Tag:Washington Redskins
Posted on: April 20, 2010 8:52 am
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Advice to Rams: If not 100% on Bradford, trade

As I reported a week ago and Cleveland Browns' general manager Tom Heckert publicly confirmed two days later, the St. Louis Rams are having internal discussions about trading out of the No. 1 pick.

With the several potential suitors (Cleveland, Washington, Seattle, Denver), it is possible that the Rams get the 3,000 "points" as required in the draft pick trade chart every team and media member refers to in these situations.

Far be it from me to offer the Rams, and specifically general manager Billy Devaney, advice on the situation, but I'm going to anyway:

Dear St. Louis Rams,

If you are not 100% sure that Bradford is the answer to your problems, trade the pick.

Even if it means getting less value than the talking heads think you should.

Sincerely,

Rob Rang

Trading out of the No. 1 pick for less than its perceived value will likely generate some negative reaction from other teams and the media.

The reality is, the Rams, winners of only 6/48 games over the past three regular seasons have holes throughout their roster. The 2010 draft is as deep and talented as any we've seen in over a decade. The money saved on not utilizing the first overall pick would cover the extra players.

And for all of the talk about how difficult it is to trade out of the top pick, the last two teams that did so, received more than fair value for their courage -- though they weren't necessarily viewed as the consensus "winners" when making the deal on draft day.

The San Diego Chargers did it the unconventional way in 2004, selecting Eli Manning with the first pick and then shipping he to the Giants for the 4th overall selection, Philip Rivers, and three picks that the Chargers ultimately turned into Shawne Merriman and Nate Kaeding and veteran offensive tackle Roman Oben.

San Diego was involved in the last trade involving the No. 1 pick, as well, trading out of the top spot in 2001 to Atlanta. The Falcons got Michael Vick and the Chargers got the fifth pick, which they used on LaDainian Tomlison, as well as Atlanta's 3rd round pick in 2001 (Chargers selected CB Tay Cody), second round pick in 2002 (WR Reche Caldwell) and veteran receiver/returner Tim Dwight. Having not filled their quarterback need in the first round, the Chargers used their first pick of the second round on some guy named Brees.

There will be those that argue the Rams should simply ignore Bradford and use the top pick on their highest rated player, almost surely Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy.

Unfortunately for St. Louis, having spent high first round selections on the defensive line in 2007 (Adam Carriker) and 2008 (Chris Long) likely precludes the team from doing so.

My admittedly two-cent advice? Capitalize on the best deal you can get and trade out. Let someone else gamble on Sam Bradford's shoulder. Fill other areas of concern with the first round pick(s). And take the quarterback you really want -- Texas' Colt McCoy -- 33rd overall.

Who knows, maybe the short, remarkably accurate, gutty leader is the second coming of Drew Brees, after all.










Posted on: April 17, 2010 9:27 pm
 

Bradford "perfect" in Rams' private workout

With  the draft less than a week away, the St. Louis Rams wrapped up their scrutiny of  several quarterbacks with a private workout for Oklahoma's Sam Bradford on Friday in Norman.

The workout was originally scheduled for Monday, but it was moved up in part to leave more time between the workout and the draft, and because the Rams wanted to see how Bradford would perform the day after a private workout with the Washington Redskins.

Bradford also paid a visit to the Rams on Tuesday along with Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy of Texas.

It was noteworthy that the only Rams personnel working out Bradford were offensive  coordinator Pat Shurmur and quarterbacks coach Dick Curl. General manager Billy Devaney and coach Steve Spagnuolo stayed in St. Louis to participate in draft  meetings as the team sets its draft board in preparations for the  draft.

The Rams had things they wanted to see Bradford do, unlike his March 29 Pro Day when the 53-play script was set up by Bradford and former NFL quarterbacks coach Terry Shea, who had been working with him for two months.

