Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Prevaricator

Getting off to a rough start

Talk about a lousy way to get started.  Barely five minutes on the big stage of Redskins foootball and already rookie linebacker Cody Glenn has stepped in it.  With lies.

Cody was Washington's fifth round pick out of the University of Nebraska in last weekend's draft, from the get go there were questions about Cody, he signed with Nebraska four years ago as a tailback, played three years at that position then due to a plethora of ball carriers Cody agreed to move to linebacker, where he won the weak side starting spot.

He played all of nine games his senior year, those games representing the sum total of Cody's experience at linebacker, Cody got himself suspended by head coach Bo Pellini for the team's final three games plus the bowl game.

I did some basic homework on Cody Sunday night, trying to see if some blogger, commenter or message board poster had information on the nature of the suspension, perhaps something that was an open secret in Lincoln but that the straight media would not report out of courtesy or journalistic standards.

I could not find anything and went back about my business wondering why the Redskins would draft a guy with less than one year of college experience at a position of serious need.

Then Monday, the day after he was drafted, the Washington Post reported (op. cit.) that Cody acknowledged in an interview Sunday the reason for his suspension was that he was caught selling, or perhaps scalping, tickets to Nebraska games which I would presume is a no no for a member of the team.  This piece also indicates parenthetically that the Redskins claim to have investigated the incident thoroughly with the Nebraska staff before making the pick, and presumably they were ok with it since they made the pick.

So now I am thinking to myself, a youthful indiscretion right, just a silly mistake and not a more serious offense or indicative of any underlying character problem.

Now Tuesday, the next day, we see over at the Washington Post Redskins blog Redskins Insider, this was in turn reported in the paper the following day, that Cody had admitted to an AP reporter that the ticket scalping story was a lie, a story he concocted to get reporters quote to leave him alone unquote which I presume would translate roughly to I really really do not want the actual cause of my suspension to come out so in my immaturity I will make up a plausible story that cannot be backed up and when questioned on it will fold like a child and try and aw shucks my way out of it, it's no big deal right?

Wrong, talk about unclear on the concept, this piece goes on to detail that Cody indicated to the AP reporter that he made up the story to get the Redskins beat writers to leave him alone and presumably end the story Sunday, his draft day.  Jason La Canfora writes that he has it on authority from at least two other teams that Cody's story at the NFL Combine ten weeks ago was that he was suspended for selling tickets.  So it is not a new story.

Add to this that none other than the Redskins' head coach himself verified that the team investigated the issue thoroughly and that is a lot of egg on a lot of faces.

What did the team find?  Did they get the truth and then hold their tongue while their new rookie went out and stuck his foot in his mouth?  Or did the Nebraska coaches give the Redskins a big fat no comment which was enough of cover your ass due diligence for the team to make this statement?  Either way I would assume the Redskins is are verruh displeased with Cody Glenn right now.


Cody, over here a second, can I get a word?  Dude they impeached the President of the United States for getting a blow job and trying to lie his way out of it, that was right here in Redskins town.  Do you think for a moment that the fans and media are going to let this go?  This is Washington, it is never the crime that ruins your career, it is the cover up.

The real reason is going to come out, with direct attribution from Lincoln or anonymously in Sports Illustrated, I strongly recommend you try to get back ahead of this story and like now, minicamp starts this weekend and you will be on display, get up, tell the truth, or enough of it to show you understand a pound of flesh is needed for violating the code.  If you do not this will linger into camp and into the season and every time your name comes up it will be oh yeah isn't that the guy that lied.

Neutralize it now or it may neutralize you.

Nebraska tailback turned linebacker Cody Glenn:  AP photo from here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Return of Mason Nation

Third time's the charm

Matt Terl you better not be jerking my chain, over at the ORB (Official Redskins Blog), team blogger Matt is reporting that Washington has claimed former Redskins tailback Marcus Mason off waivers ahead of this weekend's minicamp.

This makes me very happy, I thought two training camps in a row that Marcus was an excellent back and deserved a roster spot, just a chance to get in the game, he is elusive and tough to pin down through the hole in that Emmitt Smithy kind of way.

The team kept Marcus after 2007 cut day and he even made the roster for a couple of games before clearing waivers and heading back down to the practice squad. In 2008 he led the league in preseason rushing but the team did not keep him through 2008 cut day, and I vented because the decision seemed to me like a bunch of bullshit.

A day later the Baltimore Ravens signed him to their practice squad where he sat for eight games. Then after Jets tailback Jesse Chatman went to injured reserve, New York signed him to their active roster. They cut him in December then signed him back to their practice squad. They let him go yesterday and the Redskins re signed him today.

Curly R adopted Marcus Mason way back in August 2007 after seeing him perform in Washington's first preseason game of that year and we have been flying the flag of Mason Nation since. Marcus is a hard working guy doing all the right things, if the knock on him last year was his weakness on special teams, then I will bet you he worked the whole year to improve. I hope he can stick around this time.

Welcome back Marcus!

Marcus Mason: Don Wright / from here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Redskins Day Two Draft Roundup

Ignore your doctor and you'll never get better

Update 3 May: Curly R has reviewed the Redskins thirteen post draft rookie free agent signings here.

With only one pick on day one the Redskins went into day two of the 2009 NFL Draft with plenty of needs, offensive tackle and outside linebacker chief among them. And while no draft can make everyone happy it sure seems like Washington was either picking best players or throwing darts, Rich Tandler notwithstanding, yes Rich the missing and second fourth round picks would have been nice to have, the draft results speak for themselves i.e. no offensive linemen selected, you heard Dan Snyder on the ESPN 980 interview as well as I did, they do not think a 32 year old Chris Samuels is old and right now Joe Bugel is the only one that thinks Stephon Heyer is a legitimate NFL starter. But but now I am babbling...

[For anyone that did not hear the pre draft interview by Rick Doc Walker with Redskins owner Dan Snyder, shadow general manager Vinny Cerrato and head coach Jim Zorn, here is the interview: part one | part two | part three | part four | part five]

The Redskins started day two with four picks, two fewer than the full complement, Washington had dealt this year's fourth round pick to the New York Jets for left guard Pete Kendall, a move necessitated by Washington having made no serious moves to replace left guard Derrick Dockery after his departure following the 2006 season.

Ding! Opportunity cost. Retaining Derrick or realizing Todd Wade is not a guard could have saved this pick, that said Pete never missed a game in two seasons and only took one play off.

Anyway, Washignton pulled off a trade early in the day, sending Washington's fifth round pick, number 150 overall, to Minnesota in exchange for Minnesota's fifth round pick, number 158 overall plus the Vikings' seventh round pick, number 221 overall. This raised Washington's number of day two picks from four to five and the team's overall number of picks from five to six.

As alluded to above, here were my draft priorities for the Redskins going into day two:

1. Offensive tackle, specifically for the right side
2. Outside linebacker, specifically for the strong side
3. Run stuffing defensive end

Recapping day one, here is what the team drafted:

1. First round, #13 overall, Brian Orakpo, defensive end/linebacker, Texas

On day two the team drafted the following players:

2. Third round, #80 overall, Kevin Barnes, cornerback, Maryland
3. Fifth round, #158 overall, Cody Glenn, outside linebacker, Nebraska
4. Sixth round, #186 overall, Robert Henson, linebacker, TCU
5. Seventh round, #221 overall, Eddie Williams, tight end, Idaho
6. Seventh round, #243 overall, Marko Mitchell, receiver, Nevada

Even if Kevin was the top player on the board at the time, that was an opportunity cost pick. It means clearly to me that last year's fourth round pick, cornerback Justin Tryon, who seemed like a good idea at the time and never got on the field thereby necessitating the signing of DeAngelo Hall and the restocking of the reserve cornerback position in this year's draft. Justin may be done.

The linebacker picks I can get behind in principle but there are caveats. Cody has all of nine games experience at linebacker, he came to Nebraska as a tailback and only switched positions before this past football season then was suspended for the end of the year. Robert was part of a the number two national defense at TCU and seems like a decent pick, at least he has experience.

The tight end pick is somewhere between bizarre and bewildering. Eddie will have a hard time making the roster at tight end, Jim Zorn's offensive does not use an H-back and if the team thinks Eddie can play fullback in place of Mike Sellers, well Eddie has never played that position.

The receiver pick I like inasmuch as I like any seventh round pick *kaff kaffChrisHortonkaff kaff*, it tends to signal to me that the Redskins are dissatisfied enough with ineffective and last year's second round pick receiver Malcolm Kelly that they are bringing in another guy exactly like him to see what happens. Note to Marko, get your wind and keep your hamstrings loose.

