Redskins

Quick Links

USC QB Cody Kessler looks like a good backup plan for the Redskins

cody-kessler-head.png

USC QB Cody Kessler looks like a good backup plan for the Redskins

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 23 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.

Cody Kessler
Quarterback
USC

Height: 6-1
Weight: 220
40-yard dash: 4.89

Projected draft round: 6-7

What they’re saying
Can orchestrate an offense with confidence and accuracy when operating from a clean pocket, but doesn't appear to have the mentality of a player willing to take the risks necessary to strike with big plays often enough on the pro level. Kessler has moments where it is easy to like him on tape, but the traits and tape look more like those of a good, career backup than playoff starter.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins are very tight with secrets during the lead up to the draft but Jay Gruden has expressed a desire to land a developmental quarterback, either in the draft or as an undrafted free agent. It will be surprising if the Redskins go through seven rounds without taking a quarterback to serve as the third-string QB behind Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, particularly if Scot McCloughan is able to cut some deals and pick up extra late-round draft picks.

Kessler has the traits you are looking for should you have to press your third stringer into action. He is accurate from the pocket, completing 71 percent of his passes from there. Kessler isn’t prone to making too many mistakes; he threw just 12 interceptions his junior and senior years combined. And he won’t try to do too much; he knows his limits.

Potential issues: As is normally the case with any quarterback who is available late on Saturday afternoon in the draft, Kessler has plenty of flaws. He’s 6-1, not as tall as you’d like a pocket passer to be. If he gets chased out of the pocket his accuracy drops precipitously.

Bottom line: The tough choice the Redskins have to make when it comes to choosing their developmental quarterback. Do they want someone who can be a career backup and provide a younger a cheaper alternative to McCoy or another veteran in a year or two? Or do they want someone who might serve as an alternative to Cousins should they be unable to sign him to a long-term contract?

If they want the latter, they probably should look for a quarterback earlier, perhaps in the third or fourth round. But it they want a QB who can become a reliable backup the someone like Kessler is their guy.

In his own words

On how his game translates the NFL:
The mental side for me is obviously big. Recognizing defenses. Obviously everyone can throw, everyone can play at the next level and has the arm to make it. But for me I always wanted to be a step ahead of everyone on the mental side of it. Along with my accuracy and my decision making. That’s something we were graded on at USC, and I love watching guys like Drew Brees who is so efficient with the football. His completion percentage is always in the upper 60s. I always wanted to model my game after guys that make the right plays and made good decisions. That’s somehting I want to bring with me in the NFL.
Previously in Redskins draft countdown:

Quick Links

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

usatsi_10473485.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

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!

Quick Links

Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

pryor_vs_chiefs_usat.jpg
Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 23, 19 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The overrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/30/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Yesterday we looked at three events that were underrated at the time they happened. Here, in no particular order, are three overrated events from 2017.

Beating the Raiders—At the time, the Raiders were 2-0 and they still had the status of being one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. The Redskins whipped them 27-10 and the prevailing view was that the Redskins were on their way to a special year. But that loss started a four-game losing streak for the Raiders. They are currently riding a three-game skid and at 6-9 they are contenders for a top-10 draft pick, not for the Super Bowl. The win became less impressive for the Redskins as the year went on.

Signing Terrelle Pryor—There was plenty of excitement when the Redskins signed the Browns wide receiver, who had 1,000 receiving yards catching passes from a sub-mediocre group of quarterbacks in Cleveland. Imagine what he could do with a quality QB and a good offense around him. The hype grew when a fan captured him making this catch in training camp:

But the production was not there. In nine games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury, Pryor caught 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Su’a Cravens departure—There was a lot of concern about issues both on and off the field when Cravens abruptly let it be known to teammates that he intended to retire just after the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster on September 2. All offseason Cravens’ name had been written at the top of the depth chart at strong safety in Sharpie. When he walked away and was put on the Exempt/Left Squad list (and eventually on the Reserve/Left Squad list, ending his season), there was plenty of speculation about whether the organization botched the situation and, of more immediate importance, what would happen at safety without Cravens. We’re still not sure about what happened but Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett did a respectable job at safety.

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

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 6
—NFL Draft (4/26) 62
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 198