensive tackle. That is not his specialty. In a 3-4, Watt would be closer to an outside linebacker than he would a defensive tackle, and he definitely doesn't have the athleticism to play there.

Watt is a good player, but I just don't think he fits a pressing need for the Redskins.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Andrew Luck Elects To Stay At Stanford, How Does It Affect The Redskins?

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was the consensus number one pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. SBNation.com put him at the top of its most recent mock draft, and so did many others. Except now, there's a problem: Luck has decided to stay at Stanford for his senior season, in a stunning turn of events.

This is obviously bad news for the Carolina Panthers, who had the number one pick and were expected to select the Stanford quarterback. But it's also interesting news for the Washington Redskins, who have the 10th pick in the draft. Barring a miracle, the Redskins weren't going to select Luck, though I'm sure they would have tried. However, quarterback is one of the potential needs for the Redskins next season after the whole Mike Shanahan-Donovan McNabb spat, and now they have one less to choose from.

So what now? The next quarterbacks in the mock draft by SB Nation's Mocking the Draft are as follows:

  • Cam Newton
  • Blaine Gabbert
  • Ryan Mallet
  • Jake Locker
After that, there's a dropoff. Most sites have Gabbert ahead of Newton, and Mallet's stock is sure to drop after a poor Sugar Bowl performance. Locker has also slipped in the eyes of many, and may not be a first-round pick.

Regardless, this could open up more teams that feel the need to get a quarterback earlier. Carolina desperately needs a playmaker, and maybe they reach for one of those four guys. Beyond them, you could argue that Buffalo, Cincinnati, Arizona, San Francisco and Tennessee could all use quarterbacks. Perhaps those teams will take one of the remaining quarterbacks and leave the Redskins empty-handed. Perhaps the Panthers trade down and take a quarterback. With Luck out of the picture, a lot is in play.
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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Did Ryan Mallett Hurt His Stock In The Sugar Bowl?

This space is reserved for all things 2011 NFL Draft, but for the most part, coverage will be devoted to quarterbacks. Let's face it, they are the most interesting and important position on the football field, and it just so happens that the Redskins could use a young, exciting and good one. If Andrew Luck has a pro day, we'll tell you about it. If Blaine Gabbert sneezes, we'll probably cover that too.

So we obviously need to talk about Ryan Mallett, one of the quarterbacks who may be available to the Redskins, and his miserable performance in the Sugar Bowl last night. Mallett completed just a shade over 50% of his passes, throwing two touchdowns, but also the interception that sealed the win for the Buckeyes.

Quarterbacks have certainly had worse performances, but for a player trying to make an impact on his draft position in his last college game, I'm sure Mallet was hoping to do a little bit better than this. SB Nation points out that Mallett didn't get a ton of help from his receivers, but four or five drops isn't going to help that completion percentage too much. And above yards and touchdowns, accuracy is the thing that NFL GM's want to see in a quarterback that they are spending a high draft pick on.

Mallett has the arm to make all the throws an NFL QB will need to make. But can he do so accurately? When put with a set of receivers who will catch a ball when it's thrown to them, can Mallett increase his completion percentage. That's something that will ultimately be determined at the Combine and Mallett's pro day. But for 60 minutes last night, Mallett didn't look like a guy I would want to spend a top ten pick on.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Is Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert An Option For The Redskins

The biggest draft related news that broke yesterday was that Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert will be coming out early, and will be eligible to be drafted this Spring. When your a team that desperately needs a quarterback like the Redskins, the more capable prospects the better.

We go to SB Nation Kansas City for a quick scouting report on Gabbert,

Gabbert has the experience (two years starting), the numbers and the size to compete in the NFL. He has a strong arm, is surprisingly mobile and comes off as a smart player. There are a lot of things to like about him.

And also on whether or not they feel he would be a good fit in Washington.

