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Thursday camp notes: Helu elusive, Cooley still a favorite

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Thursday camp notes: Helu elusive, Cooley still a favorite

Quick notes and observations from the Redskins first day of training camp:With the heat index over 100, most players ambled onto the field to save their energy. Not rookie free agent wide receiver Brian Hernandez. Even though he head plenty of time to get there he sprinted from the locker room to the practice field. When youre the longest of longshots to make it, you have to do what you can do.No pads are allowed for the first two days of training camp but the players came out in shells, which are light shoulder pads. Apparently they are not considered to be pads by the rules in the CBA.RG3s first long bomb as a pro was a beautiful arch that nestled into Pierre Garons hands about 40 yards downfield. Now is the part where I have to ruin it and tell you that there was no defense on the field to rush Griffin or to cover Garon. But it sure was a nice pass.Jammal Brown was out again as he was in the morning walkthrough. Tyler Polumbus worked with the first unit at right tackle. (Note: After practice, Mike Shanahan confirmed that Brown was on the PUP list after straining his hip during sprints on Wednesday.)Leonard Hankerson appears to be fully healthy after offseason hip surgery. He cut, stopped, and started just fine.Keep an eye on Alfred Morris. They threw him quite a few passes and he showed that he has a second gear after the caught the ball in space. It will be hard to find a spot for a fourth running back but they just might have to figure out a way to hang onto him.Brandon Banks just doesnt look natural catching passes. He lets too many get into his pads, which is understandable since his arms are on the short side. But thats not the way to work your way into the wide receiver rotation.It appears that Kory Lichtensteiger is getting every snap with the first-team offensive line with a heavy brace on his knee.Chris Cooley may not still be a starter but he is still a fan favorite. Every catch brought the old standby Cooooley cheer from the fans.Roy Helu popped out of a crowd for a nice gain on a stretch play. He is clearly the most talented back on the roster, his only question is durability.The WR depth chart looks about like everyone thought it would. Morgan and Garon are the starters, Moss is the next one in, then Hankerson. A lot could change but it wouldnt be surprising if the season started like that.The backup quarterback may be the most popular guy in a lot of towns, as the saying goes, but not in this one. Rex Grossman heard catcalls from the fans on virtually every mistake and incompletion.DeAngelo Hall dropped an interception that was right in his hands. He dropped and did about a dozen pushups as penance.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

ELITE 8 RESULTS

The Elite 8's first matchup is underway. Vote now:


FIRST ROUND RESULTS

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

You'd think a turkey hat would be enough to capture a W, but not in this one:

January 17: Round one, matchup eight

The Elite 8 is now set with this showdown going to the retweets side:

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While clock ticks with Kirk Cousins, multiple mock drafts connect Redskins with Baker Mayfield

While clock ticks with Kirk Cousins, multiple mock drafts connect Redskins with Baker Mayfield

NFL mock drafts are wildly unreliable, and of the good ones, the full picture doesn't start to become clear until much closer to draft night. 

Think about it: The NFL playoffs aren't even over yet. Most teams are in self-evaluation mode, readying decisions for free agency. Once NFL teams get to the NFL Combine in late February, that's when draft boards start to come to shape. And those draft boards aren't finalized for at least another month after a slew of college pro days. 

Still, mock drafts are fun to look at and discuss, and draft experts like ESPN's Mel Kiper and Bleacher Report's Matt Miller are well plugged in.

RELATED: FIVE POTENTIAL REDSKINS FIRST-ROUND PICKS

So when both of them have the Redskins drafting Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with the 13th overall pick, the interest level spikes. 

From Miller

Washington would be a great fit for Mayfield. He doesn't go to a city with an intense media market (New York) or a city with a long history of losing and a ton of pressure on a rookie quarterback (Cleveland). And with Jay Gruden as the head coach, Mayfield lands in a place where he'll be coached up and a scheme can be built around him.​

While the Redskins still have about two months to try and work out a long-term deal with current quarterback Kirk Cousins, few people around the situation feel a lot of optimism. Cousins gave a lukewarm answer about wanting to stay in Washington, and for years he has talked about wanting to see his true value on the open market. 

Washington head coach Jay Gruden discussed his frustration with keeping Cousins on a one-year deal, as the Redskins have done the past two seasons. The coach wants his QB to be with the team for the long-term, and that could become clear by the NFL Draft in late April. 

If Cousins and the Redskins have not signed a long-term deal by the draft, and it seems unlikely, Washington should absolutely consider a QB with their first round pick.

What passer to take is a different argument, and that will be up to Bruce Allen, Doug Williams, Gruden and a collection of the Redskins highest scouts. There are also a number of QB-needy teams drafting ahead of Washington. 

As for Mayfield, he was certainly a star in college. As a senior he won the 2017 Heisman Trophy, throwing for more than 4,600 yards with 43 touchdowns against just six interceptions. He completed an absurd 70 percent of his passes, extremely high accuracy for a college passer. He also ran for another 300 yards and five more scores. 

RELATED: BUILD UP DEFENSE AND FORGET BIG MONEY QB? IT'S NOT THAT EASY

There are questions about Mayfield. He might lack the height of traditional NFL quarterbacks, and he might lack the game of a traditional NFL pocket passer. Plus, he showed immaturity in on-field celebrations multiple times in 2017 and had an offseason arrest that resulted in a plea deal with Arkansas police. 

Plenty of players will get drafted that showed immaturity and even had offseason arrests. That's nothing new. 

For the Redskins, the biggest question remains Cousins' future. Once that's decided, or if it gets decided, the team will need to make a decision with the 13th pick. Looks like that decision could easily include Baker Mayfield. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!