Sunday, January 20, 2013

Forget the Playoffs, I Have College All-Star Games to Watch

Tomorrow, the 49ers head to Atlanta to play for the NFC Championship. Meanwhile, the Ravens head to Foxboro to play the Patriots for a second straight year for the AFC Championship.

For me, I don't care very much. The Redskins have been out of the playoffs for two weeks (Ed Note: Isn't it great that I could say we were in the playoffs in the first place?) and I'm already looking at the 2013 season. That means the draft, free agency and the off-season programs.

In a sense, the off-season work starts for me today. Two all star collegiate games are taking place. One is the Raycom College All Star Football Classic. This is a game I'm not that familiar with and it's website doesn't have much history on the game. So, I'm guessing this game fall in the similar place as other all star games like Texas vs. The Nation or the NFLPA All Star Game. It's a game for lesser known talents and players that might make their marks in late rounds or as undrafted players. Don't scoff at some of these players though, Pierre Garcon is a perfect example of a player that came out of this type of all star game.

The next is the traditional East/West Shrine Game. It's arguably the 2nd most popular college all-star game and usually features talent that'll go from the 3rd-7th rounds. Last year three Redskins from the 2012 draft class played in this game (Alfred Morris, Josh LeRibeus and Tom Compton). I have watched both games already and here's some early thoughts on both games with Redskins News first.

- According to Charlie Campbell of Walter Football, Redskins GM Bruce Allen was watching the East team's secondary "intently". He wasn't the only one as the GM of the Titans and other evaluators were as well.

- During the East/West Shrine Game, the Redskins had the opportunity to meet with various players for interviews. This saves some time at The Combine and really might not mean that much. That said, we can start to look at some players that the Redskins may have interest. These are the players that were interviewed according to Campbell and Blogging the BEast's Jimmy Kempski:

-Keelan Johnson, S, Arizona

- Bradley McDougald, S, Kansas

- Will Pericak, DT, Colorado

- Rod Sweeting, CB, Georgia Tech

- Sam Barrington, LB, South Florida

- Marcus Davis, WR, Virginia Tech

- Brandon Mcgee, CB, Miami

I did not have access to the East West Shrine Game practices, but both Walter Football and Blogging the BEast did, so here are some links to read up on the practices:

Walter Football (scroll to bottom of page for every link of coverage)
Bloggin the BEast: Link 1
                                Link 2
                                Link 3
                                Link 4

- This is a bad, I mean very bad year to draft a QB. Neither all star game had anybody really worth writing about on the blog. Alex Carder seemed to be the most consistent and was incredibly accurate, but threw a INT. Colin Klein looks like he could succeed in a Zone Read scheme but lacks the arm strength and the coverage reads to be a starter. At this point, I'm thinking most of these QBs will either be undrafted or camp fodder. Don't expect many rookie QBs to be starting in 2013.

- The strength of this draft class has to be in the secondary and the D-line. Expect a large amount of D-linemen to go early. While there may not be a Champ Bailey or Sean Taylor in this draft, there are really talented CBs and S in this draft and there are a lot of them. If the Redskins don't walk away with possibly 2 safeties and at least one corner in this draft then I'll be a bit upset.

- I don't think the all star games themselves helped a lot of player's draft stock this season. Both games seemed sloppy and the Raycom game never seemed like it would end with so many incomplete passes.

- I was impressed by DE Devin Taylor of South Carolina. He had one bad play where he lost contain and gave up a TD on a reverse, but was dominate throughout the game forcing fumbles and getting to the QB.

- Maryland had two DTs that collapsed the pocket in Joe Vellano and AJ Francis.

- Was impressed by long shot WR Anthony Amos of Middle Tennessee St. Came back to the ball on multiple plays, quick but played bigger than his height (roster has him listed as 6', NFLN said he was 5'11").

- I think AJ Klein could be a very nice pick up in rounds 3-5 at MLB/ILB.

- LT Terron Armstead looked as good as he was touted by Mike Mayock and company and could be another 2nd rounder with his performance.

- I like the size of Richmond S, Cooper Taylor but didn't see that much of him to give you a good answer if he's worth taking.

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