The Redskins would be the perfect scenario for Blaine Gabbert. He would be going to Mike Shanahan, who has done a solid job with quarterbacks in his day, and with Donovan McNabb likely leaving there wouldn't be much competition for him.

Sounds like the kind of guy the Redskins would be interested in taking. But there are plenty of other teams that need a quarterback that could snap him up before the Skins get a chance. With all the qb prospects available though, that just means that a different one will drop to the Redskins.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Other Positions The Redskins May Look To Fill With Their First Round Pick

We've been talking all day about the Redskins need for a quarterback, the top prospects and if they may be available, and the teams that might be interested in taking the best prospects at the position ahead of them. But there are plenty of other good players in this draft, and the Redskins have plenty of other holes to fill. Taking a quarterback might be the flashiest move the Redskins can make, but it might not make the most sense based on how the rest of the draft shakes out.

So let's go through the Redskins roster position by position, see if the Redskins need help at that spot, and more importantly if there are players that could fill that need that the Redskins can justify taking so highly in the first round.

Quarterback:

I'm going to leave this horse alone right now, my arm is really tired from beating it all day and it doesn't seem to be moving.

Running Back:

How healthy is Clinton Portis going to be? Is Ryan Torain a running back who can be counted on with the bulk of the carries over the course of a full season? These are questions that need to be answered, but I don't think the Skins will look to take a running back this early. They have some stability there already, and there aren't really any prospects worth taking this high.

Wide Receiver:

Santana Moss' future is certainly not set in stone. Anthony Armstrong had a good year, but he isn't the type of player that can be considered a building block for the future. He could be part of a good receiver corp, but he can't be the focus. There are plenty of receivers near where the Redskins will be picking that would be great picks for them, mostly because all of the prospects being mentioned have great size; something the Redskins have severely lacked in recent years. A.J. Green will be gone, but here are some other options that may be available.

  • Julio Jones, Alabama.
  • Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma St.
  • Michael Floyd, Notre Dame. 

Jones would be the best pick of the bunch, but he might be gone when the Skins pick. Blackmon broke out in a big way this year but he is a one hit wonder. His measurables will play a big part in where he is picked. I think I have Michael Floyd rated higher than others might, but every time I've watched him play for the Irish he has made big play after big play. He might not blow you away with his speed, but he has great hands and can really catch the ball. Maybe he is a reach at ten, but he might prove at the combine that he has the physical tools to warrant being drafted that high.

Tight End

The Redskins have two perfectly above average tight ends. There isn't a prospect good enough to warrant a discussion about replacing one of these two. Moving on ...

Offensive Line

You can never have enough talent on the offensive line, and the Redskins can certainly use the help up front. This would be somewhat of a boring pick after they took a left tackle in the draft last year, but if they can find another guy to help anchor their line that they really like, they may pull the trigger. I'm just not sure there are any guys who would be good value picks where they are picking. It's just not a very good draft for the OL. If they keep their pick, I hope they don't take one. But they may trade back, so here are some of the top prospects.

  • Derek Sherrod, Miss. St.
  • Mike Pouncey, Florida
  • Anthony Castanzo, Boston College
  • Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin

These are all guys that figure to go in the late teens or twenties in the first round. If the Skins really want one of them, they should be able to trade back and still land some one. But I imagine they'll choose to go in a different direction.

Defensive Line

Now here is a spot that the Redskins need help and where there are plenty of talented players who may be available when they pick. I'm including the outside linebacker in the Redskins' 3-4 in this category because a lot of the guys who might fill that position for them would have played DE in college. I'll break it down into two categories. Here are some guys who could be available that could help the Skins along the three true defensive line positions (Da'Quan Bowers will be gone):

  • Nick Fairley, Auburn
  • Marcell Dareus, Alabama
  • J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
  • Cameron Heyward, Ohio St.
  • Stephen Paea, Oregon St.

