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Virginia Tech CB Kendall Fuller could be a playmaker for the Redskins

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Virginia Tech CB Kendall Fuller could be a playmaker for the Redskins

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 69 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.

Kendall Fuller
Cornerback
Virginia Tech

Height: 6-0
Weight: 196

What they’re saying
The playmaking production didn't happen by accident. Fuller has the twitch and the anticipation to challenge throws on the NFL level and come away with his fair share of interceptions, but scouts are very leery of the chances he is willing to take as they have concerns about his ability to carry long speed. With the way Fuller plays the ball in front of him combined with his tackling prowess, his home could be with a Tampa 2-oriented defense that values physical, zone corners over speed.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins’ cornerback unit consists of Bashaud Breeland, who could be very good but is still learning, Chris Culliver, who may or may not be recovered from a serious knee injury by the time the season starts, and some assorted players they either promoted off of the practice squad or signed off of the street. In short, it’s shaky.

Fuller is a playmaker who could contribute as a rookie and probably slide into a starting role as the slot corner in 2017. He reacts to the ball well, a trait that showed up as he picked off eight passes and defensed 34 in 2013 and 2014.

Fuller is not afraid to mix it up as a tackler in run support. And while I'm not real big on "legacy" type items, it should be noted that he is the youngest of four brothers who played defensive back for the Hokies including Kyle, who was a first-round pick of the Bears in 2014. The Redskins have done well with DB's who went to school in Blacksburg with DeAngelo Hall and Kyshoen Jarrett.

Potential issues: At 6-0 Fuller isn’t a small corner by any stretch but Scot McCloughan might want a cornerback he drafts early to be an inch or two taller. That doesn’t rule out Fuller but McCloughan will need to be impressed with his other traits to pull the trigger on him in the early going.

Fuller only played two season plus a few games at Virginia Tech and he has plenty of learning to do; scouting reports have noted he particularly has trouble with double moves. His career as a Hokie was cut short by a torn meniscus. He tried to play through it in 2015 but after three games he decided to have the injury repaired with surgery.

Bottom line: Although there isn’t a lot of concern over lingering effects from the injury to Fuller’s meniscus, the knee will still be thoroughly poked and prodded at the NFL Combine next week. If it passes muster he could emerge with a second-round grade. If there are still issues he could slide to the third.

Fuller could represent an opportunity for McCloughan to land a first-round talent later in the draft. He will need to be coached up but the Redskins could do that while having Culliver and Breeland start. The master plan for 2017 then may be to move on from Culliver and the $8 million in salary remaining on each of the final two years of his contract and go with Breeland and Fuller at cornerback.

Previously in Combine Countdown:

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Redskins injury report: Three return but still plenty of question marks

Redskins injury report: Three return but still plenty of question marks

The Redskins’ injury report is looking a little better today, three days away from their game against the Eagles. 

DE Chris Baker (ankle), CB Will Blackmon (concussion), T Ty Nsekhe (ankle), C Spencer Long (concussion) didn't practice today. That is a substantial reduction of the number of players who were out of practice on Wednesday.

Going from out yesterday to limited participants today were S Donte Whitner (illness), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), and DE Anthony Lanier (leg).

Also limited were TE Derek Carrier (knee), ILB Will Compton (hip), TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and OLB Preston Smith (groin).

A player moving from out of practice to limited is no guarantee that he will be able to participate come Sunday but it’s a step in the right direction.

On area of concern is the offensive line. Three players who started against the Cardinals have not practiced this week. One was Nsekhe and he already was headed to the bench after the return of Trent Williams from suspension.

RELATED: Five Redskins who need to perform vs. Eagles

According to Jay Gruden, the line will have enough bodies even if Long, Nsekhe, and Lauvao are out. Second year guard Arie Kouandjio would start at guard and John Sullivan, who finished up after Long left the game on Sunday, would be the starting center. They could activate Kory Lichtensteiger from injured reserve to back up guard and center and Vinston Painter would be the backup tackle.

It appears that Reed is making progress from the AC joint separation he suffered in his left shoulder on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas.

“He looked good out there today,” said Gruden. “He’s still a little sore. Right now I have absolutely no idea (if he will play).”

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Jay Gruden won't commit but Jordan Reed 'confident' he will play vs Eagles

Jay Gruden won't commit but Jordan Reed 'confident' he will play vs Eagles

After missing the Redskins 31-23 loss to the Arizona Cardinals with a left shoulder injury, tight end Jordan Reed sounds like he will return this Sunday in Philadelphia. 

"I feel confident," Reed said of playing against the Eagles. 

The injury came in the first half against the Cowboys on Thanskgiving Day. Reed went up high to try and grab a Kirk Cousins' pass in the end zone. The ball fell incomplete, and Reed landed hard on his shoulder. The diagnosis was bad: an AC joint sprain. Even with that, Reed returned in the second half against the Cowboys and caught two touchdowns.

MORE REDSKINS: Garcon named Redskins' Walter Payton Man of the Year

Last week, Reed did not practice once and the team ruled their star tight end out for the Cardinals game on Friday. This week, facing a division foe in the Eagles, Reed said he's feeling much better and the range of motion in the shoulder has improved significantly.

"Today I just felt a lot better. It's painful but something I can deal with," Reed said. "I'm pretty good with range of motion, I almost got all my range of motion back."

While Reed is still fighting through a lot of pain, he practiced on Thursday in a limited role. Going through practice while the media was present, Reed looked athletic and fluid going through drills, but also seemed to show discomfort in between reps. 

"He looked good today, but we'll see," Washington coach Jay Gruden said of his tight end. 

The coach did not express the same confidence that Reed would play Sunday as the 'Skins look to halt a two-game skid. 

"I have absolutely no idea," Gruden said. "But it is good to see him out here running and catching the ball."

Faith plays an important role for Reed, just as it did coming back from a concussion earlier this year. Reed proved his willingness to play through pain when he returned for the second half in Dallas.

"It's definitely some worries," Reed said about pushing through the pain. "I just leave it in God's hands and I just go out there and do my job."

He's made clear that the shoulder is still hurting him, but that he is willing to fight through that to be on the field with his teammates.

"We can't predict that or guess how he actually feels come game time," Gruden said of Reed. "Ultimately, it will be his call."

On the season, Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns. 

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