POST FOR 11 AMHave you found the NFL Network's top 100 player rankings a bit curious in spots. Michael Vick concurs - and then some.The Eagles dynamic quarterback showed up 70th on the list. Let's just say he found that slot rather amusing. More from CSNphilly:Yeah, thats a joke, Vick told Mike Missanelli of 97.5 The Fanatic, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. I wont say where I need to be, Ill let my peers and everybody else decide on that. It was voted on by the peers, but I just disagree. Thank you, because theyve motivated me to become a better player this year, so Ill have that in the back of my mind as I go out and play this year as well.Jenkins back with the CowboysCowboys corner Mike Jenkins missed three weeks worth of Organized Team Activities, but showed up for day one of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. The Dallas Morning News reports Jerry Jones spoke with the subject of repeated trade rumors earlier in the day. According to the team owner, it's all good."I had a good visit with him," Jones said. "It is good to have him out here and our guys got a chance to check out how he has been rehabbing. So all of that was good."Jenkins, beset by various injuries last season, enters the final year of his contract. He is seeking a new deal after playingthrough the pain last year and undergoingshoulder surgery during the offseason, the same offseason he appears to have lost his starting job. Dallas signed top free agent Brandon Carr to a mega contract and moved up in the first round to select LSU corner Morris Claiborne. Giants lose one to the PatriotsThe New York Giants already knew they would be without injured tight end Jake Ballard for the 2012 season. Now, after a transactional risk, they have lost him altogether.On Monday the team placed the 24-year-old on waivers. On Tuesday, the team Ballard helped defeat in the Super Bowl - the New England Patriots - claimed him. The New York Daily News reports the Giants intended on re-signing Ballard, who is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the Super Bowl XLVI victory, and placing him on the physically unable to perform list. The Patriots said not so fast and surprisingly picked him up, leaving the tight endmuch to process.While this was very sudden and I am still experiencing a great deal of differing emotions, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you and place some closure on a wonderful chapter in my life, Ballard said in a statement through agent Blake Baratz.
The next time Robert Kelley plows over a helpless linebacker, he'll do it with a new number on his uniform.
The second-year running back is switching from No. 32 to No. 20, according to Redskins.com. And he's not the only returning player who'll take the field in 2017 with a new pair of digits.
Su'a Cravens will no longer be No. 36 for Washington. Instead, he'll change to No. 30. DJ Swearinger will be taking over No. 36 after coming over from the Cardinals, a number that he reportedly purchased from Cravens for $75,000.
Then there's Colt McCoy. McCoy has donned No. 16 for the past three seasons, but he's throwing it back to his college days and will now rock No. 12.
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Finally, second-year corner Kendall Fuller only spent one year with No. 38. As he hopes to improve in his sophomore campaign, he'll be doing so with No. 29.
As for the free agents, Terrelle Pryor will be replacing DeSean Jackson in more ways than one when kickoff rolls around. Not only will the ex-Brown have to shine as a top receiver for Kirk Cousins like Jackson did, but he'll also be sporting Jackson's No. 11.
New linebacker Zach Brown, meanwhile, is now No. 56, linemen Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain are Nos. 92 and 97 respectively and Brian Quick will keep No. 83 from his Rams days.
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Do the Redskins have a draft need at running back? It depends on who you ask.
Jay Gruden seems to be very happy with incumbent running back Rob Kelley. Here is what he had to say last month about the second-year back, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane, last month:
“Oh, man, I love Rob Kelley,” Gruden said. “I thought he played great. You throw a rookie free agent into the fire like that and see him play and compete. Not one time did I feel like it was too big for him. Not once. That’s a hell of a thing to say for a kid out of Tulane who only had a couple of carries his senior year. He came right in, he competes on every play.”
Kelley played in 15 games last year and rushed for 704 yards and scored six touchdowns. He started the last nine games and if you project his numbers in this games out over a 16-game season you get about 1,050 yards and 11 touchdowns. That’s not Ezekiel Elliott or Le’Veon Bell production but it’s good for a team that is going to rely mostly on the pass.
Gruden also praised third-down back Chris Thompson and backup Mack Brown. In a telling sign, he acknowledged that 2015 third-round pick Matt Jones is still on the roster but he didn’t have much good to say about him.
Why, then, do you see so many draft analysts listing running back as one of the team’s most urgent needs? Mark Maske, who is the Post’s national NFL writer but also a former Redskins beat reporter, has them taking Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey in his mock draft. “There certainly are issues on defense for the Redskins,” writes Maske. But there also is a need at running back.”
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com said that the Redskins “obviously” need a running back as his rationale for mocking Florida State’s Dalvin Cook to Washington at No. 17.
So, what is it? Is Kelley adequate for the Redskins’ needs considering they call pass plays on over 60 percent of their offensive snaps? Would they run more often if they had a back like McCaffrey or Cook? And if they did run more would the offense improve?
I think that running back is like several positions with the Redskins. If they have to get through the 2016 season with what they have they will be OK. But if there is an upgrade on the board when they are on the clock they won’t hesitate to make the pick if he’s the best player available.
We will see what happens if, say, McCaffrey is still on the board when the Redskins pick at No. 17 and top defensive targets like Rueben Foster and Haason Reddick are off the board. That will be the true test to see how committed Gruden and the rest of the organization are to Kelley, Thompson, and company.