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Redskins Draft Countdown: Colorado State QB Garrett Grayson

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Redskins Draft Countdown: Colorado State QB Garrett Grayson

The NFL Draft is four weeks away and I’ll continue researching the prospects throughout the lead-up to the draft. 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.

Garrett Grayson
Quarterback
Colorado State

Note: Grayson was unable to participate in the combine drills or Colorado State’s pro day due to a hamstring injury. He did a workout for NFL teams last week; here are his numbers from that session:

  • 40-yard dash: 4.72 and 4.78 seconds
  • Vertical jump: 34 inches
  • Broad jump: 10 feet, 1 inch
  • Short shuttle: 4.35 seconds
  • 3-cone: 6.97 seconds

What they’re saying:
Strengths: Good instincts for the position. Keeps his eyes downfield and shows good spatial awareness to slide up and laterally in the pocket to avoid rushers and extend the play. Good overall athleticism for the position, showing balance and coordination when asked to roll out, as well as good accuracy.

Attempts to lead receivers away from hits, showing above average accuracy in doing so. Good touch on deep passes, including wheel routes, post-corners and verticals . . . Grayson is rarely mentioned among the top quarterback prospects but his vision, pocket mobility and accuracy are intriguing.

Weaknesses: Grayson has a unique wind-up and delivery of the ball that could irk some scouts. His delivery is slower than most and he holds the ball further back, theoretically leaving it all the more vulnerable for defenders to slap away.

He wasn't often asked to drive the ball to the sidelines in CSU's offense and shows only average velocity when doing so.
Rob Rang, CBS Sports

How he fits the Redskins: With so many colleges running the spread offense and its various offshoots, it is getting harder and harder to find an NFL quarterback prospect who ran something similar to an NFL offense. Although the Rams didn’t run a classic West Coast offense, the system Grayson played in was about as close to a pro offense as you’re going to find. As Jon Gruden said, "There's a lot of parts of Colorado State's system that I recognize, unlike a lot of college football."

The Redskins do have three quarterbacks on the roster but none of them is under contract past 2015. If Robert Griffin III can’t show some substantial progress as a pocket passer and if Kirk Cousins can’t shake his interception issues they could be wearing different uniforms next year. It might be a stretch to think that Grayson could be ready to be a starting quarterback in 2016 but the team would be wise to get someone in the quarterback room. Grayson has the potential to fit the system and perhaps develop into a starting quarterback.

Potential issues: Given the way that desperation for quarterbacks can often lead to teams drafting them much higher than they should be, the Redskins may have to use their third-round pick to get Grayson. He might last until the fourth but almost certainly not beyond that. With a lot of needs, can the Redskins afford to use a mid-round pick to add a player who is unlikely to be able to help out at all in any aspect of the game this season?

Bottom line: It will be interesting to see just what Scot McCloughan’s philosophy regarding drafting quarterbacks is. When McCloughan was a scout with the Packers, GM Ted Thompson took a QB almost every year. Some of them, like Matt Hasselbeck and Aaron Brooks, became trade bait. Others faded into oblivion like late-round picks often do.

When McCloughan making the draft picks in San Francisco, he used his very first pick on quarterback Alex Smith. In the five subsequent drafts for the 49ers, he tabbed just one QB, Nate Davis in the fifth round in 2009.

If McCloughan is thinking that he’s going to draft quarterbacks frequently, Grayson might be a good one to start with. As noted, dropback quarterbacks with NFL potential are rare and are not going to become any more common in the foreseeable future. It might be wise to get one in the system.

In his own words

Grayson on where he ranks among the QBs in this draft:
“We’re all competing to be the (No.) 1 guy. We obviously know, 1 and 2 guys are kind of at the top of this class, but as a competitor, you’re always trying to be that No. 1 guy. So every one of us – none of us are working to be the third guy, we’re all working for that No. 1 spot. You set out your goals and every day you go to the gym and every single one of us is working to be that No. 1 guy taken.’’
Previously in Draft Countdown:

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Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

New Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor has been working out with Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown this offseason. 

The pair documented their receiving drills, ladder drills and even yoga on social media. But what you didn't see, according to ESPN's John Keim, is Pryor practicing with special glasses that Brown recommended. 

Based on Brown’s advice, Pryor has also worn special sunglasses during offseason workouts, designed to prevent him from seeing an object – in this case the ball – until it is almost upon him. Sometimes he takes his gloves off, just to get a feel for the ball with his hands.

The glasses Keim describes sound more like blinders, or even tunnel vision, but the idea is to help Pryor get an instinctive feel for running routes. 

Despite putting up 1,007 receiving yards with the Browns last year, Pryor has only played the position since 2015. His first four seasons in the NFL were spent trying to make a roster playing quarterback. 

Now penciled into a starting receiver role for the Redskins, he knows he has a lot of catching up to do. 

"The good ones, they ask questions and never think they’ve got it. They always want to learn," Pryor said, "I’m not calling myself a great one, but I think I can get there."

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins Playbook: Some good news for Kirk Cousins

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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