Bradford told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "It  was a little bit different. They come in and obviously they want to go through  some of their reads, and some of the footwork's a little bit different. Some of  this stuff is similar but some of the things I've never done before. But I felt like it went good. I felt like I adjusted fairly quickly and picked up some of the things they were wanting me to do."
 
On a few plays, Shurmur said "perfect" and hit knuckles with Bradford. Agent Tom Condon, who represents Bradford, told the paper, "That's got to
be good when  the coach says 'perfect.' "
The preceeding article was written by Howard Balzer of The Sports XChange.



Posted on: April 11, 2010 12:27 pm
 

First "surprise" of draft? Williams leaps Okung

With only ten days to go until draft day is here, the top of the first round is beginning to take shape.

Barring colossal trade offers, the Rams will take Sam Bradford, the Lions will take Ndamukong Suh and the Bucs will take Gerald McCoy.

Since trading for quarterback Donovan McNabb, it has been obvious the Redskins would be looking to fill their biggest need -- offensive tackle -- with the 4th pick of the draft. With Oklahoma State's Russell Okung the top-rated tackle by many, including NFLDraftScout.com, he seemed the natural candidate to replace former Pro Bowler Chris Samuels as the Redskins' starting left tackle.

Except that Okung isn't the top-rated tackle by the Redskins. Oklahoma's Trent Williams is.

I reported nearly three weeks ago that Okung is far from the consensus top-rated tackle. While most teams had Okung rated as the best, a sizable number had Williams as the better prospect. One team had Iowa's Bryan Bulaga as the best of the 2010 class.

Okung is the safe pick. Williams, due to his greater athleticism, has the higher upside.

Most importantly (at least in terms of the Washington Redskins), he's the better fit in Mike Shanahan's zone-blocking offense.

There are sure to be plenty of surprises on draft day. Some will characterize the first one as the Redskins' decision to draft Trent Williams over Russell Okung.

Considering that I've felt for weeks that Williams would likely be the first tackle taken , I won't be among those surprised... and neither should you. 
Posted on: April 9, 2010 2:09 pm
 

Clausen "looked pretty good" at Pro Day

Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen threw for scouts Friday morning in South Bend, easing concerns about his surgically repaired toe.
According to scouts in attendance, Clausen "looked pretty good," driving the ball on intermediate routes and completing 57 of 59 passes overall. His two incompletions come on long balls in which he overthrew his receiver.

Like Sam Bradford's Pro Day, Clausen's workout was scripted. He took 3, 5 and 7 steps drops, though he did not attempt any bootlegs or perform in the 40-yard dash due to the fact that he is still recovering from the injury. Afterwards he described himself as "75-80%" of his normal self. Clausen has only recently been able to throw and fully workout following his surgery, January 5. Due to the surgery, Clausen was unable to workout for scouts at the Combine or in Notre Dame's first Pro Day. Clausen will be traveling to Indianapolis for a medical re-check, but afterwards has visits and private workouts lined up with several clubs, including the St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills.

Clausen threw to four former Notre Dame receivers: Golden Tate, James Aldridge, Robby Parris and David Grimes.

There were 16 teams represented Friday. Among the heavy hitters in attendance at Clausen's Pro Day were St. Louis general manager Billy Devaney, head coach Steve Spagnuolo, Buffalo general manager Buddy Nix, and Seattle offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates.

I currently have Clausen being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in my mock draft.

Posted on: April 4, 2010 10:49 pm
 

Biggest loser in McNabb trade? Jimmy Clausen

Over the past few weeks there has been increasing talk in the scouting community that the Washington Redskins were going to do something at the quarterback position. With the draft less than a month away, I (and the league personnel I'd spoken with) generally presumed that the Redskins would focus their quarterback search there. With Sam Bradford essentially unattainable , the belief was that Washington would select Jimmy Clausen with the 4th overall pick.

Obviously, Washington went in another direction with their quarterback search, landing Donovan McNabb for their 37th overall selection in the 2010 draft and a conditional 3rd-4th round pick in 2011.

And because the Redskins filled their need at quarterback, Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen could see a significant drop on draft day.

Considering the big contract signed by Matt Cassell last year, the Chiefs aren't likely to reunite Charlie Weis and Clausen with the fifth pick. Similarly, the Seahawks gave up too much in trade and contract money for they to be likely to use the sixth overall pick on the Irish passer. Cleveland president Mike Holmgren has publicly admitted that he's not a huge Clausen fan. The Raiders won't take him with JaMarcus Russell still drawing checks.

The only obvious contenders in the top ten are the final two teams within it -- the Buffalo Bills at No. 9 and the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 10. With neither of these clubs guaranteed to take the hotly debated Clausen, his "slip" on draft day could prove even steeper.

The slip from the potential 4th overall choice to No. 9 doesn't sound that significant until you look at the contracts.

Assume for a moment that Clausen would have been the 4th overall choice. He likely would have signed a deal slightly better than the one received by last year's 4th overall pick, Aaron Curry. Curry signed a six year deal for 60 million, including 34 million guaranteed.

The ninth overall pick last year, nose guard BJ Raji, signed a five year deal with Green Bay for 28.5 million, including 18 million guaranteed.
Posted on: April 4, 2010 11:16 am
 

Bradford to Redskins? Not realistic

The Washington Redskins have become a popular candidate to present the Rams with a trade package to move up to the No. 1 pick and select quarterback Sam Bradford if the conjecture of talk radio and the internet is to be believed.

And while the theory stands up in some ways (owner Daniel Snyder is prone to splashy moves and Jason Campbell being signed for only one more year chief among them), the most basic element of any deal is lacking.

The Redskins simply lack the ammunition to make this trade happen.

Washington owns only five picks in the 2010 draft, tied with Baltimore and Chicago with the least picks of any team. They have two very high picks -- the 4th and 37th overall -- but otherwise only have their 4th, 5th and 7th round picks.

According to an NFL Draft trade chart given to me years ago by an NFL executive, the first pick is worth 3000 points. In a year such as this one, where there is clear cut top quarterback likely to be the first pick, some executives feel the pick is worth even more. Washington's 4th overall pick is worth 1800 points. The 37th overall is worth 530. Washington's 4th (103rd overall) is worth 88 points. Their 5th (135th overall) is worth 38.5. Their 7th (211th overall) is worth only 8 points. The collective value of the Redskins' five picks this year is only 2,464.5.

Barring the club packaging all of their picks in a Mike Ditka-loves-Rick Williams type scenario, the Redskins would have to trade future picks as part of the deal, at least their 2011 second round pick.

Considering the varied needs of this team, giving up a hoard of picks in 2010 or in the future simply doesn't make sense -- which is why it won't happen.


Posted on: March 21, 2010 9:49 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2010 9:58 pm
 

Does Carroll shares Holmgren's view on Clausen?

The Seahawks' decision to flip second round picks and give their third round pick of the 2011 draft to the San Diego Chargers for third-string quarterback Charlie Whitehurst has been characterized by some as the most aggressive move of the off-season.

Perhaps head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider made the move based in part because they felt the same about Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, as former Seahawk head coach and current Cleveland Browns' president, Mike Holmgren does.

Holmgren admitted in a conversation about Clausen that he "wished I liked him more."

The Seahawks, like the Browns, needed a young quarterback. Citing this need, I projected them to take Clausen with the sixth overall pick in my mock draft.

If one is to presume for a moment that it is true that Seattle shared the same feeling about Clausen, the decision to ship the two picks to the Chargers and reward the unproven Whitehurst with a two-year, eight million dollar deal makes more sense. Whitehurst, a former third round pick, has never attempted a regular season pass in four years in San Diego. He's hardly been more impressive during the preseason either, completing 52.8% of his passes for 1,031 yards and five touchdowns. He's also thrown 7 interceptions.