Brian Orakpo was nice, the team was guaranteed a player at the thirteen spot so I rate that a gimme. All in all I would not rate this a particularly effective draft, or so it would seem right now.

Redskins prescription from here via here, a way to waste a whole day making funny signs.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Redskins Sixth and Final Pick: Receiver Marko Mitchell

I would like to see this one work out

Closing out the draft the Redskins used their final pick, the second of their two seventh rounders, to select University of Nevada receiver Marko Mitchell. Stuck with three so far stinkers from last year's draft Washington once again cast aside needs along the offensive line in favor of bringing in someone that a Redskins fan might hope could catch the damn ball.

From's pre draft profile:

Height: six feet four inches
Weight: 218 pounds

Pros: frame fits mold of current large receiver type, long arms and big hands, good straight line downfield speed, good body control and can catch the ball over either shoulder, good field awareness for sidelines and coverage, sticky hands, good vertical jump, good in run blocking against typically smaller cornerbacks.

Cons: concerns about whether his production was a by product of the Nevada offense, lacks breakaway speed, lacking burst to separate from tight coverage, needs to bulk up frame to withstand NFL punishment, hands and leap do not always come together in red zone, needs to be more phyiscal when challenging for the ball.

Curly R quick take: looks to me like Washington took a mulligan and re drafted Malcolm Kelly, Marko is tall with room to bulk up and can move downfield, methinks Malcolm better get it together or he may find himself as the fifth receiver. Looking beyond his build to his production you may wonder how he fell into the seventh round, 61 catches in 2008 for over 1100 yards. Do not be fooled by stories of Nevada's pistol offense generating these numbers, that offense is not as gadgety as you might think. Marko is a stretcher, a downfield receiver and his size should create problems for cornerbacks.

Although I remain disappointed the Redskins never chose to address the offensive line in this draft, adding this player might make sense, he fits the type of pass catcher coach Jim Zorn wanted last season from the draft and it gives the team one more chance to find that elusive complement to receiver Santana Moss that it feels like the team has been searching for since Santana arrived in 2005.

University of Nevada receiver Marko Mitchell: AP photo from here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Redskins Fifth Pick: Tight End Eddie Williams

Why not, there's always room for one more

Continuing a draft more bizarre with every pick the Redskins used their first seventh round draft pick on a tight end, Eddie Williams from the University of Idaho. This might not be as bad an idea as it looks.

From's pre draft profile:

Height: 6 feet one inch
Weight: 239 pounds

Pros: versatile, can play fullback, H-back, slot receiver or tight end, has long arms and big hands, good extension on passing routes, patient against zone coverage, adept at selling fake at the line, good downfield blocker, good open field tackler on special teams.

Cons: tweener status may cause difficulty finding a position, not experienced as lead blocker despite size, trouble blocking blitzing defenders, average downfield speed.

Curly R quick take: with two solid tight ends on the roster, Chris Cooley and Todd Yoder, and with no one able to unseat either of them, including last year's second round so far absent selection tight end Fred Davis, it makes little sense to draft another guy at this position. Unless that is the team is contemplating a move at another position. His team's most valuable player in 2008, Eddie looks more like a hybrid type of back, check his pre draft profile overview, it begins with quote [Eddie] looks a fullback and plays like a wide receiver unquote. If the team is shopping Cooley which might make football sense from a value perspective or if they are anticipating parting with Mike Sellers who is unhappy with his current deal and is not particpating in voluntary team workouts then Eddie might be low cost low risk option but consider despite his size that lead blocking has not been part of his repertoire.

Still though it seems to me you could find a fullback off the street and Chris Cooley would be tough to replace in short order, maybe the team knows something I do not because this pick makes my Dick Cheney lip quiver.

University of Idaho tight end Eddie Williams from here.

Redskins Fourth Pick: Linebacker Robert Henson

More linebackers means more need for linebackers

Moving through the draft it becomes apparent that either I know nothing about the Redskins needs or the decision makers know nothing and that is not to disparage the Redskins sixth round draft pick linebacker Robert Henson from Texas Christian University. There is no question the Redskins need linebackers, this is two linebacker picks in a row and still no offensive line.

From's pre draft profile:

Height: 6 feet zero inches
Weight: 240 pounds

Pros: he is a linebacker and the Redskins need linebackers.

Cons: his pre draft NFL profile is basically empty.

Curly R quick take: as indicated above there is no meaningful information in Robert's NFL pre draft profile so I wonder whether he was a consensus NFL prospect. Looking around I can find a number of basic looks at Robert's prospects:

From FFToolbox: Robert progressed all four years at TCU, improving his totals every year. Robert is very athletic and has good speed, he lacks size and is more effective against the run than the pass. His best shot as a player is likely as a special teams player.

From Robert was a four year starter, he is tough in run defense and takes good angles on plays, he is not as susceptible to the play action and is decent in zone coverage. On the down side Robert is average in speed and size, he has poor lateral speed and gets stuck in blocking traffic.

Bottom line, Robert has good size and seems better against the run than the pass, even the most optimistic assessment seems to evaluate Robert as a backup. Once again I would like the Redskins team to explain this one to me, I guess there must be a chart somewhere that values this guy. Six rounds and still not a drop of water for the offensive line.

Texas Christian University linebacker Robert Henson from here via here.

Redskins Third Pick: Linebacker Cody Glenn

Joining a young linebacking corps

The Redskins used their fifth round pick finally on a position of need, selecting University of Nebraska outside linebacker Cody Glenn. Cody is an interesting player, with a heritage on the offensive side the ball.

From's pre draft profile:

Height: 6 feet zero inches
Weight: 244 pounds

Pros: a quick study, has played many positions on the field at a high level,

Cons: inexperienced, only one season as a linebacker, could be a discipline and or maturity problem,

Curly R quick take: Cody came to the University of Nebraska as a tailback and played three seasons at the position finally switching before his senior year after dealing with foot and leg injuries for two seasons. Despite his inexperience Cody won the starting weak side linebacker spot his senior year, playing at middle linebacker as well. A violation of team rules, no other detail available, cut his senior year to nine games.

Cody will be a good special teams player and likely will be able to play all three linebacker positions, where Cody winds up in the depth chart is a function of the competition among the veterans. He may be raw but if he can crack the starting lineup at Nebraska in his first year at the position then he has some potential. Glad to see a linebacker taken.

Cody Glenn from University of Nebraska: AP photo from here.

Redskins Second Pick: Cornerback Kevin Barnes

When you have depth you can stop digging

Washington had no pick in the second round and therefore had plenty of time to watch and think. When their first pick of the second day came around the Redskins selected University of Maryland cornerback Kevin Barnes in the third round. I would love to hear the team braintrust explain this one to me.

From's pre draft profile:

Height: 6 feet zero inches
Weight: 187 pounds

Pros: a huge hitter, good height for a corner, can focus body into point of attack, good hands, solid cover corner, can also play offense, can be valuable on special teams, good downfield tackler.

Cons: coming off four injuries suffered simultaneously, may play stronger than his body, may struggle covering outside in run game, does not always wrap up tackles, does not always pay attention at the point of tackle and can get juked.

Curly R quick take: the Redskins already have two first round picks in Carlos Rogers and DeAngelo Hall and a second round pick in Fred Smoot at corner so I guess this pick is about what the team really thinks last year's fourth round pick cornerback Justin Tryon can do which is probably very little. This pick also tells me the team thinks they are good enough to go at tackle with four players already on the roster, Chris Samuels, Stephon Heyer, Jon Jansen and the newly signed Mike Williams.

That said Kevin was a solid coverage corner, probably more like Carlos Rogers than DeAngelo Hall. Kevin only played seven games in 2008, a collision with a receiver causing four shoulder injuries, a torn labrum, fractured shoulder blade, a broken collar bone and an injured rotator cuff. Kevin came back in time for the NFL combine and most scouts do not think he will have lingering problems as a result.

My guess is that this would be a quote value based unquote pick, the team had Kevin rated proportionately higher than any player on the board at a position of need, those being linebacker and tackle.

University of Maryland cornerback Kevin Barnes from here.

The Redskins Are Back on the Clock

Worry less about quantity than quality please

Update 7:40pm: the draft is over, the Redskins used their two seventh round picks, the compensatory and the one acquired in trade from the Vikings, on tight end Eddie Williams from the University of Idaho and Marko Mitchell, receiver from the University of Idaho. Six draft picks out of 256 and the Redskins did not see fit to draft a single fucking offensive lineman. Off to new player bios...

