The Redskins have concluded their three-week stint in Richmond and return to Ashburn on Thursday for a morning practice.
With 16 practice days and one preseason game in the books, here are five players who have shown well so far. But there’s a long way to go until final roster decisions are made on Aug. 30.
Whether the signing of defensive end Jason Hatcher served as a wake up call or not, Jenkins has produced in camp so far. Chris Baker seems to have swiped the starting job at left end and the Redskins made a financial commitment to him in the offseason. But Jenkins has made an impact at right end while Hatcher recuperates from knee surgery. If nothing else, the depth on the line is in better shape now than at any point in 2013. And while Hatcher is back on the field, at age 32 there is no guarantee his knee will recover quickly.
Few knew much about Grant following a standout career at Tulane and he slipped to the fifth round in the draft. He’s not a burner by any means. But he does run precise routes for a rookie. That was obvious rather quickly during training camp practices. And Grant carried that over to the first preseason game against New England when he caught three passes for 37 yards, including a sweet diving catch for 18 in the second half. It wasn’t the first one of those we’ve seen. Coach Jay Gruden cautioned everyone to keep expectations in check, but Grant is at least on his way to securing a roster spot.
The pressure placed on Washington’s secondary last year was immense and, other than DeAngelo Hall, it buckled and cracked under the weight. Amerson was just age 21 most of the season, a rookie fighting to stay afloat under difficult circumstances. But he showed enough promise that the coaching staff thought he could make a leap forward in his second year. Installed as a starter now, replacing the departed Josh Wilson, Amerson has done that this camp. He’s taken advice from Hall, matured as a player and more than held his own against Washington’s formidable group of wide receivers.
A player who has had his share of strong preseasons early in his career, Robinson is going to need to do more than just that to establish himself as a reliable presence during the regular season. Still, after a quiet start to camp he began making plays in practice. He’s the only other legitimate deep threat on the roster after DeSean Jackson, whose ankle injury highlights Robinson’s value. He’s a “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency” guy and teams need those options. Robinson carried his improved play into the first preseason game with three catches, including a 10-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins.
As Jay Gruden pointed out during OTAs when referring to the looming punter battle between Robert Malone and Blake Clingan: Lots of guys can look good on the driving range. He needs to see something in games. All Hocker has done so far is put himself in position to steal a job. He hasn’t been perfect in practice. But he has hit from distance and he was solid in the first preseason game against New England, making two kicks with a touchback. He also made a terrible decision to skip the rookie skit and let the veterans cut his hair. Don’t hold that against him, though. Hocker, drafted in the 7th round out of Arkansas, will be around until the end of camp.
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