The first four guys would probably be defensive ends in the Skins' 3-4 scheme. Fairley and Dareus might not be around when the Skins pick, but they would be able to make a huge difference along the defensive line. Paea could be the big nose tackle the Redskins really need to run a 3-4, but he might be a little bit of a reach at ten.

As for the rush linebackers:

  • Robert Quinn, North Carolina
  • Von Miller, Miss. St.
  • Akeen Ayers, UCLA

Putting either Robert Quinn or Von Miller across from Brian Orakpo would be an absolutely terrifying idea for opposing quarterbacks. I'm just not sure that one of them will be available when the Skins pick. Maybe the Skins can't justify taking a guy who plays the same position as their best player, but any of those two across from Orakpo would be among the best OLB tandems in the NFL and would provide a lot of pressure. Ayers would probably be a little bit of a reach where the Skins are picking.

Linebackers

London Fletcher can play forever, right? That's what I'm banking on, but the Skins could probably use an heir apparent at MLB. Unfortunately, there aren't a ton of guys who will be available to them who fit that mold. One guy to consider if they trade back is Greg Jones of Michigan St. He played OLB in college but he may not have the size to play there in the pros, particularly in a 3-4 scheme. He does have the speed and instincts to play in the middle at the next level. He'd be a severe reach at ten, but a possibility if they trade back.

Cornerback

This is the most abundant position in all of the draft for the Redskins. DeAngelo Hall is going to be here next year. But if the Skins really like one of the guys at this spot and feel like they could be a serious upgrade over Carlos Rogers and Phillip Buchanon, they may pull the trigger. Here are some of the prospects who may be available:

  • Brandon Harris, Miami-FL
  • Janoris Jenkins, Florida

That's only two names, but there is always the chance that one of the really big names (Patrick Peterson of LSU and Prince Amukamara of Nebraska) could fall if the teams picking ahead of the Skins choose to go elsewhere. They would have to seriously consider one of those two high level prospects if they fell, but even the other two guys wouldn't be horrible choices if that is the direction they choose to go in.

Safety

I'm sure the Skins would like to add a difference making free safety to put across from LaRon Landry, but I don't think there are any safety prospects that are worth taking in the top ten. In fact I'm sure of it.

So there you have it. There certainly won't be a shortage of players available to the Skins who could make a positive difference whenever they pick. It all depends on the direction they choose to go.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Teams Drafting Ahead Of The Redskins That Might Take A Quarterback

The Redskins desperately need a "quarterback of the future" and the draft is always the best opportunity to add one. It's also the best opportunity to pick a guy way higher than he should go and set your franchise back five years in the process, but let's not deal with that unpleasantness right now.

We talked in the last post about the quarterbacks who figure to be available around when the Redskins will be drafting, now let's take a look at the teams who will be picking ahead of the Redskins that could snatch those guys up before Shanahan has the chance to get his hands on them. Here is the draft order from SB Nation, now let's break down which teams in the top ten might consider taking elite signal callers at the top of the draft.

Carolina:

If they didn't have a bad enough season to earn the number one pick, they might consider giving Jimmy Clausen another year to develop and trying to fill another hole on the roster. But because they have the first selection and Andrew Luck is available, everyone is assuming they will go in that direction. Based on what we've seen from Clausen this year, that is probably a pretty good choice.

Denver:

They'll be picking second, but for a team this bad, they actually have a glut of capable quarterbacks. Kyle Orton could be a starter, Tim Tebow showed a decent amount when given an opportunity at the end of the year, and they still have Brady Quinn to remind them of the terrible trade they made with the Browns in which they gave up Peyton Hillis. I personally don't think any of these guys can be much more than an above average QB in the NFL, but with Luck off the board and plenty of holes to fill on the roster, I'd assume the Broncos look elsewhere this high in the draft. They have too much invested in the position already to not take the best player available here.

