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Cornerbacks Go Under Microscope At Senior Bowl

The Washington Redskins found a gem in the 2014 NFL Draft, when cornerback Bashaud Breeland fell in their hands with the 102nd overall pick in the fourth round out of Clemson.

Breeland -- who showed he could thrive both in a physical matchup and in space -- ended his rookie season in 2014 with 71 tackles (three for loss), a team-best 17 passes defensed with two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

His defense against Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant Week 8 helped seal a 20-17 Redskins overtime victory over their rivals, and his late interception against the Philadelphia Eagles Week 16 gave Washington the clutch play it needed to earn another victory.

Big, physical and skilled cornerbacks like Breeland aren't exactly a dime a dozen, but the Redskins scouts and front office personnel this week are in Alabama, potentially looking for their next home run pick for their secondary.

Practice got underway Tuesday for the 2015 Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, where NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock said he'll be looking at two athletic -- and versatile -- cornerbacks, specifically, in Senquez Golson and Quinten Rollins.

"One of the things we haven't seen in the last several years are corners with ball skills," Mayock said. "I can't wait to watch these two guys play and see that skillset transfer onto this field [today]."

Golson, an Ole Miss product, was named the 2014 College Football Performance Awards Elite Defensive Back Trophy Award winner after becoming the Rebels' first consensus and unanimous All-American since 2008. He led the SEC and finished second nationally with a school record-tying 10 interceptions in 2014.

Perhaps Golson's ball skills came from his development in another sport, however.

"Now, Senquez Golson from Ole Miss had 10 interceptions – he's the baseball player," Mayock said. "[He] turned down a $1.1 million contract offer from the Boston Red Sox to play college football."

Rollins, meanwhile, was a basketball standout in high school, and played four seasons as a point guard at Miami University in Ohio. With one year of NCAA eligibility left, he elected to play football for the RedHawks in 2014 -- a decision he wouldn't regret, as he finished with 72 tackles, 16 passes defensed and seven interceptions.

Rollins was named the 2014 Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Keep an eye on Golson and Rollins as they try to continue to make a name for themselves this week in Alabama.

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