Redskins final four features two DBs

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

The Redskins last four draft picks:

Running back Alfred Morris (sixth round, 173) Florida Atlantic. He finished his career as Florida Atlantic’s all-time leading rusher (3,529 yards) and touchdowns (27) and rushing yards per game (75.1). One scout said of Morris, “He’s a real thick strong, tough runner like [Utah State’s] Robert Turbin. You can rotate him in and out. Not a game-breaker speed guy, but he’ll run low and physical and strong.”

Morris said he’s expecting to play both running back and fullback. The Redskins need depth at both spots.

“I’m a running back but I’m not too proud to put my hand in the dirt,” he said.

But Morris had an issue with fumbles – 16 in 762 career carries.

“I don’t think so,” Morris said, when asked if it was an issue. “I never had the luxury of downfield blocking. A lot of times when I did fumble they were second-effort fumbles. I was throwing someone off me and I would swing the ball and it might hit off my leg. It’s not a problem, but can I correct it? I definitely can.”

He said he takes pride in pass protection.

“I always said to myself, everybody can run the ball and catch the ball but what will set you apart?” he said. “So I started taking pride in my blocking. I blocked a lot of defensive ends and I took pride that the only thing standing between him and the quarterback and a sack is me. I never let anyone touch my quarterback.”

Tackle Tom Compton (sixth round, 193), South Dakota. Compton started two years at left tackle and two years at right tackle and said he has worked at guard this offseason. So he offers the Redskins versatility. He’s also strong, having squatted 700 pounds a year ago.

Compton said South Dakota used some zone blocking, which is what the Redskins use. “The style of athlete that I’ve been described as kind of fits that scheme,” he said.

The Redskins have a young tackle in Willie Smith, but he was undrafted a year ago and was inconsistent when he played this past season. He has a ways to go. They also have Tyler Polumbus and James Lee as backups.

Cornerback Richard Crawford (seventh round, 213), SMU.  The 5-foot-11, 189-pound Crawford exited a visit to Redskins Park two weeks ago feeling good about his chances of landing in Washington.

“I thought I would end up here,” he said.

Now he just needs to make the roster, which will be difficult even with a need for a corner who can cover in the slot. But Crawford has two things going for him: he said he’s comfortable covering in the slot and he can help as a return specialist.

Crawford also said SMU ran a similar defense as Washington, but with much more complexities in the scheme it’ll still be a transition.

He’s the third SMU player drafted by Washington the past two years and the second this year. The Redskins picked Josh LeRibeus in the third round. LeRibeus lost 70 pounds a year ago.

“We used to call him Xbox 360 because he was 360,” Crawford said.

Safety Jordan Bernstine (seventh round, 217), Iowa. He started one year at strong safety for the Hawkeyes, spending the rest of his time at corner. At 5-foot-11, 205 pounds he has decent size for strong safety. He said he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds – that speed would be welcomed at safety.

“I’m athletic and I like to put my face in there,” he said. “I like to hit. I like to be a factor in the run game, but I can also cover the tight end or slot receivers.”

But he said he’s still getting used to taking proper angles at safety. The Redskins signed three safeties this offseason, though none are locks to start let alone make the roster. They also have second-year DeJon Gomes and Reed Doughty. But both likely will be backups this season.

Bernstine also averaged 23.8 yards on 30 kickoff returns as a senior (placing him seventh in the Big Ten). He’s considered an excellent special teamer.

Here's an interview Bernstine did in January.

The early Saturday picks:

Fifth-round pick Adam Gettis.

Fourth-round pick Keenan Robinson.

Fourth-round pick Kirk Cousins.

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Author:

John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner