Part of my duties outside the CSN world involveswriting about, analyzing and as you will soon read, ranking fantasy football players. In this case, top 25 keeper rankings for quarterbacks and tight ends. As you might imagine, two Redskins made the cut - and no, not Rex Grossman and Logan Paulsen.Before I reveal where Robert Griffin III and Fred Davis fell on their appropriate lists, note that Im viewing this on a short-term basis. In other words, for leagues where you can keep a player for one additional season as opposed to dynasty leagues where an owner can maintain hold of a player for years and years. Got it? Got it.Let's start with RG3, who I slotted 16th, behind Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco but ahead of Andrew Luck and Sam Bradford. First, my general take."The Redskins made a franchise-altering move when they jumped up to snag the Heisman winner. Now coach Mike Shanahan ends the speculation, by announcing RGIII will be the starter. Big question now is whether there are proper pieces in place especially along the offensive line - to ensure a smooth transition into the pro ranks. There is no questioning the mobile and strong-armed QB's immense upside."Despite the insanity that were Cam Newton's real life and fantasy numbers- better than any rookie quarterback in history - it's not realistic to think or any newbie, even RG3, could duplicate or potentially even sniff them.That's not saying Griffin cannot have a stellar first campaign for the Redskins.However, unlike Newton he does not have two stud running backs, Steve Smithand a strong offensive line to work with (and don't forget that like the Redskins, the Panthers also had a quality pair of tight ends). Also, I do not see Mike Shanahan consistently running the sleek Griffin up the gut at the goal line the way the Panthers employed the powerful Newton.However, RG3's legs will do wonders for his fantasy numbers. Between Davis, Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss (if he sticks around) and Leonard Hankerson, there are targets that possess after-the-catch talent to help jack the passing stats. By his second season Griffin may be a fantasy starter, but right now he should not be drafted as one for 2012.That's why on this list he falls below the likely starters in 12-14 team leagues, but his potential ranks above the other burgeoning talents like Luck and Bradford. As for Davis, what to do, what to do. As I wrote in my blurb, talent-wise he stacks up favorably with the elite options at his position. Of course, I don't need to tell Redskins fans that he often has those watching wanting more. Maybe his previous quarterbacks are partly to blame. Maybe lacking full commitment to his craft - i.e., the failed drug tests - is the primary culprit.It would not stun me if Davis leads the Redskins in receptions; he has the skill, unlike Garcon and Josh Morgan he has experience in Shanahan's system and we all know that rookie passers supposedly looooove passing to their trusty tight end. The fear he could be suspended for a season looms over his keeper value as does the uncertainty of the Redskins offense under RG3 (for now just take "uncertainty" to mean something like Griffin could prefer throwing outside to Garcon and the wide receivers rather than to his tight end down the middle). Put it all together and Davis lands at No. 12. on my tight end keeper list. Even if Chris Cooley sticks around, Davis' value should not drop. If Cooley is a cap casualty, Davis' fantasy stock rises. If he avoids another positive drug test, fantasy owners could have a nice keeper on their hands.
The Redskins added seven players in the draft class of 2016 and many of them share some common traits.
“I'm very excited about these guys, really,” Jay Gruden said to the media after the draft was over. “I think the theme is we got some football players. We got some versatile guys who can do a lot of different things. Tough guys, who love the game of football. We're excited about them, they all bring great attitude to this organization. They're going to play hard and they're good people.”
Gruden seems to be particularly impressed with a pair of defensive players, fifth-round lineman Matt Ioannidis out of Temple and inside linebacker Steven Daniels, a seventh-round pick out of Boston College.
“Steven Daniels is very tough,” said Gruden. “When he hits you, he thumps you.”
Like Daniels, Ioannidis was the captain of the defensive unit. Gruden said that he loved his relentless play and said that “he’s a tough guy.”
Ioannidis and Su’a Cravens, the team’s second-round pick out of USC, will both play a number of roles on defense. Ioannidis could add 15-20 pounds (he is listed at 299) and play nose tackle or he could play all along the line. Cravens is a dime linebacker but he could play outside linebacker and strong safety in other situations as well.
Gruden said that the Redskins were able to emphasize toughness and versatility because they weren’t buttonholed into being forced to draft particular positions because they didn’t have anyone there.
“We didn't have a lot of glaring needs, like 'oh, my gosh we're totally incompetent at this position,’” he said. “I felt really good about the depth on our footbal team already, now that the draft is about adding a lot of good football players and adding guys that are tough.”
The team used toughness and other factors as tiebreakers when selecting among players.
“When you're in the draft and it's close between a couple of different guys, the toughness, maybe the special teams factor, the versatility, being a captain, all that stuff factors into it,” said Gruden. “You're always going to err on the side of tough, loves football.”
Just a week into his Redskins tenure, new CB Josh Norman is enjoying the D.C. life, attending in the White House Correspondent's Dinner.
Norman came to the 'Skins with much fanfare; an unusual release from a franchise tag in Carolina made him a free agent and Washington swooped in quickly. Norman signed a massive five-year, $75 million contract, and is expected to start at cornerback this fall opposite Bashaud Breeland.
Just hours before donning his tuxedo and heading downtown, Norman was spotted at FedEx Field meeting Redskins rookies Josh Doctson, Su'a Cravens and Kendall Fuller.
It's been a busy day for Norman, and depending what you hear about #NerdProm, the night is just getting started.
It took them their entire draft but the Redskins finally got a running back on their roster. They took Keith Marshall of Georgia with their seventh-round pick (No. 242 overall).
Marshall, 5-11 and 219 pounds, was supposed to be the Bulldogs’ next great back, but due to injuries and the emergence of Nick Chubb he never really got the chance.
He is the fastest player in the draft, if you go by his combine 40 times. He ran 4.31 in Indianapolis, the fastest time recorded this year.
Marshall will line up behind Matt Jones and probably Chris Thompson on the Redskins’ running back depth chart. He will get a chance to earn snaps on third down and possibly as a rotational back teaming with Jones.