Buffalo:

Boy would they have loved to finish with a bad enough record to take Andrew Luck. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a pretty good season for them, but he isn't the type of player that signals a particularly bright future for the franchise. But like the Broncos, they have a capable starting quarterback, and plenty of other holes to fill. If they fall in love with Cam Newton they may take him here, but that would be kind of a reach. Going best player available is always the best way to draft, and for their sake, I'd hope the Bills subscribe to this theory.

Cincinnati:

The Bengals are in a tough place with regards to the quarterback position. Just a few seasons ago Carson Palmer was listed among the top five or six quarterbacks in the league, but he had an absolutely terrible season this year. Do they let him go and start over, or do they take somebody at a different position and give Palmer a chance to regain his form with a better supporting cast. Maybe taking A.J. Green helps Palmer rebound, which would provide double value for the pick. Like the Bills, the Bengals could fall in love with somebody and reach for him here, but I would be surprised if they didn't go in a different direction.

Arizona:

Max Hall is not the answer. John Skelton is probably not the answer. Derek Anderson is definitely not the answer. This is the first team in the draft after the Panthers that doesn't have a player on the roster that can start a game in the NFL without evoking laughter from fans of the other team. They need a QB of the future to rally around in the worst way. But picking somebody in the top five, particularly a QB, means paying them a lot of money, so there needs to be someone whom they feel is worth that type of value if they want to pull the trigger. Maybe Arizona falls in love with Cam Newton, Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett and pick him here. Or maybe it goes with a safer option and try to give the big armed Skelton another chance. But if it likes one of the QBs on the board, this might be the safest bet for the second QB to come off the board.

Cleveland:

Colt McCoy played well enough in the final part of the season to show the Browns that he can be at the very least an average starting quarterback in the NFL. Time will tell if he can be anything more than that. But he played well enough that the Browns won't be looking to replace him with this pick. They'll probably work on adding some talent around him.

San Francisco:

You can probably pencil one of the quarterbacks in at this slot, unless the whole Alex Smith experience has made them a little gun shy about picking a QB in the top 10. Like the Cardinals, they desperately need a young quarterback to build around and that inspire confidence in the fan base. That player is not on their roster. This would be a good spot for Cam Newton if he performs well in the national championship game and has a good combine. I'm not saying that he will justify being picked in this spot, just that the 49ers make a lot of sense as a destination for him.

Tennessee:

Does anyone have any idea what's going on with the Titans QB situation? Seriously, I'll give $100 to the first person who has a legitimate handle on what the Titans plan to do at that position. Is Vince Young done there? It seems like he might be but who really knows? Is he done enough that the Titans would replace him with a top ten pick? To me, it seems more likely that they would take somebody at a different position. But again, this is the team that I have no idea about. But I assume that the Young situation will become a little bit more clear over the next few months, so maybe we'll know by draft day what their intentions are. They have a dire need to figure out their QB situation, I'm just not sure that their solution will come through the draft.

Dallas:

They've got Tony Romo coming back and John Kitna as one of the most capable backups in the NFL. There is no way they take a QB here. This is the first team that we can say unequivocally does not need a quarterback.

Washington:

Do we really need to go into it? Rex Grossman started the last three games of the season. 'Nuff said.

Houston:

I'm including them on the list because they might pick ahead of the Skins based on the results of a coin flip. But they have Matt Schaub on the roster so they won't be taking a QB here anyway. So they don't really factor into this equation, even if they get the tenth pick over Washington.

Here is how I would break down those 11 teams based on needing a quarterback.

  • Carolina will be taking Andrew Luck, or they will be facing an enormous backlash from the media and their fans. But hey, Mario Williams has certainly worked out so who knows.
  • Arizona and San Fransisco desperately need a QB and will probably take one if there is a guy they can justify picking that high.
  • Buffalo and Cincinnati could use an upgrade at the position, but are likely to stick with what they have because there isn't a quarterback who is a sure thing where they are drafting and they have decent options for 2011. Denver falls into this category because of Tim Tebow, however he may turn out.
  • Cleveland, Dallas and Houston are all set.
  • Washington needs a QB, it just comes down to if the guy they like is available.
  • Who knows that's going on in Tennessee.

