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Draft King Analysis
December 29, 2013
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com

Reader feedback is always welcomed here on Draft King. Sound off with your thoughts on Twitter (@LouPickney) or via email at LouPickney@gmail.com.


It's last call for the Red Lobster in DC today, with reports that Mike Shanahan will be fired by the Washington Redskins either tonight or tomorrow. He has managed to George Costanza himself into a "Money for Nothing" scenario for 2014, doing everything short of taking actions that would nullify his contract to sucker a billionaire into paying him to sit at home. And why not? Shanahan went all-in with house money, mortgaging the future in an attempt to win in the short-term.

Here's a list of just some of the things Mike Shanahan won't have to worry about in 2014:

-Skrait cash money: he'll be making $19,000+ a day next year to sit at home. Some of the people reading this won't make $19K in all of 2014.
-His soon-to-be former NFL team having a pejorative name.
-Washington's high draft pick being in the possession of the Rams.
-Washington's salary cap situation -- remember that he paid well above market value for free agents like Pierre Garçon with deals that won't help the team's cap situation in the future.
-The long-term ramifications of rushing Robert Griffin III back onto the field before he was healthy. Sadly, that's not the biggest risk that a team has taken with his health: that dubious distinction belongs to the 2011 Baylor Bears, who put him back out on the field against Texas Tech after he sustained a concussion severe enough to lead to a fencing response after the hit.
-Mockery from Fred Smoot.
-People saying bad things about his son's playcalling.

Advantage: Lobster.

The next boss in Washington will have some tough work to do. It might not be Reggie McKenzie-in-Oakland difficult if RG3 can be given proper time to heal up and be ready for 2014, but it won't be easy. And I realize that Bruce Allen is the general manager on paper for the Redskins, but he has turned into a ghost as the team has crumbled this year, which perhaps doesn't bode well for his future there.

Daniel Snyder should have purchased a Major League Baseball team, not a National Football League franchise.

My favorite NFL referee remains Jerome Boger and it's not even close. Anybody who sounds like The Ladies Man is good in my book.

The NFL Red Zone Channel remains one of my favorite things on television. A channel that airs "the goods" only 17 days a year for seven hours a pop is an invaluable resource, in large part because it filters out the seemingly endless flow of commercials and provides constant looks at important/relevant action. In particular, in Week 17 with so many games having implications for the playoffs, it's especially great, even with it being the rare dual double-header scenario for CBS and FOX.

Brett Hundley
Could UCLA QB Brett Hundley be selected #1 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft?
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

I'm going to be flying to Las Vegas on New Year's Eve. You know what that means? Legal sports gambling! It's ridiculous that I have to travel across the country if I want to lay $20 on the Oklahoma/Alabama game without breaking the law, but I didn't make the rules.

I should have an updated 2014 NFL Mock Draft online at some point tomorrow. By the end of tonight's action the top 20 draft order (for the non-playoff teams) will be set, barring a strength of schedule deadlock, but since I work overnights to produce a morning newscast I won't be able to know the final order until after my shift begins for the night. DraftFalcons.com is my favorite place to go to find the up-to-date order, which is really something NFL.com would be well-advised to emulate since it's all statistical-based and should be able to be tabulated almost immediately. I would do it here but I don't trust my math skills. At all.

The prevailing thought remains that Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater will be the #1 overall pick in next May's draft, though if the Rams end up with that selection (still a possibility as of this writing) then that changes everything. Interestingly, well-respected reporter Adam Schefter wrote on Twitter that, as of now, at least two NFL teams have UCLA QB Brett Hundley as the highest-rated QB on their board. I'm not sure if that is inclusive of the presumption that Oregon QB Marcus Mariota really won't be turning pro next month (he still could) but it's interesting nonetheless.

If the Rams in fact end up with the top pick, or even if they get the #2 overall selection, it will be very interesting to see if they go for a defensive player like South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney or UCLA DE/OLB Anthony Barr or instead trade down for one of the teams starving for a franchise quarterback. I'm not sure if St. Louis will be able to replicate its fleecing of the Redskins from early 2012, but it's not outside the realm of possibility that it could be UCLA, UCLA with the top two selections if both Hundley and Barr come out early from school.

Enjoy the final day of the regular season, everyone. The playoffs await next weekend...


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