1. I am participating in a Mock Draft right now as part of the Redskins ownership team led by our very own Steve Shoup. I can assure you that Steve has the rookie class pretty well scoped out, and going through this process has really served to bolster my hopes for the 2013 season. Even without a first round pick, it is quite amazing how many players have been available in the first four rounds that we all believe could compete for time right away in DC. Of course, things will change when the real war rooms take over and we see how the draft shakes out in reality, but you can get at least a taste for the quality of players that could slip to us in each of the first four rounds. It should also be stated for full disclosure that a healthy amount of the attraction to some of these players stems directly from the long list of job openings we have here in town.
2. I've said it before and I'll say it again: this salary cap penalty is going to force this franchise to do something it has shown a real distaste for in the past. Building the core of a roster through the draft, as opposed to free agency, is something that great teams do. Just because we have no choice in the matter is not enough to kill the silver lining here. If Bruce Allen chooses wisely, Indiana Jones-style, the Redskins will find themselves able to rely on an alarming amount of first-, second- and third-year players over the next few seasons. In fact, when we get back to having available cap space to pursue free agents, we may be able to credibly suggest to a highly coveted veteran that he is the missing piece to a legitimate Super Bowl run. (I really talked my way into that there...not sure where this is coming from today. Based on all "The Walking Dead" I have been watching, you'd think I would be mired in a world where we are knee-deep in rotting corpses and hopelessness.)
3. I don't want to steal too much thunder from the Mock Draft we are in the middle of (full report coming soon), but I think it is safe to give out our first pick in the second round. After a ton of deliberation--including an impassioned plea from UK to gift the second rounder to Prince William and Duchess Kate ahead of the birth of their baby--we went with Jamar Taylor, the cornerback out of Boise State. I love how physical he is but more than that, I love how quickly he computes in real time. He is a heady player that should be able to step in and play for the Redskins immediately, and though I lobbied hard for an offensive lineman here, the truth is that I cared the most about getting a guy who would make an impact right away. Taylor would do that.
4. Speaking of cornerback, do yourselves a favor and try not to think too hard about our situation there for a month or two. After Josh Wilson, the Redskins have...some guys. E.J. Biggers and Richard Crawford should be able to compete for time in training camp this summer, but let's be honest: neither Dez Bryant nor Victor Cruz are peeing their pants thinking about going up against those two. The best-case scenario (in my humble opinion) would be Crawford taking a big step forward next to a rookie out of the second or third round. This would give us two very young corners to build on over the next five seasons or so. Wilson still has some gas in the tank, but I believe he is entering the final year of his deal. Biggers is a wild card to me--one that I am happy to play of course--but counting on him to be the answer for us seems a bit desperate.
5. I both love and hate the comments out of Dr. James Andrews this weekend regarding Robert Griffin III's "superhuman" qualities. I love it because I believe the sentiment is at least loosely based on the fact that Griffin is killing it in his rehabilitation. I continue to BOLDLY HOPE that we will see a 100% healthy superstar in Week One. On the other hand, isn't this the guy (Andrews) that is supposed to be doing a better job of protecting Griffin, or at least helping Griffin to learn how to live in the real world? Saying this kind of thing seems to feed directly into the very same mindset that got Griffin in this predicament in the first place (that and the piss-poor field). Shouldn't the line be that he is NOT superhuman? Shouldn't the adults in the room be downplaying any supernatural aspect of this at all? Isn't this simply affirmation to a guy who already believes he is superhuman, only now he has a freaking doctor's note saying he really is?
6. As you all know, we solicited writing samples from the readers of Hogs Haven to bring on some new blood. What came next blew us away. We heard from almost 100 people on this, and it would be unfair to label any of the submissions as far short of our lofty standards (standards set by you, the readers). The truth is, we could have added 25-50 good writers from this group, and we will work our butts off to figure out ways to include those people who entered the fray. We added a few writers to assist us with breaking news and content management, and then we added a new feature that we hope the readers will enjoy. We will come up with a weekly theme or question and we intend to solicit thoughts/answers on those from a team of writers formed from the application process. We thought there were too many good perspectives to shut out completely, and we hope this will be a way to add more voices to the site. The new feature writers/breaking news guys will be known as this year's Rookie Class, and the contributors that will populate our weekly Group posts will be known (at least initially) as "The Groupies." We are excited to get them started, so look to start seeing a little fresh blood this offseason. Thank you again to all the members who knocked our socks off with their writing.