Update 4:51pm:
along now into the sixth round, the Redskins used their pick here on another linebacker, Robert Henson out of Texas Christian University, I am not sure what this pick means except once again no offensive lineman. On to the seventh round where the Redskins have two picks...

Update 3:17:
down into the fifth round and Washington selected University of Nebraska outside linebacker Cody Glenn, this looks at quick glance like a good pick.

Update 2:47pm:
so we have a deal to report, the Redskins swapped fifth round picks with the Vikings, Minnesota getting Washington's number 150 and Washington getting Minnesota's number 158 plus Minnesota's seventh round number 221, the Redskins now have two seventh round picks.

Update 11:24am:
looks like that time with the kids came earlier than I thought, I come back from drop off at a birthday party and find the Redskins used their third round pick on... Maryland cornerback Kevin Barnes? The same Kevin Barnes that suffered a season ending injury his last season in college that basically made his shoulder into mincemeat? WTF?!

The 2009 NFL Draft continues, the action starts at 10am ET, once again Curly R will be covering the day's festivities for as long as possible before my wife makes me acknowledge my small children or perform some form of outdoor activity.

Washington got an early birthday present on day one when University of Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo was unexpectedly available at number thirteen, although pass rushing defensive end was not even on my list of priorities for the Redskins, I was very happy with the pick and after going over the pick last night with my neighbors I think I am even more satisfied today because this is all about line as a whole. Adding defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth changes the character of the line overnight and should reduce the needs of the ends to control as much of the run.

That said with a man mountain like Albert in the middle opposing offenses will direct more of the run to the outside so Andre Carter and Brian will be tested in the ground game. There is of course also the matter of synergy, with two new starters on line the players will have to get used to playing with one another and we know Brian will make rookie mistakes and smart offenses will expose him.

But these are matters for another time, the draft is still happening, let us hope the Redskins can find good players at tackle and linebacker and then let us see what else happens, if stories of the team wanting to generate more picks are true it could be an interesting day.

This is a draft day open thread.

2009 NFL Draft logo from here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Redskins Day One Draft Roundup

I'm next

Update 3 May: Curly R has reviewed the Redskins' thirteen post draft rookie free agent signings here.

Update 28 April: draft day two roundup is here.

Day one of the 2009 NFL Draft is over and the Redskins drafted one player filling a position of need, no shenanigans, no shiny objects distracting the owner.

Things went a little out of order as they always do in the NFL draft, at the fifth spot Cleveland sent their fifth overall pick to the New York Jets, the Jets sent their number seventeen plus a bunch of other picks and the Jets took Mark Sanchez out of the equation. Raise your hand if you were still nervous until the Redskins made their pick about a deal with the Jets materializing.

Andre Smith went next at six, he is the tackle that emerged at number thirteen from the earliest mock drafts and projections and varied little until today. It surprised me that Andre went before tackle Michael Oher, Andre is by some considered to be better equipped for the NFL than Michael but Andre may have some maturity and or character issues. At this point I am still thinking tackle for the best pick at number thirteen.

The Raiders taking receiver Darrius Hayward-Bey over Michael Crabtree and the Bills taking defensive end Aaron Maybin over Brian Orakpo allowed Brian to fall to thirteen and Washington pulled the trigger. I generally agree with Jason La Canfora, I too would probably have taken Michael Oher with this pick but then again as I mentioned in the previous post, at that thirteen spot you have the top rated defensive end and the fourth rated offensive tackle.

It was a risk to move with Brian what with the Redskins having no second round pick to get in and find a tackle like Phil Loadholt or Max Unger. I even see as I write this that the number five rated tackle Eben Britton fell into the second round.

So it was a good pick, here was the order of needs as I saw it:

1. Offensive tackle, higher need at right side
2. Linebacker, strong side
3. Run stuffing defensive end

And here is how the Redskins drafted on day one:

1. Pass rushing defensive end Brian Orakpo from the University of Texas (op. cit.).

Not even on my priority list but the guy was the best beef available and I am happy. For now everyone get some rest and I will see you in the morning, round three begins at 10am ET, the Redskins have the sixteenth pick, I expect it to come in around 11am.

Check the blogroll at right for more coverage and if you still need more content, hop in the Curly R Wayback Machine and experience the Redskins 2008 draft round up.

Butt tattoo generator here, found through here which is an awsum resource if you like making funny signs or in eighth grade.

Redskins Top Pick: Defensive End Brian Orakpo

Can't wait to meet Donovan, Eli and Tony

In a first round that went a little differently than many expected the number thirteen pick came around and two solid players were on the board, tackle Michael Oher and defensive end Brian Orakpo, whom the team selected. Although Curly R did pooh pooh Brian somewhat in the draft preparatory this is a good pick, I had Brian rated as the top defensive end, versus the fourth best tackle at the time of the pick is a good decision.

From's pre draft profile:

Height: 6 foot 3 inches
Weight: 263 pounds

Pros: outstanding upper body strength, can be effective both in three point position as well as a standing rusher, good field awareness, agile while engaging linemen, closes quickly into the pocket, wraps up well on tackles.

Cons: has had knee problems two of his four years at Texas, may only be a five technique in the pros, could have trouble with the four or three technique in run stoppage, body type might better be suited for strong side linebacker but may not have range for that position.

Curly R quick take: Brian was an outstanding college player, this year winning Big Twelve Conference Defensive Player of the Year, the Lombardi Award for best lineman, the Nagurski Trophy for best defensive player and the Hendricks Award for best defensive end. Incumbent defensive end Andre Carter should be very happy right now.

The Redskins did not blow up the draft and trade up for Mark Sanchez. They did not ship out Jason Campbell or Chris Cooley, they did not spend the top pick on more football porn and take a receiver for Jim Zorn's offense. This is a solid pick that will improve what should already be a terrific defense.

Brian Orakpo about to know a quarterback intimately from here.

The Redskins Are on the Clock

Think hard before you give up and move up

Update 11:20pm: and this concludes our programming day. Tune in tomorrow for coverage of day two. The Redskins are on the clock with the sixteenth pick in the third round, the Washington Post is reporting that the Redskins will attempt to add to the four picks they have tomorrow, could be some middle round wheeling and dealing. Just get me a freaking tackle and let us have done with that ok?

Update 11:13pm: the first day of the draft is over, some quick thoughts: division rivals the Giants and the Eagles both used their first round picks on receivers, New York to replace Plaxico Burress and the Eagles because they upgraded their offensive line through trade and free agency. The Cowboys had no first round pick which I love about them. In the second round Giants grabbed Wahoo linebacker Clint Sintim. Defensive end Everette Brown and offensive tackle Eben Britton both fell further than I thought they would.

Update 5:34pm:
it took the Redskins all of two minutes to select Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo aka Oh Crappo which is what the opposing quarterbacks will be saying. I am satisfied with this pick, the Redskins now need to look at tackle and linebacker tomorrow in the third round. I am going to punch out and write this up, then be back to continue my one sided commentary...

Update 5:32pm:
a surprise, at number twelve the Bills select tailback Knowshon Moreno, the Redskins are on the click with Michael Oher and Brian Orakpo left on the board...

Update 5:26pm:
at number eleven the Bills select defensive end Aaron Maybin, two picks, it looks like Brian Orakpo might fall to Washington.

Update 5:21pm:
at number ten the 49ers take receiver Michael Crabtree, Michael Oher, Brian Orakpo and Aaron Maybin are all left on the board with three picks to go...

Update 5:14pm:
at number nine the Packers take defensive tackle BJ Raji, four picks to go...

Update 5:05pm:
at number eight the Jaguars take tackle Eugene Monroe (Wahowaa!), that leaves Michael Oher and Eben Britton left as the blue chip tackles, methinks Michael will be gone by thirteen and the Redskins will go in another direction from tackle which is ok if it is a linebacker or defensive lineman.

Update 4:56pm:
Raiders take Darrius Heyward-Bey at number seven, the ESPN crew seem to think Michael Crabtree was the better receiver.

Update 4:51pm:
another pick impacting the Redskins, Cincinnati takes tackle Andre Smith at number six, that means Eugene Monroe, Michael Oher and Eben Britton are the premier tackles left on the board.

Update 4:42pm:
well barring some post pick maneuvering by the New York, the Mark Sanchez stakes are over, the Jets trade their number seventeen pick to the Browns for their number five. Redskins fans can exhale... for now.

