Redskins

Arkansas' Powell showing off new outside ability

Arkansas' Powell showing off new outside ability

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Marshawn Powell's knee injury might have cost him most of last season. His down time, however, has provided the Arkansas junior with an unexpected benefit.

Known primarily for his work underneath the basket before this season, Powell has turned into one of the team's best outside shooters. The 6-foot-7 forward leads Arkansas (5-4) in 3-pointers made (11) and 3-point shooting percentage (50 percent), both surprising considering the source.

Powell entered the season a career 22.4 percent shooter from behind the arc, having connected on only 15 of 67 attempts. But he's hit 11 of 22 this season, including an 8-of-12 stretch over his last three games.

``I knew he could shoot 3s, but I didn't think he was going to shoot this many, or at least land (them),'' Arkansas junior Rickey Scott said. ``I'm as shocked as you.''

The secret behind Powell's sudden shooting prowess isn't all that much of a secret at all.

He credits the long hours in the gym while rehabbing from last season's torn ACL in his right knee. For much of that time, he was forced to stand on the sidelines while his teammates practiced, unable to do anything but shoot.

``I learned my touch, and I'm shooting it with confidence,'' Powell said.

Powell said he was ``definitely'' a 3-point shooting threat while a high school standout in Virginia, though he hadn't shown that ability during his first two full seasons with the Razorbacks.

He was 8 of 37 from behind the arc as a freshman during the 2009-10 season, when he was third on the team in scoring with 14.9 points per game. His percentage (25 percent) rose as a sophomore, but his attempts (28) decreased as Arkansas relied on his post offense.

Powell didn't have much of a chance last season to show his outside game in his first season under coach Mike Anderson, injuring his knee during practice after just two games. Anderson hasn't been surprised by Powell's hot shooting, which has him averaging a team-high 16.6 points per game.

``It's something he has in the arsenal; he works at it,'' Anderson said. ``It's something that people are giving him, so to me it showcases his versatility.''

The addition of a consistent outside game also has helped improve Powell's inside play. He's shooting a career-best 52.4 percent (52 of 103) from the field this season, besting the 50 percent he shot as a freshman and showing a new spring in his step.

Powell, who played primarily below the basket his first few seasons with the Razorbacks, has found plenty of operating room around - and above - the basket this season. He's shown off a variety of spin moves and dunks in his first season after the knee surgery, adding to an ever-improving array of offensive options while trying to ``take all wide-open'' 3-pointers.

``I think what (the 3-point shooting) does, it presents problems for people,'' Anderson said. ``You've got to figure out how you want to play him. I think it helps us from the standpoint, now we can really space the floor. We don't have to just clog the offensive lanes up, but at the same time we've got a guy we can get it to that can make some things happens.''

Powell's recent hot hand outside has benefited a team that was in dire need of some 3-point shooting help. The Razorbacks shot just 26.2 percent (27 of 103) from behind the arc over their first six games, but they've hit 29 of 63 (46 percent) over their last three.

Overall, Arkansas is hitting 33.7 percent of its 3-pointers this season, ninth in the Southeastern Conference.

``I think that's the rhythm,'' Anderson said. ``You can see the rhythm; things are starting to fall in place for our guys. They are starting to understand (how) to get the ball to the right people at the right time. Guys are shooting the ball with confidence, that's what shooting is. It's about confidence and taking shots you can make.''

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The Browns called the Redskins 15 years ago hoping to trade up for Sean Taylor, but the Redskins said 'no'

The Browns called the Redskins 15 years ago hoping to trade up for Sean Taylor, but the Redskins said 'no'

Thanks to his illustrious career at Miami, Sean Taylor caught the eyes of Joe Gibbs and the Redskins heading into the 2004 NFL Draft.

Not surprisingly, though, Washington wasn't the only franchise interested in adding a do-it-all, safety-in-a-linebacker's-body prospect to their defense.

In a terrific look-back at that draft from Sports Illustrated — a draft in which a record six Miami products went in the first 21 picks — you'll find this excerpt:

But at the last minute, the Browns, owners of the No. 7 pick, called asking to trade up. Butch Davis, Cleveland’s coach and EVP, had previously been the head coach at Miami and had recruited all six of these Hurricane prospects out of high school...

[Vinny] Cerrato says the Browns were coming for Taylor. Davis is more diplomatic about it: “It was probably about 60-40 that we would’ve taken Sean [over Winslow],” he says. He wanted to know what it’d cost to get Taylor. But Washington wasn’t budging. “There was no interest whatsoever,” Cerrato says. “We wanted Sean Taylor.”

Cleveland also reportedly contacted the Giants about their fourth overall selection so they could skip the 'Skins entirely, but New York ended up orchestrating their own deal to land Eli Manning.

Fortunately, the Burgundy and Gold stayed in place and got Taylor despite the calls. Often times, trading back in the draft is an attractive option. This time around, however, that option paled in comparison to the opportunity to acquire Taylor.

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2019 NFL Draft Preview Special: How to watch

2019 NFL Draft Preview Special: How to watch

Were the countless mock drafts not enough? Do you need a little more explanation before the nail-biter that is Round 1? NBC Sports has you covered.

Representatives from every branch of the NBC Sports Regional Network will be breaking down the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 25th just hours before one of the most anticipated and nerve-wracking shows in all of sports. Beginning at 3 p.m. ET, experts and insiders will preview Round 1 and the draft needs of their network's respective teams.

So obviously, we've got Redskins insider JP Finlay on set and ready to discuss what's in store for the 2019 Burgundy and Gold.

<<CHECK OUT NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON'S LATEST NFL MOCK DRAFT>> 

The special will be available exclusively on the MyTeams by NBC Sports App. If you haven't already downloaded the MyTeams App, you can do so right now, RIGHT HERE.

How to watch NBC Sports's 2019 Draft Preview Live Stream

When: Thursday, April 25th

Time: 3 p.m. ET

Who: JP Finlay and team-specific NFL experts across the Regional Sports Network

Steam: MyTeams App

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