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Monday, April 27: Orakpo's Jersey and the Redskins' Draft GPA

Posted by Matt Terl on April 27, 2009 – 10:02 am

First-round draft choice Brian Orakpo will be addressing the media at 11:00 this morning, and despite what you see at Redskins.com, he will not be sporting number 1 there. My understanding is that there was some sort of negotiation with second-year defensive end Rob Jackson, but whatever it took, it looks like the fans at FedExField on Saturday got the numbering right on their homemade version.

I’ll have more on the press conference after it actually takes place.

Meanwhile, a whole bunch of pundits have gotten their grades in on the Redskins draft. Leaving aside that — as ProFootballTalk.com has so accurately pointed out — giving draft grades immediately after the fact is pointless, let’s take a look and see how Washington’s six selections were received. Read more »

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After Day 2, Vinny Cerrato Still Seems Happy

Posted by Matt Terl on April 26, 2009 – 8:08 pm

Much like yesterday, Executive Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato emerged from the draft room to talk to the media looking much more relaxed and much happier than he has in some time.

Not quite as relaxed today as yesterday, given that he had to go from the press conference straight to the phones to work on signing undrafted free agents, but relaxed nonetheless, and pleased with the draft despite not landing the offensive linemen that everyone expected.

“When we signed Mike Williams [on Friday] and the way he looked at the workout,” he said, “that kinda helped that. Where we were picking there really weren’t — it really wasn’t a deep draft for offensive linemen. For guards it was not a very good draft. There were good centers, but they all went late first round and we didn’t have a second round pick. When we got to the third round with [Kevin Barnes], that was the highest rated guy we had on the board. That’s why we went that direction. There really wasn’t an offensive lineman at that spot.”

On how much Mike Williams is expected to participate in minicamp:

“We used to have Bubba Paris and other guys like that in San Francisco. What we are going to do with Mike is, for this first month he will just work with the strength coaches and the rehab guys, work on conditioning and work on some drill work with [Joe Bugel] to get ready for June OTAs.”

Read more »

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Pick #243: Redskins Select Marko Mitchell, WR From Nevada

Posted by Matt Terl on April 26, 2009 – 6:55 pm

With their final pick, the Redskins select ENORMOUS wide receiver Marko Mitchell, out of Nevada. At 6’4″, 218 pounds, NFL.com calls him “one of the country’s most feared big play threats,” and you can see why in his highlight reel.

Wide receiver may not have been considered a need position heading into the draft, but I like the potential here a whole lot. And, hey, with Javale McGee showing some flashes with the Wizards, this marks two big guys from Nevada joining DC teams in the last year or so. For whatever that’s worth.

Here’s the analysis from NFL.com: Read more »

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Pick #221: Redskins Select Eddie Williams, TE From Idaho

Posted by Matt Terl on April 26, 2009 – 5:58 pm

The Redskins select Eddie Williams, tight end out of Idaho. I’m hearing reports that the team may plan to list him as a fullback, and also that he’s got something of a chip on his shoulder after dropping in the draft because of a knee injury that ended his season.

Here’s the NFL.com analysis: Read more »

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Cody Glenn: "I Love To Hit People"

Posted by Matt Terl on April 26, 2009 – 5:27 pm

Redskins fifth round draft choice Cody Glenn called in to talk to the local media this afternoon, and discussed making the switch from running back to linebacker.

“It was a mutual [decision] with the new coaches who were coming in” at Nebraska, he said. “I felt that I could help the team more by playing defense than playing in a crowded backfield that was playing by committee. I made the switch to better our football team.

“I felt that when I first moved over there, I picked it up pretty good,” he continued. “With my natural instincts for the position and being a football player, I picked it up pretty good. Learning the terminology of Coach [Bo] Pelini’s defense and learning where I had to be, once I learned most of that then I was able to just let my athletic ability take over to fly around and make plays.”

So, then, the obvious question: does he expect to be linebacker in the NFL, or would he consider moving back to running back if needed.

And the obvious answer: “I’m a team guy. Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do. I love playing linebacker now, so that’s where I wish to play, but if that’s something that they came to me with I would be more than willing to do it.”