So of the teams picking ahead of the Skins, I see three teams that probably would prefer drafting a QB over any other position, including Carolina at the top. But there are three other teams that may surprise and take a QB if they fall in love with a guy. And one team that is a complete enigma. There is also always the possibility that a team trades up and snatches somebody up before they get to the Redskins. So basically, who knows what is going to happen. But if the Skins like any of the top four QB prospects, there is a good chance at least one of them will be available to them when they pick.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will The Top Quarterbacks Be Available For The Redskins?

Let's just all agree on one thing before we talk about the prospects for the Redskins in the upcoming draft; The quarterback of the future is not currently on the roster. Donovan McNabb might be cleaning out his locker as we speak, and Rex Grossman isn't the answer to anything other than the question, "Who is the last quarterback you want starting for your team in an important playoff game?"

Like every team that has a whole at the most important position on the field, there will be plenty of Redskins fans who want the team to take a quarterback with their first round pick in April. That sounds good in theory, but there might not be a good enough quarterback available to justify such a high pick. Let's take a look at where some various mock drafts have the top QB prospects going, and if they will be available to the Skins when they pick.

Andrew Luck, Stanford.

He's the consensus top QB in the draft, and a near unanimous selection at the top overall selection. Unless the Skins decide to make a huge splash and trade up to get him, there is no way that he is in Washington next fall. It sure is nice to dream though. Hope you like Carolina blue, Andrew!

Cam Newton, Auburn.

There is some debate as to where Newton might be drafted, because it is hard to know how his dual-threat playing style will translate into the the NFL. For every Mike Vick, there are a handful of Akili Smith's and Andre Ware's. But either way, his big numbers and talent level certainly warrant being picked near where the Redskins are pegged to draft. Let's see if others feel that he'll be available.

SB Nation has Newton going two spots after the Redskins to the Vikings at 12th, while they have the Skins picking a defensive end out of Wisconsin. Here is what they say about Newton.

Let's just say that we actually believe Brett Favre this time around. Minnesota is going to be in the market for a franchise quarterback, and they won't be afraid to gamble a little on a high-upside player like the Heisman Trophy winner.

Walter Football.com, a pretty good source on all things Draft related, have Cam Newton being taken sixth overall by the San Fransisco 49ers. Four or five spots ahead of where the Skins will be drafting. Here is their rationale.

Many consider Newton unprepared to play in the NFL, but there's no denying that he possesses tremendous upside with a big arm and mobility. He's also a winner with great intangibles (see McCoy, Colt). Some front office will talk themselves into believing Newton is the next multi-threat quarterback, hoping that they can duplicate what the Eagles have right now.

Finally, we'll look at Opposing Views, who have Newton slotted all the way up at four to the Buffalo Bills.

Although Buffalo has numerous needs on both offense and defense, Coach Chan Gailey should not pass on a quarterback who can successfully run his spread offense at the pro level.

Newton is the guy who I feel will hover around the spot where the Redskins are picking for the months leading up to the draft, then skyrocket into the top five just days before the draft actually happens. This kind of thing happens nearly every year with a player that teams feel have the type of potential that could make people regret not taking them. Remember, it only takes on team to fall in love with a guy to make him a top five pick.

Teams just do not want to miss out on a player who could make as big a difference as Newton, even if there is a significant amount of risk involved. I would love for him to be available for the Redskins and I think that he would be a good pick for them based on the amount of buzz it would bring to the organization; but if he has a good performance in the National Championship game, I just don't see it happening.

Jake Locker, Washington.

Going back to school and dramatically hurting your draft stock in your senior season will henceforth be known as, "pulling a Locker." If he had come out last year, he would have been neck and neck with Sam Bradford for the top spot in the draft, and all but assured of being a top five pick. After a shaky senior season, ummmm, not so much. Just how much has he fallen, you ask?

