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Redskins draft countdown: WR Isaiah Ford could be a mid-round catch

Redskins draft countdown: WR Isaiah Ford could be a mid-round catch

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 36 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players the Redskins 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.

Isaiah Ford

Wide receiver
Virginia Tech

Height: 6-1
Weight: 194
40-yard dash: 4.61

Projected draft round: 3-4

What they’re saying

Ford looks the part of a speed merchant with a tight-skinned, athletic frame, including long limbs. He glides off the line of scrimmage, accelerating fluidly to force defenders to respect his ability to go deep and shows very good balance to sink his hips, as well as burst out of his breaks to create separation. Ford shows the initial quickness and lateral agility to avoid defenders in press coverage, occasionally mixing in a hesitation move to get opponents off-balance. He is willing to run across the middle and cut back inside on quick screens, showing the toughness to absorb big hits and still hang on to the ball. Ford was asked to play outside as well as in the slot

Rob Rang, CBS Sports

How he fits the Redskins: The top of the Redskins’ depth chart at wide receiver looks good with Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder and Terrelle Pryor. But depth is a concern, especially with Doctson’s durability a question mark. On top of that, Pryor is there on a one-year contract so there must be some succession planning at the position.

Ford was a very productive receiver at Virginia Tech, the first player in school history to surpass 1,000 yards receiving in a season. He has the knack for making the sensational catch and he isn’t afraid to go across the middle.

At 6-1 he has the height that seems to be the trend on the Redskins’ wide receiver corps lately. Ford could be a good mid-round pick for the team to develop in 2017 and be ready to be a full contributor in 2018.

Film review: vs. Tennessee, vs. Pitt

Ford is not afraid to run slants over the middle and is willing to cut back to the center of the field after catching bubble screens.

His run blocking ranged from unimpressive to bad with the caveat that it’s hard to evaluate on the TV camera angles. This is an area that can be improved with NFL coaching. Adding a few pounds to his 194-lb. frame could help, too. It also sometimes appears that he could use more bulk to help him use his height when fighting for a ball.

The good and the bad of Ford was on display in the span of a few minutes during the Pitt game. He made a spectacular catch on a tipped ball that bounced off of both him and the defensive back (view here) while they were on the ground. Ford had the awareness to scoop the ball off the chest of the defender and secure it to make the catch. A little while later he was in a great position to made a catch for a first down but he bobbled the ball as he was falling out of bounds (view here) and the pass was incomplete.

In the games I reviewed Ford showed a good knack to make back shoulder catches, something the Redskins don’t seem to like to try. But the ability is there if they draft him and want to try it.

Potential issues: Ford looks skinny, almost fragile, at 194 pounds. If he does add weight he needs to do so without losing much speed. He ran a 4.61 in the 40 at the combine. Against college defensive backs he looks fast enough but that will be a different story in the NFL.

Bottom line: The Redskins can’t go into the season with a very green Maurice Harris and a very pedestrian Ryan Grant as their backup wide receivers. They need a player who can provide depth in 2017 and be able to step up to have a legitimate shot at starting in 2018.

There will be several prospects in the third- and fourth- round range who could be the guy. If the Redskins think that Ford can add a few pounds without sacrificing speed and brush up on his run blocking a bit, they could take a serious look at him.

In his own words:

On how the coaching change from Frank Beamer to Justin Fuente helped him:

I think it simplified everything for us. It limited the amount of routes that I ran - slants, outs, fades and posts; my first two years, I was running digs, post curls, comebacks, things like that - that was fine. I'm comfortable doing both. The route-running was never a problem for me because I feel that's what I do best. Being able to play primarily 'X' last year, winning those 50-50 balls and running those routes, it helped me.

Previously in Redskins draft countdown:

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.

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Former Redskin Josh Doctson signs with New York Jets

Former Redskin Josh Doctson signs with New York Jets

Former Redskins' wideout Josh Doctson has found another home, again. 

Doctson, 27, signed with the New York Jets the team announced Saturday morning via twitter. 

Washington selected Doctson with their 22nd pick in the 2016 NFL draft after he put up monster numbers at Texas Christian University. However, his collegiate success never quite translated to the professional level. During his three seasons in D.C. he played 33 games, recorded 81 receptions for a total of 1,100 yards and 8 touchdowns.

After Washinton released Doctson last September he joined the Minnesota Vikings, but injuries held him to only one appearance and no catches. 

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Josh Hart tries to recruit Stefon Diggs to Redskins amidst trade rumors

Josh Hart tries to recruit Stefon Diggs to Redskins amidst trade rumors

New Orleans Pelican Josh Hart tried to recruit Stefon Diggs in a twitter exchange Thursday surrounding Jordan Reed’s release from the Redskins.

Reed was released on Thursday after six seasons and seven years on the team.

In a tweet commemorating Reed’s accomplishments, the Redskins called him “one of the best in franchise history” and thanked him for his years on the team.

Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins showed his disappointment in Reed’s release by quoting the tweet with a crying emoji. Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs shared similar feelings by responding to the quote saying “not my dog j reed…”.

Diggs is a Maryland native but has been with the Vikings since he was drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft in the fifth round.

In response to this exchange, Hart chimed in and pleaded with him to “Come on home bro #HTTR”.  Hart, a D.C. native and long-time Redskins fan, is not the only one who has been looking to help the Redskins with their player recruitment.

Haskins has also made recruiting for the Redskins a habit this season, engaging with players like Ron Rivera and Antonio Brown through social media regarding coming to play in DC.

Hart's interaction with Diggs is particularly notable considering that his recent social media has left Vikings fans wondering what his next moves are. In addition to cryptic tweets potentially linked to his dissatisfaction with his team, Diggs also took down all of his Instagram pictures which feature him in a Vikings uniform.

Could Diggs be heading to the Redskins? If Hart has any say in the matter, maybe.

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