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Draft Chatter: A guard for the Redskins at 34?


Draft Chatter: A guard for the Redskins at 34?

We all know that NFL teams should draft the best available player when they are on the clock. But how you define that term is very much open to interpretation. Is it the guy with the best measurables, the biggest, fastest, strongest? How much does character count? Should you factor in if you think you can get a player nearly as good later in the draft? Should your team’s needs factor into you evaluation of the best available?

Sometimes, teams overthink things. The quandary of what constitutes being best available can often be solved by answering a simple question:

Which player would I most regret passing over three years from now?

For the Redskins, that player could be guard Xavier Su’a-Filo of UCLA.

Yes, we know that the Redskins don’t draft guards that high. They did take Josh LeRibeus in the third round in 2012. Before that, the last time they drafted a guard at all was in 2008 when they took Chad Rinehart in the third round. They haven’t taken a guard in the second round since 1994 when they took Tre Johnson with the 31st overall pick (that was a second-round pick back then).

Johnson was the only guard they have ever drafted as high as the second round. Mark May, who played tackle at Pitt and played both guard and tackle for the Redskins, was a first-round pick. But Johnson is the only pure guard the team has ever taken before the third round. And we’re not just talking about post merger, we’re going back to 1936 here.

But perhaps they should change modus operandi in this case and take the 6-4, 307-lb. Su’a-Filo if he’s still on the board. Why? Frank Cooney of NFLDraftScout.com explains it well:

“Let's see what you want in an offensive lineman. Size? Check. Athleticism? Check. Reliable character? Double check. Draft him, suit him, play him. Take credit for making an easy decision.”

Some team is going to take Su’a-Filo right around the 34th pick and will likely never regret it. He might not be a home run but Bruce Allen could probably do a lot worse with his initial draft pick after taking control of the Redskins’ draft.

We’ll see what happens but Allen might best be advised not to overthink this one.

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Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”

He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.

Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).

Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.

“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”

“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”

Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).


Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.

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Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

RGIII is finally getting another chance to play.

Plagued by injury after injury — most recently breaking a bone in his left shoulder in the Brown’s 29-10 loss to the Eagles in their season opener — the former Redskin is set to start for Cleveland against the Bengals on Sunday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.

Griffin was cleared for contact last week after missing the majority of the Browns’ 0-12 season, and the team is coming off a bye week after its last loss to the Giants over Thanksgiving weekend.

In 2015, Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin as starting quarterback, and the Redskins released him at the end of the season. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract with Cleveland in March.  

In Griffin’s absence, the Browns have relied on Cody Kessler and Josh McCown, who boast a 65.5 and 54.5 completion percentage, respectively. The two combine for just 12 touchdowns this season.

Will Griffin be the key to ending the Browns’ winless season? We’ll find out Sunday.

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