Of course, it could be true that the Seahawks like Clausen -- and would be willing to take him with the sixth overall pick -- but simply weren't confident he'll be there. The Washington Redskins, after all, own the fourth overall pick and Mike Shanahan is thought likely to be considering taking a young quarterback in the draft.

However, if the Seahawks liked Clausen that much, they could have offered Washington the same picks they used in acquiring Whitehurst to go get the Notre Dame star. Pete Carroll certainly knows Clausen. He recruited him and has noted that he's "watched Jimmy throw since he was a 9th grader."

Doing a deal to move up for Clausen shouldn't have been difficult.

As Mike Sando of ESPN.com notes in this blog post , the value of the Seahawks' picks used for Whitehurst comes to 270 points.

Seattle's first pick, the sixth overall, is worth 1600 points according to a draft trade chart given to me by an NFL team. Washington's pick, the fourth overall, is worth only 200 points more.

The Seahawks could have traded the sixth pick and their second round selection (40th overall) to the Redskins in exchange for the fourth overall and the Redskins third round pick (approx. 68). The deal would have made the Redskins a net profit of 50 points.

It could be that Seattle was worried that the Redskins would refuse to do a deal.

Or, the simpler explanation, was the new Seattle staff felt the same about Jimmy Clausen as the leader of the old regime and elected to get their quarterback of the future by trade.

Posted on: March 19, 2010 1:05 pm
 

Redskins at No. 4 key to Top Ten

Last year I argued that the Seattle Seahawks were the key to how the top ten would play out.

They had expressed considerable interest in quarterback Mark Sanchez, had a greater need at offensive tackle and employed a general manager in Tim Ruskell who favored safe players like outside linebacker Aaron Curry.

The Seahawks obviously went with Curry with the fourth pick of the draft.

The ramifications of this decision, of course, were that the Browns traded their pick to the Jets, who took Sanchez and the run on offensive linemen continued in the top ten despite Seattle ignoring the position.

This year the Washington Redskins own the fourth pick. They're the team thought likely by league insiders to control what happens early in the first round.

It is possible that the Lions surprise and select OT Russell Okung second overall to protect their young quarterback Matt Stafford, but most in the league believe the three best players in the 2010 draft are Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy -- likely going in that order to the Rams, Lions and Bucs, respectively.

The Redskins have a need for a young quarterback, especially considering that Jason Campbell is a restricted free agent expected to sign a one year deal. The Redskins recently signed former first round pick Rex Grossman, but he too, is only signed through next season. There are some who believe Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen is destined for the Redskins.

Others, however, point to Washington's lack of talent at offensive tackle. The retirement of Chris Samuels opened up a gaping hole at left tackle that veteran Levi Jones struggled to fill last year when Samuels was hurt. Right tackle isn't much better with Stephon Heyer.

Still others have argued that a good Washington defense could carry the team in Mike Shanahan's first year if he were to find more playmakers in the secondary. LaRon Landry hasn't produced as expected to his point and has been outplayed by Chris Horton. Eric Berry, who many believe to the be in conversation with Bradford, Suh and McCoy as the elite players in this draft could be a tempting option.

The shoddy depth and extreme importance of the quarterback position could force Shanahan to grab Clausen. If so, you can expect the next best quarterbacks -- Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Tony Pike, etc -- to be pushed up the board that much higher.

The same would apply at OT or S should the Redskins go in those directions. There is no denying that along with defensive linemen, offensive tackles and safeties are the strengths of this draft. Three offensive tackles went in the top ten last year. Should Washington select Okung at No. 4, Iowa's Bryan Bulaga and Oklahoma's Trent Williams may not be far behind.

The more intriguing scenario might be if Washington selects Berry. Only twice since 1993 have there been three pure safeties selected in the first round (1998, 2007). This will almost surely occur in 2010 with Berry, Texas' Earl Thomas and USC's Taylor Mays all likely to be drafted in the opening frame. Should Berry go early, however, a run on safeties could result, pushing South Florida's Nate Allen into the mix.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com