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Thursday, May 15, 2014
Scouting reports: Long, Grant and Bolser

By John Keim

Taking a look at three more Washington Redskins after watching some of their games from college. The tough part: Only one game was available on each player, so to get an accurate feel for their game is tough (typically I'll watch four to five games; the more you watch, the more you learn or confirm).

Guard Spencer Long (third round)

Note: He's the toughest to assess since the only video available was from 2012, so there's no way to see how much he improved. One game just doesn't cut it, so take this with an asterisk.

What I liked: Showed the ability to pull; in the game I saw he did it probably a dozen times -- and to both sides. Would pull in protection, too, to handle a pass-rusher coming off the left tackle's side. Showed a strong anchor at times, thanks to a wide base. Drove a Penn State tackle off the ball near the goal-line. Did a pretty good job blocking along the line on outside zone runs, the sort he'd handle in Washington. Always looked to hit someone, even after throwing one block. Fights to keep his hands inside.

What I didn't: Got off-balance on occasion, mostly by being too upright. Didn't react well. Was inconsistent recognizing and handling stunts. Lost some of his pop, and therefore the block, on occasion because he was too bent at the waist. Really wish I'd seen him from 2013 to get a better feel.

Summary: Will take a little time, but has the size and ability to move that could help. As a third-round pick, I would expect him to make the roster. As I've written before, one scout told me that he really likes Long as a center (the Redskins like him at guard). The Redskins can't have another third-round guard spend all his time on the inactive list.

Receiver Ryan Grant (fifth round)

What I liked: Willing blocker.  Did not back down from anyone, so a good competitor. Seemed to have a good feel against zone coverage, working to give his quarterback the best lane.  Saw him make a terrific catch downfield, outleaping two defenders who had boxed him in. Looked to be a pretty smooth route-runner. Seemed to have good hands.

What I didn't: Very little strength, which was evident when it came to sustaining blocks. That can be improved, though, by hitting the weight room harder. But the strength will be an issue in trying to beat press coverage. Not a fast player; had one NFL coach tell me he liked him until he saw him run in person.

Summary: Work, develop, stash and get to 2015 when he'll be in better position to perhaps do something. If Leonard Hankerson is healthy and Aldrick Robinson continues where he left off, it's hard to imagine Grant doing much of anything (barring injuries to others).

Tight end Ted Bolser (seventh round)

What I liked: Did not see this on tape, but he was considered a good special teams player. Seemed to have pretty good hands and settled well against zone coverage. At 6-foot-5, 257 pounds has good size.  Able to run routes from all over. I saw him line up in the backfield, slot and along the line and even outside. Willing blocker.

What I didn't: Not a very good blocker, especially against defensive linemen. The good blocks he had were against smaller players from a poor football school (Indiana State). Take it for what it's worth. Too often he put his head down when going to engage a defender -- saw this happen probably a half-dozen times in the game I watched -- which would cause major issues in the NFL. Tough to see him being effective at all in this role. Not a great athlete by NFL standards.  Did not have much burst after the catch.

Summary: Will need to improve to beat out Niles Paul for the No. 3 tight end job, unless the Redskins want to keep four at this position. Ability to help on special teams is crucial.