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Even with Scot McCloughan gone, Redskins draft focused on size and attitude

Even with Scot McCloughan gone, Redskins draft focused on size and attitude

So much thought gets poured into the NFL Draft. Some teams value certain combine drills over others, and different franchises place different levels of importance on specific physical characteristics, often defined by position.

For the Redskins, the NFL Draft was not so much about drills or physical traits. It boiled down to two simple philosophies.

"We definitely sided towards the attitude and the size," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said after the draft.

Looking at Washington's 10 picks, the coach's comments ring true. Early in the draft, Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson have plenty of size, but also the workmanlike attitude Gruden talked about.

Samaje Perine is the strongest running back in the 2017 class. Montae Nicholson has ideal size at 6-foot-2 to play safety in the NFL. Josh Harvey-Clemons, a 7th round pick, could emerge as a quality special teamer because of his size. 


"That's always what you're looking for. It depends on the player, but we got bigger and stronger," Gruden said. "We also drafted some speed."

Fabian Moreau and Robert Davis bring plenty of speed, as does Nicholson. All three ran 4.4 or lower in the 40-yard dash.

No draft is perfect, and eventually, the warts of the 2017 version will appear. But looking at the Redskins haul, it's clear that former general manager Scot McCloughan's impact continued.

McCloughan famously talked about big, physical teams full of 'football players.' To McCloughan - and to the Redskins current brass - combine drills came second to game tape.

Anderson is a prime example. Watch Alabama play in 2016, Anderson was all over the field. At the NFL Combine, a slow 40-yard dash time likely hurt his draft stock. 

"I really didn’t like the draft process that much," Anderson said.

Guess what Anderson enjoys? Playing football.

"As far as a teammate, he's probably one of the best I've had just from the work ethic standpoint," Allen said of Anderson. "It’s not really too many times you would catch Ryan slacking off, he's usually bringing guys to his level. As a teammate, and as a person, you can't really ask for too much better."

That's just what the Redskins want. 

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The Redskins are reportedly hosting Adrian Peterson for a free agent visit

The Redskins are reportedly hosting Adrian Peterson for a free agent visit

After sustaining a number of injuries to their running back group, the Redskins need help at the position. 

In that quest, the team will bring in veteran Adrian Peterson for a free agent visit, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Arguably one of the best all-time running backs in the NFL, Peterson not being on a roster at this point in the season might be a surprise. Last year, Peterson split time between New Orleans and Arizona and rushed for more than 500 yards. 

Peterson built his fame and name with a long run of success in Minnesota, including a 2,000-yard season in 2012. In 123 games with the Vikings spanning 10 years, he rushed for nearly 12,000 yards and 97 touchdowns. 

Washington is in serious need for depth and talent at RB. 

Rookie Derrius Guice went down for the season in the preseason opener, and last week Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall sustained injuries. 

At Sunday's practice, head coach Jay Gruden joked that his son, Jack, should take some practice reps at the position. 

Currently, the Redskins only have Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson and Kapri Bibbs as running backs on the roster, and Thompson hasn't played yet this preseason as he's working back from a broken leg last November.

The Redskins also worked out veteran runners Jamaal Charles and Orleans Darkwa. Peterson has the biggest name of all of them.

This offseason, Peterson also worked out with Redskins tackle Trent Williams.


For more analysis on Peterson's visit, check out this RB-oriented episode of Redskins Talk.

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Jamaal Charles headlines a group of Redskins running back tryouts

USA Today Sports

Jamaal Charles headlines a group of Redskins running back tryouts

Jamaal Charles used to be among the best running backs in the NFL, and maybe the Redskins hope to turn back the clock. 

Washington is dealing with a number of injuries at the running back spot, and to get through two more preseason games, the team is bringing in a number of veteran runners for tryouts. Charles is the biggest name coming in for a test drive with the Redskins, as ESPN reported. Former Giants RB Orleans Darkwa is also getting a tryout, per multiple reports. 

How did Washington get to the point where the team needs to add more backfield options in mid-August?

First, Derrius Guice injured his knee in the preseason opener. He will miss the season. 

In the second preseason game, Samaje Perine, Byron Marshall and rookie Martez Carter got hurt. Perine should be back in a week or as he suffered only a sprained ankle. Marshall could miss a month, making a roster spot flimsy, and Carter was waived due to his injury. 

That means the Burgundy and Gold only have Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Thompson active for practice, and remember, Thompson is working back from a broken leg he suffered last November. He hasn't played yet in the preseason, and might not go at all until Week 1 in Arizona.

Add all of that together and the team was forced to bring in veteran options, if for nothing else than to get through the remaining two preseason games.

Back to Charles.

From 2009 to 2014, Charles put up absurd numbers. He approached 2,000 total yards from scrimmage in both 2013 and 2010, and put up more than 1,700 total yards in 2012. It's worth adding that Charles found great success with Alex Smith when both were playing in Kansas City. Just saying. He was undeniably great, and probably won thousands of people thousands of dollars as a fantasy football MVP.

That time appears to be over though.

In the last three seasons, injuries have robbed Charles of his burst and elusiveness. Last year, he couldn't break through in the Denver backfield despite being healthy for 14 games. He rushed for just under 300 yards. 

Redskins fans will have unfortunate memories of Darkwa.

In an ugly Week 17 loss last season in New York, he busted a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage and finished the game with 154 yards. Last season was the best of his career for Darkwa, he ran for more than 750 yards and averaged 4.4 yards-per-carry. He's only 26 years old and, coincidentally, played college football at Tulane with Rob Kelley

By adding Guice in the second round of the NFL Draft this spring, the Redskins thought they addressed their need for a talent boost at the RB position. With Guice out for the year, the position looks about the same as it did in 2017. 

Adding Charles and Darkwa seem unlikely to change that, at least significantly. And that's if either of the veteran runners even make the 53-man roster. 



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