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Due diligence or not, Redskins to meet with Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa

Due diligence or not, Redskins to meet with Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa

INDIANAPOLIS - The Redskins intend to meet with the two top quarterbacks entering the 2020 NFL Draft, LSU's Joe Burrow and Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa. If that sounds like major news, it's because it is. 

Washington head coach Ron Rivera spoke Wednesday from the NFL Scouting Combine to explain that while he likes 2019 first-round pick QB Dwayne Haskins, all options are on the table for the Redskins with the second overall pick this year. From Rivera:

Everything is an option. We're not closing the door on anything. One of the things that Kyle [Smith] and I talked about is that we have to go through this process because you don’t know what’s going to happen in front of you and we don’t know what’s going to happen with you. So we're going to go through and Tua is one of the guys that were bringing in, just so everybody knows. Were bringing in [Joe] Burrow and were bringing in Tua. And we will see both of their workouts. That's just the way it is. You just don’t know, so we're going to prepare and we're going to get ourselves ready. We're going to obviously look at some of the other players, we're going to look at Chase [Young]. We're going to look at the corners, we're going to look at everybody. 

Obviously Rivera's comments carry great weight, not just bringing in Tua but also Burrow. The whole world assumes the Bengals will take Burrow with the first overall pick, but should something else happen, the Redskins will have done their homework on the Heisman Trophy winner. 

But if Burrow is gone, will the Redskins actually draft Tagovailoa? Asked specifically if meeting with Tua was just due diligence, Rivera was unequivocal. 

"No," the coach said. "Talking to Tua is you talk to Tua, which I’ve had an opportunity to."

So what does all of this mean for Haskins? Since he took over in Washington, Rivera has made no promises to the second-year Ohio State product other than competition at the quarterback position. Wednesday did mark Rivera's most positive comments about Haskins since taking over as head coach though. 

"I think we have a very good young player," Rivera said on Haskins. He expanded:

The more we break down, the more we learn about him, I think it puts us in a pretty good spot. I am excited about him. One thing that I have seen is his commitment. He’s been around a lot. When I make my rounds during the day and I’ll walk by the weight room, there he is. I walk by the locker room, there he is. That to me is a sign of a young man that is learning he needs to be around. 

Let's be clear about a few things: The pre-draft process is often a battle to create leverage against other NFL teams. With the second overall pick and a roster full of holes, the Redskins want, if not need, that leverage. 

Bringing in Burrow and Tua for meetings create leverage, but at this point, watching and listening to Ron Rivera, it would seem foolish to assume the meetings are solely about leverage. 

Rivera is known for telling the truth, and he also mentioned that the team will bring in Ohio State defensive end Chase Young for meetings. It's entirely possible, if not likely, the Redskins still end up taking Young with the second pick. 

Keep this in mind, however, as Rivera has a pristine reputation around the NFL. Players love him for being honest and direct. It might be lying season in the NFL, but Rivera is a different beast. He's not taking meetings just for show. The new Redskins organization is about detail and character, and Rivera is just starting to show his cards. 

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Tua Tagovailoa expects full medical clearance, and that's great news for the Redskins

Tua Tagovailoa expects full medical clearance, and that's great news for the Redskins

INDIANAPOLIS -- Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa expects to be fully cleared by his team of doctors on March 9th, and with that news, expect the NFL Draft to turn into full TuaMania. 

The former Crimson Tide passer spoke on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine and displayed a unique blend of sincerity and humbleness rarely seen in NFL players, let alone quarterbacks. Tagovailoa did his best to avoid talking about himself, complimented the only QB that seems likely to be drafted higher in Joe Burrow and explained that he will be thrilled by whatever NFL team selects him. 

It was an impressive performance from a player that many scouts have described as a stud "both on and off the field."

On the field, Tua was phenomenal. In three years at Alabama, he threw for nearly 7,500 yards with 87 touchdowns against just 11 interceptions while completing 69 percent of his passes. Injuries are the only concern for Tagovailoa, but they're a significant concern. That's why the medical clearance will mean so much, followed by his personal Pro Day in early April. 

For Washington, any and all news about Tua is great news. 

The Redskins hold the No. 2 overall pick in April's draft, and the more interest drives up around Tua, the more valuable the second overall pick becomes. It remains entirely possible Washington will take Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young at No. 2, but if a team gets desperate for Tua, a trade offer could get wild. 

After drafting Dwayne Haskins in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, it seems unlikely the Redskins would again take a quarterback in 2020. It's not impossible, as Arizona proved last year, but it is unlikely. 

No matter what happens, good news for Tua is good news for the Redskins. 

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Ohio State WR K.J. Hill says it would 'be great' to play with Dwayne Haskins again

Ohio State WR K.J. Hill says it would 'be great' to play with Dwayne Haskins again

INDIANAPOLIS - The Redskins hit it big last year taking Ohio State wide receiver Terry McLaurin in the third round of the NFL Draft, and it seems possible another Buckeye wideout could head to Washington this year. 

K.J. Hill, 6-foot, 195 lb., just finished his senior season in Columbus as the Buckeyes all-time leading receiver. That's a major accomplishment, but more importantly for Redskins fans, Hill considers Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins one of his best friends. On top of that, Hill has already met with Redskins officials twice in this year's pre-draft process, both at the Senior Bowl and this week at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Both McLaurin and Haskins reached out to Hill last year, where interestingly his numbers dipped a bit from the 2018 season when all three were played together. As a junior that year paired up with Haskins, Hill posted 70 catches for 885 yards and six touchdowns - he actually outproduced McLaurin by nearly 200 yards. In 2019, with Haskins in the NFL and the more running-focused Justin Fields at quarterback for Ohio State, Hill's numbers dipped to 57 catches for 636 yards with 10 TDs. 

It's hard to know what will happen in the NFL Draft, very hard, but in some ways, Hill draws striking similarities to McLaurin last year. At Ohio State, there are so many good players that the numbers don't stand out. Both players pride themselves on route running and special teams. And just like last season when McLaurin lasted to the third round, projections are similar for Hill this year. 

Of course, McLaurin exploded on the scene for the Redskins last year, going for more than 900 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games as a rookie. Going into 2020, he's locked in the Redskins WR1 spot and fellow 2019 rookie Steven Sims looks to have the slot WR role locked up. Another 2019 rookie, Kelvin Harmon, could be the guy opposite McLaurin but the Redskins still need to add talent at the wideout spot. 

As cool as the Haskins/McLaurin/Hill reunion story seems, the Redskins will meet with more than a dozen potential receiver draft picks between the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine. It does say something that Washington met with Hill at both events, but there are lots and lots of good prospects. 

Some will debate what Hill's role will be in the NFL if he is just a slot player or can make it on the outside. Whatever happens and where ever Hill lands, just remember some experts said the same thing about McLaurin this time last year. 

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