Redskins Futures: 7 to watch in New Year's bowls

Redskins Futures: 7 to watch in New Year's bowls
December 29, 2010, 5:34 pm
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

By Rich Tandler
Redskins Blogger

The preliminaries are over and the true crush of college bowl games has begun. The lesser-known bowls fade away and the more traditional bowls take over. Between now and the end of the weekend, well get the traditional Rose, Sugar, Cotton, and Gator bowls (with the TicketCity and bowls thrown into the mix as well). As the bowl schedule moves along we get to the more traditional power teams, squads that are loaded with NFL prospects. With the Washington Redskins currently holding seven draft picks with the potential to acquire a few more, it is safe to say that a number of future Redskins will be on display over the next five days. From six bowl games between today and the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4, here are seven players the Redskins are likely to be watching closely. Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Florida State vs. South Carolina, Dec. 31, 8:30 PMRodney Hudson, G, Florida State At 282 pounds, Hudson is light for many schemes but he could be a solid fit for zone blocking without having to add on too much weight. Some analysts have him as a center in the NFL. Regardless of where he plays, he has a solid background as a four-year starter at FSU and has reputation for a great work ethic and for taking pride in honing his technique. Outback Bowl, Penn State vs. Florida, Jan. 1, 1:00 PMMike Pouncey, G, Florida and Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State Its supposed to be one player per game here but these two starting centers (Pouncey projects to a guard, his position before moving to center this season, in the NFL) are worth watching. Pounceys twin brother Maurkice of the Steelers, was just named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie and Mike may have that potential. Wisniewskialso comes from good bloodlines; his uncle Steve Wisniewskiwas an eight-time Pro Bowl center for the Raiders. Both have the athletic ability to be able to perform in the zone blocking scheme favored by the Redskins. Capital One Bowl, Alabama vs. Michigan State, Jan. 1, 1:00 PMJulio Jones, WR, Alabama At 6-4 with 4.43 speed, Jones is just the kind of big, playmaking receiver that the Redskins are looking for. Based on sheer talent, he could be a top-10 pick, which would put him out of the Redskins reach. However, he has a tendency to drop the ball with enough regularity that some teams might pass on him. Hes not the Carlos Rogers of wide receiver or anything but the drops occur with enough frequency that the issue could nudge his stock back towards the middle of the round. Look to see how his hands are against Sparty on New Years Day. Rose Bowl, Wisconsin vs. TCU, Jan 1, 5:00Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin If the Redskins dont hang on to right tackle Jammal Brown, they will be in search of a starter there. Carimi stands 6-6, weighs in at 325, is strong, has long arms, and was a four-year starter for the Badgers. That makes him a potential plug and play solution at right tackle. Watch him pull and make blocks in space and you could see him in a zone blocking scheme. Scouts will be looking hard at his pass blocking technique on the rare occasions that the power-offense Badgers throw the ball. If he can pass muster there, he and Trent Williams could form a perfect set of bookend tackles until the year 2020. Orange Bowl, Stanford vs. Virginia Tech, Jan. 3, 8:30 PM--Sione Fua, NT, Stanford All eyes will be on quarterback Andrew Luck of the Cardinal, who will be the top overall pick if he comes out and on the Hokies running back duo of Ryan Williams and Darrell Evans, one or both of whom might turn pro. But none of them are likely to be Redskins. Keep an eye on Fua at nose tackle. He is a great run stuffer and a does a fine job of clogging up the middle and forcing things outside. Fua could end up being available after the third and fourth rounds, when the Redskins have no selections. He isnt likely to be an immediate answer at nose tackle but he could be a solid contributor after a year or two of seasoning. Sugar Bowl, Arkansas vs. Ohio State, Jan. 4 8:30 PM--Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas We discussed him in Tuesdays look at potential quarterbacks. He may not be a perfect fit for the MikeKyle Shanahan offense, but he could well be the best available quarterback when the Redskins first-round selection comes around. There is no questioning his cannon arm, but watch to see if he has improved his accuracy and touch.Check by between now and the BCS title game on Jan. 10 for more future Redskins to look for in the bowl games. Keep up by following @RealRedskins on Twitter
You can reach Rich by email at and follow him on Twitter @RealRedskins. Join Rich Tandler reporting from the press box at FedEx Field for an in-game chat during the Redskins-Giants game on Sunday. Things will get underway on shortly before kickoff at 12:45 Eastern and continue all game long.