Wednesday, January 5, 2010 11:15 AM
By Rich Tandler
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Last week, I posted an article on some potentially draft-eligible players who might be on the Washington Redskins radar who would be performing in bowls over the course of New Years weekend. I havent had a chance to go back and review the performances of all of the players on the list but here are a few things that caught my eye regarding those players and a few others over the course of the long weekend. Mike Pouncey, G, FloridaPlaying center this year, the projected pro guard displayed the mobility against Penn State in the Outback Bowl that would make him a perfect fit in the Redskins zone blocking scheme. On an end around play to the left, Pouncey quickly got downfield and threw a textbook block to eliminate the last man standing between the ball carrier and the goal line. Later in the game he pulled from left to right and made another key block on a long Gator run. On the negative side, he made a bad shotgun snap that resulted in a 19-yard loss. Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn StateOn the other side of the ball in the Outback, Wisniewskidisplayed more power than mobility. On a short Nittany Lion touchdown run, he blasted his man completely out of the TV picture. Julio Jones, WR, AlabamaIn the Capital One Bowl, Jones caught three passes for 49 yards. Those hardly are eye-popping numbers but Tide QB Greg McElroy threw just 17 passes and most of the starters exited early as Alabama thumped Michigan State 49-7. Bama had 44 rushing attempts and Jones had two of those for 36 yards and a touchdown. He displayed some good running instincts on the TD run, making some good moves to get past the line and then waiting for a block by McElroy that sprung him for the touchdown. As the Crimson Tide pounded the ball on the ground, Jones frequently lined up in the slot and provided some good blocking as they piled up 275 yards rushing. On the touchdown run and a few other times, however, you had to wonder if Jones really has the 4.43 speed that is widely quoted. He looks about a half a step slower than that and it will be interesting to see what 40 time emerges from the upcoming workouts and combine. Greg McElroy, QB, AlabamaHe wasnt on my list of players watch but he caught my eye with his accuracy and ability to move around the pocket. McElroy completed 13 of those 17 pass attempts in the bowl game for 220 yards, a cool 12.9 yards per attempt. The lay of the land indicates that the Redskins will be taking a quarterback with their first pick. If they go in another direction and decide to go for a quarterback in the later rounds, one that will take a couple of years to develop, McElroy might be a good fit. Gabe Carimi, OT, WisconsinBadgers quarterback Scott Tolzien was under tremendous pressure for much of the Rose Bowl but virtually all of came from the right side. Carimi did a good job of containing the TCU rush from his left tackle spot. Late in the game as the Horned Frogs pressure increased, Carimi was stonewalling his man play after play. He also showed some good mobility with solid second level blocking on some red zone running plays. If the Redskins end up with a hole at right tackle due to Jammal Brown departing due to free agency, they could do worse than Carimi to fill that hole. Tank Carder, ILB, TCUMuch of the above-mentioned pressure was coming from Carder, a 6-2 redshirt junior who could decide to come out. The Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year was all over the field and made a great athletic play when he jumped up to swat down Tolziens pass to a wide-open receiver on a two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game in the final minute. If Rocky McIntosh departs via free agency, as many anticipate he will, Carder could be a solid second-round pick if he comes out. Andy Dalton, QB, TCUIn many rankings, Dalton is a top five senior quarterback and he showed why in the Rose Bowl. He was 15 of 23 for 219 yards and he displayed the strong and accurate arm that has him in such strong draft position. Dalton could be a second-round steal. Sione Fua, NT, StanfordI tried to warn everyone against being in awe of the offensive skill players and to keep an eye on Fua during the Orange Bowl, but I have to admit that I was dazzled by Andrew Luck and Tyrod Taylor and didnt watch Fua much. But the numbers speak to how well Fua and the rest of the Cardinal defensive line played. With one of the best three-deep backfields in the NCAA, the Hokies managed just 66 yards rushing on 34 carries, a measly 1.9 yards a pop. Ryan Mallett, QB, ArkansasI have yet to review the entire Sugar Bowl, but Mallett did not post good numbers, going 24 for 47 for 277 yards with two touchdowns and one critical interception. The interception put on display one of the major knocks against him, that his passing suffers when he has to move around. After Arkansas recovered a blocked punt to have a chance at a miracle win, Mallett passed while moving to his right and threw a perfect strike to Ohio State defensive end Solomon Thomas. Although many Redskins fans are pegging him to be the man for Washington at 10, the combination of an offense that calls for some quarterback mobility and a rebuilding offense line that demands it, Mallett may not be a good fit. You can reach Rich by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @RealRedskins. Join Rich Tandler for chats during the NFL playoffs at www.CSNwashington.com. The chat schedule will be announced soon, check for details.