Redskins

Injured LB Mauti preps Penn State for finale

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Injured LB Mauti preps Penn State for finale

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) The large digital timer with the bright red numbers counted down the final minutes of one of the final practices of Penn State's season. Linebacker Michael Mauti hobbled around nearby in sweats and a letterman jacket while his teammates stretched in front of him.

Mauti may not be able to play Saturday because of a left knee injury, but the star senior is still assuming an important role this week as the Nittany Lions get ready for an emotional season finale against Wisconsin.

``For guys that live and breathe the game like that, it's very difficult thing to deal with,'' first-year coach Bill O'Brien said before practice Tuesday.

Mauti doesn't want his injury to be front-and-center this week, not with the team playing its 12th and final ``bowl game'' of the year against the Badgers. Penn State would have been a lock for the postseason if not for the NCAA's four-year ban as part of the penalties for the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

Every game is precious then for O'Brien's Lions. Not surprisingly, Mauti will be helping his replacement, promising sophomore Mike Hull, get ready for Wisconsin's tough running game and star tailback Montee Ball.

``The thing about Mike (Mauti) is he's a winner in his heart. He's always going to be a winner,'' center and fellow senior Matt Stankiewitch said. ``Even if he can't play, he's still going to lead.''

Two previous seasons for Mauti have been cut short because of injuries - one to each knee - though the linebacker's college career may not necessarily be over.

Mauti hurt his right knee in the 2009 preseason; two years later he hurt his left knee four games into the season.

O'Brien was asked if a potential sixth year for Mauti, a redshirt senior, was under discussion.

``Yeah, fair question,'' O'Brien said, ``but just way too early for that right now.''

Staying true to form, O'Brien isn't focusing on anything past Saturday.

The Nittany Lions may have four losses, but the team has displayed grit and determination through nearly every second of this challenging season. Few prognosticators though Penn State could even finish this year with a winning record.

A senior class including Mauti and Stankiewitch helped O'Brien keep most of the team together after the sanctions were announced in July.

After keeping mostly an even-keel attitude this year, the emotions are more evident this week for the seniors.

``I just walked out that tunnel right just now,'' senior cornerback Stephon Morris said before speaking reporters inside Beaver Stadium. ``I was just thinking to myself that I have one more time walking out of that tunnel with my team, in front of the great student section, the crowd the alumni.''

Morris, one of the most improved players on the team this season, is out of eligibility after Saturday, so the native of the Washington, D.C., suburb of Greenbelt, Md., will miss Big Ten's newcomer Maryland's conference debut in a couple years.

``The Maryland program, if you go to the state of Maryland, you don't know it's there,'' Morris said. ``They pretty much needed a change, as far as I can say. The needed that ... that's good for the Terrapins.''

O'Brien, who was an assistant at Maryland, also welcomed the additions of Maryland and Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights officially made the jump on Tuesday.

Penn State heavily recruits in New Jersey and the Washington-Baltimore corridor.

``It's going to be competitive, but that's what college football is about, and I think you have to talk about your own program and the way you see that individual fitting into your program,'' O'Brien said. ``Hopefully it's the right fit and to me that's what recruiting is all about.''

But O'Brien can start devoting more attention to recruiting and future opponents in a week. For the next few days, it's all about sending Mauti and the rest of the seniors off with a win against Wisconsin.

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NOTES: Starting safety Malcolm Willis (knee) and backup DT James Terry (foot) were not in uniform and watched from the sideline during a 25-minute portion of practice open to media Tuesday. Both players also sat out last week's 45-22 win over Indiana ... Sophomore Allen Robinson is 106 yards shy of tying Bobby Engram's school record for most yards receiving in a season set in 1995 (1,084). Robinson is also two touchdowns short of tying Engram's single-season touchdown reception record of 13 set in 1993.

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Follow Genaro Armas athttp://twitter.com/GArmasAP

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When is the NFL Draft 2018? TIme, TV Channel, Online Stream, Draft Order

When is the NFL Draft 2018? TIme, TV Channel, Online Stream, Draft Order

Draft week is finally here. The predictions and projections, mock drafts and prospect rankings can be put to the side.

On Thursday, April 26, the top college football players will hear their names called and find out their first destination in their professional football careers as the 2018 NFL Draft takes place.

More than 250 players will join the league this weekend, starting with the Cleveland Browns and the No. 1 overall pick.

The 2018 NFL Draft will be televised on six television channels: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ABC. The first round will starts at 8:00 p.m. ET on Thursday and will air on NFL Network, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

Round 2 and Round 3 start at 7:00 p.m. ET on Friday and will air on four networks: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN and ESPN2.

