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Top WR prospect DK Metcalf really, really likes Jay Gruden

Top WR prospect DK Metcalf really, really likes Jay Gruden

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden got quite the compliment from Ole Miss WR DK Metcalf after a successful meeting earlier this week. 

“He’s a perfectionist,” Metcalf said of Gruden. 

A likely first-round draft pick, Metcalf explained that his formal interview with the Redskins was his best so far during the NFL Scouting Combine. He said that Gruden showed him how to be cleaner in his breaks on receiving routes. 

The high praise comes as the Redskins might be in the wide receiver market during the draft. 

The team got poor production from the position in 2018, with no wideout bringing in more than two touchdowns or registering more than 45 receptions on the season. 

Metcalf made a stir during the pre-draft process when a picture emerged via social media of his size and stature. He’s an aggressive weight lifter that has less than 2 percent body fat. 

When he wasn’t speaking highly of the Redskins, Metcalf was almost in an awkward position where he had to defend his size. 

Asked if he was surprised by the questions about his size, Metcalf said simply, “yes.”

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    The Redskins seem highly unlikely to trade into the Top 5, unless crazy happens

    The Redskins seem highly unlikely to trade into the Top 5, unless crazy happens

    Holding the 15th pick and with a litany of needs to improve their football team, the Redskins seem highly unlikely to trade up into the top five of the NFL Draft.

    Unless Kyler Murray somehow comes available. 

    The Redskins, like a host of other NFL teams, believe Murray has transcendent talent. Jay Gruden said so publicly at the NFL Scouting Combine, and privately, Ashburn sources have been clear that Washington considers Murray the top offensive player available in this draft.

    Be real though, Murray has no chance of lasting around to Washington's selection with the 15th pick. It's still most likely he's the first player drafted. If Arizona doesn't take Murray with the No. 1 overall pick, things could get interesting. 

    A report from New York showed that the Redskins have been talking with the Jets about the third pick, something that NBC Sports Washington suggested could happen as far back as February during the NFL Combine

    The problem is the only player worth paying the cost to move up that high is Murray, and again, he seems unlikely to be available. 

    One NFC scout explained that of the 2019 quarterback class, only Murray is the type a team would "reach" for. Beyond the Oklahoma Heisman winner, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones are good, legitimate first-round prospects, but not the type to "sell the farm to get."

    Sure, the Redskins might want a new QB, but it's entirely possible one of those three players last to the 15th pick.

    One of the reasons that makes the 2019 draft so intriguing is that after Murray, there is very little consensus ranking the passers. It seems Haskins or Lock will go off the board as the second QB, but which one is up for debate. And Jones has some serious fans around the NFL. For example, Hall of Fame analyst Gil Brandt compared Jones to Peyton Manning. Seriously. 

    Any combination of Lock, Haskins and/or Jones could go before 15, but it seems unlikely all three do. One former NFL executive suggested that the Redskins will take either Lock or Haskins if that player is available at 15 though.

    If both are gone, and no top defensive player slips to 15 as a result of a quarterback or offensive line run early in the draft, then it's entirely possible the Redskins look to trade back. Senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams said as much earlier this week. 

    "I’m going to go on the record and say that’s a possibility that we won’t trade up, but there’s a great possibility we’ll trade back if that opportunity came," Williams said on Monday.

    The Redskins met with Maryland safety Darnell Savage on Tuesday, and his draft stock likely seems to land somewhere in the bottom third of the first round or early in the second round. The Texans might be looking to move up and get a tackle, and Washington should answer that call if it comes. Houston holds the 23rd pick, and that could make sense as a spot to select Savage. 

    Beyond Savage, a player like Boston College offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom could make sense if the 'Skins move back, not to mention Jones. The Duke QB seems unlikely to get past the first round, especially because of the advantage of having a quarterback on a rookie contract. A first-round deal comes with a low cost relative to NFL quarterbacks, and additionally, a fifth-year option. if a QB plays at a high level, that option year holds tremendous value for its team-friendly terms

    That Jones seems a possibility at both 15 and at 23 illustrates that there is really no consensus anywhere. 

    To that point, one talent evaluator said this draft holds the promise for chaos.

