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A draft night unlike any other

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A draft night unlike any other

NEW YORK--It is safe to say that there has never been a draft night quite like it for the Redskins Or, for that matter, for any other NFL team.When else has the teams top draft pick sung the teams fight song over the telephone to reporters? Or showed up in socks in the teams colors? Or was able to rattle off nearly every receiver and running back on the roster, not just their names but a quick scouting report on some of them?But Robert Griffin III did all of that and more in the two hours after this card was turned into Roger Goodell at about 8:13 on Thursday night: After celebrating with his family, Griffin was in on a conference call with reporters at Redskins Park. When asked how he felt after being drafted, Griffin broke out into Hail to the Redskins.Then it was to the interview room at Radio City Music Hall where he answered some of the same questions he had just taken on the phone again. Yes, he was excited. Yes, he was looking forward to getting to know his teammates, especially the offensive line. Yes, he was looking forward to playing games against Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Michael Vick but he didnt really play against other quarterbacks, he plays against defenses.RG3 managed to get in plugs for two of the companies he has signed to endorse, mentioning Subway and adidas, the makers of his distinctive socks.After showing off those burgundy and gold socks at the front table he went to a back room and answered more questions and more of the same questions. He was interviewed by everyone from the local reporters who were on the scene to fellow Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George, to international reporters from Latin America and Japan.And Griffin answered every repetitive question like it was the very first time anyone had ever asked him that question. He showed the socks, which have become his signature fashion accessory, several more times with the same enthusiasm he had showed them the first time.Somewhere in between all of this he took a minute to send out his sentiments via Twitter. HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!! It's an honor to be your quarterback CantWait, he tweeted via his @RGIII Twitter handle, which he started just a few weeks ago and now has over 166,000 followers.His introduction as a Redskin is just beginning. On Friday, Griffin will go to Redskins Park and get what he needs to start preparing for next weekends rookie camp. Then on Saturday hell go to FedEx Field for another press conference and an introduction to the teams fans gathered at the draft day party.The party will go on for the fans, who will be counting down the days to RG3s debut in the regular season opener in New Orleans (which just so happens to be Griffins home town). That countdown, by the way, stands at 135 days.Meanwhile, the hard work of becoming an NFL quarterback starts for Griffin. Its rookie camp for Griffin next weekend and then OTAs, minicamp, and then training camp with a lot of time in meeting rooms with Kyle Shanahan and QB coach Matt LaFleur. He said (more than a few times) that he will be the first one in the building and he last one out. We will start seeing the results in September.

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Jay Gruden views Chris Thompson as the NFL's best third-down running back

Jay Gruden views Chris Thompson as the NFL's best third-down running back

In 2016, Chris Thompson simply needed to prove to Jay Gruden that he could handle 16 NFL games.

Now, looking ahead to 2017, the fifth-year running back hopes to show his head coach he can shoulder 16 NFL games and a larger workload.

"I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year," Thompson said Monday at the Redskins Charitable Golf Foundation. "[Gruden] knows now that I'm healthy and I can stay healthy, which I think that was one of his biggest concerns. So now he sees that I can handle the load, I think that I'll get a lot more opportunities this year."

Last season was by far the best in the 26-year-old's career. He played a full slate of games after playing in just 19 over his first three seasons combined, and he set career highs in rushing attempts (68), yards (356), receptions (49), receiving yards (349) and total touchdowns (5).

MORE REDSKINS: TEAM IS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE WITH PLANS FOR NEW STADIUM

He also held up well in pass protection, a key duty for him as the team's third-down running back. And it's all of those qualities — being able to contribute on handoffs and with catches while also providing help in keeping Kirk Cousins upright — that make him an excellent fit for a popular NFL duty.

The most excellent in that duty, actually, if you ask Gruden. 

"I think Chris Thompson's role is big," he said. "When you're talking about third downs, that's the most important down in football. There's nobody better as a third-down back in my opinion than Chris. He's got a huge role on this football team." 

Gruden went on to indicate that an increase in Thompson's responsibilities is likely coming, though No. 25 will still do the majority of his work when the offense needs him most.

"Whether he does some more stuff on first- and second-down will be determined," he said. "I'm sure he will. But he's so valuable on third-down that I gotta keep him in that role for now."

A 2013 fifth-round pick who came into the league with a history of injuries, Thompson has now fully gained the trust of his coaches and teammates. The 5-foot-8 running back may be small in stature, but the Redskins know he's not small in importance.  

RELATED: RANKING THE TOP ROOKIE QBS FOR FANTASY FOOTBALL

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Fantasy football: Ranking the top eight rookie quarterbacks in 2017

Fantasy football: Ranking the top eight rookie quarterbacks in 2017

Rookie camps are in the books as teams now move to organized team activities. Does that mean it's too early for fantasy football rankings? 

Probably, but seeing as the rookies are new to the scene, we might as well start projecting where and how they fit. 

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S 2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ROOKIE QB RANKINGS

Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Sterling Shepard and Michael Thomas were among the rookies who produced and then some in 2016.

Based on the early rounds of the 2017 NFL draft, there’s hope for even more first-year standouts.  

Starting with the Bears selecting quarterback Mitch Trubisky second overall, 19 skill players were drafted in the first and second round.

That includes fellow first-round quarterback selections Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Several sleeper candidates followed. 

Here’s my look at the Elite Eight quarterbacks with the 2017 fantasy football season -- and beyond -- in mind.

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S 2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ROOKIE QB RANKINGS

2017 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings:

Running Backs - No. 1, Leonard Fournette, Jaguars

* Wide receivers - No. 1, Corey Davis, Titans