Update 4:32pm:
so it goes, Seahawks pass on Mark Sanchez as a replacement for Matt Hasselbeck and take linebacker Aaron Curry, a complete defensive player at number four.

Update 4:25pm:
Chiefs go at number three and take defensive end Tyson Jackson, so much conspiracies involving the Redskins and Chris Cooley. The new regime in Kansas City starting with defense.

Update 4:15pm:
already diverging from the mock, we had Eugene Monroe at number two and St. Louis comes in and takes tackle Jason Smith. Mel Kiper said he thought that would have been the right pick for Mark Sanchez, I guess Mel is not in the Marc Bulger fan club.

Aesthetics update 4:09pm:
I am so tired of Chris Berman and all the hyper soundtracked ESPN crap so I tried to watch the NFL Network's coverage but then I see Rich Eisen who only offends me mildly throwing it over for Matt Stafford's first interview with... Deion Sanders. User navigates to Grab Remote > Queue up ESPN HD > Execute Channel Change.

Update 4:05 pm:
no surprise, Lions make it official with quarterback Matt Stafford. I think that is a good pick... for the Redskins who play the Lions in 2009.

Draft day is here, Curly R will be covering today's and tomorrow's activities, our draft preparatory is here, including a rundown of the Redskins picks and where I think the Redskins should use them. I also participated in a mock draft, have a look here.

Settle in, crack a beer, yes it is not just you the draft is in fact later this year, it has always for as long as I can remember been at noon ET, those bastards on the west coast must finally have whined their way to the commissioner's office.

This is a draft day open thread.

2009 NFL Draft logo from here.

The 2009 NFL Mock Draft for Blogs

Blogger draft day war room

Draft day is here, tee minus one hour until the fun begins, time to start learning whether we were on or off in our collective speculation, you cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a mock draft these days and if you are swinging that cat near me you just hit one.

Last month Don Delco of the terrific Browns centric No Logo Needed invited Curly R to select for Washington in their mock. I present you the 2009 Mock Draft for Blogs:

5. Browns: — REY MAUALUGA, LB, USC
13. Redskins: The Curly R — ANDRE SMITH, OT, ALABAMA
19. Buccaneers: — PERCY HARVIN, WR, FLORIDA
20. Lions (from Dallas): — AARON MAYBIN, DE, PENN STATE
22. Vikings: — MARK SANCHEZ, QB, USC
28. Eagles (from Carolina): — ALEX MACK, OL, CALIFORNIA
30. Titans: — D.J. MOORE, CB, VANDERBILT
31. Cardinals: — CHRIS WELLS, RB, OSU
32. Steelers: — FILI MOALA, DT, USC

Here is what I said about the selection of Alabama's Andre Smith:

With the 13th pick in the 2009 NFL draft for blogs, the Washington Redskins select...


The Redskins have fairly simple needs this year, and they are going to take the best player at either of their top two positions of need. On the offensive side of the ball Washington needs a tackle. Thirty-one year old left tackle Chris Samuels ended 2008 on injured reserve, 33 year old right tackle Jon Jansen lost his starting job then got it back and never pass blocked well, all while undrafted rising third year utility tackle Stephon Heyer still is not turning into a full range starter.

On the defensive side, the position of need is defensive end. With the release of Jason Taylor and the inexplicable loss of Demetric Evans who was the Redskins best player at the position in 2008, the Redskins are left with one quality defensive end, Andre Carter, with the next best option an as yet un re signed Phillip Daniels, 36 years old and coming off a torn ACL suffered in 2008 training camp.

Curly R rated the tackles and defensive ends likely to go in the first thirteen picks in this order: OT Jason Smith, OT Eugene Monroe, DE Brian Orakpo aka Brian Oh Crappo, OT Andre Smith, OT Michael Oher, DE Everette Brown, DE Aaron Maybin. With Jason, Eugene and Brian off the board the decision is easy, Andre will challenge at right tackle this summer.

Although this does not necessarily spell the end of either Jon Jansen or Stephon Heyer it does signal the beginning of a new era at offensive tackle in Washington.

Stick with Curly R throughout today and tomorrow for Redskins related draft news, head over to our mock draft partner blogs and see what they are saying.

The 2009 NFL Draft starts in one hour.

Dr. Strangelove war room from here.

Redskins 2009 Draft Prep - Part Five

Go time

The decisions are made, the design plan is in place, it is time to bring in the front loaders and start building a team for 2009. Curly R's five part series prepping for the Redskins 2009 draft concludes.

Part One: The Offense
Part Two: The Defense and Special Teams
Part Three: The Contract Years
Part Four: The Draft Picks
Part Five: What the Redskins Must Do


Speculation is rampant for every team, as a member of an NFL braintrust it is in your best interest to disinform, divert and deny your draft motivation leading up to draft day. Despite our beliefs and allegiances as football fans it is better not to put a lot of credence in what you think your team is going to do.

Unless you are a Redskins fan that is. Then you should panic.

Here is what the Redskins must do tomorrow:

Round one: the Redskins must pick the best offensive tackle on the board. Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe (Wahoowa!) will both be off the board, Andre Smith looks like the target with Michael Oher the other option. Washington needs to rejuvenate the line that protects franchise quarterback Jason Campbell.

Round three: the Redskins should examine linebackers that can play the strong side and run stopping defensive ends. Washington is sorely lacking in run stoppage at the end position and Phillip Daniels and Renaldo Wynn are short term solutions and not improvements at the position. Linebacker is the position of greater need here. Do not get distracted by outliers.

Round five: the Redskins should look at the linebacker or defensive end position that was not picked in round three. Less of a chance of starting talent in the fifth round so the team should focus on talent that can be developed. If highly a evaluated pick was available at this position the Redskins should consider it.

Round six: the Redskins should go back to the lines, selecting the best offensive or defensive lineman on the board regardless of position. An outlier could be attractive here.

Round seven: wild card. Select the best player on the board. All positions are eligible.

The Redskins are on the clock.

Draft beer selection from here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Redskins 2009 Draft Prep - Part Four

Trade you my first Sierra Nevada for your first ESB and that bowl of pretzels

Admit it, when the Redskins had ten draft picks last year you thought they had finally gotten the point didn't you? Unfortunately it was the top of Dan Snyder's head. Curly R's five part series prepping for the 2009 draft continues.

Part One: The Offense
Part Two: The Defense and Special Teams
Part Three: The Contract Years
Part Four: The Draft Picks
Part Five: What the Redskins Must Do


The way the NFL Draft works, each team gets seven draft picks, one in each round. Additionally, teams that lost free agents the previous offseason may get compensatory picks in return, this part of the system I do not understand.

For example in this year's draft, taking place Saturday and Sunday, the Redskins got an extra pick in the seventh round for the loss of Mark Brunell. Mark was demoted after game nine of the 2006 season against the Eagles, Jason's first NFL start was game ten against the Buccaneers. Mark spent all of 2007 as the third quarterback behind Todd Collins, the team voided his contract after the season and Washington had no desire to re sign Mark for 2008.

Similarly and inexplicably the Redskins got two compensatory picks in last year's 2008 draft, one in the third round and one in the seventh round, they were for the losses of Derrick Dockery, TJ Duckett, Warrick Holdman, Kenny Wright and the signing of London Fletcher. Washington was unable to match Buffalo's dollars to Derrick Dockery in the 2007 offseason so that is a legitimate loss, TJ Duckett, for whom the team traded away a 2007 third round pick and then was given the ball all of 38 times for 132 yards, a 3.5 yards per carry average with two touchdowns in all of the 2006 season. Fans and the team wanted to forget that decision. Warrick Holdman was forced into starting service in 2006 after the departure of LaVar Arrington, and was not terrific as Washington's middle linebacker. Warrick was not re signed after 2006 and retired. Kenny Wright was part of the Mike Rumph / Carlos Rogers / Kenny Wright cornerback by committee in 2006 and he was shown the door when Washington re signed Fred Smoot. And as for London Fletcher, Washington signed him, why the hell would we get compensatory picks for gaining a player?

Teams cannot trade away compensatory picks, the team selected guard Chad Rinehart with the third round pick and safety Chris Horton with the seventh rounder. One out of two ain't bad.

Anyway, I do not understand the compensatory pick system, it seems to me as though it is a system the incents teams to churn through free agents since it appears as though it does not matter if you wanted to re sign a free agent or not, if you did not and he signs with another team then you will be getting some compensation.