    "It's going to be crazy."

    For months, Murray seemed to be a lock to go first overall. Now, that doesn't seem like such a sure thing. The debate between Haskins and Lock has never really subsided. There is no clear-cut best wide receiver, or offensive tackle, two spots that often command picks in the Top 10. 

    Anything can happen this week, and the Redskins are right in the middle of it all. They want a quarterback - Williams said so - but can't afford to mortgage the future of the franchise. 

    Two nuggets to remember this week:

    1. Of the last 12 quarterbacks taken in the first round, 11 were drafted by a team that traded up to get them. The only QB that a team got without trading up? Baker Mayfield, last year's No. 1 overall selection.
    2. The Redskins missed the playoffs the least three seasons. The last time that happened was 2012, when the team mortgaged the future to trade up and select Robert Griffin III.

    The only real truth about the 2019 NFL Draft is that nobody knows what's going to happen.

    By draft day last season, it was pretty clear the Redskins would take either Daron Payne or Vita Vea. The team needed major help on the defensive line, and those were the two best players believed to be available when Washington picked. At the top of the draft, it was clear Mayfield would go first and the Jets wanted Sam Darnold. That allowed for some stability in projecting what else would happen. 

    This year, there are a million scenarios, but no clarity.

    Doug Williams summed the situation up very well: "We got the 15th pick at this time, and there are 14 teams in front of us, and you don’t know what’s going to happen. Things happen that you don’t expect."

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    2019 NFL Draft Big Board: Quinnen Williams, defensive prospects dominate the final top 100

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    2019 NFL Draft Big Board: Quinnen Williams, defensive prospects dominate the final top 100

    It’s the final countdown.

    Here is the final NBC Sports Washington NFL Big Board for 2019. This ranking of the top 100 prospects in the NFL Draft comes from a combination of homework and NFL sources.

    Before diving in, some notes…

    *The Redskins met with Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr. Tuesday, sources told yours truly and JP Finlay. Savage is one of the true risers in this class with a 20-40 draft projection. Teams eyeing the free safety include the Colts, Patriots, Chargers and Redskins, per sources.

    Of those teams interested in Savage, only the Redskins’ current picks are outside of that 20-40 range. The key word there might be current.

    Senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams told reporters Monday that there’s a “great possibility” of a trade down from 15 depending on which players remain on the board. The interest in Savage isn’t with the current pick, but if they move down.

    *For all the quarterback talk, where the offensive line run begins could drive the first round.

    While the Jaguars might select Florida tackle Jawaan Taylor seventh overall, the span to watch is 9-12. Offensive line ranks among needs for these four teams (Bills, Broncos, Bengals, Packers) and several prospects, including Alabama’ Jonah Williams and Oklahoma’s Cody Ford are worthy of consideration in this range.

    However, OL isn’t the top priority for any of the four. My latest mock draft had all going with another position. The final debate will come down, in part, to whether the teams think they can address their line needs on Day 2.

    The butterfly effect comes with teams selecting 15-23. The Redskins and Panthers (16) would surely focus elsewhere. The Vikings would still have a viable option in NC State center Garrett Bradbury, but the Seahawks (21), Ravens (22) and Texans (23) would probably move in other directions. This scenario also improves the chances that Boston College’s Chris Lindstrom and Texas A&M’s Erik McCoy go in the first.

    Ford is considered the top guard prospect, making him an obvious option for the Redskins.

    * Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat remains a top 10 prospect on this list, but that’s without a true understanding of his enlarged heart condition. According to a source familiar with the situation, some teams are comfortable with his situation while others removed the athletic freak from their draft board.

    Not sure if we can infer there’s a potential slide coming with Sweat declining his invitation to attend the draft. My expectation is he remains in my final mock draft with the Panthers at 16 and Seahawks at 21 as the floor.

    *If you missed it, I recently shared league thoughts on the passers. Not to get all indecisive, but at this point, I could see four selected by 17 or two sliding deep into round one. From a draft range perspective, Drew Lock’s feels the largest, stretching from 10 to 32.