Well, SB Nation doesn't even have him being taken in the first round. Ouch.

Walter Football has Locker going 11th to the Seahawks, but after they won last night, that is no longer where they will be drafting. But if a coin flip doesn't go their way, this is where the Skins could be picking.

Opposing Views actually have the Redskins taking Locker. Here's why:

Coach Mike Shanahan

prefers mobile quarterbacks with big arms and would likely choose Washington’s Jake Locker over Arkansas’ Ryan Mallet. Locker is the quarterback your little brother created on Madden. Unfortunately, at times he’s played this year like your little brother is actually controlling him. He’s got one of the biggest arms in college football , runs in the 4.4’s, shows great character and toughness, and has the ability to create something out of nothing on every play. Inconsistent play and a lack of accuracy has caused Locker to drop from potential first pick status to a mid to late first round prospect.

They have being picked at 13th, so their order has not been updated after the final game of the season. I still think that would be a little too high for Locker. I don't doubt his talent, but after such a shaky season, he might not be worth the risk so high in the draft if there are other players on the board that the Redskins like as prospects. They have enough holes to fill that they don't have to take a chance on a player with such big question marks. Take the best player available, and try to fill the quarterback hole at a different time.

Ryan Mallett, Arkansas.

If you wanted to create a prototypical drop-back quarterback from scratch, he would look a lot like Arkansas's Ryan Mallett. The kid has insane size for the position (right around 6'7"), and a huge arm to match. His mobility is a major question mark, but Tom Brady and Peyton Manning aren't particularly fleet of foot either.

SB Nation has Mallett going 21st overall to the Seattle Seahawks.

Sorry, Charlie Whitehurst. You may have helped the Seahawks win the NFC West, but yeah, you're not the long-term answer for Pete Carroll. Mallett's a nice value selection at this point, and could be a good system quarterback in the NFL.

Walter Football has him pegged at 14th overall to the Vikings.

Ryan Mallett is having a great season. He has maintained great accuracy (66.5%) - which is damn impressive considering his 9.9 YPA against SEC opponents.

Opposing Views has him going 16th overall to the Miami Dolphins.

Mallet is a tall, immobile pocket quarterback in the mold of Drew Bledsoe. He has an ultra quick release and has a huge arm. He can make every throw. Early on in his college career he was known as a gunslinger, and would take many risks. This season, however, he has shown a willingness to check down and composure in the passing game.

There will be quarterbacks available to the Redskins when they pick in the first round. It won't be Andrew Luck, but all three of the next tier guys could be available if the draft falls their way. It comes down to if Shanahan falls in love with any of these guys, or if they think there is another player on the board who is greater value at that pick.

We know that Shanahan loves him a mobile quarterback, so I wouldn't be surprised to hear that he has a bit of a crush on Cam Newton or Jake Locker. But Mallett is a great NFL prospect, so I hope Shanahan doesn't just dismiss him just because he doesn't move as well as he might like him too. We'll know a lot more about these guys after their pro days and their performances at the combine; but as of right now, they all figure to be available to the Skins. Let's hope they pick the right one.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation Has The Redskins Taking Wisconsin's J.J. Watt

The NFL draft order is not fully set even though the season is over. There are still some coin tosses that must take place to determine the particulars, and the playoff teams will be slotted based on how they finish. But for the most part, the teams that will be picking at the top of the draft are set, and that's the most interesting part of the draft anyway. So today begins a period in which everyone in their mother will come out with a NFL mock draft once a week for the next four months; yay .......

Here is SB Nation.com's first attempt. Andrew Luck at the top, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson and Da'Quan Bowers filling out the next three picks. Yup, it all seems to be copacetic at the top. As for the Redskins, SB Nation has them taking J.J. Watt, a defensive end out of Wisconsin at tenth overall. Here is their rationale:

Mike Shanahan will take a long, hard look at the top quarterback prospects available, but with such a peculiar taste in signal-callers, we feel safer projecting a stud defensive linemen to Jim Haslett. Watt's stock is soaring.

