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Jay Gruden believes in Kendall Fuller: He's not going to be perfect

Jay Gruden believes in Kendall Fuller: He's not going to be perfect

Rookie cornerback Kendall Fuller hit the ground running for the Redskins once he finally made the active roster in Week 4. In his first NFL game, Fuller played more than 60 percent of the defensive snaps, and in eight games with Washington, Fuller has been on the field more than 70 percent of all defensive snaps.

His play early on was encouraging; a physical presence playing the slot and strong tackler in run support. Against the Bengals in London, Fuller had seven tackles.

Since the bye week, things haven't gone so well for Fuller.

Some of it was matchups - including a particularly difficult assignment in the Minnesota game against his high school teammate from Good Counsel (Md.) Stefon Diggs. In that game, Diggs had 13 catches for 164 yards, almost exclusively working out of the slot.

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The following week Fuller struggled against the Packers, but things got worse against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Dallas slot WR Cole Beasley grabbed five catches for 56 yards, but in key spots, the Cowboys offense moved Dez Bryant into the slot to match up with Fuller.

The rookie had trouble against the Pro Bowl veteran, like many corners have, and despite some down games, Washington coach Jay Gruden still has a lot of faith in his third-round rookie CB.

"As a young football player, he’s growing. And he’s not going to be perfect, nor is anyone on our football team, but I like the ways he plays," Gruden said. "He plays with great effort. He’s a smart football player."

Fuller is a valuable piece of the Redskins secondary, and with more experience, he will become a bigger asset for Washington. Only a fool would suggest otherwise. 

It will be interesting if defensive coordinator Joe Barry tweaks his defense to give other defensive backs some reps at the slot corner position against Arizona on Sunday. The Redskins have a variety of options, including moving Bashaud Breeland inside and playing Quinton Dunbar outside, or perhaps giving Greg Toler more opportunities. 

Gruden's only advice is that Fuller continue to hone his craft, and considering the rookie's pedigree and work ethic, it should work.

"He has just got to continue to work on his technique and I think that’ll come with time. Whether it’s outside leverage, inside leverage, off technique, whatever it is, zone technique, all that stuff is just repetition, repetition, repetition. The more he gets, the better he is going to be."

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Dolphins GM wants a leader at QB and has 'more than enough' to move up in the draft

Dolphins GM wants a leader at QB and has 'more than enough' to move up in the draft

The Dolphins hold the fifth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and if things break perfectly, they might be able to select Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with that pick. 

Unfortunately for Miami, things rarely go perfectly for any team in the NFL Draft.

The reality is if the Dolphins want a quarterback, they have very little chance of getting LSU passer Joe Burrow. He will go No. 1 overall to Cincinnatti unless the Bengals are certifiably crazy.

After that come the Washington Redskins. Ron Rivera's new team drafted a rookie QB last year in Dwayne Haskins, and he showed significant growth late in the 2019 season. It seems that the Redskins will take Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the second pick. It seems like an easy decision.

But if Miami is desperate for a QB, the only way to guarantee they get their guy is to get to number two. Detroit has the third pick, New York has the fourth pick, then the Dolphins. 

The Redskins, Lions and Giants don't look to be in the quarterback market, but that doesn't mean other teams won't call them for a trade.

Even the most casual fan knows there aren't enough good passers in the NFL, and while Burrow is the most coveted prospect, don't count out Tagovailoa. He is going to gain immense steam as a draft prospect by late April. Scouts and personnel guys swear by the former Alabama passer as a person and as a quarterback. He's coming off a major hip injury, but the Dolphins have Ryan Fitzpatrick under contract for the 2020 season. 

It's all hypothetical right now, and maybe even a long shot, but the Dolphins GM knows he has the ammunition to move up from the fifth pick if needed. 

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier spoke at the Senior Bowl this week and said his team has "more than enough" options in the draft to get their quarterback. Miami has three first-round picks this year - Nos. 5, 18 and 26 - along with two second-round picks. That's plenty of capital if Grier decides his team needs to move up. 

And it sure sounds like Grier wants Tagovailoa.

"He’s been a winner. The fact that he won the Elite 11 and he goes to Alabama and has the storybook, coming off the bench in the national championship. Everyone always talks about his accuracy," Grier said via The Miami Herald. "Talk about the person, as well. The intangibles that we talk about. Looking forward to getting to meet him."

The only way for Miami to guarantee they get Tua is to trade into the second spot. Nobody knows what QB-needy team could trade into the third spot. And Grier knows that. 

It's also important to point out that Grier added what most around the NFL know: In the time before the draft there is "a lot of misinformation" out there. 

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Dwayne Haskins wants the Redskins to draft another Buckeye wide receiver

Dwayne Haskins wants the Redskins to draft another Buckeye wide receiver

The Redskins recruiting coordinator and quarterback Dwayne Haskins wants to reunite with another one of his former Buckeye teammates in the NFL.

On Thursday, Haskins quote tweeted a video of WR K.J. Hill's highlights at the Senior Bowl with the caption "Need em."

After a back-and-forth, the Redskins' first-round draft pick sealed his approval on the draft prospect by tagging the Redskins' team account. 

K.J. Hill overlapped with Haskins for two years with the Ohio State Buckeyes. During Haskins' final year in Columbus, Hill was the No. 2 receiver with 70 receptions for 885 yards and six touchdowns. 

There was a small dip in production for Hill after Haskins left for the NFL, however, he became a bigger red zone target with 10 touchdowns. 

If the Redskins decided to adhere to their QB's requests, he would not be the only former pass-catching Buckeye to wear the Burgandy and Gold. Third-round draft pick Terry McLaurin was also on the 2018 Ohio State squad before making the move to the NFL.

Hill is just the latest player to be endorsed by Haskins since he became the Redskins starter.  Haskins has tweeted support for the Redskins to bring on Chad Johnson as a wide receiving coach, to draft Chase Young with the No. 2 overall pick, and to sign free agent WR Antonio Brown

Additionally, he understandably asked Trent Williams to come back to protect him on the offensive line after Bruce Allen was removed. 

Could the Redskins go and get another Buckeye in the draft?

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