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How the rise of Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes could result in big payoff for Redskins at NFL Draft

How the rise of Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes could result in big payoff for Redskins at NFL Draft

Almost every year it happens: A quarterback emerges after the combine, after the workouts, and begins to build serious momentum in the week leading up to the draft. This year is no different, and the player driving up draft boards is Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes. 

Last season as a junior for the Red Raiders, Mahomes threw for more than 5,000 yards to go with 41 touchdowns against only 10 interceptions. He completed more than 65 percent of his passes, and added another 285 rush yards and another 12 TDs on the ground. 

In a draft with more questions than answers at quarterback, Mahomes is generating a lot of buzz.

Word is Bill O'Brien of the Texans 'absolutely loves' Mahomes, and the passer is high on the radar of other teams as well. 

What does this mean for the Redskins? Could be very good news.

To start with, the Cardinals draft in front of the 'Skins. Should Arizona make a move for Mahomes at 13, that means one more good player will slide down the board, giving Washington more options at pick 17. 

If Arizona determines 13 too high for Mahomes, a few things could happen by the time the 'Skins get on the clock. Knowing multiple teams are interested in the rookie passer, perhaps a trade market emerges for the 17th pick. It doesn't seem that there is any one player Washington brass is locked in on at 17, and trading down could make sense. 

The 2017 Draft is quite deep in good spots for the Redskins: edge rusher, linebackers, safeties and running backs. Many draft evaluators have suggested trading back makes sense for the 'Skins, and increased attention in Mahomes could accelerate that possibility. 

The Chiefs draft 27th, the Texans 25th. Between them and the 'Skins, the only team that might consider a first-round QB could be the Giants, trying to find Eli Manning's successor. With that much interest, and maybe more lurking, trade talks could blossom.

Even without a trade, Redskins fans should root for a run on QBs early in the draft. The more passers that get taken in front of Washington, the better the chances get of a player previously thought a Top 10 lock to slip all the way to 17. That could include guys like Reuben Foster, Derrick Barnett, Takkarist McKinley or a host of other top talents. 

 

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49ers seal rainy victory over Redskins with slip-n-slide celebration

49ers seal rainy victory over Redskins with slip-n-slide celebration

After coming across the country and holding the Redskins scoreless, the 49ers celebrated their victory over Washington in the most appropriate way possible.

In a rain-fulfilled contest that featured poor field conditions, including multiple puddles throughout the playing surface at FedExField, several players on both sides slipped constantly on Sunday. 

On the last play of the game with a San Francisco victory just seconds away, 49ers rookie Nick Bosa sacked Redskins quarterback Case Keenum as the clock winded down. Bosa celebrated with a headfirst slide across the grass, fully embracing the poor field conditions that affected both sides all afternoon long.

But as soon as Bosa hit the turf, several of his 49ers teammates joined him in the act. All of a sudden, dozens of white jerseys were sliding across the wet grass, as the two teams began to commemorate postgame.

"It was a lot of fun. It was definitely worth it," 49ers defensive end Deforest Buckner said. "I saw Bosa out there sliding, so I said, 'Let's do it.' Everybody else started sliding around and everything. It was like a bunch of little kids out there. That's part of the game, having fun. Right now, we're having a lot of fun."

Even head coach Kyle Shanahan, who was likely happier about this victory than many others, considered joining in.

"I did think about it," Shanahan said. "But I don't think I would have done it right."

The head coach wasn't the only 49er to sit the celebration out.

"I spent plenty of time getting wet in the game," tight end George Kittle said. "I let other guys do [the celebration] for me."

"I saw those guys running and diving on the ground," cornerback Richard Sherman said. "I was like, I got out of this one healthy, so I'm just going to go. I'm just going to observe and then jog to the sideline, but it was fun. It was the 'Mud Bowl 2019 Champions.'"

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo also sat the celebration out, but not by choice.

"I missed the slide. I was upset about that," he said.

After holding the Redskins to zero points and just 154 total yards, the 49ers deserved to celebrate in any way they wanted. And they did just that.

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49ers coach Kyle Shanahan gets his revenge on Redskins, gives dad, Mike, the game ball

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan gets his revenge on Redskins, gives dad, Mike, the game ball

It is personal for Kyle Shanahan. It always will be. 

The former Redskins offensive coordinator, who served in that position under his dad, Mike, for four years from 2010-2013, and helped Washington win an NFC East title in 2012, says he moved on long ago from the traumatic end here. 

The Shanahans were fired after a miserable 3-13 season where they sniped with upper management and their young star quarterback Robert Griffin III as things fell apart on the field. 

On Sunday, Kyle Shanahan returned to FedEx Field for the second time since taking over the 49ers in 2017. They lost that initial return game here in his first year with a rebuilding roster. But it was gratifying nonetheless to leave with a 9-0 win this time. According to 49ers players, he even gave the game ball to his dad.   

The 49ers are 6-0 and headed toward the playoffs. The Redskins are 1-6, fired coach Jay Gruden, the man who replaced the Shanahans, and are starting over. Again. Shanahan might try to keep the personal out of it, but a small smile creased his face when asked about the irony.

“I'm always a little more sensitive to this because of what I went through with my dad here,” Kyle Shanahan said. “It’s always nice to get the win. But it definitely had nothing to do with the game, nothing to do with the score. You always want to take care of things the right way when you're bothered by some things that happened to a family member."

Shanahan tried to say all the right things during his mid-week conference call with Washington reporters. It was NOT personal. He’d been back to FedEx Field before and lost. He’d been to other places he’d coached before and played without strong emotions. He’s moved on with his life and so has the family. 

But there will always be a little part of the Shanahans that will revel in beating the Redskins. Mike Shanahan doesn’t get the game ball if they’ve totally moved on. They never felt everyone was on the same page during their tenure here. The issues with drafting and developing Robert Griffin III are well told at this point. 

The Shanahans certainly deserve a fair share of criticism for what happened in Washington. The overall record was 24-41, including that lone playoff loss to Seattle in 2012, and a change had to be made by owner Dan Snyder and team president Bruce Allen. Things had turned toxic by the end - even if the staff had three future NFL head coaches as assistants. 

But each Shanahan has had success in other places during their careers as NFL coaches, and Kyle is riding high now with a talented young team that hasn’t lost yet. At 1-6, with yet another coach fired and more change on the horizon, the Redskins remain lost in the wilderness. 

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