- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 24, 2008

1. Keith Rivers, USC,6-3, 220

Outside backer expected to be first LB to be selected in what is a weak crop. If the Patriots can’t trade their pick, would be a good for their 3-4 defense. Made 163 tackles final two college seasons.

2. Jerod Mayo, Tennessee, 6-13/4, 242

The Hampton, Va., native posted 140 tackles for the Vols last year and renounced his senior season. Can play inside and outside so he can be equal parts fill-in starter/developmental player.

3. Dan Connor, Penn State, 6-3 , 233

A playmaking machine (419 career stops), Connor starred in his first year playing in the middle with 145 tackles. Some teams though look at his weight and project him as an outside linebacker.

4. Quentin Groves, Auburn, 6-3, 254

A defensive end/linebacker combo who didn’t produce great numbers with the Tigers (only 38 tackles last year) but had 9.5 sacks as a junior and is adept at taking on blocks from tight ends and H-backs.

5. Curtis Lofton, Oklahoma, 6-0, 238

Posted 94 solo tackles and three interceptions for the Sooners. Has experience playing in both the 4-3 and 3-4 in college and will be a good pick for whomever takes him in the second round.

REDSKINS’ OUTLOOK

The Redskins return all three starters and three of their reserves. But there are concerns nonetheless. Outside backer Rocky McIntosh sustained a knee injury in Week 15, and it might take him time to get back to speed. Marcus Washington showed signs of wear and tear last year as well. The Redskins had Mayo in for a visit, so selecting a linebacker in the first three rounds suggests they’re worried about McIntosh’s recovery and Washington’s durability.

Ryan O’Halloran

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