Former Oklahoma offensive linemen Chris Chester and Trent Williams were impressed by rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, who helped the Washington Redskins end the season on a seven-game winning streak to win the NFC East.
“He's such a threat that he requires all 11 sets of eyes from the defense,” said Williams, the No. 4 overall pick in 2010. “With that type of threat on the field, it opens up a lot of areas, allows a lot of other players to make an impact, make plays.”
The Redskins paid a high price to trade up to select last year's Heisman winner. To move up to the second overall pick, Washington gave the Rams their No. 6 pick in the draft, a second-round pick in the 2012 draft and the Redskins' first-round selections in 2013 and 2014.
“It's not common to do some of the things he's done,” said Chester, who signed with Washington last season after five years in Baltimore. “Sometimes you just have to say, ‘Wow.' He's a tremendous talent, but for being such a young guy he has a lot of confidence and leadership.”
Making their first playoff appearance in five years, the Redskins host Seattle in a wild card game on Sunday.
HEALTHY OKUNG HAS BREAKOUT SEASON
Former Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung, the No. 6 overall pick in 2010, was named to the Pro Bowl. Okung played at a high level his first two seasons, but was hampered by injuries.
Hampered by a severely sprained ankle, Okung played 10 games his rookie season. He started the first 12 games last season before suffering a season-ending torn right pectoral muscle. This season he's been healthy.
“We saw him grow and develop through the whole thing,” Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable told the Seattle Times. “Then to stay healthy, you have to do that. His progression has been right where you hoped it would be.”
Okung signed a six-year deal worth a maximum $58 million, with more than $29 million of guaranteed money.
“It was never anything athletic or anything as far as his power or even experience,” said fullback Michael Robinson. “It was always, ‘Just be healthy, and when you're healthy, you'll be top notch.'”
Former Oklahoma State tight end Billy Bajema is the Ravens' backup. Bajema doesn't have a reception this season but has appeared in eight games. Originally a seventh-round draft pick in 2005, Bajema is in his eighth season. The Westmoore product played four seasons with the 49ers, three with the Rams. ... Former OSU defensive end Ryan McBean is on the Ravens' roster but was placed on injured reserve after suffering a fractured ankle in preseason. ... The Sooners could have had three offensive linemen in Washington's starting lineup. Veteran tackle Jammal Brown underwent hip surgery in August and spent the season on the injured reserve list. Brown, who played five seasons with New Orleans, was traded to the Redskins in 2010.