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2018 NFL Mock Draft: Who needs a quarterback?


2018 NFL Mock Draft: Who needs a quarterback?

No offense to the running backs like Penn State's Saquon Barkley or pass rushers like LSU's Arden Key or wide receivers like Alabama's Calvin Ridley, but per usual, quarterbacks are kings of the draft class. Just realize this isn't about any one passer though USC's Sam Darnold or UCLA's Josh Rosen might be the first player chosen. Several gunslingers may push their way into the first round.


Which teams jump into the fray for one of them is the intrigue.

Some organizations are dealing with quarterbacks hitting free agency, namely the Redskins with Kirk Cousins and the Saints with Drew Brees.

Others continue wandering the desert in search of help, like the Browns and Jets. Another faction must rapidly determine a long-term solution because their long-time starter is nearing the end like the Giants with Eli Manning and the Chargers with Philip Rivers.

Plenty of moves leading up to the draft will change needs, but for now here's a ranking of the teams in need from least to most likely to select a quarterback in the first round.


Saints -- Drew Brees is still awesome, but he makes a ton of money. Can the two sides agree on a one-year deal that keeps the Super Bowl hero in town and doesn't break the Saints salary cap while they remain a playoff contender? Something tells me an agreement is reached. 

Colts -- Andrew Luck is the quarterback. Season wasted by injury or not, he's the franchise. Of course, the owner apparently thinks the shoulder injury is in Luck's head. Neat. If this tinfoil hat stance becomes a true brawl -- or is real -- then Indianapolis might look to move on from Luck, in which it would move way down this list.

Broncos -- Denver hasn't come close to figuring out its quarterback situation since Peyton Manning retired -- and wasted two years of a Super Bowl contending roster in the process. If the Broncos think they're still a contender, but 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch isn't the answer, then they might be one team looking for a veteran option. 

Vikings  -- Consider this a placeholder spot until we see what Teddy Bridgewater looks like in his return from a devastating knee injury. 

Jaguars -- Yes, Blake Bortles isn't good, but, well, he hasn't been bad lately. Three consecutive games completing 63 percent or more of his passes. Oh, Jacksonville is 5-3. Keep that up and management might be cool with bringing the band back together. Any sign of Bortles being off-key and the curtain comes down. 

Bengals -- No way Marvin Lewis survives another playoff-season, right? Would a new coach think Andy Dalton is the man or be of the mindset to use a potential top-10 pick on a quarterback?

Dolphins -- There's some sense that Miami just might want to move on from Ryan Tannehill's large contract after he missed the entire 2017 season with a knee injury. He turns 30 before next season and has never quite put it altogether, but the Dolphins could do a lot worse. 

Chargers  - Philip Rivers' completion percentage is hovering just over 60 percent for the second year in a row, but he's thrown 13 touchdown passes to six interceptions. Dude is a straight-up gamer so don't expect him to walk away anytime soon. Los Angeles certainly needs to start planning for the future, but that doesn't mean automatically taking a quarterback in round one. 

Jets -- Props to Josh McCown for not just holding things down, but actually putting New York into the playoff picture. Keep him or not, McCown is no long-term answer. Is Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg? Good question. Probably not, but maybe the Jets decide they'd rather go with the same group for another year.

Redskins -- If Washington slaps a franchise tag on Kirk Cousins for a third consecutive year, remove Washington from this list. If Washington slaps a franchise tag on Cousins again but with a price tag north of $30 million, good luck keeping many of its other key free agents. If Cousins gets a taste of free agent life, look for a departure simply based on the number of other teams in need and a personal belief that he wants out. Of course, the Redskins can match offers if they use the transition tag. If you know which of these scenarios is the true future, hit me up on Twitter at @benstandig. Also drop some lottery numbers while you're at it.

Steelers -- Tricky call here in that Ben Roethlisberger is a Pittsburgh institution and not easily removed. That Big Ben admitted he thought about clocking out via retirement before 2017 means that possibility cannot be ignored. One of those team that might want a solid veteran capable of starting ahead of a kid considering their perennial contender status and having a dynamic receiver like Antonio Brown.

Cardinals -- Carson Palmer is 37 and dealing with a season-ending broken arm and his best days are clearly in the rearview. Drew Stanton is fine as a backup, but that's about it. Arizona's roster won't have the team bottoming out and the right new guy could add the needed spark. Considering the other NFC West teams have young passers -- Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, Jimmy Garoppolo -- the Cardinals need to keep up.

Giants -- Two Super Bowl wins and countless "Eli Manning faces." What a ride, but this franchise needs to clean house with the coaching staff and the new head man should get to start over at quarterback. Whether they go for a new passer in round one largely depends on what they think of Davis Webb. Considering New York looks like a lock for a top-5 pick, this seems like a great time to start over. Then the question becomes who gets Eli???

Browns -- This season Kevin Hogan became the 28th different starting quarterback for the Browns since 1999. They passed on Carson Wentz and DeShaun Watson over the past two years. They're the Browns. 'Nuff said.


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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”


Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”


Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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This group Redskins postgame interview was so much better than any group celebration from this year


This group Redskins postgame interview was so much better than any group celebration from this year

Get out of here with being thankful for good health and family and all that other nonsense.

The thing you should've been most grateful for on Thanksgiving was the tremendous group postgame interview the Redskins did after beating the Giants 20-10 at FedEx Field.

This year, group celebrations are the thing to do in the NFL, and they've been fine. The Steelers' choregraphed hide-and-seek was cute, and the Eagles have actually looked like the best baseball team in Philadelphia at times this season.

But those collective efforts have NOTHING on Kirk Cousins hand feeding Brandon Scherff a giant turkey leg or Ryan Kerrigan and Jamison Crowder cheers-ing with their own massive legs:


Can we all take a moment and look at how happy Morgan Moses is to rip a bite off of his drumstick?:

And please check out DJ Swearinger piggy-backing on random-signing-turned-starting-center Tony Bergstrom:

Four days after walking off the field following a sickening loss in New Orleans, the Redskins got to shove meat down their gullets. Winning in the NFL is more fun than losing in the NFL.