Breakfast links: Meh on Skins' 'controversy'

May, 1, 2012
5/01/12
8:00
AM ET
Good morning, and welcome to May, which for those who can't remember back two years is minicamp month in the NFL. It's also the month that has Mother's Day in it, which means it's time to think about doing some shopping. I didn't even realize how soon that was until I flipped the calendar. Sheesh. Anyway, links.

Dallas Cowboys

Morris Claiborne said on the radio in Dallas that he'd love to be a two-way player in the NFL. Hey, I guess if he can play receiver as well as cornerback, then it turns out he was worth their first two picks in the draft! Ah, but I kid, I kid. In all seriousness, Claiborne was a much better pick than any of the ones the Cowboys made after him.

Josh Ellis thinks the fact that the Cowboys didn't draft pass-rush help until the fourth round might make it more likely that they end up giving Anthony Spencer the long-term deal he's seeking. I guess it's possible. Still think they're going to wait to see how Spencer plays this year before deciding on that, though as Josh points out, if he suddenly comes up with like 11 sacks, that'll mean he's going to cost more.

New York Giants

With his buddy Brandon Jacobs gone and the Giants having used their first-round pick on a running back, Ahmad Bradshaw says he's excited to be the veteran among the running backs and plans to make first-rounder David Wilson his "project." That's how they roll over there in East Rutherford. Lots of veterans say they hate it when their team drafts someone who plays their position. Giants players view it as an opportunity to do some teaching.

You may have read or heard, in the wake of the draft Saturday night, the quote where Jerry Reese called fourth-rounder Adrien Robinson "the JPP of tight ends." What he meant by that was that Robinson is very raw and, the Giants believe, has potential to develop into something he hadn't yet been as a college player, much like defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul when the Giants picked him in the first round two years ago. Part of the Giants' reason for hope is their faith in their tight ends coach, Mike Pope, as well as Eli Manning's track record of getting the most out of his receiving targets.

Philadelphia Eagles

Howie Roseman says the Eagles don't plan to add a veteran at safety or running back at this point. It's like I always say about the stuff GMs and coaches say publicly: Sure, he might be telling the truth. But he also might not, and it makes a lot less sense for a GM who has to go play the bargain-bin free-agent market to say, "Yeah, we desperately need to add a veteran to this mix" than it does to say what Roseman said. There's certainly be nothing wrong with adding a cheap, cuttable veteran for camp reps or competition at either of those positions, and the Eagles have several months to decide whether they really want or need to do that.

Jonathan Tamari checked in on special-teams ace Colt Anderson and his recovery from the knee injury that ended his excellent 2011 season prematurely.

Washington Redskins

The issue, such as it is, regarding the Redskins' decision to pick Kirk Cousins in the fourth round after taking Robert Griffin III in the first, is the possibility that Griffin could struggle, Cousins could show promise and a controversy could ensue in which people start to suggest that Cousins would be the better choice at starting quarterback. I could see it, sure. And the Redskins are naive if they think it couldn't happen. But I'm not as exercised about it as a lot of people are, and the main reason is this: That would be true no matter who the backup was, and the fact that the backup in this case would happen to be the fourth-round pick in the draft in which Griffin was the first-round pick only matters to the argument because it just happened. Had Cousins been the Redskins' fourth-round pick last year, I doubt anyone would care about this issue. My only problem with the pick was that I thought Washington could have used it to address a different position at which it had a need. Their counter-argument is that backup quarterback is a need, for every team in general and for them especially, and fair enough.

Have you wondered why the Redskins have taken three SMU players in the last two drafts? It's not entirely a coincidence. Brian Tinsman explains how the connection between Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and SMU coach June Jones had factored into picks such as Aldrick Robinson, Josh LeRibeus and Richard Crawford.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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