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Is C.J. Prosise the versatile back the Redskins need?


Is C.J. Prosise the versatile back the Redskins need?

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 29 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.

J. Prosise
Running back
Notre Dame

Height: 6-0
Weight: 220
40-yard dash: 4.48

Projected draft round: 3-4

What they’re saying
Ascending running back prospect with the physical build to handle a workload, the athleticism to create for himself and the hands to keep stacking total yardage up. While Prosise has the acceleration and play strength to fit into an NFL offense, he needs to become a shade more decisive and has to improve in protections if he is to become a three-down option. Prosise looks like an immediate "committee" runner with future starter potential.
Lance Zierlein,

How he fits the Redskins: With Alfred Morris now wearing Cowboys colors the Redskins need a running back to pair with Matt Jones. One of the reasons they let Morris go is that they want a more versatile back, one who is a threat to catch passes out of the backfield.

Prosise certainly has pass catching on his resume. He started out at Notre Dame as a slot receiver. In 2014 as a redshirt sophomore he 29 passes for 516 yards (a team-leading 17.8 yards per catch) and two touchdowns.

He switched to running back during spring practice last year and he caught on well enough to be the team’s leading rusher with 1,029 yards on 157 carries and 11 touchdowns. But he didn’t forget how to catch passes and move up the field (26 receptions, 308 yards).

Prosise ran a 4.48 in the forty-yard dash at the combine. That’s not blazing speed but it was faster than the times recorded by over three fourths of the other backs who ran. However, he can operate between the tackles as illustrated here.

Potential issues: He has logged just that one season at running back and various nagging injuries limited him to 10 of Notre Dame’s 13 games. Prosise was rarely asked to do anything in pass protection so his abilities there remain to be seen.

He decided to come out after his redshirt junior year when another year of experience as a running back could have helped his draft stock a great deal.

Bottom line: If Scot McCloughan agrees that Prosise will be able to be a part of a running back by committee as a rookie he could come under serious consideration in the third round, although the lack of experience may make him a better consideration in the fourth round.

The lack of pass blocking ability is not as alarming as it may seem. Most college programs don’t ask their top backs to do much pass protection and most who come into the NFL have to be brought up to speed to some extent before taking the field.

In his own words

On his transition to the NFL:
“I know it’s going to be a tough transition. I’m still new at this position and I’ve still got things to learn, and I have to learn fast. I want to fly, because these guys are moving a lot faster than in college. I’m really excited for that challenge, and I just can’t way for it.”
Previously in Redskins draft countdown:

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

It looks like Ryant Grant has found his new home, again.

After a failed physical with the Ravens, James Jones of NFL Network reports Grant plans to sign with the Colts.


Grant originally agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens, before the team pulled the offer citing an ankle injury that dated to the Redskins' final regular-season game, according to reports.

Baltimore eventually signed Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal, while Grant had visits with the Colts and Raiders.

His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, says Grant has been working out, running routes, and his ankle had been cleared by Dr. Robert Anderson in a second opinion.

In 2017 with the Redskins, he appeared in all 16 games, with 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns.


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Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source


Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source

The Redskins hosted Sylvester Williams for a free agency visit on Tuesday morning, per a source with knowledge of the situation. 

Williams played in 2017 with the Titans, logging 20 tackles in 11 starts. Tennessee released Williams this offseason, just one year into a three-year, $16 million deal. 

Drafted in the first round by the Broncos in 2013, the 6-foot-3, 313 lbs. Williams' stat line has never really popped. That isn't uncommon for a nose tackle though, as the job is less about tackles than it is holding leverage against the interior of an offensive line. 


Should the Redskins sign 29-year-old Williams, it would represent the first true nose tackle free agency addition since Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton joined the team in 2015 from Denver. In an ironic twist, Williams took over at nose in Denver when Knighton left for Washington, and posted his best season as a Bronco. 

Washington restructured its deal with Terrell McClain, reported first by ESPN, which could allow more flexibility to add another defensive lineman. That could come in the draft, but the club has been very active talking with free agents to play on the defensive front. 

On Monday, Johnathan Hankins and Pernell McPhee visited with Redskins officials in Ashburn. Hankins would carry the heaviest price tag, but his past performance would also indicate the most promise. 

McPhee is an edge rusher with enough bulk to play against the run as well. Williams compares more with Hankins, and could be seen as the secondary option.

Among 79 nose tackles Pro Football Focus graded, Williams ranked 36th. For comparison, Bengals star Geno Atkins ranked No. 1, Dontari Poe ranked 26th, former Redskin Chris Baker ranked 65th and current Redskin Ziggy Hood ranked 79th. 

It's also worth noting that since the Titans released Williams, should the Redskins sign the nose tackle, his contract would not count towards the NFL compensatory pick formula. 

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