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B&G Rookie Spotlight

In this edition of the B&G Report, the rookie focus will be on 4th round Redskins draft pick Montae Nicholson. Each week I’ll spotlight a Redskins rookie and go through what the expectations are for this season, as well as their long term futures with the squad.

S MONTAE NICHOLSON The Michigan State product was drafted without much fan fare in 2017 NFL Draft. Redskins scouts kept insisting Nicholson’s height, weight, speed attributes were too good to pass up in the 4th round. In fact, it’s rare to find 6’2 strong safety’s running in the 4.5. The thought was he would be a good developmental pick, in which they could perhaps stash on the Practive Squad.

Second year LB/SS Sua Cravens was supposed to man one of the two safety spots in ‘17, but per reports he’s still contemplating retirement while on the non-football Reserve/Left Squad list. Safety Deshazor Everett’s play has been up & down and is frequently nicked up. As for DeAngelo Hall he has yet to be officially activated. Enter rookie Montae Nicholson into the starting lineup. Through five games, Nicholson has been an “Out Field Enforcer” playing mostly centerfield. DJ Swearinger has been playing mostly close to the line, but the Skins mix their safeties between both strong & free based on package. At 6’2 most thought Nicholson would be another hybrid LB/SS type like Cravens, but Nicholson has been impressive and surpassed coaches expectations. Nicholson posses impressive instincts while the ball is the air, which simply cannot be taught. Throw in Nicholson’s aggressive demeanor and the Skins gave a recipe for a breakout rookie candidate! (Allen was my #1 rookie prior to injury)

The downfall of Nicholson’s aggression is that he’s having a tough time staying off the trainers table. Montae actually missed training camp nursing a surgically repaired shoulder, from a previous college injur. The same shoulder seems to get continually aggravated after he delivers big hits, which has become his trademark. In a few situations Nicholson has had to leave the field after one of his signature head rocking hits, but usually returns. No other time was more disturbing than the collision with former Redskins receiver Pierre Garçon vs San Francisco. On that particular play, Garçon caught the ball and lowered his head into a would be tackler in Nicholson(pic below). The play didn’t end well. Nicholson was seen out cold on the field, after getting his helmet knocked off during the collision. The most disturbing part of the collision, was the fact that Nicholson’s legs were still running/with arm in the air, as he laid on the ground with Skins Trainers. Some how the rookie managed to avoid the concussion protocol, which I find very strange after watching his odd behavior. He’s only listed with a shoulder strain on numerous team reports, but wasn’t on the latest injury report at all. I love Nicolson’s hustle and heart. His interception vs the Raiders(pictured above) was something usually reserved for a savvy veteran.

For self preservation reasons alone, Nicholson needs to dial back some of his hits until his shoulder is fully healed. Otherwise the young rookie could end up like another promising rookie, in former Redskins rookie safety Kyshoen Jarrett. The former Virginia Tech Safety had to walk away from the game after only one season, due to nerve damage in his shoulder/arm. Jarrett has seen little to no progress since the injury occurred over 2 years ago. So I’m looking for Nicholson to focus more on wrap up tackles and less on the knock out blows. As far as the rest of the season goes, I’m looking for Montae to avoid further injury and finish the season on a string note. I’m predicting he gets another int(giving him 2 for the year), a fumble recovery for a TD(tonight vs the Eagles) and he’ll finish the year with 55-60 tackles. Going foward I think Montae Nicholson and DJ Swearinger will lock down the safety position for the next 2-3 years with great success! The future is bright for Nicholson in the Nations Capital!

Thanks for stopping by the B&G Report and I hope you walk away a little more confidence, in our rookie safety going foward. Next week the B&G rookie spotlight will be on cornerback Fabian Moreau. Stay tuned for the Philadelphia Eagles Pre-Game Primer, which will be posted prior to tonight’s game! HTTR🏹🏈



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