NFL Draft 2011: Latest Washington Redskins Rumors, News and Speculation
Now we've got some juice.
Now we've really got something to watch here with the 'Skins. Will Dan Snyder really do this? Will he really pull off this move? Or should the Washington Redskins stay at No. 10?
We'll get into that a little more today, but part of what makes this so compelling is the argument of taking a quarterback now or waiting for next year, when there will be even more elite quarterbacks to choose from, including Boise State's Kellen Moore, Matt Barkley of USC, Stanford's Andrew Luck and Oklahoma's Landry Jones.
Personally, I still like what one website predicted, with Washington selecting TCU quarterback Andy Dalton in the second round. Brilliant idea. Only problem is that Dalton's stock has continued to move up, and he may now be a late first-round pick.
Don't forget the Jake Locker angle either. Locker's been attached to Washington for a while now (and Seattle as well). I get the whole idea about Locker's mobility and how he's a fit for Mike Shanahan's offense.
Take him at 10 though? No way. Shanahan will get criticized a ton for that. That'll happen, though, if they trade up to No. 2 and mortgage away a ton.
That's the fun of the draft. Nothing like good debate and good rumors to discuss.
What makes Washington so interesting is the division it's in. See, Snyder may have to be bold and roll the dice because Philly's had a history of moving up, and you can't ever count out the possibility of Jerry Jones doing something with Dallas.
At the same time, Washington has tons of needs and has got to emerge with another wide receiver and a pass rusher.
So let's go at it. I'll post as many updates on the latest Redskins rumors, speculation and news that I can find. May throw on some videos as well. Certainly a few rants, too. Chime in with your opinions, and let's enjoy the buildup.
Is there something more important than wide receiver?
I don't disagree with Grant Paulsen. In fact, I like his thinking.
I just don't necessarily agree with the order. Paulsen examined the Redskins' needs in the upcoming draft and ranked them according to priority. The first one was somewhat shocking, but not really: Quarterback.
You have to assume that Mike Shanahan wants to hand-pick a passer who he can groom into a franchise signal-caller. He did it in Denver with Jay Cutler. The question is, will the guy Shanahan likes the most be available to the Redskins at No. 10 or No. 41 (if they don’t make any deals on draft day)?
"The NFL is a quarterback league," he writes. "You can’t win without a good one. Mike and Kyle Shanahan know that. But needing a field general doesn’t mean you have to reach for one now. If the Redskins do draft a passer, they’d better do so because they are convinced the guy they are getting is a future star. Not because he’s the best available quarterback when they happen to be on the clock."
"I view drafting a franchise quarterback like marriage. It’s a long term commitment. Don’t settle on a 'decent' player who you 'like a little' because they are available and because you’re lonely."
There's the catch. Can you honestly tell me that Washington has a shot at a superstar quarterback? You've got some really good ones at the top, like Blaine Gabbert, then some decent quarterbacks after that. Solid players, guys who can get the job done.
I think defensive line should be the priority for Washington. I don't care if it's defensive end, or nose tackle first.
Go with that first, then work your way down from there I say. Something tells me Andy Dalton will be long gone by the time their second round pick comes around, so Washington shouldn't do anything crazy just for the sake of things.
Ex-Redskin Arrington says team should focus on defense
Let me first just say I was a big LaVar Arrington fan.
Loved the way the guy played back at Penn State and enjoyed him when he was with the Redskins. The former linebacker, writing for the Washington Post, gave his take on what his old team should do with the No. 10 pick in the NFL Draft. No need to be at the edge of your seat here.
"Washington made a very good move by adding O.J. Atogwe before the lockout," Arrington writes. "His skill at free safety will really help this team. The Redskins would be wise to use that 10th pick on a true space eater for the defensive line."
"You may ask, ‘Why draft a defensive tackle and not a quarterback?’ Drafting a defensive tackle with the ability to eat up two and three blockers changes the whole dynamic of the defense."
I like LaVar's reasoning. Guy's got some credibility there.
He goes on to say that drafting a nose tackle who could contribute immediately would also improve things on defense.
"...Even if it struggles to win this year, it will be closer to having most of the parts of a dominant defense in place in years to come," Arrington writes. "This defense already has some awesome talent, LaRon Landry, if not for his injury, was up for defensive MVP; Orakpo had a solid year and has plenty more ahead; and DeAngelo Hall was a consistent playmaker last season."
