Shanahan names RGIII the Redskins’ starter and hey, why not?

Mike Shanahan apparently only needed one rookie minicamp to name Robert Griffin III his starting quarterback.

My question is, what took him so long? I’m shocked Shanahan didn’t walk to the podium at Radio City Music Hall and made the announcement while Griffin was busy hugging Roger Goodell.

If anyone is surprised that Shanahan has already made this decision, don’t be. He gave up first-round picks in 2012, 2013 and 2014, as well as the team’s second-round pick this year so why not start Griffin right away? There’s no reason to wait.

“Any time you pick a player with the second pick of the draft and you give up another two No. 1’s and No. 2 and you move up four spots, you’ve got a game plan in mind,” Shanahan told Mike Jones of the Washington Post. “We’re going to adjust our system to what he feels comfortable with, and we’ll watch him grow, and we’ll do what we feel like he does the best.”

You never want to rush a quarterback when he’s not ready but what is Shanahan to do, hold an open competition at quarterback when everyone knows Griffin is his guy? Shanahan has seen enough out of Rex Grossman to know that he can’t win with him under center for 16 games. Why delay getting Griffin much needed experience in his first season?

Given the success that Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford, Cam Newton and Joe Flacco had as rookies over the past four seasons, there’s no reason to think that Griffin can’t turn the Redskins into an immediate winner. But his success will depend on how well Washington’s shaky offensive line protects him next season.

Left tackle Trent Williams tested positive for banned substances ten times in September and October according to a report by Pro Football last December. Thus, he’s one more screw up away from potentially serving a long-term suspension.

On the other side, Jammal Brown continues to battle lingering left hip and groin issues while left guard Kory Lichtensteiger is coming off November ACL surgery. Granted, the Redskins did draft three offensive linemen last month but who knows whether or not any of those players will be able to make an impact from Day 1.

But even if the Redskins decided to use a banner made of papier-mâché as their offensive line, Griffin will be their starter. He was destined for that role the second Shanahan swung that trade with the Rams.

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Redskins still have plenty of concerns offensively

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 08:  Clinton Portis #26 of the Washington Redskins watches from the sidelines after suffering a concussion against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 8, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Merry preseason, everyone. It’s been a long offseason, but football is finally gearing up again and to celebrate I’m rolling out a new series on TSR entitled “2010 NFL Question Marks,” where I discuss one or two of the biggest concerns that teams have heading into the new season. Granted, some teams have more issues than others, but I’ll primarily be focusing on the biggest problem areas. Today I’ll be discussing the trio of issues the Redskins could face this season.

I always thought Jason Campbell got kind of a bad rap, although there’s no question that Donovan McNabb has better physical tools – even at this point in his career. Thanks to first round pick Trent Williams and former Saint Jammal Brown, the tackle positions got a much needed makeover in our nation’s capital as well.

So generally speaking, the Washington Redskins are an improved football team.

But it seems as though some pundits are going a tad overboard when predicting this team’s success this year. While they have made several upgrades on that side of the ball, the offense still has plenty of question marks as well.

Let’s start with the offensive line. Williams is a tremendous prospect, but he’s still a rookie and far from a guarantee. He also doesn’t have a ton of experience on the left side, which is where he’s expected to anchor this Washington O-line.

Brown is a massive upgrade over Stephon Heyer, but that’s like saying an authentic slice of New York pizza is an upgrade over Dominos. Heyer was one of the worst offensive linemen in all of football last year, so a broomstick cemented in a bucket would have been an upgrade.

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The Scores Report’s 2010 NFL Mock Draft

This is it – this one is for all the marbles. The two previous mock drafts I put together mean nothing, unless of course one of those is better than the one below. In that case, please consider that to be my final mock so I can save some face.

We’re just days away from the 2010 NFL Draft and as usual, the uncertainty surrounding which player will be drafted by which team is at an all-time high. Teams are sending out smokescreens, it’s hard to figure out which GM is telling the truth (probably roughly around none of them) and all the while, the media is trying to keep up with all the rumors.

But here it is – my final crack at predicting the first round. Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section, but remember that they’re only valid when you make predictions before the draft. Don’t be the tool that comes back here a week from now boasting that you knew that Team A would take Player X, or else you will be made fun of mercilessly by your peers.

Let the games begin and once again, Happy NFL Draft time fellow draftnits.