Back in the day the NFL Draft was 21 rounds, not seven and between the reserve clause keeping players indentured to a team and the never ending influx of young drafted players, star performers had a higher hurdle to clear in order to stay in the league. Then that pesky union came along and ever since then the players have been eating bon bons and living in high style. But I digress.

For this year's draft the Redskins have five total picks, here is how they break down:

1. First round, number thirteen overall. That is what 8-8 in the weaker conference will get you. No matter how badly every football fan quote wants unquote their team not to have high draft picks because high draft picks usually means you sucked last season, there is an electricity to having a top half first round pick. Never mind that I think NFL first round picks are over paid and there should be a rookie cap in place...

The Redskins do have a second round pick, that pick having been sent to Miami in the trade that brought Jason Taylor to Washington during 2008 training camp. Quick put your trade value hat on, one sub par season with aging veteran Jaston Taylor, perhaps sub par is too kind, how about sub basement season with Jason Taylor versus a second round draft pick where a team could expect to get an immediate contributor. Unless that second round pick is Devin Thomas or Malcolm Kelly. Wait was that my out loud voice?

2. Third round, number sixteen, number 80 overall. As Mel Kiper says there are good players in every round, Washington should be able to get a developed talent in the third round, one that could challenge to start in a position of poor depth. At a position of good depth the team can afford to sit a third round pick in the first year or two.

Washington does not have a fourth round pick, that selection having been sent to the New York Jets in the trade that brought Pete Kendall to the Redskins during 2007 training camp. That trade was necessitated after Washington lost boomerang Redskin Derrick Dockery to the Bills in free agency then made no meaningful moves to find a suitable replacement at left guard. The team tried to put Todd Wade aka Big Head Todd aka Eight Ball in at LG but Todd is too tall for the guard position and the whole experiment was a disaster, at one point almost getting Jason Campbell's leg torn off.

That said and by quote that unquote I mean that the trade might not have been necessary in the first if the Redskins had done a better job grooming a player like I don't know maybe through the draft at left guard or at the very least planned something at LG when Derrick left, in retrospect it kind of seems like the team just said fuck it things will work out no need to go crazy and sign a new left guard besides was Derrick that good anyway?

So that said and under those circumstances it was a good trade. Pete was solid for the Redskins, started every one of his 32 games with the team and my hope is he will come back and re sign as a reserve, the left guard spot would be set if he did. It is a bummer not to have that pick to be sure but Pete helped anchor the solidest part of a solid run blocking unit the past two seasons. Pete just should not run with the ball...

3. Fifth round, number 14, number 150 overall. This is where you can start to take a flyer on a player. The difference in draft team draft assessments begins to come into play as teams scramble to pick players they rated higher and therefore fell by that estimation. At this point the team is generally taking the best player available.

4. Sixth round, number thirteen, number 186 overall. Remember there are over one hundred schools that play top shelf college football and each team has sixty or more players so 186 players into picking the best of the best shouls still yield a good player. By this point teams are looking to draft for depth at solid positions or go for projects, the risk reward ratio is on its head by this point as it is no embarrassment in the grand scheme to cut a sixth rounder.

The Redskins do not own their allotted pick in the seventh round, that pick having been shipped to Minnesota in the deal to bring defensive end Erasmus James to Washington. Ninety days beforePhillip Daniels and Alex Buzbee both went down on the first day of camp Washington was facing a shortage of defensive ends so Washington sent this seventh rounder conditionally to the Vikings for Erasmus, a first round pick from 2005 that had two consective ACL tears, the second of which wiped out his 2007 season.

The three hilarous things about this deal are as follows: 1) Minnesota has released Erasmus the day before the trade happened, if Washington had just kept its trap shut for another few hours Erasmus could have been had off the street with no compensation to the Vikings; 2) this trade was conditional only on Erasmus making the roster. Despite not being able to practice nearly at all in the preseason the team kept him and he appeared in only five games, no starts and had no tackles before; 3) the team cut him in December, before the season was even over.

Bye bye draft pick, Washington might as well have rolled down the window going down the highway and tossed that one.

5. Seventh round number 34, number 243 overall. This is the aforementioned compensatory pick for the loss of Mark Brunell. I lust love how you can get free draft picks for getting rid of players you do not want. I wonder if it works with wives and kids as well. Anyway this is the seventh round, coaches and executives are plumbing their bloodlines and contacts, looking at players from programs they know and developed by coaches they know. At this point in the draft you do not have much to lose so you take what looks best.

Redskins 2009 Draft Prep concludes tomorrow with part six, What the Redskins Must Do.

Draft beer selection from here.

ESPN 980 interview final final thought: if the team is not willing to part with next year's 1st rd pick does that mean WAS is out of the Mark Sanchez stakes?

ESPN 980 interview final thought: a good interview, they revealed more than I thought, perhaps Dan Snyder will come out of the bunker and do more interviews.

ESPN 980 interview: Dan Snyder expects the defense to be as good this season or better.

ESPN 980 interview: Dan Snyder dodged question about who has final say in making draft picks. Dan stop invoking Joe Gibbs as cover for your 'process.'

Fifteen years later and Mervis Diamonds is still advertising on WTEM.

ESPN 980 interview: Dan Snyder will not trade next year's 1st round pick. Per Vinny Cerrato; O line, D line and linebacker are the top three draft prios.

ESPN 980 interview: Dan Snyder talked about the role of the player dinner in the team's decision making process. Social factors, personalities.

ESPN 980 interview: Jim Zorn had heavy praise for all three of his quarterbacks. Also said there will be a 4th quarterback in camp.

More from the ESPN 980 interview: per coach Zorn, TE Fred Davis will see more playing time this season, is that a cryptic reference to plans for Chris Cooley?

Breaking news from the ESPN 980 interview, the Redskins have signed a right tackle but are not ready to announce the name.

Ok Now I Am Bugging Out

That giant sucking sound is the breath of inevitability

Update Friday 4pm, Tony Brown at Hog Heaven notes that the entire Redskins brain trust, owner Dan Snyder, shadow general manager Vinny Cerrato and head coach Jim Zorn will be on state controlled media ESPN 980 at 5pm ET, former Redskin Rick Doc Walker will be hosting, Tony helpfully posted up ten questions he hopes but doubts Rick will ask. Redskins DC local fans get to a radio and tune in to AM 980, FM 94.3 or FM 92.7. Exiled Redskins fans go here and click Listen Live at left to stream it.

Inside of one day conventional wisdom appears to be turning current Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell out on his ass and turning former USC quarterback and blue chip draft prospect Mark Sanchez into the Redskins 2009 signal caller. Already there is at least one prospective home for Jason, with the New York Jets.

I am gape mouthed at how fast this has happened and hope in my football heart that this is all a bad dream and that the Redskins will select a tackle in tomorrow's first round in commitment to their quarterback of the future Jason Campbell.

On reading my previous post, reader Jimmy G speculates that, now with tight end Tony Gonzales shipped out from Kansas City to Atlanta, maybe a deal could be in the works to send Redskins Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley and the number thirteen pick to the Chiefs for the Chiefs' number three pick. Plausibility factor: well it is Scott Pioli in Kansas City so anything is plausible.

Now fold this in: Tony Brown over at Hog Heaven posted up on the Jason Campbell wants a trade story and in it he notes Seattle has expressed an interest in Mark Sanchez as an eventual replacement for Matt Hasselback.

Seattle has the fourth pick. Could Seattle be head faking an interest in Mark to try and scoop up a sweaty handful of Dan Snyder's draft picks?

Suddenly raises the plausibility factor for the Kansas City speculation. Scott could cock block the team under him in the draft and dress the fresh wound in the Chiefs offense with Tony Gonzales' departure, all while amassing more, more I say draft picks mwahahahahaaaa!!!!!

Is Dan Snyder the drunken lord at the feast, fat fingers tossing gold coins to any jester or courtesan at his ear?


A sample of reaction in real time because whatever happens tomorrow and this season I want to remember what was being said right now.

Curly R reader Gabe: Why [do Redskins fans have to keep going through this]? Because we have the second-least competent owner in the league.

I mean, we're even behind the Browns and the Cardinals now. (ed. note: I presume Al Davis is the worst according to Gabe. -Ben)

Hog Heaven reader TANK MCNAMARA: please, just kill me now.

Redskins Insider reader jwcallahan91 (no links to individual comments on RI): ...The real story is this front office making the same mistakes over and over. Campbell is not the answer @ QB, however they have MUCH more pressing needs @ DE, OL, LB and making a trade for a guy that has started 16 games and thrown under 500 passes in his career is insane. Stay meduim and trade back, turn the 13th pick into 2 2nd's. If they trade 2 1st's @ this yrs 3rd for sanchez there should be riots @ redskin park.

Redskins Insider reader scampbell1975: [on Jason Campbell's demand for a trade if Mark Sanchez is picked] Good for him. It's about time he showed some nuts. He's been treated like sh!t. Of course it is just business, but he's taken this stuff with class.

Redskins Insider reader sikid31: wow. good for you JC. if the FO takes Sanchez i'm requesting a trade too. enough is enough.

Redskins Insider reader jj250 (op. cit.): We are an absolute joke. It's pointless being a Skins fan anymore. Snyder is an idiot who never learns, and burns bridges in the process - Lavar, Brian Mitchell, soon Campbell. Is he still claiming he doesn't get involved in personnel decisions? HA!

Redskins Insider reader chevychasepowhatans (op. cit.): It gets harder to root for this team every year.

Redskins Insider reader RedSkinsHead (op. cit.): Isn't this like a self fulfilling prophecy? They try for another QB so much that they alienate their QB so they have to think about signing another QB... Even if they don't draft a QB, I don't see Campbell sticking around. Congratulations Vinny and Dan! You have finally mis-managed a situation so badly that you have made Al Davis look like the poster boy for Sanity magazine.

There are literally hundreds of comments on that RI thread, most of them expressing exasperation or anger at this notion of Redskins quarterback Mark Sanchez. If I were Mark's agent I would be making some nervous phone calls to Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato and wondering aloud if Mark would be welcome in Washington. Of course winning cures all ills but even then Redskins fans never forget when the team screws over one of its players.

Hogs Haven reader cooley4: Well at least JC knows sanchez is a bum.If the redskins move to get sanchez it will be the worst move in franchise history and we’ve had some bad ones

Hogs Haven reader smutsboy1: In the long run JC will have a better career when he gets the hell away from that bumbling fool Snyder

ORB (Official Redskins Blog) reader owenfriend: must feel good to be J.C. didn't have enough time to take a breath in the pocket last year and everyone's ready to deal him off. I guess most of us forget QBs like Trent Green. Give J.C. an o-line and a second year under Zorn before you waste draft picks and maybe a potential pro bowl quarterback

If you are a Redskins fan in favor of this prospective move, drop a comment or send me an email with your reasoning, I want to hear it.

Former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez at the NFL Combine in February: AP Photo from here.


Alienating the smallest ego on the roster

Jason Campbell it would appear has had enough, has taken all the passive aggressive abuse he is going to take. And I do not have one bad thing to say about it.

No more closed door meetings, no more statements of support, no more clear the air sessions, Jason has made it clear that if the Redskins draft USC quarterback Mark Sanchez or any franchise caliber quarterback in this draft, he will request a trade from the team.

Jason is now officially disgruntled. Or rather, as ungruntled as his mild manner will permit. Jason is now officially calling out team management. Or rather making his feelings on the matter known calmly.

It is no surprise Denver alienated Jay Cutler, the guy appears to have a paper thin ego made of the frailest crystal. Jason Campbell on the other hand is a focused persona and anyone that mistakes that for passivity risks missing the best parts of him.

Dan Snyder had to work really hard, putting in extra hours, coming in on weekends, working late nights and missing family time to turn Jason, and it looks like all that hard work is finally paying off, he made his deadline for fucking up the team.

This could affect Jason's play if he stays and it will affect the speed with which the team needs a new coach if he does not. And if Mark Sanchez is out there reading this, know that if you do not come in and immediately be Peyton Manning, or Steve Young or Drew Brees that Dan Snyder will be looking at the next hot chick quarterback around the 2011 draft.

Wake up Redskins fans, the team is going to get blowed up again. Why do we have to go through this on average every two seasons?

Future ex-Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell: Getty Images from here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Redskins 2009 Draft Prep - Part Three

Some times we can't decide if we want to change brands

Drafting a player is one thing, developing him is another and deciding to keep him is yet another. Rinse repeat. Curly R's five part series prepping for the Redskins 2009 draft continues.

Part One: The Offense
Part Two: The Defense and Special Teams
Part Three: The Contract Years
Part Four: The Draft Picks
Part Five: What the Redskins Must Do


As the Washington Redskins prepare for the 2009 NFL Draft, the team has two key starters each entering the final year of his contract. Why does this matter three days before the draft?

It matters because teams need to get more than five years out of their first round draft picks. Like with Chris Samuels.

It matters because if they cannot they need to get some value back in trade. Like with Champ Bailey.

It matters because the team should not lose them with nothing in return. Like with Kenard Lang.

The first step to losing them with nothing in return is to let a first round pick into his contract year with no extension. It tells the player the team is not convinced the player is part of the future with the team. Perhaps he is not, perhaps the team is trying to coax a strong performance from the player. And perhaps the team really does not know and wants to check around for other options. A little like high school dating.

Set aside for a moment that the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement will affect how these two players can move or sign. With the two major players in their contract years in 2009 the team is playing one exactly right and one exactly wrong.

Carlos Rogers
Carlos was drafted with the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft, a cornerback out of Auburn University. He started the season as third cornerback behind Shawn Springs and Walt Harris, Walt having been elevated to starter after the the departure of Fred Smoot in the offseason. In a curious case of the snake eating itself, the team would never have needed to draft Carlos if the team had negotiated an extension with Fred Smoot, an extension that was not reached over as it turns out, (pauses pinky to mouth best Dr. Evil impression) one million dollars. Or about ten percent of the signing bonus (op. cit.).

Carlos appeared in twelve games his rookie year, starting five, two in place of Walt with a calf, one in place of Shawn with a shin and two more for Walt with an ankle. Carlos pulled in two interceptions in the second half of the season and looked poised to be a solid player.

Then 2006 rolled around. Walt Harris was cut and signed with San Francisco and Shawn Springs waited until training camp to realize the abdominal hernia he had been dealing with all summer was going to prohibit him from playing football for half the season and Carlos was thrust into a starting spot. It did not go well for him.

In the first place Carlos was playing along side Mike Rumph and Kenny Wright, both one year players in Washington, there was simply no depth at corner. One could wonder aloud how a team employing a player with Shawn's injury history could have let that happen, but that is beside the point. Except not really.

Carlos seemed overmatched as the primary cornerback all season as the Redskins sunk to the number 31 overall defense. Takeaways were so rare that year that I promised, right here on Curly R, to deliver dessert personally to the entire Redskins defense if someone, anyone took a takeaway back for six points in the final three games. Carlos finally scored his first interception of the season in his thirteenth game, all starts. I was a little disappointed when Carlos did not take me up on my offer of flan.

Into 2007 the tandem of Shawn Springs and Carlos Rogers seemed to be working, the team actually added some depth by bringing back boomerang Redskin Fred Smoot, Washington was 4-2 through six games. Then in game seven at New England Carlos collided with linebacker London Fletcher and tore his knee up bad. Carlos was not on the field to help the team get into the playoffs.

Carlos rehabbed quickly and was on the field for the season opener last season in 2008, there is simply no question Carlos was playing at a Pro Bowl level for the first six or so games, then like the rest of the team he started to drop off, finishing with no great distinction. He managed two interceptions while appearing in all sixteen games, fourteen of them starts. At the end of the season Carlos lost his starting spot to DeAngelo Hall, something he was unhappy about, but I really think that had to to with the team needing to see what they had with Shawn and DeAngelo, it seemed to me at the time unlikely the Redskins could keep both Shawn at an eight million dollar cap number and sign DeAngelo to a long term deal, and I was right, Shawn was let go early in the offseason.

Now it is 2009 and Carlos is staring down a contract year. And that is a good thing.

Carlos needs to play angry. He needs to play with purpose and live up to his first round pedigree because so far he has not. He has the moves, he is a pure cover corner and will make a great tandem with zone corner DeAngelo Hall, but he tends to disappear, fades in his tackling and quarterbacks do not fear throwing toward him because he cannot catch the ball.

If he plays well in a contract year then he gets big money, from Washington or another team. It would be bad to lose him but that is the risk the team is taking by not giving him an extension now. If he plays well and the Redskins lose him it will be another example in hindsight of mismanagement but you know what? We will have had that great season on this year's veteran team, and who knows what could happen if everyone plays to their potential?

The default recourse next year will be Fred Smoot and DeAngelo Hall absent another upgrade. The Redskins could do worse.

