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Redskins Select Chris Neild, NT From West Virginia

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 7:27 pm

With their final pick in the 2011 NFL Draft — and the second-to-last pick overall — the Redskins finally selected a nose tackle, just like everyone predicted they would 11 picks earlier. The guy: Chris Neild, out of West Virginia. And I’ll tell you what: I know the point of a profile like the one below is to hype a guy up, but … man, this guy seems like a heck of a grinder, that’s for sure. (The Metallica music in the background helps create a mood of seriousness and reflection, which is appropriate for the end of this marathon of a draft.)

Speaking of the end of the draft, here’s the final tally for the Redskins: twelve picks, six on either side of the ball. Two linebackers, two defensive linemen, two defensive backs for the defense. Three wide receivers, two running backs, and a guard on offense. No new quarterback, despite literally MONTHS of pre-draft hype. And, because of the labor uncertainty, no immediate post-draft influx of undrafted free agents.

I’m not even remotely going to try to assign a grade to all of that, but I’ll say this: as a fan, I’m pretty excited to see what these guys can do, and I feel oddly sure that there are at least four or five immediate contributors in the bunch. I certainly hope so. Read more »

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Redskins Draft Includes (At Least) Two Amateur Models

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 6:25 pm

Sarah Kogod over at NBC’s Capital Games blog was all over the first part of this story: Redskins first-round draft pick Ryan Kerrigan‘s sordid history as a fashion model. (Actually, the history isn’t particularly sordid at all: Kerrigan — along with a few other draft prospects — were involved in a project focused on “captur[ing] the brand ethos of Five Four and the journey of professional athletes transitioning into the next level of their careers.” A catalog shoot, basically. Read the details here.)

Well, it turns out that fifth round pick wide receiver Niles Paul has also posed for a professional photographer, one Mark Petinga. The image below seems slightly outlandish — I call it “Shirtless Guy Praying On Train Tracks” — but it’s a motif that Petinga has returned to more than once; there’s a variation on his Facebook page featuring Detroit Lions linebacker Cliff Avril.

In a vacuum, there’s nothing at all unusual about these pictures — the non-train-track portraits are perfectly normal and, in fact, are excellent images — but combined with the Kerrigan glamor shots, I think they really tell a hidden story of the 2011 Redskins draft.


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Redskins Select Markus White, OLB From Florida State

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 6:10 pm

Technically that headline should read “Redskins Select Markus White, DE From Florida State, And Plan To Convert Him To OLB,” but that seemed needlessly wordy. The 6-4, 266 pound White has plenty of athletic ability, and reportedly was a team leader on the Seminoles, but he’s very definitely a late-round project. Here’s some shaky YouTube footage of his three-cone drill at his Pro Day; watching it makes me feel like a spy.

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Redskins Select Maurice Hurt, Guard From Florida

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 5:52 pm

With the 217th pick overall, the Redskins select Maurice Hurt, a guard out of Florida. He’s another guy I don’t know much about, but here are two things I can say for certain:

  • 1) He has a terrific name for an offensive lineman (or any football player, really).
  • 2) I will feel much safer walking to my car in the Redskins Park parking lot tonight knowing that we’ve selected at least one offensive lineman. The fans — at least on Twitter — were becoming restless.

Oh, and I know this: draft analyst Rob Rang had some nice things to say about Mr. Hurt:

Underrated: Maurice Hurt, Florida: There are two significant reasons why Hurt hasn’t received more attention. For one, he plays on the same line as Mike Pouncey and two other senior Gator offensive linemen who could get drafted, so credit was tough to come by. Secondly, he has a bad body. Quite frankly, the 6-2 5/8, 318-pounder is round. That said, he has surprisingly long arms for his frame (third among all interior OL tested at the combine), which the tape proves he uses well in pass protection and in the running game. Don’t be surprised when Hurt is drafted on the third day of the draft, but he winds up outperforming some prospects taken much earlier. – Rob Rang,

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Redskins Select Brandyn Thompson, CB From Boise State

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 5:35 pm

The Redskins selected Boise State CB Brandyn Thompson with the 213th pick in the NFL Draft, and I’ll be honest: I don’t know much at all about the 2010 Fiesta Bowl Defensive MVP. What I’ve read since the pick, though, reminds me an awful lot of a smaller, slightly slower DeAngelo Hall. Here, check this out, from

He’s a bit of a gambler, and while that’s led to a few embarrassing mistakes, it’s also led to two career multi-interception games, including a three-pick performance against Hawaii as a sophomore. By that second season, Thompson was already full of experience after being one of only five true freshman Broncos to play in 2007.

That said, gave him a glowing review at the Shrine Game practices, so maybe he’s something of a project.
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Redskins Select Evan Royster, RB From Penn State And Aldrick Robinson, WR From SMU

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 4:05 pm

With back-to-back picks in the sixth round, the Redskins took a couple more skill-position guys. First up, with the 177th pick overall, was Penn State RB Evan Royster, who grew up in Fairfax, Virginia. He became Penn State’s all-time leading rusher last year; I highly recommend this great profile video of him:

With the 178th pick, the Redskins took another wide receiver — their third of this draft — in SMU’s Aldrick Robinson.

