Redskins Round-Up: A First Look at the Rookies

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All eyes were on Dwayne Haskins as he commanded the offense at the Redskins' rookie mini-camp. (Photo Credit: Ed Sheahin / Redskins Historian Photographer)

The Redskins are in the midst of their annual rookie mini-camp which consists of the 2019 NFL Draft class, college free agent signings, and other invitees.

This year, camp is being held from May 10-12 at the team headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia. Saturday’s session was open to the media and allowed fans to have their first taste of football for the 2019 season.

Of the 69 players in attendance, 44 were tryout players who aim to join the team for Organized Team Activities (OTAS) that will take place May 20-21 and May 23.

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Below you will find a recap of media outlets who reflected on their open access to the team.

A Different Feel for 2019

To a man, media pundits stated that the vibe around Ashburn felt much different than in previous years. In fact, there was an estimated “three dozen” media members who came from local and national outlets.

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ESPN’s John Keim claimed the last time there was this much energy in rookie camp was… 2012. Which is a lofty statement considering the context. The Redskins had just come off a blockbuster trade and anointed Robert Griffin III as the franchise’s savior. Maybe quarterbacks simply draw that sort of buzz.

The Washington Post’s Les Carpenter corroborated Keim’s statement with this photo:

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All Eyes on Haskins

Today was the first time fans could see Dwayne Haskins in uniform. He appeared comfortable in the spotlight and welcomed his connection to the DC Metropolitan area. Many outlets noted that Haskins “looked the part” and had the demeanor of a poised, yet confident, quarterback.

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Reporters were also pleased with the lack of catch phrases and slogans which have plagued northern Virginia for the better part of seven years. This doesn’t appear to be in Haskins’ makeup (but it’s still early).

Here is Haskins reflecting on his first practice session as a Redskin and being back in the DMV.

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Early Performance

When taking a quarterback in the first round, it’s expected that each and every one of his actions will be scrutinized. Early feedback is that Haskins had a strong performance Friday and had mixed results Saturday.

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Up-and-Down performances should be expected for a rookie, especially considering the mixed talent that he was surrounded with. Many of the tryouts players will not make NFL rosters, and everyone in attendance had limited exposure to the playbook.

According to Coach Jay Gruden, even Haskins has been exposed to about 50 plays.

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Yet, there were areas of excitement, as Haskins showed promise and a good rapport with fellow Ohio State Buckeye, Terry McLaurin.

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In addition to the Buckeye connection, Haskins had a beautiful hook-up with Kelvin Harmon on an exceptional back-shoulder throw that went viral on social media.

The Redskins’ faithful hope that Harmon can provide the jump-ball threat the team has been lacking for years. And this catch over Jimmy Moreland provided them with encouraging signs.

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Harmon shows exceptional ball-control here.

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Although there were shining moments, Brian McNally of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reminds us that the rookies are a work in progress.

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Thanks Brian.

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What About the Trenches?

Wes Martin and Ross Pierschbacher did not partake in many offensive line drills. The rationale is that they will receive plenty of work over the next few months with OTAs and training camp upcoming. It simply is not worth it for them to be exposed to injury now.

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However they did receive feedback and pad work under the tutelage of Offensive Line Coach Bill Callahan.

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While the draft picks focused more on flexibility and individual drills, several UDFAs had their opportunity for exposure; and NBC Sports Washington’s Mitch Tischler took notice.

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The takeaway from today is that the battle for left guard is completely wide-open, and should be something to keep an eye on heading towards training camp in Richmond.

Defense Gets Work Too

It’s hard to gauge defensive players on days in which contact is prohibited, but by all accounts, Montez Sweat appeared to be a man among boys. He was cited as being the most physically gifted player on the field, with exceptional length and physique.

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His physical prowess is shown here.

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Not bad for someone who is 6’6″ and 260 pounds.

Sweat was another rookie who had limited team reps today. He spent most of the day refining his craft individually and in controlled environments.

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Here is a snapshot of him getting bag work.

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Although Ben Standig is being a little snide with his “unblockable” remark, fans can be optimistic seeing the first true speed rusher the Redskins have acquired in quite sometime. Let’s hope he shows shades of his number-mate, Jadeveon Clowney, who many draft scouts have compared with Sweat.

Jimmy Speaks

We’ll end this report with another fan favorite, Jimmy Moreland, talking about his first exposure to the professional setting, and how James Madison prepare him.

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