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Mechanical difficulties?

Mechanical difficulties?

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski got some headlines on Wednesday by declaring that a quarterback who has started seven NFL games could be one of the best ever.

"I truly believe Colin Kaepernick could be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever," Jaworski said Wednesday on ESPN. "I love his skill set. I think the sky's the limit."

Well, OK then. Some might think it’s a bit premature to say that but when the purpose is to make a bold statement you might as well go out on a limb.

Earlier in the day, the former Eagles quarterback made some statements that drew some attention around these parts when he talked about the throwing mechanics of Robert Griffin III.

“I was watching him throw the football — there were a few clips — and I was concerned in the weight transfer,” he said on Mike and Mike In the Morning via our friends at Pro Football Talk. “I didn’t see the clean mechanics I’ve seen in the past. I’m not there every day, I’m not a doctor, but he just looks a little different right now. It’s pregame, it was warmup, people can discount that. I’m just saying from my eye, I didn’t see the clean drops, the weight transfer, stay on that back foot, snap the hips, that I’d seen out of him.”

This created some degree of panic among some Redskins fans who fear that Griffin’s second ACL injury may have permanently altered the quarterbacks ability to throw. Both Griffin and Mike Shanahan were asked about it yesterday.

Griffin was asked if there were any changes to his mechanics. “I think the experience last year playing through the injury, being hurt out there, showed me a lot about football,” he said. “That’s something that I’ll keep to myself.”

One could surmise from the last part of that answer that Griffin’s mechanics aren’t the same as they were when he had such a stellar rookie season last year.

Shanahan said that any hitch in Griffin’s mechanics may be due him taking fewer practice reps due to his knee rehab.

“When you take a look at his OTAs, the minicamps, there’s about 600 throws in there, so we’ve watched them,” he said. “You know, right now, he’s got well over 200 throws – about 220 – so we’ve had a chance to see what he’s done thus far, and we’ve still got a couple more weeks left, putting him in team situations and things that he’s done in the past.”

“Everybody needs those reps and that’s why we’re going to do it for two weeks before we get in our game week against Philly, so it was part of our game plan in getting Robert ready and we’ve got a couple of weeks to go and hopefully he keeps on progressing like he has.”

If what Jaworski said is true—and remember that he was watching pregame warmups for a game in which Griffin would not play—it’s not necessarily any cause for alarm. Griffin is still rounding into form and the knee is different from the way it was before. In addition, there is a brace on it and that will take some getting used to. The more reps he gets the more comfortable he will be. It’s possible that he will have to live with some flaws in his motion for the rest of the year until he gets them ironed out next offseason.

So it is premature to be overly concerned about permanent issues with Griffin’s throwing motion, if he does indeed have any at all. But it is worth watching and I’m sure we’ll hear more about this when the season starts.

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QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

Quarterbacks will come off the board in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night. That much is certain. Where those quarterbacks come off the board, however, matters much more for the Redskins. 

Mitchell Trubisky will be the first passer off the board, and depending on the information, he could be drafted as high as the first overall pick, and will certainly go early.

Trubisky, though, seems like the only certainty of a QB going early. Questions plague guys like Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Those guys could all go in the first half of the draft, but they could all slide into the 20s as well. 

For Washington, the earlier quarterbacks get drafted the better. It seems highly unlikely the Redskins make a draft day trade of QB Kirk Cousins, limiting hardly any interest in a first-round passer.

The more passers that go before the 'Skins pick at 17 means the more high-quality players slide down the draft board. Look around the internet at lists of the best prospects available. Hardly any signal callers crack the Top 20, but the positional need at QB demands the position be overdrafted.

Though the Burgundy and Gold continue to slow-play contract talks with Cousins, he is under contract for 2017 and the team holds an option for 2018. That means Bruce Allen can sit in his draft room and potentially be a trade partner for a team that wants to land a QB, or just wait patiently and watch as they come off the board and send other desirable prospects closer to 17.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 25, one day before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 16
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 28
—Training camp starts (7/27) 92
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 137

Wrapping up the Redskins pre-draft presser

We’ve looked at a some of what Redskins college scouting director Scott Campbell said during his pre-draft press conference on Monday, covering possible trades, who makes the final call on those trades, and how the organization handles character issues. Here are a few more bullet points from Campbell’s presser:

—Asked if the Redskins would draft to fill needs or take the best available player, Campbell gave the stock answer. “I guess as you asked the question, you kind of framed it and the way I’m going to frame the answer, and the age-old answer of ‘I’m going to take the best player available,’” he said “And if that serves your needs, that’s a bonus.” So, there you go. That said, don’t be surprised if the best players as defined by the Redskins in the first few also happen have the “bonus” of filling one the team’s top two or three needs.

—The needs could line up well because the strength of the draft as Campbell sees it coincides with side of the ball where the Redskins need the most help. “Well, I’m excited because I think it’s one of the strongest, deepest classes on the defensive side of the ball that I’ve seen,” he said. “I’ve told the guys upstairs I’m excited because we’re going to get better . . . And several different positions – sometimes it’s just maybe defensive line or outside backers or corners. Across the board on defense, I’m really excited about the class and the guys we’re going to bring in are going to help us.”

—The draft board is still used after the draft ends and the scramble for undrafted free agents starts up. “There’s going to be guys left on the bottom of that board that didn’t get drafted that we had rated as draftable,” said Campbell. “So that’s our No. 1 targets. I assign a scout to all the coaches, and really the coaches talk to the players – once the draft ends, let me be clear, it’s after the draft ends when we start making calls – the scouts are on the phone with the agent finding out what our competition is, how much.” Campbell said that money isn’t much of a factor in recruiting the undrafted players; selling opportunity is the key.

—The draft board was influenced by former GM Scot McCloughan but adjustments have been made since he was fired in early March. “Well, he certainly had influence on it because we all met as we always did the last couple of years and every team does. You meet right after the all-star games before you go to the combine and kind of get an initial ranking of how you like the guys. Of course Scot hadn’t been here since, so just like when he was here before, there’s adjustments being made to the board with the new information.”

—The 2016 draft class did not contribute a lot but does not mean that there is more pressure on the organization to do better this year. The pressure is always there regardless. “Always pressure. Every year’s pressure,” said Campbell. “I grew up in an NFL household. My dad was a coach and a player for 40 years. Pressure every year to perform, that’s what the NFL is. You’ve got to perform every year.” His father was Marion Campbell who played in the NFL for eight years and then coached for 21 seasons including stints as the head coach of the Eagles and Falcons.

—Campbell also asked for a little patience with the 2016 draft class, citing a group from a few years ago. “It takes a couple of years to develop a class,” said Campbell. “People are saying the ‘14 class had some success. Well, if I read articles and see what happened and what was said right after that draft, our grades in the mock drafts were not very good. It takes time. Morgan Moses didn’t start his first year, you know, but he’s come on to be one of the best right tackles in the league. That’s my opinion anyway. It takes time to develop. I still think with time, that class [2016] will be just fine.” I guess I buried the lede here—Campbell reads draft grades.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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