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Senior Bowl: potential Redskins' prospects on offense


Senior Bowl: potential Redskins' prospects on offense

MOBILE, Ala.—During my trip to the Senior Bowl this week, I spent some time with NBC Sports’ draft expert Josh Norris to get his thoughts on 12 prospects that could/should be on the Redskins’ radar, given the team’s needs in this year’s draft. Yesterday, we covered the defensive prospects. Today, we're discussing the players on offense that Norris believes could be a fit in Washington:

Wide receivers

Braxton Miller (6-1, 204), Ohio State

2015 stats: 261 yards rushing on 43 carries (6.1 yards per) and 25 catches for 340 yards, 4 combined touchdowns.

Norris’ take: “From the first game of the season, I saw a natural receiver in Braxton Miller. ...He’s just a slot guy early on [in the NFL], unless he shows the ability to stay out in two-receiver sets. I think the Redskins already have that type of player there [Jamison Crowder]. But do I think his ceiling could be a No. 2 receiver that’s on the outside? Yeah. I just think we need to see him consistently win on the outside and we don’t have enough information. So I think it’s going to be a leap of faith, but I bet he goes in the top-64 based on how on-another-planet he looks.”

Sterling Shepard (5-10, 191), Oklahoma

2015 stats: 86 receptions, 1288 yards, 11 touchdowns, 7.8 yards per punt return.

Norris’ take: “Wide receivers can win in two different ways; they can win in the small game, which is burst and separation and route running and running after the catch, or they can win in the big game, which is physicality and contested catches. Sterling Shepard has shown the potential to win in both areas. …He can make catches when he’s not open. In a class that has a good amount of wide receiver talent at the top, I think he’s among the top-5.”

Charone Peake (6-2, 205), Clemson

2015 stats: 50 receptions, 716 yards, 5 touchdowns.

Norris’ take: “I don’t know if he plays like he’s 6-2, but he moves well. And we know Clemson has been a factory for putting out receivers. He’ll absolutely get a shot, but he’s more of a later-round type.”


Jack Allen (6-2, 296), Michigan State

2015 stats: First team All-American (Associated Press, CBS Sports, Started 12 games at center, recorded 77 knockdowns during regular season.

Norris’ take: “He’s a good anchor player and he’s played guard and center. That utility is great, even as a backup because you can only dress probably two backup offensive linemen [on game days]. …I think every single center here is going start in the NFL at some point.” Norris also mentioned Nick Martin (Notre Dame), Graham Glasgow (Michigan) and Evan Boehm (Missouri) as center prospects to watch.

Running backs

Kenneth Dixon (5-10, 212), Louisiana Tech

2015 stats: 1,073 yards rushing on 198 carries, 464 yards receiving, 26 total touchdowns.

Norris’ take: “With running backs, at the very least you want someone who can pick up the yards that are blocked for them. But the ones that separate themselves are the ones that can create on their own, either with yards after contact or evading defenders. I think a lot of people are going to get caught up seeing Ken Dixon as well-rounded guy. But to me, I see him anticipate angles and cut back. He can also win with contact or without it, and he’s a really good receiver. So if a team needs him to play on all three downs, he can do that.”  

Kenyan Drake (6-1, 210), Alabama

2015 stats: 408 yards rushing on 77 carries, 276 yards receiving, 26.6 yards per kickoff return.

Norris’ take: “He can be electric [as a returner]. He’s also a very good receiver. He was kind of the lightning to [Heisman Trophy winner] Derrick Henry’s thunder. The thing is a lot of times his vision isn’t fantastic. You’ll see where the play where the play was supposed to go, but he’ll elect to bounce it outside. But as a returner, he’s going to [produce]. He played special teams outside of that, as well. I would say he’s a fourth or fifth rounder.”

Tyler Ervin (5-10, 192), San Jose State

2015 stats: 1,601 yards rushing on 294 carries, 334 yards receiving, 16 total touchdowns, 23.9 yards per kickoff return.

Norris’ take: “He’s kind of a gadget player. He’ll be someone’s Chris Thompson. He reminds me a lot of [Cardinals running back] Andre Ellington because his speed is awesome. When he gets a crease, it's like ‘Boom’, he shoots through it. If you give him the second level, he can take it 60 yards in a flash. And he’s a good receiver, so you can motion him out and let him do Chris Thompson-type stuff. But whenever you see him have to get the tough yards…he’ll get two yards but he’ll just go down. To me, running backs that fall forward on final contact to pick up those extra one-and-a-half yards, that’s becoming more and more of a bigger thing. He doesn’t do that. But if you’re not going to rely on him as an every down, I think Tyler Ervin can be a good piece.”  


