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2014 Mason/Brennan Hype! Awards

It's hype season again! We've let the hype trains leave the station, and tested the waters on who is getting people excited, now it's time to vote on it.

Every season, a new class of draft picks and undrafted free agents are signed during the preseason. The majority of these players will never be on the roster for a regular season game, but there are always a few diamond in the rough late round/UDFA players who do bring hope to players and fans. That racetrack betting slip that you find on the floor that someone didn't scout properly.

Redskins fans are very familiar with the hype that comes with the offseason, especially over the last two decades of dreary seasons. Between the overpriced free agent signings, and the overhyped preseason performances by rookies, we were the perennial offseason champions. Names like Marko MitchellMarcus MasonBrandon Banks, and everyone's favorite Colt Brennan became legendary in training camp and preseason, only to be relegated to the practice squad or the bowels of the depth chart, never to be heard from again.

Last year's preseason hero was the magic man, Heisenberg himself, Pat White.  With RGIII not playing, and Kirk Cousins injured in preseason, the Pat White Show was on in full effect.  He went on to win two out of four week's in the voting and was crowned the undeniable Mason/Brennan Hype Award winner for 2013.  He actually made the final 53 man roster, but was cut after the first week to make room for a 2nd kicker...  He is currently on the roster of the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos.  Last year's two other winners were Bacarri Rambo, and Brandon Jenkins, and both of them are on the roster bubble this season.

Hype is a very real, and a very exciting part of football in the preseason. We all read the daily training camp reports and get excited at the prospect of a late round pass rusher getting sack after sack on 3rd string offensive lineman, or a wide receiver catching everything thrown his way, or a running back who's not injured.

The Mason/Brennan award has been given out unofficially by the fans for years to each preseason's most hyped players, but now we're going to make it official, and bring it to a vote. This week's vote will cover the offseason, draft and OTAs/mini-camps. Place your vote for who you feel has been the most hyped player up to this point, whether the hype is deserved or not.

The Rules:

1. Player must have been drafted late or signed by the Redskins as an undrafted free agent. Players that have only been on other teams practice squads that are signed by the team are also eligible.

2. A player that has been on the team for several years is still eligible if most of that time has been spent on the practice squad, inactive, or with very limited productivity/time

3. The Pat White Rule: High draft picks(busts/out of the league) from other teams who have never completed an NFL pass, but can run the read option/wildcat are now eligible.

The Nominees:

1. Akeem Davis, SDavis was signed by the Redskins in April. He was undrafted in 2013 and spent time with the Seattle Seahawks at their rookie mini-camp.  He has been getting positive reviews in shorts at OTAs and has good measurables for the position.  Does he have enough talent to push for a spot at the bottom of the safety depth chart.

Akeem Davis, S (6-0 1/4, 200) — Davis ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 and 4.45 seconds. He had a 39 1/2-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-6 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.42 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.53 seconds. He also had 19 lifts of 225 pounds on the bench press. Davis likely is a priority free-agent pickup following the 2013 NFL Draft.

2. Keenan Robinson, ILB - Including a 4th Round pick isn't the norm here at the Mason/Brennan Nomination Committee, but Robinson has been given an exemption due to his extensive injury history.  Robinson was drafted 3 years ago to eventually take over for Living Legend London Fletcher when he hung up his cleats for good.  Pec tears in back to back years put that in jeopardy with many people writing him off as just another Texas LB who suffered from Papier-Mâché Pec Disorder(PPD).  But he seems to be fully healed this season, has already impressed new Head Coach Jay Gruden in OTAs, and is on one of the fastest moving hype trains this offseason.  He can do things that your typical Redskins ILB can't, like cover TE's a RBs.  He's everywhere on the field, and he's going to seemlessly take over for Fletch, right?

3. Cody Hoffman, WR - A tall wide receiver!  That's all you really need to be to get nominated for the Mason/Brennan around these parts.  He is the Marko Mitchell of this offseason, and considering the Redskins tallest WR projected to start is only 6', there's reason to hope that he can stick to roster.

4. Ryan Grant, WR - The Redskins 5th Round draft pick was a little bit of a surprise after the team double-dipped on WRs in free agency again this year.  The team has a lot of decisions to make at WR, but Ryan Grant has been getting a lot of positive spin from OTAs.

5. Lache Seastrunk, RB - Robert Griffin III was happy when the Redskins drafted Seastrunk, and he has been consistently hyped in the comments/reporter mentions.

Q: Did you get a scouting report from Robert Griffin III on Lache? Gruden: Ya, he was texting during the draft, I was trying to ignore my phone. He's a big fan of Lache, and they're obviously good friends and has a lot of good things to say about him. So I know Robert's happy and we're happy to have Lache.

6. Chase Minnifield, CB - Chase Minninfield had the best year of his professional career in 2013.  Not injured?  Check.  Made the Practice Squad?  Check.  Made the 53 man roster during the season?  Check.  Active on game day?  Negative.  No one can slight Minny for being injured at the beginning of his career.  Losing in the Mason/Brennan voting last preseason has reportedly put a huge chip on his shoulder this offseason, and he will be working for your votes at Training Camp.  Oh, and also, you know, actually playing in a regular season game finally, but first things first.  Minnifield continues to be an aggressive CB who the receivers hate to play against in practice.  Will that ever translate to making the active roster?

7. Courtney Bridget Jr, CB - Tall CB!  Seattle Seahawks defense!  Two girl names so he's got to be a tough guy after years of mocking in his formative years!  Bridget is a longshot to make the roster, but the practice squad is calling his name to keep the dream alive for his fans.

8. Tanard Jackson, FS - Tanard Jackson has been the recipient of the most hype of anyone that has never played a regular season down in recent memory(DJax does not count).  Seen by some as the answer for the Redskins perennial safety woes, Jackson has been suspended for the past two seasons.  That little fact did not stop the tsunami of questions about when he will come back to save the secondary from embarrassment.  Jackson started off OTAs getting a litte bit of hype from Coach Gruden saying he was in shape(amazing!), but has since been running with the 3rd team in practices.  Can Tanard catch his dream, and the hearts of Redskins nation again before an inevitable suspension ends the hype for good?

9. Jeremy Kimbrough, ILB - He got almost no hype at all last season, with most people asking who?  Kimbrough was injured during preseason and most people wrote his Redskins career off.  But no, he is back and getting plenty of hype for his uncanny ability to pick off tipped and rusty passes from QBs in the first weeks of organized practices.

Young linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough continues to shine in the limited time that media has been allowed to see practice. Kimbrough had an interception on Tuesday and a beautiful high leaping snare on a pass in the red zone from Colt McCoy again on Wednesday. By my count, that's three interceptions for Kimbrough over three practice sessions that I have been able to see.

10. Silas Redd, RB - Redd was an unheralded signing after the draft after a disappointing college career that saw him getting injured and limiting his productivity and raising questions about his durability at the next level.  Redd's got a little bit of hype from reports, but the biggest hype so far comes from a Redskins legend.  He's got a lot of RBs in front of him on the depth chart, and a limited amount of spots on the team for RB.