Yawn. After a season like this, they might need to shake things up a little more than taking a 3-4 defensive end. But then again, trying to shake things up is a good way to miss on an important draft pick.Here are some of the more exciting players who SB Nation says will be available after the Skins take Watt; Cam Newton, Michael Floyd, Justin Blackmon and Janoris Jenkins. Just sayin ...

I just think that Shanahan will want to make a bigger splash than Watt would provide. But that's the beauty of this time, everyone is a draft expert if they say so. Including me.

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2011 NFL Draft Order: Washington Redskins Will Pick 10th After Seahawks' Win Over Rams

The Seattle Seahawks' 16-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday Night Football provided some good news for the Washington Redskins. Thanks to Seattle's win, the Redskins will pick 10th in the 2011 NFL Draft, not 11th as originally anticipated.

The Redskins are one of seven teams that finished with a 6-10 record in 2010. Draft order is determined by strength of schedule, with the lowest one getting the higher pick in the NFL Draft. Had the Rams defeated the Seahawks, Seattle would have been the eighth 6-10 team, and they had a lower strength of schedule than the Redskins. However, because they won, the Seahawks will pick 21st, because they have made the playoffs and have a better record than the 6-10 teams.

The seven teams that finished 6-10 are the Redskins, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. Of those seven teams, the Redskins have the fourth-most difficult schedule, with their opponents combining for 132 wins. Six teams finished with a record worse than 6-10, meaning the Redskins will have the 11th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Here is the full draft order for non-playoff teams. As noted above, the Seahawks will pick 21st.

1. Carolina Panthers (2-14)
2. Denver Broncos (4-12)
3. Buffalo Bills (4-12)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-12)
5. Arizona Cardinals (5-11)
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11)
7. San Francisco 49ers (6-10)
8. Tennessee Titans (6-10)
9. Dallas Cowboys (6-10)
10. Washington Redskins (6-10)
11. Houston Texans (6-10)
12. Minnesota Vikings (6-10)
13. Detroit Lions (6-10)
14. St. Louis Rams (7-9)
15. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8)
17. Oakland Raiders (New England's pick) (8-8)
18. San Diego Chargers (9-7)
19. New York Giants (10-6)
20. Tampa Bay Bucs (10-6)

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2011 NFL Draft Order: Washington Redskins Will Pick 10th Or 11th In NFL Draft

With the Washington Redskins' loss to the New York Giants today, the team has clinched either the 10th or 11th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

The NFL draft order is based first on the record of each team. But since there are currently eight teams tied with a 6-10 record, the draft order tiebreaker is strength of schedule.

The eight teams with a 6-10 record are the Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks. If the Seahawks win tonight against the St. Louis Rams, they would make the playoffs and improve to a 7-9 record, leaving only seven teams tied at 6-10.

There are also six teams with fewer than six wins who will pick ahead of the Redskins and the other 6-10 teams. The Carolina Panthers, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, and Arizona Cardinals will have the first six picks of the 2011 NFL draft.

Of the 6-10 teams, the Redskins played against the fourth weakest strength of schedule, landing them the 11th overall pick if the Rams are to win tonight. Redskins' opponents have won 132 games. Based on their respective schedule strengths, the Lions will pick 14th (139 wins), the Vikings will pick 13th (138 wins), the Texans will pick 12th (135 wins), the Redskins will pick 11th (132 wins), the Cowboys and Titans will pick 9th and 10th (131 wins for each team's opponents), the Seahawks will pick 8th if they don't win tonight (124 wins), and the 49ers will pick 7th (123 wins).

What's all this mean? Well for one thing, it means that Redskins fans should be rooting hard for the Seahawks to win the NFC West tonight. A Seattle win would improve Washington's draft position from 11th to 10th.

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