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Scout's Notebook: Redskins ORG Chris Chester

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Posted Oct. 26, 2011 @ 2:36 p.m. ET
By Nolan Nawrocki

Redskins ORG Chris Chester
Ht: 6-3 3/8 Wt: 314 Sp: 4.93

Notes: Accomplished basketball player and discuss thrower in high school. Was a reserve tight end at Oklahoma prior to his junior season, when he saw limited action at guard. Was plugged in as a starter at both guard and center positions as a senior after adding 60 pounds from the time he arrived. Missed time with knee and ankle injuries throughout college. Tested very well at the NFL Scouting Combine, clocking an OL-best 4.87 40-time at the ’06 Combine. Was selected in the second round by the Ravens, 56th overall, and started 4-of-11 games in which he played as a rookie. Started 5-of-16 games in '07. Was briefly moved back to a jumbo TE position in late September of '08 upon the arrival of John Harbaugh, who sought to employ a more powerful line, changing jerseys from 65 to 48, before reverting back to guard when ORG Marshal Yanda was lost with a season-ending injury. Started 13 games in '09 and 14 in '10 (missed two with a bacterial infection in his leg) before hitting the unrestricted free-agent market and signing a five-year, $20 million contract with the Redskins. Immediately was plugged in as the Redskins' starting right guard for the first six games. In his career, has been flagged for five false starts and seven holding penalties and has allowed 15 sacks during his career — one of the sacks was allowed this season, to the inside vs. Carolina.

Positives: Outstanding athlete with natural knee bend. Is very quick off the ball and into his blocks — throws his hips in the hole and seals lanes. Can get out to the second level and run the field — cuts off linebackers with ease. Effective cut blocker. Has exceptional straight-line movement and good hand quickness to sustain. Flashes shock in his punch. Very good balance. Alert to switch off blocks and handle stunts. Good lateral agility to handle movement and adjust to help linemates. Versatile — can handle the pivot in a pinch.

Negatives: Plays small. Not physically tough. Questionable mental toughness. Marginal finisher. Does not play strong or unlock his hips. Not a consistent puncher — tends to grab and clutch. Average core strength. Struggles to handle mass and power — can be walked into the backfield and gives up too much ground in pass protection. Tends to play too out-of-control and slips off blocks overzealously reaching the block point too fast. Not an instinctive or gritty blocker. Durability has been a concern throughout his career — consistently missed time in college and in the pros.

Summary: One of three highly athletic, ex-Oklahoma offensive linemen starting for the Redskins' line, Chester fits perfectly into the zone, slide-protection scheme that defines Mike Shanahan's offense, and he's best on the move pulling and trapping. Having played in a similar style of offense in college and for former Ravens OL coach Chris Foerster (now coaching the Redskins' line) upon his arrival in the league, Chester blended very quickly and so far has been a serviceable starter for an injury-riddled line. Still could stand to harden and show he can survive a full NFL season.

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