Hey, nice to see an actual player preaching patience like I've been.
Redskins need pass rusher, nose tackle for starters
For those who like to keep track, it never hurts to have a reminder about what Washington needs to address once the NFL Draft begins on Thursday.
Chad Reuter from NFLDraftScout.com previews Washington's draft and points out that the team needs to draft a nose tackle, pass rusher, cornerback, wide receiver and running back.
"Coordinator Jim Haslett says the nose is the key to his 3-4 defense," Reuter writes. "Albert Haynesworth refused to play the position. Ma'ake Kemoeatu was a bust coming off an Achilles injury and, like Haynesworth, will almost certainly not be back. Late-season starter Anthony Bryant might get a shot, but Washington needs a force here."
Reuter had also mentioned that the five key names he's heard Washington targeting are Julio Jones, outside linebacker Robert Quinn, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert and Prince Amukamara (pictured).
"They have a lot of holes to fill in their roster, but may covet one of the draft's top two quarterbacks so much they'll be willing to move up instead of accumulating the picks they've given up chasing players in the past," he writes. "If they can't grab reported target QB Blaine Gabbert early, they may select/trade down to pick Washington's enigmatic Jake Locker or select from one of the quality players meeting another need available to them at 10."
As alluring as it may be to trade up and land Gabbert, it doesn't make sense from a big picture standpoint. This team has too many needs, and while it may not seem eye-popping to land a bigtime defensive lineman, the eventual payoff should be something that any Redskins fan would appreciate.
Washington's No. 10 could open up better opportunities
Stay pat and you could get an elite player.
Washington is in the same spot as Dallas, though, entering Thursday's NFL Draft: High-quality draft pick, but tons of needs to address. That's why Wes Bunting of the National Football Post predicts that the Redskins will be among those teams trading their pick.
"The Redskins have picks in the first and second rounds, but after that don’t pick again until the 5th," he writes. "Therefore, moving back from ten and acquiring more picks in order to help fill their number of needs seems like a real possibility. Washington would greatly benefit from the possibility of a talent like WR Julio Jones or DT Nick Fairley still on the board at ten, making their pick that much more attractive for potential trade partner to deal up."
If the chance comes, Washington can't hesitate.
Where things get more intriguing is when there's a new CBA in place. If I'm Mike Shanahan and there are players I can trade, I start stockpiling draft picks in return for 2012 and 2013.
If I had to tank the four teams in the NFC East, in terms of recent draft success, Washington would be third behind the Eagles and the New York Giants in first (I'm always impressed with teams who can find studs in the middle rounds).
You would love to hit on all your picks obviously, but if Washington could come away with at least a wide receiver, defensive end and cornerback that could contribute next year, then I would call this draft a success.
Redskins' picks subject of recent NFL draft chat
Nothing too earth-shattering, but still some more stuff for you draft junkies who can't get enough info.
Saw this recent chat that Vic Carucci, Senior Columnist for NFL.com, did with fans about the upcoming NFL Draft. He was asked at one point about the Redskins' choices with the 10th pick. Carucci said he wouldn't be shocked if Washington goes wide receiver at No. 10, then takes a quarterback in the second round.
He was then asked if the team will trade up for a quarterback or wait until the second or third rounds.
"I'm thinking they'll wait to see what's available in the second or third round rather than put themselves in a position of giving up multiple picks to move up to a premium spot," he replied.
If I'm Mike Shanahan, I play this very conservatively and don't get cute. So many teams hate to be patient, but if you look at the elite ones, you'll see they all patiently developed their teams through the draft and through management that was never bound to certain players just because of how long they've been there.
Washington in so many ways reminds me of Dallas. Besides both having very hands-on owners, their string of hits and misses is similar (I'd probably say Dallas has been a little worse) and both have had a win-now attitude instead of gradually building for longterm success.
If they do this right and address specific needs, Washington will get to where it needs to be soon enough.
Redskins don't have parts to make major splash
Mike Shanahan gets it. Maybe Daniel Snyder is listening to him and Bruce Allen.
All the rumors and the crazy stories about moving up to get Blaine Gabbert are good for discussion, but Mike Jones of the Washington Post does an excellent job explaining why that just won't be happening. Odds are the 'Skins will trade down and try to get more picks.