The team is handling Carlos the right way, make him earn that contract.

Jason Campbell
Jason was also drafted in the 2005 draft, also in the first round, at number 25 (op. cit.). At Joe Gibbs urging Washington traded three picks, their third rounder in 2005 and first and fourth rounders in 2006, to Denver to secure a second first round pick to use on Jason. It is of note that Denver used the fourth rounder from Washington in 2006 to draft outstanding receiver Brandon Marshall.

At the time of the trade, Washington's 2002 first round pick quarterback, Patrick Ramsey, was only 26 and still under contract, and coach Joe insisted that Jason's selection did not mean anything to Patrick which was technically true since it was Mark Brunell that replaced Patrick, not Jason.

Jason did not take a snap, throw a pass or hand off even once in 2005 as Washington rode Mark's spaghetti arm, Santana Moss' groin and Clinton Portis' costumes to the playoffs. In 2006 as the team went into the tank coach Joe pulled the trigger before game ten against the Buccaneers, on the road, it was not a pleasant outcome. Jason finished 2-5 as a starter that year, threw six interceptions and fumbled one time (did not lose it).

Heading into 2007 Jason was the named starter, he showed flashes of big game ability, including a 54 attempt, 348 yard game ten at Dallas. Mostly though he seemed to be trying too hard, afraid of failing and not evolving into the position. For the year, thirteen starts and twelve finishes Jason was 5-7 as starter, threw eleven interceptions and fumbled thirteen times, losing eight of them. It seemed as though Jason really needed better position coaching.

And so it was to be in 2008. After Joe Gibbs' retirement and a torturous search for a new coach, Washington went and hired a professional quarterbacks coach in Jim Zorn.

And the change in Jason Campbell was dramatic. And quick. We can say what we will and maybe agree to disagree about whether Jason grasped the offense or even had time as the line deteriorated in front of him over the season, there is simply no way to deny that Jason grew as a quarterback in 2008. His mechanics, patience and decision making all improved, Jason was 8-8 as a starter, threw six interceptions and fumbled seven times, losing only one. That is the same number Jeff Garcia threw in four fewer games and over a hundred fewer pass attempts.

So the next logical step is for Jason to merge with the offense, to take the lessons he learned from Jim Zorn the quarterbacks coach and apply them to the lessons of Jim Zorn the offensive coordinator. I was a leading skeptic on the notion that Jason Campbell could be a good quarterback for the Jim Zorn offense, now I believe after last season that Jason Campbell can do anything.

Which is why not giving him an extension and locking him up for starter money is exactly the wrong way to approach it. And not because Jason is hurt and will whine like Jay Cutler and not because he will go somewhere next season just to spite the team like Jeff Garcia after taking the Eagles to the playoffs in 2006, no Jason is a bog boy.

But rather because it instills a lack of confidence in the team overall. Is it Jim Zorn that Dan Synder does not trust? Waiting until a better candidate shows up to throw the whole offense, Jason included, out the door? Or is it Jason? All the Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez talk, this is the chatter of a team ownership that is high on the idea of the quick fix, that more position players is more better and some day we well get out from behind this curve.

This team does not need another quarterback, it needs a quarterback who can sit back and concentrate on getting better. Do the coach, the player and the team a favor and get Jason an extension for starter money.

And so back to the draft. As we consider Carlos Rogers and Jason Campbell and whether and what they are worth to the team after this season, think on this: Derek Smith, Shawn Barber, Greg Jones, Cory Raymer, Stephen Alexander, Fred Smoot, Kenard Lang, Derrick Dockery are all examples of productive Redskins players selected in the top three rounds of the draft that were permitted to walk after their rookie contracts. In each case permitting the player to depart caused the team to spend money or picks to fill the hole, money that could have been spent building other areas of the team if the player had been kept. It is all about the opportunity cost.

It matters because the first round pick the Redskins will select on Saturday will come up for a new contract around 2013 or so.

Redskins 2009 Draft Prep continues tomorrow with part four The Draft Picks.

Draft beer selection from here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Redskins 2009 Draft Prep - Part Two

Only seven rounds?

Update Wed 22 April, thanks to reader James for pointing out that I omitted the strong side linebacker position from my pre draft breakdown, I prepped notes and references and somehow forgot to insert into final, omission corrected and thanks for the spot.

Those who fail to know their team face certain failure in the draft. Curly R's five part series prepping for the Redskins 2009 draft continues.

Part One: The Offense
Part Two: The Defense and Special Teams
Part Three: The Contract Years
Part Four: The Draft Picks
Part Five: What the Redskins Must Do


Where do you start when a team needs everything? Even well managed teams need everything, there are only seven rounds in the NFL draft these days, old time football fans will remember when the draft was 21 rounds and took all week, teams could scrape every hint of talent out of the colleges and then own those players.

Now you get seven picks, maybe a couple extra supplementals if you lost a decent player in free agency and that is it. Then every team scrambles together to sign every other prospect.

So those draft picks have to count, you only get to make each one once. You need to pick the player that meets the need of the team.

Here is Curly R's review of the defensive and special teams positions and their relative state of need, these are strictly the opinions of Curly R writers and editors:

Right defensive end
Players: Andre Carter is the principle starter, he will be 30 when the season opens and in his fourth season with Washington. I will agree with Greg Trippiedi at Hog Heaven, anyone that is still stuck on his weak 2006 performance is not paying close enough attention, sure Andre is not Michael Strahan or Deacon Jones, no one is. He is exceptional against the pass but could be a lot better against the run. The last two seasons CFL veteran Chris Wilson was the primary backup, rising second year seventh rounder Rob Jackson will also be in the mix at right end.

State of the position: while the defensive end position overall is in dire need, the right side is in better shape than the left. Andre should have a better season this year than last, just do not expect him ever to be solid against the run.

Draft need: A tough case to make. With the opportunity cost of another player in need it would not make sense for the Redskins to spend a high pick on another pass rushing right end. That talk of Brian Orakpo aka Oh Crappo is interesting for its prurient value but not what the team needs most. Check back with me in the third round.

Right defensive tackle
Players: Albert Haynesworth, the bonus baby. Solid role players Anthony Montgomery and Kedric Golston will spell Albert, as he never makes every play in a game.

State of the position: all good now, at least in theory. The Redskins have had a dreadful defensive line, soft in the middle and easy to run around, for some time. Anthony and Kedric are high effort guys though really holding the position until a better solution could be found. The numbers game could catch either one of those guys in camp.

Draft need: NO WAY JOSE! While BJ Raji is a fantasy for Washington, he will not be available at thirteen and in any event if the Redskins were to trade up it would not be for BJ, it would be for Mark Sanchez or some other madness.

Left defensive tackle
Players: Cornelius Griffin is the incumbent and turned 32 last December. He is in his sixth season with the team, having signed in Joe Gibbs' first year back. Lorenzo Alexander, Anthony Montgomery, Kedric Golston and Demetric Evans variously have spelled Cornelius.

State of the position: Cornelius is a solid player with good size at 6-3 311, he does not have terrific lateral mobility and seems to be in decline. He is a hole stuffer and with the addition of Albert Haynesworth to his right, Cornelius is likely to have a better 2009 and maybe even extend his career a year or two.

Draft need: Yo quiero draft pick! While BJ Raji is the guy that gives team execs wood, think about BJ and Albert side by side, there is no way the team could draft BJ given the opportunity cost of another player. However down the draft the team should be looking for a big body to bring in and start thinking about the future.

Left defensive end
Players: Phillip Daniels is back with the team after missing all of 2008 with a knee injury, Phillip is 36 and this will be his sixth season with the team, like his line mate Cornelius Griffin, Phillip came aboard with Joe Gibbs. After two year absence from the team, Renaldo Wynn is back, Renaldo will be 35 when the season starts, this will be Renaldo's sixth season with Washington.

State of the position: after Phillip went down on the first day of training camp last year, Demetric Evans stepped up and had a great season, then the team inexplicably let him go and for a time there was no one on the roster with experience and the left, run stuffing end position. Phillip drew no interest from other teams and Renaldo is also back on a veteran minimum deal, these are tough and strong guys that are at an advanced NFL age. The presumed starter is coming back from a major injury, which does not say a lot about the main backup who is actually 18 months younger. These guys are only here to hold the line, no one will be surprised if that side of the line leaks, we just need to keep it from becoming a gusher. This position could be a train wreck in 2009.