The final day of the 2018 NFL Draft (Round 4 through Round 7), will air on NFL Network and ESPN, with ESPN's coverage simulcasted on ABC for the first time ever.

All seven round of the 2018 NFL Draft will be broadcast on national television for the first time ever.

When is the 2018 NFL Draft?

The 2018 NFL Draft starts Thursday, April 26, and ends Saturday, April 28. The first round will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday night, with the second and third rounds happening Friday night.

The final five rounds will be on Saturday.

This year's draft is being held at the Cowboys' home, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

2018 NFL Draft Schedule

  • Round 1: Thursday, April 26, 8 p.m. ET
  • Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 27, 7 p.m. ET
  • Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 28, 12 p.m. ET
     

How to watch or stream the 2018 NFL Draft:

Live coverage of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 26. The draft continues at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 27 for the second and third rounds, and then again at noon on Saturday, April 28 for the final rounds.

This year's draft will be broadcast by Fox and ABC, along with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NFL Network.

For the first time, all seven rounds of the three-day event will air live on broadcast TV.

On Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m. the draft will air on five channels: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. 

You can also stream the draft on the WatchESPN app or the NFL Mobile app (or ESPN.com or NFL.com), along with Fox Sports Go. 

When do the Redskins pick in the 2018 NFL Draft?

As of now, these are when the Redskins will pick in the 2018 NFL Draft:

  • First Round, Pick No. 13
  • Second Round, Pick No. 44
  • Fourth Round, Pick No. 109
  • Fifth Round, Pick No. 142
  • Fifth Round, Pick No. 163
  • Sixth Round, Pick No. 188
  • Seventh Round, Pick No. 231
  • Seven Round, Pick No. 241
     

2018 NFL Draft Order:

1. Cleveland Browns
2. New York Giants
3. New York jets (via Colts)
4. Cleveland Browns (via Texans)
5. Denver Broncos
6. Indianapolis Colts (via Jets)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Chicago Bears
9. San Francisco 49ers
10. Oakland Raiders
11.  Miami Dolphins
12. Buffalo Bills (via Bengals)
13. Washington Redskins
14. Green Bay Packers
15. Arizona Cardinals
16. Baltimore Ravens
17. Los Angeles Chargers
18. Seattle Seahawks
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Detroit Lions
21. Cincinnati Bengals (via Bills)
22. Buffalo Bills (via Chiefs)
23. New England Patriots (via Rams)
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Tennessee Titans
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. New Orleans Saints
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Minnesota Vikings
31. New England Patriots
32. Philadelphia Eagles

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The makeup of the draft pool will shape the Redskins' first-round strategy

The makeup of the draft pool will shape the Redskins' first-round strategy

The makeup of the top players in the 2018 NFL Draft pool may push the Redskins into continuing a short-term draft trend that appears to be working out fairly well for them. 

For seven straight years beginning in 2009, the Redskins went along with the conventional wisdom in the draft, taking a player that primarily impacted the passing game or stopping the other team’s passing game, with their top draft picks. 

Their top pick (whether in the first or second round) in every draft from 2008-2014 was at a traditionally high-value position associated with the passing game — wide receiver (Devin Thomas), edge rusher (Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy), left tackle (Trent Williams), quarterback (Robert Griffin III), or outside cornerback (David Amerson). 

This was the Redskins going along with the conventional wisdom. Since 2000, 62 percent of first-round NFL draft picks have been players at those positions even though they account for just 32 percent of a team’s starters. 

The Redskins have shifted away for conducting the draft focused on the passing game at the top in two of the last three drafts. The Redskins selected guard Brandon Scherff (No. 5) in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft and interior defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (No. 22) in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In between, they went the old way, selecting wide receiver Josh Doctson (No. 22) in the 2016 NFL Draft. 

This trend is likely to continue due in part to the makeup of the top talent in the draft.

If you’re not looking for a quarterback, the top half of the first round is very light in talented players playing the positions that are most important to the passing game — outside cornerback, edge rusher, left tackle, and wide receiver. Cornerback Denzel Ward is a top-10 player as is edge rusher Bradley Chubb. But that’s about it at those positions and there are no wide receivers or left tackles worthy of consideration in the top 15.

That leaves players like interior defensive linemen Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne and inside linebackers Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds as players who have the potential to be the best available players on the board when the Redskins are on the clock. Traditionally, these players play positions that teams are looking for in the latter stages of the first round at the earliest. 

They could go the non-traditional way for the third time in four years with Vea, Payne, Fitzpatrick, or Smith. In fact, unless Ward slips or they pull off a major surprise it’s likely that they will.

Scherff has worked out well and Allen was getting the job done as a rookie before he got injured so perhaps the way the draft plays out will work out well for Washington.

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