"For years now the Redskins’ progress has been hindered by limited draft picks," Jones writes.
"Shanahan has discussed that. It seems like if anything, his goal is to get them back on track with building through the draft, and that would seem to mean not mortgaging the future by parting with valuable future picks."
"That’s why it seems more likely that the Redskins would either hang onto No. 10 and No. 41, or that they would try to move down to acquire more picks. Former NFL executives Charley Casserly and Michael Lombardi both said last week that they look for Washington to move down."
I'll keep saying it for as long as I blog on here: Follow New England's formula. The Pats stockpile draft picks like how I used to collect baseball cards. They've got tons.
Washington doesn't have the chips like Philadelphia or San Francisco does in this draft, and the Redskins certainly aren't good enough to get risky with any bold move.
I understand big names sell tickets and jerseys, but highly successful teams who consistently win and make the playoffs will bring a far greater return. Not to mention jacking up the team's overall value.
Let Shanahan do his thing. Be patient Redskin fans.
Do you want to be a one-hit wonder, or would you draft smart, keep getting pieces and build a Super Bowl champion team through the draft like Green Bay did?
Redskins could take a shot on Arkansas quarterback, says expert
The rumors are definitely heating up.
Michael Lombardi from the NFL Network predicts that Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett will be drafted in the first round, by the 20th pick at the latest. He even says the Redskins could be considering him with their 10th pick.
"I talked to a source close to the team," Lombardi said. "He said, 'Don't rule out Ryan Mallett.'''
Count Brian Baldinger among the naysayers, though.
"I don't see Ryan Mallett fitting into the Redskins' offense," he says. "Mike Shanahan's legacy will be in doubt if he has problems with Mallett."
Can't get any juicier than that, folks. If you thought drafting Jake Locker would create a stir, or trading up for Blaine Gabbert, forget it. This would blow all that away.
Here you've got a kid with tremendous talent who's been criticized heavily for his character. That was discussed in depth in this fantastic read.
On one hand, I can see Shanahan's logic. Mallett's been used to a pro-style offense since high school, has put up numbers in the nation's best conference and has a cannon for an arm. If you compare his technique and style, Mallett is very similar in some ways to Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who Shanahan drafted in Denver.
Neither are really mobile but both can sit back in the pocket and carve up defenses when given the time.
Let's address the character stuff real quickly. It would be great if every player were a choir boy who could ace the wonderlic like Greg McElroy basically did. This has the feel of a Dez Bryant type deal for Washington: Both have tremendous talent but they're boneheads when it comes to decision-making.
I have a hunch Mallett won't be dropping thousands though for a bunch of ice.
What I do know is if he stays focused, the talent will take care of itself. I've never questioned it since I saw him in person back at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
It's a game for the who's-who of the nation's best recruits. That day Mallett took on Jimmy Clausen, last year's starter for the Carolina Panthers. They were the two premiere quarterbacks there and both looked impressive throughout the game. I asked some coaching friends later if they had to pick who would they take as their starting quarterback.
Kid you not: Eight out of 10 said Mallett.
Redskins stick with Alabama wide receiver, says blogger
Hey, I think it's the safest, easiest route to go.
Take Julio, go onto your next pick. That's what blogger Sean Mathews predicts Washington will do next week with the No. 10 pick in the NFL Draft.
"The choice is not all too surprising," he writes. "Santana Moss is headed to free agency. That effectively makes Anthony Armstrong the Redskins’ number one receiver. Moss was at best a second tier receiver while Armstrong probably wouldn’t start on a championship team.
"This would naturally lead one to believe that taking a WR would be the best option for the Skins in the first round. Like I stated before, and all along, I personally think that the Redskins will indeed take a WR. I don’t necessarily agree that it is the right thing to do."
I've been writing about this for a while now. Julio's proved himself since his freshman year in the nation's most talented, most physical conference.
Don't take him, then you better hope you can find someone capable of being a playmaker in the later rounds.
Go with a defensive end at No. 10, and you will likely get your pick of studs.
Keep in mind Redskins fans: One of your division rivals took a wide receiver first back in 1988. The following year they took a quarterback. The year after that a running back. Yup, you could probably guess already. That was The Triplets and we know just what Dallas accomplished with the three Hall of Famers.
