The Redskins got one of the biggest steals of the first round of the NFL draft when Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen fell to them at pick No. 17 of the first round.
Allen was coveted by the Redskins for several reasons. The defensive line is their biggest area of need. They lost Chris Baker in free agency and although they signed free agents Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain they still were in need of both youth and a bell cow on the line.
Allen provides both. He is an asset rushing the passer (10.5 sacks last year) and against the run (16 tackles for a loss). He surprised many by staying with the Crimson Tide for his senior year and he benefitted by being able to refine his technique and hone up on his fundamentals. The Ashburn native is strong and athletic and uses his hands well.
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He becomes the first defensive player taken in the first round by the Redskins since they drafted outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan in 2011. They have not drafted a defensive lineman in the first since they took Kennard Lang back in 1997.
Allen slid in the draft over concerns over his shoulders, both of which have been surgically repaired. On a conference call he told reporters that he was cleared by all of the teams that examined him, but there must have been some lingering uneasiness. Otherwise such a talented player would not have fallen at least a dozen picks below where the consensus said he should have gone.
Allen will have a short drive from his home to rookie camp in two weeks. He went to Stone Bridge High in Ashburn, about 10 minutes from Redskins Park.
Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
NFL players took to Twitter on Saturday to send well-wishes to Andrew Luck after news broke that he is retiring from the NFL.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Luck was 'mentally worn out' after years of battling injuries. Luck confirmed the news in an emotional press conference on Saturday night.
"Andrew luck I understand you 100% brotha," wrote Dez Bryant. "... take your time ... I wish you the best."
Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins reacted to the news with emojis.
Former player turned ESPN analyst Emmanuel Acho posted video of Colts fans booing Luck as he walked into the locker room. "Coach always said, 'the pats on the back eventually turn into stabs,'" he wrote.
"That's bad to boo that man," added former Redskins player Chris Baker.
Former Ravens and current Carolina player Torrey Smith tweeted that anyone in the sport understands.
Jaguars long snapper Matt Overton wrote he was "shook."
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Jordan Reed took a major blow to the head in the Redskins third preseason game in Atlanta, and the blow eventually landed Washington's stud tight end in the NFL's concussion protocol.
Falcons safety Keanu Neal delivered the hit, and while it was clearly illegal and resulted in a penalty on the field, he took to Twitter to defend his play.
It's hard to judge intent under the incredible speed that plays happen during pro football. When a player goes in for a tackle, ball carriers can also move, and plays that look dirty in slow motion can look reasonable in full speed. Still, it's undeniable that Reed took a major shot in the helmet from Neal, and it definitely seemed unnecessary. And it's not a secret that Reed has dealt with serious head injuries throughout his NFL career.
There has been no update on Reed's condition beyond that he's in the NFL concussion protocol. Reed also stayed in the game after the big hit from Neal before his concussion symptoms showed up at halftime.
Neal is a fifth-year safety out of the University of Florida. He missed most of the 2018 season with an ACL injury. Reed also attended the University of Florida.
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