Robinson described himself to Kelso Carpenter as “a Steve Smith type”, and has all the speed that would imply. WFAA-TV in Dallas explains:

Robinson also attended the NFL combine in Indianapolis in February where he was tied with the 4th fastest time for wide receivers with a 4.43 forty. SMU head coach June Jones has called him the fastest wide receiver he’s ever coached.

“I think it’s one of my best assets,” Robinson says.”My speed is obviously what everyone knows me for. People probably wouldn’t even look at me because of my size, so speed is a big thing.”

Robinson is the only wide receiver in SMU history with back to back 1,000 yard seasons. Now he has to convince NFL scouts that he can do that in the pros as well.

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Redskins Select Niles Paul, WR From Nebraska

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 2:56 pm

It’s been a Nebraska kind of day for the Redskins, as they select WR/KR Niles Paul at pick number 155. And based on this profile on, he’s yet another versatile, work-hard kind of guy. An excerpt:

Niles Paul let it be known from his first meeting with NFL personnel that calling him just a “receiver” would shortchange what he potentially could bring to a team.

Paul told everybody at the Senior Bowl in January that he would catch passes, return kicks, cover kicks or block on special teams.

Anything. Everything.

“They asked me what I do,” Paul said, “and I said I do whatever you put me at.”

Paul stands 6-1, 225, and ran a 4.42 40 at the Combine.
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Roy Helu, His Father, And Rugby

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 2:40 pm

If you ask a football player what pro his game most resembles, you sometimes get some pretty outlandish answers. A guy named Quinn Porter spent about thirty seconds on the Redskins practice squad, but he assured me that, comparison-wise, “I’m like an Emmitt-slash-Jim. I could be a Barry, or a Reggie.” (That would be Emmitt Smith, Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, and Reggie Bush, I presumed at the time.)

But when Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro asked newly-drafted Redskins running back Roy Helu the comparison question on ESPN980 this afternoon, they got an answer I had never heard before.

“No one in particular,” Helu said. “As a youngster, I watched film on my dad — everyone always praised my dad for being a very good rugby player. He played on the U.S. national team and was the captain for that squad, and I really admired him and his running style.”

That sounded like a fascinating story, and it turns out that it is — fascinating enough, at least, for David Ubben to have written it for Some excerpts…. Read more »

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Redskins Select DeJon Gomes, FS From Nebraska

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 2:34 pm

With the 146th pick in the NFL Draft, the Redskins select DeJon Gomes, a free safety out of Nebraska. I don’t know much about Jones, but Tennessee Titans blog Music City Miracles has an interesting take on him:

While Gomes only had two years to prove his worth to NFL scouts while at Nebraska after transferring from Junior College, he wasted little time in becoming a fringe prospect and gained a reputation as a hard-hitter, a ball hawk, and an overall big play machine. He’s got the size, strength, and coverage skills to play any position in the defensive backfield and even lined up as a linebacker at Nebraska when the situation called for it, so his versatility is a big plus, but most scouts project him as a strong-safety in the NFL.

So on paper, you’ve got a good looking player who can line up at multiple positions and has a great physical makeup. What’s the downside in picking him? I think that the versatility that defines his game also hurts him. Teams can make him into whatever they want him to be, but at the same time, he’s not a perfect fit for any position which hurts his status in the eyes of a lot of teams.

Sounds like a Lorenzo Alexander of the backfield, frankly. At the very least, an intriguing prospect. Read more »

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Redskins Select Roy Helu, Jr., RB From Nebraska

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 1:24 pm

The Redskins trade again — but upward this time — to the 105th overall pick and select Roy Helu, a running back from Nebraska. I’m in transit from the Draft Day Party to Redskins Park and will have more once I’m settled in, but here’s intern Brian Tinsman weighin in on the pick:

After multiple trades down on Day Two of the NFL Draft, the Redskins opened Day Three with a trade up. In exchange for the Houston Texans fourth round pick (105) and sixth round pick (178), the Redskins handed over their fourth (127) and two fifth round picks (144, 152).

With the 105th pick, the Redskins selected Roy Helu Jr., running back from Nebraska.

The Redskins have a need for help at the running back position, and Helu could be the remedy. He perfected the stretch-zone, one-cut scheme at Nebraska, including an explosive game against Missourri 2010.

Here’s what Yahoo! Sports Shutdown Corner blog said about the “ridiculously under the radar” running back:

It’s hard to think of players better fitting this description than Nebraska running back Roy Helu, Jr, who rushed for 1,245 yards and 11 touchdowns in his senior campaign despite his status in a rotation that allowed him just two games with 20 or more carries, and four with less than 10 carries. Especially for his size, Helu shows an impressive and surprising second-level burst, and this was confirmed at the scouting combine. At 6-foot-0 and 219 pounds, Helu ran a 4.40 40-yard dash (tied for fourth-best among all running backs), and his 10-yard split of 1.51 tied him with Auburn’s Mario Fannin for the best time out of the blocks.

This could be the next mid-round running back stud for the Shanahan/Bobby Turner tandem. Look for Helu to excel in the Redskins offense right away.

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