Jonathan Allen knows Daron Payne can play through pain [url=http://www.steelersfootballauthentics.com/antonio-brown-jersey-authentic]Womens Antonio Brown Jersey[/url] , but is glad his former Alabama teammate doesn’t have to with the Washington Redskins.
Payne injured his left ankle when he was stepped on in practice, and coach Jay Gruden said the first-round pick is expected to miss two to three weeks. This is the second consecutive year the Redskins have had a defensive lineman they drafted in the first round from Alabama go down with a foot injury after Allen had his rookie season cut short five games in because of a Lisfranc sprain.
”I feel like it’s going to be tough for him mentally just because he’s still
Bama-nized’ and he still thinks he has to push through everything,” Allen said Saturday. ”But at the same time I’m like,Payne, we’ve got to get you ready for the opening game, so just take it day-by-day, work your butt off and do what you’ve got to do to get back.”’
Payne shrugged off questions after practice Friday when he got rolled up on but wasn’t on the field 24 hours later and wearing a walking boot. Gruden said Payne would be in the boot for about a week and downplayed the injury’s effect on the 13th overall pick ‘s acclimation process to the NFL.
”He’s in great shape,” Gruden said. ”He’s big, strong [url=http://www.steelersfootballauthentics.com/t.-j.-watt-jersey-authentic]Youth T. J. Watt Jersey[/url] , physical. He’ll probably get stronger in his two weeks working out. He’s in great shape, so it’s not a big deal. He’s already very smart, knows the defense, so he’s in great shape.”
It’s still not a great development for the Redskins, who easily could plug in Payne as their starting nose tackle when the season begins. But because he and Payne no longer play at Alabama where players are counted on to gut out injuries, Allen isn’t worried about the missed time stunting Payne’s development.
”He’s definitely going to try to rush it back, try to get out there as quickly as possible, but he’s going to be fine,” Allen said. ”Trust me. I have no doubt in my mind.”
The two-to-three-week timeframe means Payne will likely miss the preseason opener Aug. 9 at the New England Patriots and possibly the second exhibition game Aug. 16 against the New York Jets. Washington still has good depth on the defensive line with Allen [url=http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/eli-manning-jersey]Authentic Eli Manning Jersey[/url] , Ziggy Hood, Anthony Lanier, Matt Ioannidis and Phil Taylor, and the injuries to Payne and Stacy McGee (core muscle surgery) open the door for fifth-round pick Tim Settle to show what he can do and earn a spot in the rotation.
”That means there’s more reps,” Settle said. ”I just want to show them that I can ball and I can hang in there with everybody else.”
NOTES: CB Orlando Scandrick was held out of practice because of back spasms. … WR Josh Doctson said there was nothing to an Achilles tendon MRI he had before camp, calling it a ”tuneup.” The 2016 first-round pick has been bothered by Achilles tendon soreness off and on through his first two seasons.
The Miami Dolphins concede that Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki could block better. They drafted him anyway, which shows how much they like his pass-catching skills.
Gesicki was a second-round selection Friday in the Dolphins' latest attempt to fill a position that has been problematic since Adam Gase became coach two years ago.
The 6-foot-5 Gesicki was the second tight end drafted because his athleticism, including thunderous dunks in basketball and success in volleyball.
There's a reason he lasted until the 42nd overall pick, however.
"The one thing everyone talks about is him not being a great blocker [url=http://www.tampabaybuccaneersteamonline.com/mike-evans-jersey]Authentic Mike Evans Jersey[/url] ," Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said. "But there are a lot of really good tight ends and pass catchers who are not great blockers. And this kid wants to be a better blocker."
In the third round Miami drafted Ohio State linebacker Jerome Baker. He'll be reunited with another former Buckeyes linebacker, Raekwon McMillan, the Dolphins' second-round choice in 2017.
The Dolphins hope Gesicki's deficiencies don't keep him from starting as a rookie. He could give Ryan Tannehill the downfield target in the middle of the field that Miami has lacked in recent years.
"He's a hard matchup for people, being that big and athletic," Grier said. "The speed will open up other stuff."
Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron were disappointments at tight end for Miami the past two years, and they're no longer on the roster. Gesicki joins an offense that averaged 17.6 points last season to rank fifth-worst in the NFL, and he expects to help the Dolphins do better.
"I'm exactly where I belong," he said. "I'm excited to get to work in this offense. It can become very exciting in Miami."
Gesicki had 15 career touchdown catches at Penn State and averaged 11.5 yards per reception. He acknowledged he has room for improvement and expects to benefit from NFL coaching.
"I definitely need to continue to improve my run blocking," he said. "My best attributes are in the passing game [url=http://www.washingtonredskinsteamonline.com/adrian-peterson-jersey]Authentic Adrian Peterson Jersey[/url] , and I need to continue to develop on the other side."
While Gesicki's size made him an appealing choice, the 225-pound Baker is undersized. But he had seven sacks and a hand in six takeaways the past two seasons, and led the Buckeyes last year with 72 tackles.
"He has speed, and we want to get faster on defense," Grier said. "He's sideline to sideline."
Grier said the Dolphins considered using the pick to take a quarterback, but decided Baker was too good to pass up, and McMillan's assessment of his former Ohio State teammate was a factor.
"We had some insider trading with Raekwon," Grier said.
McMillan suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first exhibition game last year but is expected to start in 2018.
The Dolphins took Alabama All-America safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in the first round with the 11th overall choice. On the final day of the draft they'll be in the market for a defensive tackle and backup quarterback.
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