More quotes from Glenn’s phone call, after the jump. Read more »

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Pick #186: Redskins Select Robert Henson, LB From TCU

Posted by Matt Terl on April 26, 2009 – 4:26 pm

Another pick, another linebacker for the Redskins — this time Robert Henson, out of TCU. NFL.com doesn’t have a lot of information on him, but there’s highlight footage of him online, and it’s actually of him playing the position he was (presumably) drafted for. So that’s nice, at least.

Henson also has a Twitter feed, although he hasn’t updated it in a week (and would likely have to choose a new username once he’s no longer TCU LB #51). Read more »

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Pick #158: Redskins Select Cody Glenn, LB From Nebraska

Posted by Matt Terl on April 26, 2009 – 3:06 pm

The Redskins select Cody Glenn, a converted running back out of Nebraska. Glenn switched to linebaker in Spring of 2008, but missed the last four games of the season after being suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules. Glenn did participate in the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game, and impressed at the combine, and is likely being considered for depth at the team’s strongside linebacker position and on special teams.

All of that said, I could only find video of him working at running back.

Here’s the NFLDraftScout.com analysis: Read more »

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Pick #150: Redskins Trade Back With The Vikings

Posted by Matt Terl on April 26, 2009 – 2:39 pm

The Redskins traded their fifth round pick (#150) to the Vikings for their fifth (#158) and the seventh the Redskins gave up to get Erasmus James (#221). The Vikings, for what it’s worth, used the pick to select ILB Jasper Brinkley. Read more »

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Jim Zorn Does A Live Hit On ESPN

Posted by Matt Terl on April 26, 2009 – 2:20 pm

While we wait for the next pick, a quick look behind the scenes on a small part of ESPN’s draft coverage.

A Redskins backdrop went up yesterday In the studio where Redskins Nation is filmed, a fabric Redskins logo stretched across a simple scaffolding, surrounded by baffled lights and facing this contraption:

In person, it looks like an overgrown webcam sitting on top of a cable box, plugged into an old-school 13-inch color TV, and both it and the backdrop were being maintained by a guy named Ben.

What it’s for, he explained, is ESPN live shots. Ben doesn’t work for ESPN — he works for Viewpoint Communications, a freelance video production company in the area — and his job was, essentially, to hurry up and wait. Once he got everything set up — the backdrop and camera properly positioned, the lights at the correct level, all that — his responsibility was to stand by and be prepared if ESPN wanted to come do a live interview with someone at Redskins Park.

Ben didn’t have to set up the inteview; that would be arranged between ESPN and the Redskins Media Relations staff. He didn’t have to go get the interviewee; that was also handled by the Media Relations folks. All he had to do was have the equipment ready to go, attach the microphone and put the IFB — the earpiece to allow the producers to talk to the interview subject — in the interviewee’s ear, and stay on the phone with the producers throughout the interview.

Yesterday, all he did was stand by. With the Sanchez drama in New York, nothing here was worth an ESPN live hit. So he stood by, maintained the equipment, and went home after round two.

Today, though, someone at ESPN decided that Trey Wingo was going to go live to Redskins head coach Jim Zorn. So the interview was set up through Redskins PR, Zorn was brought to the studio at the proper time, Ben set up the mic and the IFB, and the following interview took place. Read more »

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Kevin Barnes: "I Compete With Anybody"

Posted by Matt Terl on April 26, 2009 – 1:09 pm

As noted in the previous post, new Redskins cornerback Kevin Barnes has earned a reputation as a fearsome hitter. In fact, his hitting is so ferocious that it ended his college career, fracturing his shoulder when he was going in for a hit.

But Barnes, discussing the injury In a conference call with the local media, has exactly the sort of positive spin you like to hear from a football player:

“My last hit, even though I got hurt, I caused the guy to fumble,” he says. “I have to look at it that way, put a smile on my face.””

And, perhaps more importantly, the injury isn’t expected to affect his pro career. “It’s nothing that’s going to affect me at all,” he says. “I’ve been checked out by several doctors. Everything will be fine. I’ll be back to normal.”

More excerpts from Barnes’ phone call after the jump. Read more »

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