Redskins' QB Griffin looks better at practice

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Redskins' QB Griffin looks better at practice

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Robert Griffin III moved better on his sprained right knee at practice Thursday, apparently improving his chances of playing in the Washington Redskins' game Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

``You could see he was more comfortable,'' coach Mike Shanahan said. ``He was improved over yesterday.''

As expected, Shanahan reiterated that he plans to wait as long as possible to announce whether Griffin or backup Kirk Cousins will start.

``We'll get a chance to see how Robert progresses during the week and make a decision, probably on game day,'' the coach said.

Griffin was officially listed as ``limited'' in practice. He stretched and made some basic throws during the 20 minutes that the session was open to reporters. He was still favoring his right leg somewhat, but he was able to plant and throw more smoothly than he did on Wednesday.

At one point, Griffin pantomimed taking snaps to the side while Cousins and third-stringer Rex Grossman ran a drill.

``You've got to have a good feeling that he can play at full-strength,'' Shanahan said. ``If he can do that, then he will play.''

Griffin has a mild sprain of the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee after getting hit from defensive tackle Haloti Ngata late in regulation in Washington's 31-28 overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

Griffin's status for Sunday could alter offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's game plan. If the less-mobile Cousins plays - or even if Griffin plays on a knee that's less than 100 percent - then the Redskins would be expected to rely less on the zone-read option that Griffin runs so well.

``Just the threat of it does help,'' Kyle Shanahan said. ``Hopefully he's healthy enough to play, then you're healthy enough to have the threat of the speed option, also.''

Kyle Shanahan said he's yet to see Griffin at full speed this week.

``I think Robert's going to be able to show that he can move well,'' Kyle Shanahan said. ``It's more: Is his knee stable enough, and can he protect himself in there, and is there a risk of further injury?''

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Will Ravens use extra picks to make trades in NFL Draft rounds 2 and 3?

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Will Ravens use extra picks to make trades in NFL Draft rounds 2 and 3?

With eight picks remaining in the draft, including the fifth pick in the second round (No. 36 overall), the Ravens are just getting started making moves. Here are three reasons why the Ravens might make a trade Friday night during round 2 or round 3:

1. The Ravens need to strengthen their chances of getting a quality pass rusher or corner.

If the Ravens want a corner or pass rusher who can step in and contribute next season, it’s getting late. Before the draft, Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said he felt more pressure thinking about the second-round pick (No. 36) than he did the first round. The Ravens won’t sit around and wait if they sense all the players they covet slipping away. Don’t be surprised to see the Ravens trade up in either Round 2 or 3 to target a player they want. Corners still on the board include Mackensie Alexander of Clemson, Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, Xavien Howard of Baylor, and Cyrus Jones of Alabama. Pass rushers on the board include Kamalei Correa of Boise St. and Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky. The third round could be too late to get any of those players.

2. The chance to get UCLA inside linebacker Myles Jack makes the start of Round 2 even more fluid.

Jack is a first-round talent who is only available due to concerns about his knee. Many teams, including the Ravens, could be thinking about picking Jack, or trading up to get him.

3. If the Ravens keep all of their picks, all nine players are unlikely to make the team.

The Ravens already have a crowded roster at several positions, including running back and tight end. They will also bring in more free agents once the draft is over. It makes sense to trade a pick or two, in exchange for a player who helps them next season.

Five potential Ravens targets in the second round of the NFL Draft

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Five potential Ravens targets in the second round of the NFL Draft

The Ravens will be on the clock early again on Friday night, scheduled to pick fifth in the second round, at No.  36 overall. After taking Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley with their first pick at No. 6 overall, the Ravens could turn to the defense in the second round, and there is a lot of defensive talent still on the board.

Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said on Thursday night that the Ravens expect to get a first-round talent with their second pick.

"We love the top 36 players in this draft," DeCosta said. "So we're going to get an outstanding player. ... We're very, very confident that at 36 we're going to get a guy that we feel like is a first-round type talent."

So who might that be? Here, in alphabetical order, are a few candidates that could be in play when the Ravens are on the clock:

CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson

The Ravens couldn't trade up for Jalen Ramsey, so they remain in the market for cornerback help. Alexander has shutdown capabilities though there are concerns about his height (5-10) matching up with elite receivers on the outside. Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta predicted a run on cornerbacks between picks 25 and 40, and Alexander figures in that equation.

OLB Kamalei Correa, Boise State

An early entry to the draft, Correa had 12 sacks as a sophomore at Boise State and then seven this past season. Correa (6-3, 243) has played defensive end and linebacker but is considered best suited as an edge rusher in a 3-4 defense.

CB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech

Kendall is about to become the fourth Fuller brother to be drafted, and he could find his way back to his hometown Ravens. A knee injury early last season knocked Fuller out of the first round, but he's a first-round talent when healthy and would be a nice fit for the Ravens.  

LB Myles Jack, UCLA

Wait a minute, he's still around? Yes, Jack had been mentioned as a Ravens first-round pick in many mock drafts, but concerns about his knee -- which he exacerbated by mentioning the possibility of microfracture surgery -- sent him tumbling down draft boards. Still, he's a potential top-10 talent who is still available.

DE Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky

Spence is the type of edge rusher the Ravens have said they covet. He had eight sacks as a sophomore at Ohio State. But off-the-field issues remain his biggest question mark; he was booted from Ohio State because of failed drug tests and tried to boost his draft stock by transferring to Eastern Kentucky, where he recorded 11 1/2 sacks last year.

Ravens tried trading up for Jalen Ramsey, Cowboys said no

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Ravens tried trading up for Jalen Ramsey, Cowboys said no

Ronnie Stanley was the Ravens’ choice, but they were chasing Jalen Ramsey.

The Ravens tried trading up to No. 4 with the Cowboys in Round 1 to take defensive back Jalen Ramsey of Florida St., an NFL source said, confirming an ESPN report. In return, the Ravens were offering the sixth pick and one of their fourth-round picks.

However, the Cowboys had trepidation about trading down to No. 6, afraid that another team might trade up to No. 5 and take running back Ezekiel Elliott. So the Cowboys stayed put at No. 4 and took Elliott, the Jaguars took Ramsey at No. 5, while the Ravens opted for Stanley at No. 6 over Oregon defensive end DeForest Bucker, who the 49ers took at No. 7.

Asked whether he had conversations about moving up in Round 1, Ravens general manger Ozzie Newsome said, “We had some conversation in the room, and I would say we talked to a team.”

Ramsey’s ability to play both safety and corner, along with his physicality, could have dramatically changed the look of the Ravens’ secondary. But getting Ramsey was always going to be difficult for the Ravens.

With that door now closed, it would not be surprising to see the Ravens take a cornerback with their early second-round pick (No. 36 overall) Friday night.

Mackensie Alexander of Clemson, Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, Cyrus Jones of Alabama, and Xavien Howard of Baylor are among top corners still on the board.