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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. 

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"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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Ron Rivera doesn't anticipate Dwayne Haskins being bothered by Redskins talking to top QBs

Ron Rivera doesn't anticipate Dwayne Haskins being bothered by Redskins talking to top QBs

Ron Rivera figured he'd make headlines (like the one on this exact website). He just doesn't really think what he revealed deserved to be so newsworthy.

The comments that generated some chatter came on Wednesday, when the Redskins head coach told reporters at the Combine that the team will speak with both Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa.

Washington, of course, already has Dwayne Haskins on the roster and appears poised to take Chase Young second overall in the upcoming draft. But Rivera still wants to sit down with the two top passers in this year's class, and he doesn't really see what's wrong with that.

"I just think it's what you're supposed to do," Rivera told the Redskins Talk podcast on Thursday in Indianapolis. "Of course, that's one thing that people want to jump on and sink their teeth into and create stuff. All we're doing is our due diligence. If we don't look at those guys and something crazy happened, then we'd sit there and look silly."

Burrow is the overwhelming favorite to be selected by the Bengals to kick off April's event, but it makes sense for the Redskins to familiarize themselves with him just in case something wacky happens (it is the Bengals, guys). 

Tagovailoa, meanwhile, has been getting positive reports on his health, which is really the only thing to doubt about the polished product from Alabama. While Burrow currently seems like a complete longshot to end up with the Burgundy and Gold, Tagovailoa does not.

Still, Rivera maintained that the Redskins are just completing their research.

"We're going to cover all our bases and just see what happens," he said. "Everybody wants to know what we're going to do. We can't tell you what we're going to do because we don't know what's going to happen in front of us."

Now, is Rivera worried at all about how Haskins will take these meetings? His rookie year was rife with stories that the 2019 coaching staff didn't want him, after all, so isn't it risky to possibly restart those stories again in 2020? 

Short answer? Nope. Long answer? Here it is.

"I think Dwayne is smart enough to understand," the head man said. "I really do. It's been a neat development of a relationship right now between he and I. I think the one thing that I really do appreciate is his hard work already. And I think that's what everybody needs, to just take a step back and understand that all we're doing is our due diligence."

Rivera indicated that Burrow and Tagovailoa could very well visit the Redskins at their facility later this offseason, too, so this talk of QB drama may pop up again shortly. It doesn't feel like drama to him, though.

To him, and hopefully to Haskins, this is all a part of having the No. 2 pick in the draft, a spot that gives Washington a lot of options.

"I think if this is something that's bothering him, he'll say it," Rivera finished. "But he's a mature, young man who's just growing in his role. I just think that everybody needs to just relax and let us go through our process."

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Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

As far as reputations go in the NFL, punters are not generally known as the tough, strong guys on the team.

Arizona State punter Michael Turk is working to change that.

At the NFL Combine on Thursday, Turk stepped up to the bench press with 225 pounds on the bar waiting for him. What did he do? Just casually ripped off 25 reps.

Yes, you are seeing that correctly. A punter just put up 25 reps on the bench press. That number is impressive as is, for anyone of any position. However, let's put it in context to show just how strong Turk is.

Jadaveon Clowney, Chandler Jones and Rob Gronkowski are all known as some of the strongest humans to ever hit the football field. Their bench reps? 21, 22 and 23, respectively. Michael Turk, the punter, out-did them

Turk will need his legs to impress teams and scouts as he looks to head to the NFL, but he clearly has plenty of power in the upper body as well. If whatever team he lands on wants to run a fake punt, defenders won't have an easy time taking him down.

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