Yes if you take Julio, that increases the odds of Rex being your starting quarterback next year. But how often does a rookie come in and light it up in the first year?
Redskins may not have valuable parts to make move
Yes, on the surface it seems like this is a deal that could get done.
Mike Shanahan would have no problem working with his former star quarterback in John Elway, but as Bill Williamson of ESPN.com points out, the Redskins may not have the pieces available.
"According to the NFL Draft trade value chart, the No. 2 pick is worth 2,600 points and the Redskins’ first two picks – No. 10 and No. 41 – would leave the Redskins about 800 points too shy," he writes.
"The Redskins don’t have a third or fourth-round pick. So, the Redskins would likely have to add their first-round pick in 2012 to the mix and hope Denver would be happy with it. The Broncos want help now and I think they could get a better package from Arizona (which picks No. 5) or Tennessee (No. 8) if those teams want to move up."
If they go by that, I agree. Deal nixed.
The blog post points out that Denver doesn't want to go below No. 8, because it wants a dominant defensive player. Well, if that's the case, then it should stay put at No. 2 and take Marcell Dareus if he's there. If they don't he's going to be there, that may tip you off about what Carolina is aiming for.
Of course, most mocks have the Panthers taking a shot at Cam Newton (don't do it Carolina. Too, too risky. Take Dareus and move on).
I disagree with the assertion, though, that there won't be talented defensive players available with the 10th pick. Denver could still potentially choose from J.J. Watt, Cameron Jordan or Aldon Smith by that point.
I do wonder if coach John Fox is trying to find this year's Julius Peppers in that bunch. I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone with that kind of freakish ability, but Jordan seems the closest.
If I'm Washington, I pull a New England and start trying to stockpile picks, whether it's this year or for 2012.
Allen discusses draft, lockout and quarterbacks
Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen spoke with reporters on Saturday at a charity function.
Read through the lines and you almost can detect the team's strategy for the upcoming NFL Draft. For those wondering, my guess: Don't expect them to trade up, and if possible, they'll follow the Green Bay route and be patient with grooming a franchise quarterback.
Allen pointed out to Ryan O'Halloran of CSNwashington.com that there hasn't been lots of trading with the top dozen picks in the last several years, but said the team wouldn't discount moving depending on how players are rated once they have their board finalized.
Vague, I know. Doesn't tell you much, which doesn't shock me. Let's get to the good stuff...
When asked about the quarterbacks, Allen mentioned Aaron Rodgers' story and said, "The Aaron Rodgers story is just one of the great success stories of the NFL. A player that got drafted [lower] than most of the projections had slotted him, sat on the bench for three years and now has become an elite quarterback."
Now there's something interesting. Obviously Allen likes Rodgers, but it seems like he also likes the approach Green Bay took to grooming him behind Brett Favre. If they do take a quarterback, you've got to wonder if they'll try to replicate that.
As for the lockout, Allen said it hasn't altered a thing.
"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."
Or would Washington be smart to move down?
I like the idea of Washington gunning for Blaine Gabbert.
As a longtime card player who's enjoyed a trip or five inside some casinos in New Orleans, I like that high stakes, gambler's mentality. When you go for broke, though, sometimes you get burned and lose a ton in the process.
Which is why I'd stand my ground stay put at No. 10. Washington simply doesn't have enough chips to play with this time around.
I know in today's world, we're impatient and we want immediate gratification. We want our Lombardi trophies tomorrow. With Daniel Snyder at the top, though, that's just not going to happen. The 'Skins have been impatient for far too long and tried for the quick fix instead of the steady, patient approach to building a consistent winner.
I look at what Green Bay's done under Ted Thompson and seen pick after pick showing sound decision making in the draft process.
Of course, if more teams tried to follow New England's approach to stockpiling draft picks like baseball cards they'd probably see an improvement as well.
I think Mike Shanahan and the 'Skins could do a mix of both in this draft. It makes absolute zero sense to move up and just hand out extra picks when you've got so many other holes to address.
It's going to take time for Washington to reach the level that Green Bay, Baltimore or Pittsburgh is at. The latter two are gold standards when it comes to building thriving, healthy winners, but what they have in common is that both are brilliant when it comes to the draft and know how to use their picks wisely.
Redskins wouldn't be wise to wait until 2012
There are two experts who say Washington shouldn't hesitate.
