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On Thursday, a glimpse at what could have been

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On Thursday, a glimpse at what could have been

RICHMOND—The Redskins and their fans should get a glimpse of what might have been on Thursday when Jake Locker starts at quarterback for the Titans.

Going into the 2011 draft, there was plenty of chatter that Mike Shanahan was enamored with the athletic Locker going back to the quarterback’s sophomore year with the Washington Huskies. The Redskins held the tenth pick in the draft and there seemed to be a very good chance that Locker would be there when the Redskins’ turn came up.

But it didn’t happen. The Titans had the eighth pick and they decided to make him the quarterback of their future. The Redskins ended up trading back and taking Ryan Kerrigan. They would get their QB of the future in 2012.

Locker played in five games as a rookie, mostly late in games where the outcome had been decided. He entered last year as a starter but he missed five games with a shoulder injury.

The 6-foot-3 Locker had an up and down 2012 season with 10 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a decidedly mediocre passer rating of 74.0. He rushed for 41 times for 291 yards.

There is talk that Locker will run some read option this year to take advantage of his speed and athleticism. In the spring, Titans head coach Mike Munchak said that the Titans will "have a lot more things for Jake ... and you want defenses to worry about those types of things."

It is unlikely that we will see much of any new wrinkles the Titans might have for Locker in the first preseason game, but Locker could scramble a time or two in the few series he’ll be in the game. That will give us a glimpse of what might have been here.

The Redskins, of course, limped through the 2011 season with Rex Grossman and John Beck at quarterback and traded up to get Robert Griffin III in the 2012 draft. We’ll never know what might have happened if the Titans had passed on Locker and he had been on the board when the Redskins’ selection came up two picks later. But we’ll get a quick look at the possibility on Thursday.

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How playing at Alabama may have actually hurt Jonathan Allen's draft stock

How playing at Alabama may have actually hurt Jonathan Allen's draft stock

For the past few seasons, Jonathan Allen was a stud at the heart of Alabama's defense. He was far from the only stud, however, and that might be another factor in why he slipped to the Redskins at pick No. 17 on Thursday night.

The chief concern about Allen is the health of his shoulders, but there's also the question of how he'll do when he's no longer with Nick Saban's star-laden unit. It's easy to succeed when you're a part of a loaded ensemble cast, the thinking might've gone when it came to Allen, but how will you do on your solo project?

In addition to Allen, the Crimson Tide featured Marlon Humphrey (who went 16th to the Ravens), Reuben Foster (who went 31st to the 49ers) and others, like Tim Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson and Ryan Anderson, all of whom could go in Friday's second and third rounds. Together, that's a tremendous defense, but in the NFL, they'll be striking out on their own.

MORE REDSKINS: NORMAN, COUSINS, OTHERS WELCOME ALLEN TO D.C.

That's another possible explanation for why the Redskins were able to nab what was almost a consensus top-five prospect so late in the event.

"He's a really talented pass rusher but he's always been surrounded by enough talent that it's been hard for offenses to game plan their protection for him," one NFC director of player personnel told NFL.com.

Now, it's not like Allen is joining a bunch of nobodies in Washington. Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith and Zach Brown will also be lining up with him in Greg Manusky's front-seven. Oh, and Allen is no slouch either — the list of his strengths in this particular scouting report contains words like "superior," "proficient," "consistent" and "excellent."

But it is probably fair to say that, comparatively speaking, the rookie won't be amongst as many skilled guys as he was in college. By rushing to the podium to snag him, however, the Redskins clearly expect him to handle the NFL transition just fine.

RELATED: REDSKINS REPORTEDLY LOOKING TO TRADE ONE OF THEIR OWN    

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Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon could be out of reach for Redskins per oddsmakers

Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon could be out of reach for Redskins per oddsmakers

Florida State running back Dalvin Cook visited Redskins Park earlier this month. The Redskins did their homework on Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon in advance of the draft.

All of that pre-draft work might not matter though as Cook and Mixon will be off the board before the Redskins pick in the second round. At least according to oddsmakers.

Bovada.lv set over/under scenarios for both players. Cook lands at 38.5 and Mixon landed at 42.5.

[Related: Top end talent still available for Redskins in second round, but red flags remain]

Certainly both guys can go past the numbers established by the oddsmakers, but there's a reason drinks are free in Las Vegas. Oddsmakers tend to be very, very close when they set lines.

Considering that, if Washington wants either player, the team would likely have to trade up.

Much speculation has Cook the first player off the board to the Packers with the 33rd pick. It seems like a good fit.

[Related: Casserly says that Jonathan Allen is a more talented player than Solomon Thomas]

Mixon is more interesting. His loathsome action a few years back that was caught on video will continue to haunt him, but he will get drafted in the second round. He has the talent.

Bruce Allen has the capital to make a move. The team has nine more picks in the next six rounds. There's also the report that the team is shopping third-year pro Matt Jones.

Could a package of Jones and a late round pick entice a trade? It could.

Much like Thursday night, there will be plenty to watch Friday night.

More Redskins: Need to know: Five possible second and third round picks for the Redskins