After a tumultuous 2013 season, the Washington Redskins finally fired HC Mike Shanahan and pretty much cleaned house and let Bruce Allen take over and run the show as GM. With that firing came the hiring of Jay Gruden to lead the Redskins back to the Playoffs and be another title threat. After riding the 2012 season on the back of RG3 and his outstanding rookie season, the Redskins drafted many players in the 2013 draft class who were seen as high upside guys who maybe wouldn’t be exactly the top end guys early on, but had the potential to develop. With the 2014 draft class mirroring that same natural talent and ability, the 2013 class is now going to be relied upon to take that next step and be a leader for the Redskins team moving forward. Below I’ll take a look at three guys who I think can make that next leap for the Redskins in 2014
SS Philip Thomas
Philip Thomas was seemingly known as the guy who never really saw the field, and thus became the “forgotten player.” Coming out of Fresno State, Thomas was a ball hawk who made plays with his ability to play both center field as a FS and as well in the box in that SS role. Thomas will now be relied upon to take that next step and challenge and become the backup SS this year for the Redskins. By Thomas working to backup the SS role he will be needed to always step in and be ready for Brandon Merriweather, who is always a liability to miss games with injuries or suspensions. Thomas has that natural ability to play the SS role, but never got a chance to show himself with the injury that took his rookie season away. Look for Thomas to work hard and get his chance to become the backup SS this team needs moving this upcoming year.
TE Jordan Reed
Another player for the Redskins who showed his natural ability to be a true playmaker at his position, Jordan Reed is someone who could truly be a star player at the TE position. Reed though lost his season early with concussions and after his final concussion never saw a down for the past few weeks until the end of the season. Reed though is a dynamic joker TE who really made his mark in the Bears game the past year. With the concussions behind him, look for Jordan Reed to continue to show his ability he did during his rookie year and become the TE and safety valve for the Redskins that RG3 will need moving forward. Reed has high end potential, he just needs to keep himself healthy and be the star he can.
CB David Amerson
Another guy from the 2013 class who was thrust into action early on into his rookie year, Amerson had the epitome of an up and down season. Amerson wasn’t a great player his rookie year, but also showed the natural ability to be a playmaker at CB who could make those game changing plays as he showed in the Raiders game. Amerson will need to improve his press coverage technique and be someone who can turn and run with the top WR’s in the NFL. Amerson will be relied upon to make that next leap as he will be starting at CB opposite of DeAngelo Hall in 2014. Amerson has the golden opportunity to make that next leap and with a more aggressive front seven this year, he can very well get that chance to do so.