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RT's 5: Cooley sheds some pounds

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RT's 5: Cooley sheds some pounds

Rich Tandlers five things possibly related to the Washington Redskins and other matters.5. London Fletcher probably didnt mean to take a shot at Rex Grossman and John Beck at his press conference after the OTA session but he did. When asked if the trade for the draft rights to Robert Griffin III influenced his decision to re-sign with the Redskins, the 37-year old captain said that it did. Im in my 15th season, to go into another year with not having a quarterback was not very appealing to me, he said. Ill tell you that. Clearly, Beck and Grossman were not quarterbacks who inspired much confidence. It does not appear that RG3 has that problem.4. I will have a full article on Chris Cooley later today or tomorrow but I was surprised to hear him say that his weight is down to 237. Thats 18 pounds lighter than his listed weight of 255 and just a couple of pounds heavier than converted wide receiver Niles Paul. The lighter weight is great for running routes but not necessarily good when it comes to taking on 270-pound linebackers. We will see if Cooley can make up for his reduced bulk with leverage and technique when he needs to block. The answer to that will have to wait until training camp, when full-contact blocking is allowed, and the preseason games.3. Speaking of Paul, he looked very good yesterday. Every time you looked up he was catching another dart from Griffin. That doesnt mean that he is going to jump ahead of Cooley or Fred Davis on the depth chart but it cant hurt to develop a good rapport with the starting quarterback.2. It was somewhat surprising to see Tim Hightower, about seven months removed from tearing his ACL, on the field taking handoffs from Griffin. He ran straight ahead for the most part; he probably wont be able to cut until training camp. I saw him about 30 minutes after the workout, running sprints on the field turf in the bubble. He is not all the way back by any means but he is on his way.1. Griffin was as good as advertised yesterday. He threw with zip and accuracy, getting some passes into small openings. He was confident and clearly in charge as he went up to the line of scrimmage. It was time to get out of the playbook and, in his words, go out and play and he clearly enjoyed and savored the experience. The caveat is that its relatively easy to look good while wearing shorts with no contact allowed against defenders likely to be reserves when the season starts. The true test will come when the pads go on against hostile first-teamers. But were not at that point yet and based on what we have to go on its so far, so good.Days until: minicamp 21; training camp 65; preseason opener @ Bills 79; Redskins @ Saints 110; home opener vs. Bengals 124Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.

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Redskins take TE Jeremy Sprinkle with fifth-round pick

Redskins take TE Jeremy Sprinkle with fifth-round pick

The Redskins have added a tight end to their draft list, taking Jeremy Sprinkle out of Arkansas in the fifth round.

Sprinkle, 6-5, 252, had a solid senior season for the Razorbacks but it did not end well. He had 33 receptions for 380 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. He helped Arkansas make the Belk Bowl. However, after getting a gift card to the sponsoring department store a few days before the game, Sprinkle took more merchandise than the $450 card would pay for and he was cited for shoplifting. That got him suspended for the bowl game.

“It was a big disappointment for everybody around me,” said Sprinkle when asked about the incident on a conference call with reporters. “I’ve done everything I need to do [to resolve the legal issues] and I’m just trying to move past it.

There are players with worse offenses on teams’ draft boards and this one is just dumb and not violent. However, it does bring the player’s judgement into questions.

Scouts think that he can add some weight onto his frame and become a textbook blocking tight end, something that Jay Gruden said the team is looking for. Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis are productive pass catchers but they could use a blocking tight end and that could a role for Sprinkle to grow in to.

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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Why Redskins drafting Montae Nicholson is something of a head scratcher

Why Redskins drafting Montae Nicholson is something of a head scratcher

The Redskins first four picks of the 2017 Draft were met with nearly universal acclaim. That changed with the franchise's second fourth-round selection on Saturday when the team selected Michigan State safety Montae Nicholson. 

Looking at the NFL.com Draft Profile for the former Spartan, the results aren't pretty. From NFL.com:

Nicholson has outstanding size and could test well at the combine and his pro day, but his tape is blah and no amount of workouts in shorts and t-shirts will change that. Nicholson's lack of playmaking production combined with his unsure tackling make him a traits-only prospect who could have a hard time sticking in the league unless he finds more confidence and aggression.​

On top of that review, Nicholson is injured. He had surgery for a torn labrum in March, and seems destined to open training camp on the PUP list. 

There is some good news. Nicholson has elite speed, he ran track at Michigan State. His sophomore season in East Lansing stands out. That year he registered 83 tackles with three interceptions and a forced fumble. 

As the draft gets into later rounds, projections mean less and less. While many outlets didn't think Nicholson would be drafted, at all, his fourth round selection will certainly stand out as the 'Skins first true reach of the draft.

The selection also means that at least one, and maybe more, scout or front office member really likes Nicholson. The guy has ideal size at 6-foot-2, 212 lbs., to play NFL safety and the speed is obvious. He ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine. 

If the 'Skins can clean up his tackling - a big if - Nicholson could evolve into a valuable pick. The coaching staff will have to get to work, and that won't even begin until Nicholson gets medically cleared. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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