We all know that NFL coaches and general managers are tight-lipped about their draft plans. When they do talk, they reveal little — and usually nothing in terms of the truth. But some players are also careful not to say too much.
So who traveled to Washington to meet in person with the Redskins in the weeks before the draft?
How about you, Danny Watkins?
“Teams have asked me not to say anything,” the Baylor guard said. “So can’t say yay or nay on that.”
Okay, what about you, Ryan Kerrigan?
“I won’t talk about who I visited with or who I haven’t visited with,” said the Purdue defensive end. “But [I] met with a number of different teams, really got a lot good vibes from different teams.”
Come on, anybody? Phil Taylor?
“No,” said the Baylor nose tackle. “Just at the combine.”
Well, that’s something. What about you, Tyron Smith -- been to Washington?
“Yeah,” said the USC tackle.
“It was just like any other visit,” he said. “Basically, every team just wanted to get to know you. Offensive line coaches wanted to spend some one-on-one time with you, see what you’re about.”
There’s a good chance the Redskins’ pick tonight will appear on the stage at Radio City Music Hall alongside Roger Goodell. Twenty-five prospects, in fact, will be in the building, including J.J. Watt, Julio Jones, Cameron Jordan and Prince Amukamara. Of the guys the Redskins might be targeting, the biggest names watching the draft from home are Robert Quinn, Jake Locker and Da’Quan Bowers.
The Redskins have plenty of needs, and they’ll try to fill at least one of them with the No. 10 overall pick tonight. No matter the player they settle on, there will likely be a big schematic adjustment. It could be a defensive end learning to play linebacker in a 3-4. A receiver or quarterback learning the West Coast system. An offensive linemen trying to pick up the zone-blocking scheme
“I basically don’t feel like it’s going to be that difficult for me to switch up terminology,” USC’s Smith said, “what the coaches are doing or what kind of plays they ran. Basically, I’m willing to learn whatever they need to teach me.”
It’s a draft that is considered deep in pass-rushers. Many of the top defensive prospects are guys who played defensive end in a 4-3 scheme in college and will be asked to shift to a 3-4 linebacker, similar to what Brian Orakpo did for the Redskins.
“Most of the time in a 4-3, you’re going forward, which is what I’ve done all my college career,” Kerrigan said. “Put your hand in the dirt and go forward. Whereas as a 3-4 outside linebacker, you’re going backwards, you’re dropping in coverage, occasionally you’re rushing the passer, occasionally you’re doing all sorts of different things.
“If I get that opportunity to play 3-4 linebacker, I’ll embrace it and do the best I can at it,” he said.