Running back Alfred Morris, the Redskins sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic, could be the right guy in the right place.Morris said he was shocked when the phone rang during the draft and the Redskins head coach was on the other end.He said, This is Mike Shanahan, welcome to the Redskins, said Morris, who grew up a Redskins fan. I was like, wow! It kind of floored be but I was excited, I told him thank you, thank you and ended up talking to running backs coach Bobby Turner.It wasnt the first time that Morris had talked to Shanahan. He was a member of the South team at the Senior Bowl, the squad coached by the Redskins staff. Morris was a bit puzzled by Shanahans demeanor on the practice field. He was just kind of quiet the whole time, he just walked around.Morris found out during last weekends rookie minicamp that he was seeing Shanahans normal practice-field manner. He is normally seen around the middle of the field observing the offense and the defense.Morris believes that he is well prepared to play in Shanahans offense. His coach at FAU was Howard Schnellenberger and he was not one to get caught up in the trend towards the spread offense.He was a big I-formation guy, Morris said of Schnellenberger, who has been around so long he was the head coach of the Colts the year after they traded away Johnny Unitas. Ive been in the I formation, it helped me with my blocking skills, just running between the tackles . . . I definitely helped me transition over.Morris said that he is well aware of Shanahans history of taking running backs late in the draft and turning them into highly productive players. But hes not thinking about that right now.It just goes to show, he saw something in me that others didnt, he said. He was taking a chance on me and I definitely didnt want to disappoint him.
The Redskins have the 17th pick in tonight’s first round. Things get underway when the Browns go on the clock at about 8 p.m. There are 10 minutes allotted between picks. If each team takes the maximum time the Redskins will pick sometime after 11 p.m. However, picks are usually in with a few minutes to spare so Washington will go on the clock sometime between 10 and 10:30.
So, what is there to watch for until then? In what everything thinks will be one of the wildest and most unpredictable first rounds in recent memory, here are five places where the decisions made could have ripple effects back to pick No. 17.
No. 1, Browns—The steaming hot rumor that has popped up in the last 24 hours is that QB Mitchell Trubisky, not DE Myles Garret, will be the top pick in the draft. Of course, that talk could be a steaming pile of, well, what comes out of the south end of a bull. If the Browns do go with Trubisky, who was expected to remain on the board through the first five picks, there could be a run on quarterbacks in the top half of the draft, with teams maneuvering to get their guy. That could push a solid defensive player back to the Redskins.
No. 4, Jaguars—Nobody is quite sure what is going on here. Leonard Fournette is the chalk pick but this is the team that drafted Blake Bortles completely out of the blue in the top five a few years ago. They have spent a lot of draft capital and free agent money on defense. They may be ready to move on from Bortles so a QB is a possibility, a move that would start or, if Trubusky goes to the Browns at No. 1, continue a run on quarterbacks.
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No. 8, Panthers—In a draft that is supposedly unpredictable, the constant in mock drafts over the last 10 days or so has been Christian McCaffrey to Carolina. It almost seems to be too simple to be true, especially if the top seven picks are loaded with surprises. The Panthers have plenty of needs and if they have a top safety or linebacker fall into their laps they could well bypass McCaffrey. That would put him in play for the Redskins at 17.
No. 13, Cardinals—We go back to quarterbacks here. Will the Cardinals, who have plenty of needs, take a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech to groom to replace Carson Palmer? If they do, that could force the a QB-needy team picking later in the first such as the Texans to move up to make sure they aren’t left out. That could have them on the phone to Ashburn offering their second-round pick to entice the Redskins to move down to No. 25.
MORE REDSKINS: Final Redskins mock: Defense goes 1-2, surprise in the third
No. 16, Ravens—Picking immediately in front of the Redskins, the Ravens also have needs everywhere. Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster seem like the type of player the Ravens like so there is the possibility that the Redskins could see a very good player at a top area of need slide back towards them only to get snatched up one pick prior to them going on the clock. The good news may be that many analysts have Baltimore addressing wide receiver or offensive line at No. 16 and those positions are not likely to be of high interest to the Redskins in the first round.
A lot has changed since the end of the college football season, and that's obvious when you consider all of the names the Redskins might look at with the 17th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night.
Some players have surged up draft boards on the strength of strong combine or pro day efforts. Other have dropped, due to unfortunate incidents, injuries or poor measurements.
Think about players like Teez Tabor or Zach Cunningham. Those guys play in the SEC and seemed like first-round locks two months ago. Now the 'Skins might be able to value shop for those players in the second round.
The flip side: A plyer like Haason Reddick. A star at the Senior Bowl who really busted out at the Combine, the Redskins might love to have him but he could be a Top 10 selection.
All sorts of legal trouble and diluted urine samples will also impact draft night. Injuries too, or even the thought of possible injuries.
Few sporting events are as wild as the first round of the NFL Draft. Stay tuned with CSN for all your Redskins coverage. Chick Hernandez and Rich Tandler will be in Ashburn with the team, JP Finlay will be live in Philadelphia as the chaos unfolds.
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