    *Using some Vegas prop bet lines for the first round, I’d go under on one running back and 2 1/2 wide receivers. Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown is the only receiver I feel good slotting into round one, but D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown and N’Keal Harry won’t wait for long on Day 2.

    *Make sure to check out the updated two-round NFL mock draft and our look at different 7-round, Redskins-only mock drafts. Paths onetwo and three are just a click away.

    NBC Sports Washington’s final 2019 NFL Draft Big Board

    1. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama                                          

    2. Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State                                      

    3. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston                                           

    4. Devin White, LB, LSU                               

    5. Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky         

    6. Montez Sweat, DE, Miss. St.                                                                                                 

    7. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa                                       

    8. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma                                 

    9. Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan                                      

    10. Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson        

    11. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida                                  

    12. Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama                                            

    13. Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson                          

    14. Cody Ford, G/T, Oklahoma                                  

    15. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Miss. State                       

    16. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State                                       

    17. Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson                                                  

    18. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington                                        

    19. Brian Burns, DE, Florida State                                            

    20. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU                                    

    21. DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia                                              

    22. Andre Dillard, OT, Wash. State                                          

    23. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma                                      

    24. Johnathan Abram, S, Miss. St.                                            

    25. Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame                              

    26. Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State                                        

    27. Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State                                            

    28. N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State  

    29. Chris Lindstrom, G, BC                                          

    30. Darnell Savage, S, Maryland                                                            

    31. A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi                                 

    32. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa                              

    33. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi                                            

    34. Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M                                  

    35. Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama                                  

    36. Daniel Jones, QB, Duke                                      

    37. Drew Lock, QB, Missouri                                          

    38. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple                                      

    39. Taylor Rapp, S, Washington    

    40. Irv Smith, TE, Alabama                                         

    41. Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington                                        

    42. Nassir Adderley, FS, Delaware                                           

    43. Chase Winovich, LB, Michigan                                           

    44. Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State                                       

    45. Jaylon Ferguson, DE, La. Tech                                           

    46. L.J Collier, DE, TCU                                 

    47. Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia                                     

    48. Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama                                  

    49. Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State                                        

    50. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida                                           

    51. Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State                                           

    52. Oshane Ximines, DE, ODU                                   

    53. Dre'Mont Jones, DE/DT, Ohio State                                 

    54. Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State                                       

    55. Connor McGovern, G, Penn State                                     

    56. Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia                                    

    57. Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame                              

    58. Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State                                   

    59. Gerald Willis, DT, Miami                                       

    60. Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama                                        

    61. Ryan Finley, QB, NC State      

    62. Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson                                            

    63. David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State                                 

    64. Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis                                      

    65. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford                                

    66. Zach Allen, DE, Boston College                                          

    67. Lonnie Johnson Jr., CB, Kentucky                                      

    68. D'Andre Walker, LB, Georgia                                                      

    69. Jachai Polite, LB, Florida                                      

    70. Chuma Edoga, T, USC                                           

    71. David Long, CB, Michigan                                    

    72. Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State                                        

    73. Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State                                     

    74. Joe Jackson, DE, Miami                                        

    75. Amani Hooker, S, Iowa                                         

    76. Yodny Cajuste, T, West Virginia                                         

    77. Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State                                

    78. Chuma Edoga, T, USC                                           

    79. David Long, CB, Michigan                                    

    80. Greg Little, T, Mississippi                                     

    81. Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M                                  

    82. Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas                                

    83. Damian Harris, RB, Alabama       

    84. Michael Jordan, G, Ohio State                                           

    85. Dawson Knox, TE, Mississippi                                            

    86. David Edwards, T, Wisconsin                              

    87. Andy Isabella, WR, Umass                                   

    88. Dru Samia, G, Oklahoma                                      

    89. Christian Miller, LB, Alabama                              

    90. Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic                               

    91. Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan                                                            

    92. Nate Davis, G, Charlotte                                      

    93. Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia                                        

    94. Bobby Okereke, LB, Stanford                              

    95. Michael Deiter, G, Wisconsin                              

    96. Ben Powers, G, Oklahoma                                   

    97. Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri                                   

    98. Marvell Tell, S, USC                                

    99. Dionte Johnson, WR, Toledo         

    100. Terrill Hanks, ILB, New Mexico State      

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