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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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Need to Know: Redskins' Cousins called a 'mercenary' and that's a good thing

Need to Know: Redskins' Cousins called a 'mercenary' and that's a good thing

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 24, 13 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 5
—NFL Combine (3/2) 6
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 52
—NFL Draft (4/27) 62
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 198

Friday quick hitters

What about Baker? I’m not sure what the Redskins’ thinking is regarding Chris Baker. As with all their other free agents the Redskins haven’t been in communication with Baker’s camp, waiting for the chance to scope out the market at the combine next week. I think that Baker’s fate will depend on cost. If they can get in for around $7 million or less, he stays. If the bidding pushes his deal up much higher than that I think he’s gone.

McCloughan’s status: It’s not exactly news that Scot McCloughan doesn’t have the full powers that many NFL GMs have. He has always been more of a super scout, in charge of stocking the roster. He is not frozen out when it comes to contracts and financial matters but they never have been his strong suit and they are best left to Bruce Allen and, particularly, Eric Schaffer.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

Anything new? So, was there much new in Jerry Brewer’s column in the Post yesterday? Given that the power structure has been in place for over two years now, it doesn’t appear that there was. Brewer essentially said it himself: “McCloughan isn’t necessarily losing power as much as he is having his lack of power revealed.” So during this past two years, while the team improved from 4-12 to playoff contention, things have been how they are now. Let me be clear, there were some disturbing insights in Brewer’s article such as the team’s lack of a response to a request for comment on Chris Cooley’s on-air musing about McCloughan’s alcohol consumption. But on how things work on the organizational chart at Redskins Park it’s been the same.

Who wants Kirk? We are at a point where the popular perception among the fans and media is that Allen is the one who will run Kirk Cousins out of town, either this year or next, while McCloughan and Jay Gruden are begging for him to stay. The narrative is that Allen is the bad buy and McCloughan is the good guy because that’s the way fans and some in the media perceive it. But I would pump the brakes on the notion that McCloughan is willing to pay whatever it takes to keep Cousins around. We haven’t heard from him this year but last year he said on multiple occasions that while he was interested in keeping Cousins around for the long haul the team needs to be careful not to give up too much of the salary cap to one player. That doesn’t sound like he’s all in on giving Cousins a blank check.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Cousins is right to go for the money: Some fans in my Twitter timeline are calling for Cousins to take less money from the Redskins to help Allen and McCloughan pay other players. That’s not happening, nor should it. Jim Trotter of ESPN referred to Cousins as a “mercenary” and he meant it in a positive way. What he is doing is using the NFL system to maximize his earnings potential. Look around at what has been happening around the NFL over the last few weeks, with players getting dumped when they are no longer of use to their teams—and instances of players getting cut will increase exponentially soon—and you should understand why there’s not anything wrong with a player getting as much money as he can while he can. If you add in the short careers they have and the risk that they might spend the last 40-plus years of your life having trouble getting out of bed every morning or sufferig from worse problems and you still don't get it, I can't help you. Cousins should get as much money as he can and it's the job of the team that voluntarily pays him that to figure out how to make it work around him. 

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In case you missed it

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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Bucs QB Jameis Winston wants DeSean Jackson in Tampa

Bucs QB Jameis Winston wants DeSean Jackson in Tampa

Plenty of teams will line up for the services of soon to be free agent DeSean Jackson, but Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston made clear he wants D-Jax with the Bucs. 

"You better believe we want DeSean here," Winston told the the Tampa Bay Times. "I think he would be a great asset to our team. Me growing up an Eagles fan, seeing what he did for the Eagles and back in his Cal days and even with the Redskins, I would love to have DeSean."

Jackson has been clear he looks forward to the free agent process. He's only hit the open market once, and that was under inauspicious terms. The Eagles released Jackson well past the start of free agency in 2014, and the Redskins moved quickly to sign the speedster. 

In three seasons with the 'Skins, Jackson has been a solid teammate and strong player. In 37 starts for the Burgundy and Gold, Jackson has more than 2,700 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. 

RELATED: DeSean Jackson wants to play for an elite QB

With elite speed and arguably the NFL's best ball tracker, Jackson makes sense for a lot of teams. Tampa, in particular, could use a deep threat to play alongside Mike Evans. Teamed with Winston, who has a strong arm and loves to go deep, the Bucs offense would be formidable. 

That does not mean Tampa is a sure thing.

While ESPN's Josina Anderson reported the Bucs could be a  "possible destination" for Jackson, Philadelphia has long been rumored to want him back. His old coach Andy Reid is in Kansas City. Former 'Skins offensive coordinator Sean McVay is now running the show in LA. For a player like Jackson, just about any potential destination could make sense. 

Like it almost always is in NFL free agency, guaranteed money will be a major factor in DeSean's decision. At 30 year's old and with a game reliant on speed and quickness, this could be the last big contract of Jackson's career. Odds are he will land a big deal, and the team with the biggest bag of cash may prove the most tempting. 

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