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Redskins draft countdown: RB Ronald Jones has great instincts but he a fit in Washington?

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Redskins draft countdown: RB Ronald Jones has great instincts but he a fit in Washington?

Redskins draft countdown

Ronald Jones

Running back
USC

Ronald Jones has the proper combination of speed and power to be a top-notch NFL running back. But what sets him apart from some of his college peers is his vision. Rarely do backs coming out of college have Jones’ ability to read blocks and his knack for taking the right path to daylight. Jones has traits that should translate quickly into solid production on the NFL level. 

READ ALSO: SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION IN THE REDSKINS' RB SEARCH

Height: 5-11
Weight: 200
40-yard dash:4.65

Projected draft round:1-2

How he fits the Redskins: I’ll be looking at a lot of running backs in the next couple of weeks and I’m sure that you are familiar with Doug Williams saying that there “ain’t no doubt” they need to upgrade at running back and Jay Gruden’s promise that they will have another RB by the end of the draft. They like Chris Thompson in his role and maybe Samaje Perine can get some carries but they are looking for a quality, all-around back. Ronald Jones has the resume to fill that role. 

Film review: vs. Colorado, vs. UCLA

—Jay Gruden said he wants a back who can gain yards between the tackles. Jones can do that, and he consistently picks up three or four extra yards after contact. 

—Jones does need to get a chance to build up a little bit of steam. On several occasions, there was contact in the backfield and he generally went down easily. 

—He wasn’t asked to pass protect much. Once he had an issue with either his decision or he just made a bad block. He brushed a pass rusher in the middle of the field and then continued on his pattern, leaving San Darnold running for his life. 

—Jones also can find the edge, with a good knack for knowing when to plant his foot and turn upfield. He ran a stretch play and cut back completely against the flow to score a touchdown against the Buffalos. 

—He also can react well and bounce to the outside to pick up yardage when the inside is clogged up. 

—He doesn’t always get away from tacklers. On a swing pass, a defender was able to bring him down with one arm. 

—Jones utilizes his pad level well. Against UCLA he got low and powered in for a touchdown from two yards out. 

—Again, he’s not all about power. On a fourth and one against Colorado there was a defender right in the hole ready to make the stop but Jones made a little move to elude him and pick up the first. 

Potential issues: His 40 time at the combine was a very pedestrian 4.65 seconds, a performance that tied for 19th among running backs. Only six had slower times and none of them are thought to be first- or second-day prospects. He did pull up lame with a hamstring during that run and certainly, that had an effect. The injury wasn't healed in time for his pro day so the speed remains a question mark.

He also may be a touch small for an every-down back but some time in an NFL weight room should fix that. 

There is some debate over whether or not RB Derrius Guice is worthy of the 13th pick. There is no question that Jones would be a reach there. He is a player who could go off of the board in the late first or early second rounds, out of the Redskins’ reach. 

Bottom line: If the Redskins are not concerned about his 40 time—and he does seem to play faster than the stopwatch said—they could well go for him in the second round. 

Redskins draft countdown

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

 

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Scott Turner won the Redskins offensive coordinator job over Kevin O'Connell, per source

Scott Turner won the Redskins offensive coordinator job over Kevin O'Connell, per source

There has been plenty of speculation as to why new Redskins head coach Ron Rivera decided to hire Scott Turner as offensive coordinator, and now a source tells NBC Sports Washington the answer is simple. 

Turner won the job competition. 

Many expected 2019 Redskins offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell to maintain his position when the team hired Rivera as their new head coach earlier this month. That didn't happen. 

As Rivera moved quickly to assemble his coaching staff, the biggest question seemed to be running the offense and working with second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Rivera interviewed O'Connell and Turner for the job, and asked to interview former Giants head coach Pat Shurmur. 

Shurmur declined the interview, and at that point, a source explained that Rivera then made his decision to go with Turner over O'Connell. 

So why Turner? 

Both candidates got their first experience calling plays last year after an in-season firing to the head coach. The results weren't great for either coach, but Turner's game plans involved more play action passing than O'Connell. 

Turner's resume working with Cam Newton and Teddy Bridgewater mattered, as did the plan Turner presented for working with Haskins. 

It's important to note that Rivera had years of experience working with Turner, as well as his father Norv Turner. That mattered too, and one source explained Rivera "believed" in Turner. 

While O'Connell landed in a strong spot as offensive coordinator for the Rams, he won't be calling plays. Coaches don't like giving up control, particularly offensive coaches giving up play calling. For O'Connell, maybe that will change in LA, but it will take time. 

Some Redskins fans have a bad habit of assuming the worst. That maybe Turner got the job because O'Connell passed on it. That's not the case, per multiple sources.

Ron Rivera wanted his guy, and that's why Turner got the job. 

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Report: Months after major leg injury, Reuben Foster regains feeling in toes

Report: Months after major leg injury, Reuben Foster regains feeling in toes

The Redskins signed linebacker Reuben Foster late in the 2018 season after his release from San Francisco amid domestic violence allegations. The signing caused tremendous backlash towards the organization, but in the end, it was supposed to be worth it for what Foster could do on the field. 

Eventually, charges against Foster got dropped and he wasn't suspended by the NFL. Unfortunately for him and for the Redskins, Foster got injured in his first snap of offseason team activities in May 2019, and it was a major injury. 

The scene on the field that day was traumatic as Foster was visibly in intense pain. In the news that emerged after the injury, Foster had torn multiple ligaments in his knee and NBC Sports Washington reported there was nerve damage in the leg as well. 

Now, it seems like there is finally some positive momentum for Foster's injury. His agent Malki Kawa spoke to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport: "He's got feeling in his toes, the underside of his foot, the side of his foot. The nerve is starting to fire again."

The alarming part here is that Foster had lost feeling in his toes, and for a long period of time too. Foster's injury happened last May. 

Rehabbing a knee is one thing, football players do that all the time. But nerves operate almost on their own, and some nerve damage is irreperable. 

"He's regaining feeling and power," Kawa said. "It shows the nerve is firing. When he moves his leg upward, he can feel around the ankle and the top part of the foot. That's a new thing. The next 60 days are going to be big as far as getting back to normal."

The Redskins know about scary nerve injuries. Promising rookie safety Kyshoen Jarrett sustained nerve damage in his arm in Week 17 of the 2015 season, and never played again. Two years ago, cornerback Quinton Dunbar dealt with a nerve issue in his leg and was basically lost for the year. 

What happens next for Foster will be interesting to watch. 

Kawa said the next 60 days will be important, and that timeline also coincides with more Redskins offseason work. After such a significant injury, it would be premature to make any assumptions about Foster's return to the field, and if/when that happens, his level of play. 

Foster has been seen around the Redskins training facility at times since he was signed in 2018. At various points he was using a scooter and then walking on his own with a significant brace.

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