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Redskins Select Dennis Morris, TE Out Of La. Tech (UPDATED)

Posted by Matt Terl on April 24, 2010 – 1:53 pm

Well, I certainly didn’t see that coming. The Redskins select Dennis Morris, a TE out of Louisiana Tech, with the 174th pick in the draft. The YouTube video embedded above contains exactly everything I know about Morris, and it looks impressive. Then again, it’s his highlight video, so it would be bad news if it DIDN’T look impressive. I wouldn’t have guessed that tight end was a need position, but … well, there you go.

UPDATE #1: Per @RickMaese, “Morris says Redskins tell him he’ll play tight end, fullback and H-back.” So that makes a lot more sense.

UPDATE #2: After the jump, some quotes from Morris’s conference call with Redskins beat reporters. Read more »

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To Pass The Time Until The Draft Finally Gets Here

Posted by Matt Terl on April 22, 2010 – 3:44 pm

While I like the idea of holding the NFL Draft on a Thursday night (and suspect that I’d like it even more if I were just going to be watching from home rather than work), I’m not digging the long day running up to it. At this point, I’ve heard just about every possible permutation of the first four picks and have — for at least a minute — believed every single one of them.

But if you’re going to be killing time on Draft Day, you should be killing it in a draft-y way. So I recommend reviewing the history of the televised draft. ESPN (which kindly provided the image above, from the 1981 selection show) has worked up a video featuring some highlights of their years covering the draft, and Jenny Vrentas at the New Jersey Star-Ledger has done the written-word version of that history.

An excerpt: Read more »

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Matt Bowen Disagrees With Peter King On That Sean Taylor Thing

Posted by Matt Terl on March 29, 2010 – 10:26 am

Last week, I got a little cranky when Peter King included Sean Taylor in an argument against taking a safety early in the NFL Draft. The next day, I failed to get un-cranky when King offered an unsatisfactory explanation of his reasoning. Some people seemed to get the impression that I was upset that King was speaking poorly of the deceased, but that was really not what it was about.

Here is my point, much more concisely: the reason that Taylor did not make the contribution you would want from a top 10 pick is because he was murdered three and a half years into his career. Therefore, including him as a datapoint in your analysis of ANYTHING from a football standpoint — not just the 2004 draft or taking a safety in the top 5, as King discusses — is pretty much pointless.

What happened to Taylor didn’t happen because he played safety. Or because he was drafted in 2004. Or because he went to Miami, changed his number, played for the Redskins, or because he didn’t always answer questions from the media, or anything like that. So it probably shouldn’t be factored into conversations about those things.

That was one point that I was trying to make that got a little lost. But another point, and the one that most of the people who emailed me agreed with, is that Taylor was well on his way to being EXACTLY the kind of franchise player that you would want to draft at fifth overall. And it’s not just fans saying that.

Matt Bowen played for the Redskins for three years, overlapping with Taylor for two of them. He saw Taylor’s rookie campaign, saw him change his number, and saw him start to develop into a Pro Bowl player. (That’s him in the background of the picture above, wearing number 41.)

Now Bowen writes for the National Football Post, and today he addresses the same topic that set Peter King off: is Tennessee’s Eric Berry worth the fifth overall pick, where he is widely projected to go. He reaches part of the same conclusion that King did — that safety can be a risky pick in the top 10, although unlike King he believes Berry might be worth the risk — but with one glaring, glaring difference.
Read more »

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Malcolm Kelly Watches His High School Teammate At The Combine

Posted by Matt Terl on March 11, 2010 – 3:27 pm

When I was talking to Malcolm Kelly about his offseason work and the like, he also mentioned that he had spent some time watching the NFL Scouting Combine. Which surprised me a little bit, because … well, because the Combine is actually pretty boring television.

But Kelly had a specific viewing interest that made the Combine a bit more interesting: Read more »

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Mel Kiper Changes His Tune: Jimmy Clausen

Posted by Matt Terl on February 17, 2010 – 3:12 pm

When last we checked in with ESPN’s Mel Kiper, the well-coiffed draft guru was predicting that the Redskins would select Sam Bradford, quarterback out of Oklahoma, with the fourth overall pick in the upcoming draft. With version 2.0 of his draft now on the record, Kiper’s in the same QB-tastic church, just at a slightly different pew:

Kiper now predicts the Redskins will select Jimmy Clausen, QB out of Notre Dame.

John Keim of the Washington Examiner has Kiper’s reasoning FOR Clausen:
Read more »

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Start Planning For The Fourth Pick In The Draft

Posted by Matt Terl on January 4, 2010 – 11:05 am

The official order for the non-playoff-team portion of the 2010 NFL Draft has been set, and the decidedly non-playoff Redskins will be selecting fourth.

I know this is usually cause for celebration — in some sports teams tank their final games to improve their pick, and the Redskins have the whole “Offseason Champs” thing to boot — but as I did my basic research for this, I found my excitement … muted, to say the least.

For example, the Redskins have selected fourth overall twice in the team’s history, both wide receivers: Desmond Howard in 1992, and Michael Westbrook in 1995. Although Howard would eventually become a Super Bowl MVP as a return man, he never developed as a wide receiver and could hardly be described as worth the fourth overall pick.

On the other hand, he’s not likely to be described as one of the fifty worst draft busts of all time, an honor that ESPN bestowed on Westbrook last year. Westbrook’s stats actually weren’t all that terrible — during Brad Johnson’s stellar Redskins season in 1999, Westbrook caught 65 balls for 1,191 yards and 9 touchdowns — but he also never really lived up to the fourth pick and remains best known for slugging running back Stephen Davis. (And, more recently, for appearing on MTV’s Bully Beatdown. Still: not worth the fourth overall.)

But wait, there’s more: Read more »

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