Did you know Maryland senior tight end Matt Furstenburg has been named to the preseason watch list for the John Mackey Award? Now you do. Given annually to the top collegiate tight end in the nation,Furstenburg is one of 33 players on the list. Furstenburg, a consensus preseason first team All-ACC selection,caught 31 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns last season. He rankedthird among ACC tight ends in receptions and receiving yards per game year ago. He was also named to the Mackey Award midseason watch list last year, but didnt make the semifinalist list. The award, which has been presented since 2000, is named for NFL Hall of Famer John Mackey.
When John Wall was asked about DeMarcus Cousins joining Anthony Davis to play with the New Orleans Pelicans, it still was a hypothetical question after the All-Star Game. Now it's official.
Cousins, Wall's teammate in 2010 at Kentucky before both were lottery picks, was traded from the Sacramento Kings. The Wizards' point guard talked about his conversation after Sunday's exhibition in New Orleans.
"I talked to him. I called him. He was a little upset at the time. Didn't think it was going to happen. He told me he was going to stay put (in New Orleans). He was just sitting in the airport like, 'I don't know where in the hell to go,'" Wall said. "He figured he'd go back to Sacramento for a couple of days, say his goodbyes, head to New Orleans. I think he's in a better place now. I think what they did with coming and meeting and talking to him ...that was a key that made him feel a little more comfortable. Then to have the opportunity to have a great tandem."
Davis is an All-Star frontline player, a face-up/stretch power forward who can play center though he's undersized. Cousins has the more sturdy physique but he has increasingly been playing on the perimeter.
"They have a chance to sneak into the playoffs. It's going to take a little bit of time because those guys are so dominant and need the ball," Wall said. "When you have two great players like that who are close, that's friends, spend a lot of time together I think it'll be a short period of time before they figure it out."
Redskins draft countdown
The NFL draft is 63 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how they might fit in Washington.
40-yard dash: TBD
Projected draft round: 1
What they’re saying
Slippery and long. Combination of arm length and flexible torso allow him to slither into gaps and create disruptions for blockers. Freaky combination of size and athleticism. Can overwhelm blockers with pure strength and explosiveness when his feet are right. Strong enough in lower half to play through contact and cause stress in the pocket. Has tremendous amount of untapped potential waiting to be unlocked.
How he fits the Redskins: If you’re reading this, you know that the 2016 Redskins’ defensive line was manned by one pretty good player in Chris Baker and a cast of journeymen and youngsters with some potential but little immediate production. They need to add at least one top-flight D-lineman in the draft and McDowell could be the guy.
If you are spending a top draft pick on a D-lineman you want one who can be an asset against the run and be able to rush the passer. McDowell’s profile fits that job description. He could defend the run as an end in the base 3-4 defense and kick inside to provide pass rush up the middle in nickel situations.
McDowell is generally rated behind Jonathan Allen of Alabama and Caleb Brantley of Florida among interior defensive line prospects. Allen and Brantley are likely to be gone by the time the Redskins pick at No. 17 but McDowell should be there as an option.
Potential issues: His production was inconsistent and his technique needs a lot of work. The fact of the matter is, I can probably copy and paste that sentence into the write up of virtually any defensive lineman in the draft. The college linemen who are NFL prospects are generally just bigger and stronger than the players trying to block him.
A look of some plays in the Spartans’ game against Notre Dame shows McDowell’s inconsistency. At times, he can’t disengage from a single blocker and a few plays later he was able skirt around three blockers and make a tackle for a loss. He also was good at getting push upfield when he rushed the passer but too often the pressure was not in the direction of the quarterback.
McDowell also had some issues with major penalties. He drew an unsportsmanlike conduct flag in the Notre Dame game, although the film didn’t show what he did to earn it. Later in the year he was tossed from a game against Indiana, a game his team lost in overtime. Since the ejection came in the second half, he had to sit out the first half of Michigan State’s next game.
Bottom line: Interviews with his coaches, MSU weight room staff, etc., will be keys in the evaluation of McDowell. If the Redskins try to teach him the proper fundamentals of line play will he absorb it? Will consistency come with maturity (he will be 20 on draft day)?
It seems like a good fit as if McDowell is believed to be coachable he may be the best player available at No. 17 and even if the Redskins manage to retain Chris Baker and sign another veteran or two the position will need an infusion of youth. We will see if it works out
Previously in Redskins draft countdown: