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Redskins Combine Countdown: Utah CB Eric Rowe

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Redskins Combine Countdown: Utah CB Eric Rowe

The NFL Combine gets underway in Indianapolis in just 6 days. I will be there and in between now and then I’ll be doing a lot of work getting up to speed on the draft class of 2015. Along the way I’ll be sharing some of what I find out with Real Redskins readers. The focus will be on players in areas of need for the Redskins but I might look at players at just about any position since Scot McCloughan has said that he will take the best player available regardless of need.

Eric Rowe
CB
Utah

Height: 6-1
Weight: 201

What they’re saying:

STRENGTHS Tall cornerback with long frame. Has the ability to disrupt wide receivers off the line of scrimmage and can mirror them out of their release. Jams and disrupts shallow crossers. Will throw his body around in run support if needed. Solid tackler.

WEAKNESSES Linear body type with average play strength. Will struggle to carry NFL deep speed. Lacks an accelerator and is not a recovery-type cornerback. Limited as a man-cover corner. Has change-of-direction issues in tight spaces.

SOURCES TELL US "He's a long-strider with limited deep speed, so I see him as a Tampa-2 guy or maybe fitting with a defense similar to Seattle's where he has a good free safety helping over the top." -- AFC director of college scouting

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: The smaller, faster corners tend to come off the board on Thursday and Friday night during the draft. The taller guys, the ones who run the 4.6 forties, tend to stick around until Saturday afternoon. That is when Rowe’s name may come up in the Redskins’ draft room.

Rowe started at safety for his first three years with the Utes and then switched to cornerback as a senior to replace Keith McGill, a fourth-round pick of the Raiders. He is entering the draft looking to play corner but that will be up to the team that drafts him. The Redskins have a need at both positions so he could be on their draft board twice.

Scot McCloughan has hinted that he believes that a defensive backfield like the one the Seahawks have built, one he had a hand in building while in their personnel department earlier this decade, with bigger players. At 6-1, Rowe qualities there, although he may be asked to put on some weight.

An important factor for the Redskins will be special teams; they probably won’t take a late-round player who can’t be good at them. A few reports I’ve see check this box off for Rowe.

Potential issues: As noted, he doesn’t have great straight-line speed. Rowe is not going to get much faster so they key will be how well he deals with perhaps being a step slower than many of the receivers he will be covering. A lot of that comes down to using excellent technique and spending time in the film room so you know the other team’s tendencies. As with every player on the Redskins’ draft board, the scouting department’s interviews with his college coaches, teammates, and others who were with him at Utah will be important.

Bottom line: There will be a few taller corners on the board on Saturday, players like Rowe, Byron Jones of Connecticut, and Jacoby Glenn of Central Florida. They should be on the Redskins’ radar screens but we don’t know how McCloughan will grade them out. They aren’t going to take a bigger corner just for the sake of trying to get another Richard Sherman (who, at 6-3, is a bit taller than any of the late-round corners who are likely to be around on Saturday this year). But if they do take a corner he’ll probably be 6-1 or taller and Rowe could well get consideration.

Previously in Combine Countdown:

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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Raiders

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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Raiders

 

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, September 24, eight days before the Washington Redskins play Chiefs in Kansas City.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 CSN; Redskins vs. Raiders 8:30 NBC

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 29
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 35

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Raiders

—With Rob Kelley out and Jordan Reed unlikely to play, per Adam Schefter, Samaje Perine will get his first NFL start and Jeremy Sprinkle will be active for the first time. Perine got rolling as the game went on vs. the Rams. In quarters 1-3 he had 11 carries with an average of 2.2 yards per. In the fourth quarter, the rookie carried 10 times for a respectable 4.3 average. If he can get that 4.3 average all game and carry between 15 and 20 times, the Redskins will be fine on the rushing front.

—It was in Week 3 last year that Kirk Cousins got rolling. After throwing one touchdown and three interceptions in his first two games he threw two TD’s and no picks against the Giants. His pattern as the starter has been to start slowly and then pick up steam as the season gets going. Looking at the injury situation and at a Monday night game at Arrowhead Stadium looming next week, today would be a great day for him to get going. The talk in Oakland is that the Raiders will load up to stop the run and challenge Cousins to beat them through the air. Cousins will need to take them up on that challenge.

—The Redskins have four sacks in two games. It will be difficult for them to add to that total today because Raiders QB Derek Carr gets rid of the ball so quickly. The best way to get pressure on a quarterback like that is to take the shortest route. It will be important for Jonathan Allen to get some push up the middle and perhaps Greg Manusky will send Zach Brown or Mason Foster blitzing into the A-gap occasionally. The pressure is also on the secondary to make sure tackles after Carr gets those short completions to make sure they don’t turn into big plays.

—I was skeptical of the impact that Oakland RB Marshawn Lynch would have in his return at age 31 after a poor (417 yards) 2015 season followed by a season in retirement. And although there may be reasons to wonder about his durability over the course of a 16-game season, right now he’s healthy. The Redskins’ worst nightmare would be for Lynch to get 15 carries and grind out four to five yards per pop. That would set up Carr to do whatever he wants to do.

—This looked like a tough one even when it appeared that the Redskins would be at full strength on offense. If Kelley and, especially, Reed are out, the game looks to be an even more daunting task. The Washington defense is going to have to step up and force Carr to make decisions sooner than he wants to. Offensively, the Redskins are going to need to keep Carr and company off the field by controlling the clock. They did it last week against the Rams. If they can take time of possession 35 minutes to 25 again they have a chance to pull off the upset. It’s possible but I’m going to go against it happening.

Raiders 28, Redskins 21

2017 predictions record: 1-1

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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Report: Rob Kelley out vs. Raiders, Reed unlikely to play

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Report: Rob Kelley out vs. Raiders, Reed unlikely to play

The Redskins could be without two key offensive players against the Raiders tonight, according to a report.

According to ESPN, Redskins starting running back Rob Kelley (rib) is unlikely to play and that Jordan Reed (chest) is a game-time decision but it also is probable that he will sit out. Bot players were listed as questionable on the final injury report on Friday.

RELATED: CRAVENS JERSEY GIVEAWAY A BIG HIT

Kelley was having a career day against the Rams last Sunday before he left the game in the second quarter with a rib cartilage injury. He practiced on a limited basis all week.

Reed, a key target for quarterback Kirk Cousins, missed some snaps after sustaining the injury to his sternum during the game against the Rams. He was out of practice on Wednesday and limited on Thursday and Friday.

Rookie Samaje Perine saw his first NFL action last week and he likely will get his first NFL start in Kelley’s spot tonight. If Reed can’t play, Vernon Davis will start and rookie Jeremy Sprinkle, who was inactive the first two games, will be in uniform.

MORE REDSKINS: A STRONG START FOR SMITH BUT MORE IS NEEDED

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.