If a quarterback is there and the Redskins can grab him, then they should do it and not wait until next year to address the position.
"To me, the answer is ‘No,’ because the biggest problem you have is, who’s going to be in the draft [next year]?" former general manager Charley Casserly told the Washington Post. "And it’s hard to predict what juniors are going to come out. And it’s hard to predict how well a player is going to play in his senior year. To me it’s too unpredictable."
"Obviously, Andrew Luck is coming out next year, but you’re going to have to bet on being 1-15 and 0-16 to get him, and that’s assuming he doesn’t have an injury. So I don’t think it’s practical to look at the draft for next year."
NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi predicts the team will be active now, and either address it with their 10th pick or trade down and acquire more picks.
There are lots of things to consider when it comes to a franchise QB. When you look at this elite-level group, you don't really have a sure-fire pick. All of them have specific flaws and questions in their games.
Go down to the next group and you get those like TCU's Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick of Nevada. Both are solid players and Dalton may be the safer pick of the two. If you go with him, what does that mean for Rex Grossman? Do you keep him around and have him ready to start while you monitor Dalton's progress?
Now if the lockout were to end soon, that would change the picture entirely and you could go grab a veteran as a stop-gap between now and 2012.
To avoid it and take that gamble almost indicates weakness and shows you're truly not trying to make your team better. I'm sure Rex is a great guy, but I wouldn't go all in with him as your starter for an entire season.
Washington a perfect fit, says Lombardi
Mike Lombardi knows a thing or two when it comes to the draft, and evaluating players.
The former Raiders executive, now an analyst with the NFL Network, recently discussed Washington quarterback Jake Locker and told Rich Campbell of the Fredericksburg Free Lance Star that he would be a great fit for the Redskins.
"He’s not an accurate quarterback and he’s not a dropback passer," Lombardi said on a conference call.
"Mike (Shanahan)’s passing game is about being on the edges and challenging, whether it’s bootlegs, nakeds and things like that. He’s looking for athleticism at quarterback. So when I look at Locker, I see a guy who would fit what Mike does."
In the article, Shanahan's even quoted talking about Locker and said there are similarities between him and former Denver quarterback Jake Plummer.
Pause for just a second. I know the Snake was great coming out of Arizona State, but he also won just one playoff game in four appearances for Denver.
I'm a fan of mobile quarterbacks just like anyone else, but I'd prefer to have someone like Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan who's smart, intelligent and can be a maestro in the pocket and just pick defenses apart.
Keep in mind that whether it's Locker, or Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, both have some flaws in their game that will raise questions. We're not talking about someone of Andrew Luck's caliber.
I said before and I'll say it again: I'd love to hear more about Shanahan's evaluation process of the two and the differences he saw in Locker and Gabbert. I also know that you've got to be wise in making this selection, cause you don't want to draft someone, throw them out there ahead of schedule and then have their confidence get shattered.
At the same time, there's something about a rookie who can handle the pressure, take the pounding, make plays and learn as he goes. Anyone's got to respect that.
Redskins coach shares insight on approach to NFL draft
Bobby Turner has had some success when it comes to drafting running backs.
The Washington Redskins assistant coach/running backs coach talked with the team's website recently about the NFL Draft and his approach to taking running backs. Turner's been with coach Mike Shanahan since Denver and was part of the team's selection of Terrell Davis.
"We're looking for talent," he said in the story. "I'm looking for the next Terrell Davis. We're talking about a guy in the late rounds that can produce and help you win World Championships year in and year out."
Turner didn't tip his hand about their upcoming approach to the draft.
Mike Shanahan's teams have never selected a running back higher than the second round, and Turner said he wants a productive player who can "play every snap."
"And the key thing is also-without getting into the physical tools that you're looking for-is a player coachable?" Turner said. "The bottom line is that there has to be a trust level. You know, and that he believes in himself, and he believes in us."
My bet: Washington will pull the trigger around the fifth round and grab someone to pair with Keiland Williams and Ryan Torain. Wide receiver is still a higher priority, but another solid rusher would give the Redskins a setup just like Shanahan used to have in Denver.
It is incredible that both Turner and Shanahan have been able to spot talented backs and find them on such a consistent basis in late rounds. This draft isn't top heavy at the position so it should give Denver plenty of possibilities by the time they make a selection.