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Redskins draft countdown: Washington safety Budda Baker

Redskins draft countdown: Washington safety Budda Baker

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 65 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how they might fit in Washington.

Budda Baker
Safety
Washington

Height: 5-10
Weight: 180
40-yard dash: TBD

Projected draft round: 1

What they’re saying

Tremendously explosive and passionate in his play. Former high school track sprinter with good play speed. Screams off the edge as a blitzer. Always bouncing on balls of his feet just waiting to race to the action on a dead sprint. Plays with smooth backpedal and diagonal shuffle. Has a shiftiness that allows him to mirror change of direction in space . . . Scouts use terms like "winner" and "top notch person" to describe him.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: This doesn’t take a whole lot of explaining. The Redskins have not had a reliable pair of safeties since they lost Sean Taylor 10 years ago. Su’a Cravens is moving into the strong safety spot. A pick line Baker could solidify the position for years to come.

His passion for the game is a big resume enhancer for McCloughan. He wants players who love football and Baker appears to fit that mold.

Baker plays fast, as in fast enough to cover slot receivers when called upon. McCloughan doesn’t much care for 40 times; he will judge a player’s speed off the tape. But it will be interesting to see how Baker runs at the combine.

At Washington, they sent him after the quarterback on occasion and I could see the Redskins doing that as well. Baker had three sacks last season and in a game I watched him play against USC he had two quarterback hurries that led to interceptions by his teammates.

Potential issues: At 5-10, 180 he is on the small side for a safety, at least one that McCloughan might prefer. His size gives him trouble if he must tackle a tight end or a big running back.

His play against the run is inconsistent. At times, he takes bad angles, can’t get off blocks and misses tackles. But at other times he sniffs out a play and makes a tackle in the backfield.  

Baker might grade out to be more of a late first- or early second-round pick. McCloughan will stick to his draft board for the most part and if the value isn’t there in his opinion he could bypass Baker in favor of a higher graded player despite the need. Or perhaps he can execute a trade and end up with Baker with a pick somehwere in the twenties. 

Bottom line: Right now Baker is Mike Mayock’s fourth-ranked safety. Malik Hooker of Ohio State and Jamal Adams of LSU are likely to be gone by the time the 17th pick is on the clock. Jabrill Peppers, Mayock’s No. 3 safety, is too similar to Cravens and many think he might be a better fit on offense. If they want to get a first-round safety it appears that Baker is the guy.

Certainly, Baker’s size will give McCloughan pause. They can bulk him up some but he could have a problem carrying as many as 200 pounds. Not only could he have problems dealing with bigger players, he could deal with injury problems.

In Baker’s NFL.com profile they compare him to former Colts safety Bob Sanders. Every season in which Sanders played more than 10 games he was a first-team All-Pro. Problem was, he only managed to play in double-digit games in two seasons. The Redskins will be wary of the possibility of getting bursts of great play from someone like Baker with some stints on injured reserve. 

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Redskins reportedly cut Breshad Perriman, promote Kapri Bibbs

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USA Today Sports

Redskins reportedly cut Breshad Perriman, promote Kapri Bibbs

After the Redskins signed receivers Michael Floyd and Breshad Perriman earlier this week, many wondered how long the team would carry seven wide receivers on the 53-man roster. The answer turns out to be not very long at all.

According to multiple media reports, the Redskins released Perriman today. He was a first-round draft pick of the Ravens in 2015 and was touted as a rare combination of size (6-2, 215) and speed (4.24 in the 40 at his pro day). But a variety of injuries derailed his career before it got started. Baltimore released him on September 1 and he was a free agent until the Redskins signed him on Monday.

What this week amounted to was a three-day competition between Floyd and Perriman for one roster spot. The Redskins liked Floyd, who has had a more productive NFL career than Perriman, and they made the move.

Floyd is likely to be inactive tomorrow when the Redskins host the Packers. They then have a bye and will see if they can get him involved in the offense when they play the Saints on October 8.

As a corresponding move, the Redskins promoted running back Kapri Bibbs from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. He was very close to making the team when they did the final roster cuts, but he was caught in a numbers game. He will take the running back spot vacated when Rob Kelley was moved to injured reserve earlier this week.

Bibbs likely will join Floyd on the inactive list tomorrow. He is considered to be a third-down back and as long as Chris Thompson is healthy, Bibbs is unlikely to see much action.

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When he returns to action, Samaje Perine intends to be a more aggressive runner

When he returns to action, Samaje Perine intends to be a more aggressive runner

Making the 53-man roster is an important step for any young player in the NFL. Once that accomplishment is checked off, though, the focus turns to being a part of the 46-man game day roster each week.

Second-year running back Samaje Perine took care of the former on Sept. 1, yet in the two games the Redskins have played since that date, he's found himself on the inactive list. 

But with Rob Kelley now on IR and just two healthy RBs available, it looks like Perine will be one of the 46 this Sunday when the 'Skins host the Packers. That beats wearing sweatpants on Sundays, even if you try to make the best of that like Perine has.

"I wouldn't say it's tough," he said Friday. "It's a learning experience."

Washington's leading rusher in 2017 explained that Kelley, Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson have kept him involved and asked him questions these past few weeks. He's been paying close attention to their play as well.   

Was that the right cut to make? Should they have pressed that run a little more? These are the kinds of things he's been thinking of on the sidelines.

"I still feel just as much a part of the game, as if I'm still playing," Perine said.

And there's one detail in particular he's picked up from Peterson.

"Picking a hole and hitting it full speed," he responded when asked what quality No. 26 has that he wants to replicate. "My thing is I try to be a little too patient. With him, he's patient, but once he sees it, it's zero to 100. With me, I'm like zero, 50 then 100."

Perine went on to explain that even when there's no daylight, Peterson still commits to his lane and that allows him to pick up three or four yards regardless. That kind of aggression can also lead to more chunk plays, too.

"Nothing's there, you hit it and then something opens up, then you don't have to worry about changing that gear," he said. "You're already top speed."

Peterson and Thompson still figure to see the majority of snaps at running back in Week 3 and beyond. Kelley had just four carries before going down early vs. the Colts, so don't expect to see too much of Perine if/when he debuts against the Packers.

Maybe you should expect to see an improved Perine, however. He's talented but hasn't always had the confidence. Perhaps, in some odd way, being kept off the field early in 2018 and being forced to learn is what will give him that confidence.

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