Draft need: Yo quiero draft pick! Brian Orakpo aka Oh Crappo is not the guy for this spot and there is not another top shelf run stopper on the board, there is nothing the Redskins can get in the first round that will help this cause. They need to look hard at third or fifth round and see if they can scrape out a player that could get some youth into the snaps and develop for the future.

Weak side linebacker
Players: Rocky McIntosh is the incumbent, Rocky is 26 and in his fourth season with Washington. After that it gets murky, 2008 preseason spark plug Alfred Fincher and recent free agent signee Robert Thomas should compete or play roles on the weak side.

State of the position: Rocky, 26 and in his fourth season with the Redskins, started off 2008 at a Pro Bowl level, then his rapid rehab from his gruesome 2007 knee injuries caught up with him and he kind of disappeared in the second half of the season, Rocky is in a contract year and has yet to live up to his second round pedigree. That said Rocky is determined to become a team leader and if his body can hold up and he can focus for an entire season then Washington will be in good shape. Alfred and Robert may both challenge for this position, from what we saw last preseason Alfred may be able to play this position a little bit.

Draft need: Yo quiero draft pick! While the strong side linebacker position is in greater need than the weak side, there is no reason to think the Redskins cannot address both. That number thirteen pick would not be served with a linebacker and if the team's next pick was an LB, I would pick for the strong side if I could, if not I might take the best linebacker on the board.

Middle linebacker
Players: London Fletcher will be 34 and in his third season with the Redskins in 2009. He is a ridiculously consistent player, leads the team in tackles every year, can play the run and the pass. HB Blades, a rising third year sixth rounder, showed development last year, especially at the strong side in place of oft injured Marcus Washington.

State of the position: the Redskins are good to go at middle linebacker. London is ageless and the future looks at least not miserable with HB as a potential starter, though if HB were to launch into a starting spot on the strong side it could create depth issues at this position.

Draft need: NO WAY JOSE! If the team takes a linebacker and he cam play some middle spot, awsum, otherwise use your picks for something else.

Strong side linebacker
Players: with Marcus Washington departed but possibly returning for a veteran minimum deal, this is the linebacker position in the greatest state of flux. HB Blades, also London Fletcher's main backup at middle linebacker, seems to be the odds on best fit for the position, HB had a lot of game time at the strong side last season in place of Marcus and made some plays though he is a bit undersize. Alfred Fincher, a phyiscally larger player the coaches obviously like and will give every chance to find a spot, will be in the mix as well.

State of the position: there is a need here and it is based in depth more than quality for the linebacker spot most in charge of defending the run. Marcus Washington was and I believe still can be a monster at the position, his body just will not let him go with hip, ankle and hamstring problems compounding over the years. I have observed the position is well above average with him in the game and over the past two seasons with HB Blades and the departed (in a football sense that is) Randall Godfrey it is merely average which is not necessarily a bad thing if you are getting good middle linebacker, defensive line and strong safety play. HB is slightly small for the position and Alfred has the size but maybe not the burst. These two may have a terrific battle for the spot with one of them emerging as a top player, or maybe they will simply be rotating placeholders until a better player can be found. The 2009 season will be one of discovery at this position.

Draft need: Yo quiero draft pick! At the minimum a depth player is needed, if HB claims the starting strong side spot then that leaves London's backup spot empty which may not be a huge problem since London plays every down. Three starters leaves two quality reserves right now as Khary Campbell will not see much or any non special teams playing time and Robert Thomas is filler until he proves otherwise. The Redskins other needs are too great to spend the number thirteen pick on this spot and have no second round pick, barring a trade to move into that round I would start looking at best player at this spot in round three.

Players: Carlos Rogers, a 2005 first round pick and four year starter, will be 28 when the season starts and in a contract year. DeAngelo Hall, who turned 25 in November, signed a long term deal after slumming with Washington for the second half of the 2008 season and pulling in three interceptions. Fred Smoot, who just turned 30 and is in his seventh total season with the Redskins, remains the top back up. There is also a rumor of a rising second year fourth round pick named Justin Tryon in the mix somewhere.

State of the position: while the Redskins have some concerns for the future, the team is in great shape for 2009. Carlos and DeAngelo would be expected to win the starting jobs with Fred playing often, maybe 20 or 30 snaps in a game. Carlos is in a contract year and is therefore playing for his 2010 dinner, whether in Washington or elsewhere. DeAngelo is an elite corner and unlike Carlos for so long, seems able to make a play on the ball from time to time, he needs not to be an asshole or get complacent with the big contract. Fred has lost a step to be sure but still can play at this level, his tendency to play off his man is now his biggest weakness, he makes all his receivers possession receivers. And Justin Tryon, yeah like whatever he is in there somewhere.

Draft need: NO WAY JOSE! Washington is set for 2009, no need to start looking for a cornerback until 2010, even if Carlos leaves in free agency after 2009, the team has options with Fred Smoot and free agency before the 2010 draft.

Strong safety
Players: Chris Horton, teh greatets 7ht round pik evar is the incumbent, having blown into the scene last season from the bottom of the draft. Reed Doughty, a rising fourth year sixth round pick, re signed with the team last month and will be in the mix. A veteran such as Mike Green may be in there for depth.

State of the position: while LaRon Landry may be a natural strong safety with his burst and hitting ability, he has moved into the Sean Taylor center fielder free safety role and will not be challenging at strong safety, at least not this year. Chris still has a learning curve and Reed has weaknesses that are easily exploited, this is a position of some concern. The team needs to lean on Chris and push him to make the jump from spark plug rookie to field leader.

Draft need: A tough case to make. The main need at this position is for experience and you ain't gonna get that in the draft. The Redskins need to stand pat and hope Chris Horton and Reed Doughty are the guys.

Free safety
Players: LaRon Landry will be 24 when his third season in Washington starts, LaRon has been able to make the transition from strong safety his first year when playing alongside Seasn Taylor to free safety in his absence. Although he may be suited to play strong safety, there is no one else at the position with LaRon's combination of speed and hittability. Rising second year Kareem Moore looks to get more involved at the position in 2009.

State of the position: like strong safety, the main concern at free safety is experience, not depth and you cannot draft experience. LaRon continues to develop into an elite coverage safety can lay a hit with the best players at his position. Kareem was on the field more in the second half of the season and will be looking for chances to improve. All in all this position is solid.

Draft need: NO WAY JOSE! With so many other needs, the team would not be wise to spend a high or middle round pick at this position. As with last season, if needs are addressed early, there is no reason the team could not take safety and see which position is best for him.

Player: Shaun Suisham. After no competion in 2008 camp, started strong and ended weak, literally, not really reliable past 40 yards. The team has signed fourth year journey man kicker Dave Rayner to challenge Shaun in camp, I expect there will be other kickers coming through Ashburn this season.

State of the position: the Redskins have struggled to find a real kicker, Shaun seemed like the closest thing for a while and now is just not consistent enough, he needs to fight for his job.

Draft need: Are you daft? You do not draft kickers, expecially when you are down picks from previous trades.

Player: Derrick Frost lost a rigged 2008 training camp battle to sixth round pick Durant Brooks who then got himself canned six games into the season. Durant's replacement, Ryan Plackemeier, was as bad or worse than Durant and was not resigned, the position is now vacant. There are a couple of guys on the roster now, they are just placeholders.

State of the position: really bad. It is possible the Redskins punter of the future is not yet even born.

Draft need: Are you daft? After what happened last year with Durant Brooks that is a joke right?

Kickoff returns
Player: Rock Cartwright, 29 and in his eight season with the team, has found himself a nice little redoubt from which to maintain his career, averaging better than 25 yards per return the past two seasons.

State of the position: unless Rock is the victim of a numbers game, likely at the position where he is third on the depth chart, tailback, he will have this position under control in 2009.

Draft need: only in the context of a player drafted for another purpose.

Punt returns
Player: Antwaan Randle El, who will be 30 when the 2009 season starts, is in his fourth season with Washington. No other player is consistently on the field returning punts.

State of the position: weak at best, Antwaan has not been able to get over seven yards per return in two seasons, this despite returning more than 30 punts each of those two years. Whether it is the coverage or Antwaan's tendency simply to fall down, I do not know, what I do know is the team needs to impove this position.

Draft need: only in the context of a player drafted for another purpose.

Long snapper
Player: Ethan Albright. Enought said.

State of the postion: solid, Ethan is the Highlander.

Draft need: as if.

Redskins 2009 Draft Prep continues tomorrow with part three, The Contract Years.

Draft beer selection from here.