A few players Redskins fans should pay attention to during the Senior Bowl on Saturday:
1. QB Jake Locker. He looks the part, with his build, athleticism and mechanics. Alas, his production doesn't match the talent. Was it his fault? Or his teammates? And we keep hearing (from people who follow the draft closely) that Mike Shanahan has liked him for a while. Don't know if that's true, but one GM did call Locker a prototype for a Shanahan QB. Just wish the production matched the hype. Still, keep in mind that Shanahan likes the high ceiling and bases his choice almost on a player's highlight film, feeling that's what he's most capable of as a player. Does he view Locker in this way?
2. LB Von Miller. He’s been a dominant player this week during Senior Bowl workouts. But he might have played himself much higher than the Redskins’ 10th pick. He projects as a pass-rushing outside linebacker in a 3-4. Coincidentally, that's one thing the Redskins say they want.
“He’s a tremendous athlete,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said. “He has great instincts, great awareness.”
3. NT Phil Taylor. It appears to be a fairly solid draft for nose tackles in a 3-4 front, which the Redskins clearly need. Taylor, who is from Gwynn Park and started his college career at Penn State, is drawing a lot of attention, though he might not be around when the Redskins pick in the second round. Taylor would provide the Redskins the athleticism they lack in the middle. If the Redskins drafted Miller and then Taylor, they, along with Brian Orkapo, would form a young core in their 3-4 at the primary positions. To make a 3-4 work at an elite level, you must have a top nose tackle and two good pass rushers at outside linebacker. This would give the Redskins that talent. If you haven't noticed, defenses have keyed the Super Bowl teams. Of course, each team also has a franchise QB.
4. QB Colin Kaepernick. He has a good arm and is athletic, two pre-requisites for what Shanahan wants in a QB. He is projected as a second-rounder (here's a good scouting report on some of the QBs at the Senior Bowl). The big question for Kaepernick is how he'll fare operating under center; he was in the shotgun at Nevada. Not everyone thinks he's a future starter. If you pick him in the second round, he'd better be.
5. G Stephen Schilling. He's one of the players Washington spoke with after a practice, according to various reports. At best he appears to be a mid-round prospect and most likely a fifth-rounder. But he started his career as a tackle, has decent, and perhaps even better, footwork and plays with a nasty streak. He does have good size (6-foot-5, 308 pounds). See how mobile he is; if he's unable to pull or get to the second level with consistency, then he's not a Shanahan guy. Still, the fact that they talked to him - keep in mind they will talk to dozens of players between now and the draft -- says that they're at least intrigued.
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