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Adrian Peterson ties John Riggins on all-time list with first TD vs. Texans

Adrian Peterson ties John Riggins on all-time list with first TD vs. Texans

LANDOVER, Md. -- It will go down as just a three-yard scamper in the game log, but Adrian Peterson's second-quarter touchdown vs. the Texans in Week 11 was a piece of history, too.

The score was the 104th on the ground in Peterson's career, which moved him into a tie for sixth on the NFL's all-time list.

What made the moment even cooler is that Peterson did it as a Redskin, and the man he tied for sixth is none other than Burgundy and Gold legend John Riggins.

It seems like each time No. 26 crosses the goal line these days, he's notching some sort of milestone.

Next on the list he's climbing is Jim Brown, who finished with 106.

Earlier this week, Peterson said his body is feeling "amazing" heading into the back portion of the season. So far, you can characterize his entire 2018 with that word, considering he was a free agent just before the year started.



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Redskins vs Texans: Highs and Lows from Week 11


Redskins vs Texans: Highs and Lows from Week 11

The Redskins have one of their toughests tests remaining of the 2018 campaign, as the red-hot Houston Texans entered Sunday's contest on a six-game winning streak in a battle of two 6-3 teams.

Washington entered Sunday's contest without four major contributors, as left tackle, Trent Williams, wide receiver Jamison Crowder, running back Chris Thompson, and cornerback Quinton Dunbar all were declared inactive for Sunday's game.

Can Washington overcome the plethera of injuries they have and knock off the Texans, something no team has been able to do since September?

Here are the highs and lows from the Week 11 matchup...

Redskins vs. Texans: Highs and Lows


HIGHS: The Redskins punted on their first two drives, including a three-and-out to open the game. Backed up inside the 15, Washington did manage to convert a 3rd-and-6 from Alex Smith to Michael Floyd to keep the drive going before it stalled.

Washington’s third drive went a little better with a 24-yard catch by tight end Jordan Reed and a 13-yard reception by Maurice Harris. It looked like J.J. Watt blew up the drive with a strip on 3rd-and-10 that pushed the Redskins out of field goal range, but a defensive holding call kept the drive alive. 

Trey Quinn’s diving 15-yard catch put Washington in good shape at the 15. It is Quinn’s first game since Week 1 after a serious ankle injury. The Redskins ended the first quarter with 2nd-and-4 at the 8 after an Adrian Peterson run. Can they punch it in? 

LOWS: The Texans drove 68 yards in 10 plays and 4:38 to take a 3-0 lead on a Ka’imi Fairbairn 23-yard field goal. The good news? They only allowed nine rushing yards to Lamar Miller. The bad? They gave up two pass plays of 16 yards or more to Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson and neither went to Houston star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Uh oh.   
You knew what was coming. Hopkins caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Watson on the Texans’ second drive and suddenly bad memories of the Atlanta and New Orleans blowout losses came rushing back. A Redskins team not built from coming back was down 10-0. The Texans needed just six plays to go 69 yards in 3:13. 


HIGHS: Adrian Peterson punched in a 3-yard touchdown run and Houston’s lead was cut to 10-7. Peterson tied Redskins legend John Riggins with his 104thcareer rushing touchdown. They are tied for sixth all time. The scoring drive was an impressive 10 plays, 75 yards in 4:01.

The Redskins have now forced at least one turnover in 13 consecutive games. Mason Foster intercepted a Deshaun Watson pass tipped by teammate Josh Harvey-Clemons.

A subsequent three-and-out wasn’t ideal. But punter Tress Way did what he does and pinned the Texans at the 4.

Trey Quinn showed his face again with a 13-yard catch on a 3rd-and-6 at the 29. That put the Redskins in scoring position. Or…at least ONE team was in scoring position. It wasn’t Washington.

LOWS: Alex Smith never forces anything. That’s his whole deal. But on 3rd-and-goal from the 9 he forced a pass to tight end Jordan Reed. Instead of at worst a 10-10 game after a short field goal attempt, the pass was intercepted and returned 101 yards by Houston safety Justin Reid. That made it 17-7. A brutal turnaround.

And it happened again moments later. A pass under pressure to running back Kapri Bibbs was intercepted by linebacker Brennan Scarlett at the 22. Lucky for Smith and the Redskins, kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn missed a 44-yard kick.