Originally posted: Monday, April 19

1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Ndamukong Suh is the best player in the 2010 draft and if teams only drafted based on talent, then the Nebraska defensive tackle would be the first player selected in round one. But Suh plays a position that most teams can’t justify investing a truckload of guaranteed money in. That’s why Bradford will be the No. 1 pick, along with the fact that the Rams desperately need a quarterback to help revitalize their morbid franchise. I’ve never wavered with this pick – I’ve believed that Bradford was going to be the Rams’ selection at No. 1 all along. If they believe that he’s a franchise quarterback, then Suh and every other prospect in this draft becomes inconsequential in the Rams’ eyes. There’s no more important position on a football field than the one that lines up under center every week. Is taking a quarterback this high a risk? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, a franchise can’t function without a good QB. That’s why St. Louis won’t hesitate to take Bradford here.

2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The Lions want everyone to believe that they’ll take an offensive tackle like Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung with this pick and they may very well might. But if Suh is still on the board when the Lions are on the clock in the first round, then they’d be nuts to pass on him. Suh is the best player in the draft on either side of the ball and could be the player current Lions (and former Titans’ DC) head coach Jim Schwartz builds his defense around, a la Albert Haynesworth in Tennessee.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
McCoy has kind of become the forgotten top 5 prospect in this draft because he’s overshadowed by Suh. But he’s a difference maker and a force against the run. If the Rams take Bradford at No. 1, one of the two defensive tackles will fall to Tampa here, which is exactly what it wants. The Bucs need an interior presence in the middle of their line that can be effective both against the run and pass. McCoy can potentially be that player.

4. Washington Redskins: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
As long as Mike Shanahan’s claims that the Redskins will take a quarterback with this pick are untrue, then Williams could very well be the third Sooner to come off the board in the first four picks this year. Okung is regarded as the best offensive tackle in the draft, but Williams is a better fit for Washington’s new zone-blocking scheme, making him the choice here. He’s an excellent all-around blocker and has the potential to immediately fill the void left by Chris Samuels on the Redskins’ O-line.

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Redskins, Chiefs, Browns all after Berry?

Here is some Eric Berry news leading up to the draft:

– The NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora reports that other teams have begun to project Berry to the Redskins at No. 4 overall. The Washington Post is reporting similar news.

– Mel Kiper says that while Bryan Bulaga and Trent Williams remain options, he’d still go with Berry as the Chiefs pick at No. 5. Of course,’s Peter King contradicts Kiper and says that the Chiefs will pass on Berry if he’s available.

– ESPN’s Michael Smith reports that Berry will be the Browns’ pick at No. 7 if he’s available.

Players like Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu and Bob Sanders (when he’s healthy) have made teams realize how valuable it is to have a versatile safety as their last line of defense. Berry is by far the best safety in this year’s class and it’s no wonder why multiple teams in the top 10 are considering him.

That said, the Redskins have a huge hole at left tackle and might not be able to afford passing on one at No. 4. The Chiefs have a similar issue and therefore, might take an OT right behind Washington at No. 5. Cleveland, on the other hand, is in dire need of a playmaking safety and is a logical fit for Berry at No. 7. Even though Reed, Polamalu and Sanders have proven their worth, teams are still reluctant to draft safeties that high. (Although again, I don’t think Cleveland passes at No. 7.)

But I wouldn’t be surprised if Berry never makes it to Mike Holmgren and the Browns based on the emerging importance of the safety position.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Redskins still trying to trade up for Bradford?

Let’s kick this NFL draft day off with a juicy rumor, shall we?

According to, the Redskins are still in discussions with the Rams about a trade up to the No. 1 overall spot. Per the article, Washington has its sights set on quarterback Sam Bradford.

After trading for Donovan McNabb on Easter Sunday, everyone crossed off quarterback from the Redskins’ draft wish list. But since they’ve been unable to extend McNabb’s contract thus far, there’s growing sentiment that Washington will still take a quarterback so Mike Shanahan can groom him for the 2011 season.

The idea makes sense on the surface, but why would the Redskins trade for McNabb and then immediately cause a controversy by taking a quarterback in the first round? I’m sure their intentions have always been to extend McNabb’s contract and they’re not going to have success doing that if they draft his replacement less than a month after acquiring him from Philadelphia. It just doesn’t make sense.

The more likely scenario would be that the Redskins stay at No. 4 and take an offensive tackle like Russell Okung or Trent Williams. Then they can continue to work on McNabb’s contract extension throughout the next couple of months.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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