With Redskins training camp fast approaching, 106.7 The Fan will take a look at each position group before practices begin July 28 in Richmond. Today we break down the wide receivers, where 11 players vie for…six or seven spots.
It is the deepest position on the roster and that is not up for debate.
The weapons Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has at wide receiver is the envy of the league. He has a deep threat (DeSean Jackson) and a reliable possession receiver (Pierre Garcon) with a slippery slot receiver (Jamison Crowder) who lulls teams to sleep.
Add in a first-round pick (Josh Doctson) — with the skills that were missing from this group last year — and you have a deep corps that should put up big numbers. Even Ryan Grant, a strong special teams player and blocker, and Rashad Ross, a speedster who returned a kick for a touchdown last season, have contributed.
It’s a big year for Garcon and Jackson, who have plenty of motivation as they enter contract years and both turn 30 before year’s end. Jackson played in 10 games in 2015, but 10 of his receptions went for 20 yards or more. He’s still a big-play threat when healthy. He still demands the respect of opposing corners and safeties because Jackson can make them look silly.
Garcon finished with 72 catches, putting his body on the line time and again to pull them down. Think of the diving touchdown that clinched a win over the Eagles in October at FedEx Field. He’s a perfect complement to Jackson.
Meanwhile, Crowder is still a virtual unknown in NFL circles. But only one rookie had more receptions last season. Crowder finished with 59. And it wasn’t a fluke. He was making plays throughout OTAs and training camp last summer and became a favorite of Cousins. He still has work to do as a punt returner. But Crowder made an instant impact and swiped the starting job away from veteran Andre Roberts early last season.
Doctson was selected No. 22 overall after a wonderful career at Texas Christian. He’s a big body at 6-foot-2 and was a touchdown machine in college. One concern: Doctson missed most of OTAs and minicamp with a sore Achilles tendon and foot. The hope is he’s healthy and ready to go for camp. Any setbacks would be a disappointment.
It’s hard to imagine a dark horse cracking this group. Maybe Ross falls out of favor if they find another return option. Reggie Diggs is an undrafted college free agent who played football at Richmond and will be a fan favorite. But he also had arthroscopic knee surgery in June so his health is in question. The Redskins would like to see if he is recovered enough to make a roster push.
Wide receiver (11)
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