Who Will Be The Redskins Offensive X-Factor (outside of RGIII)

May 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

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What offensive player will have the biggest impact this season for the Redskins outside of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III? It's a question with a lot of possible answers but few certainties. I'm going to only focus on skill position guys (mainly as to not get depressed with the state of the offensive line). Now while it might be simple to say that the player with the most yards or catches has the biggest impact, but that isn't always the case.

Pierre Garcon-WR:

Garcon was the Redskins big free agent signing this year and figures to be the top receiver on the team. Garcon might not be a true number one, but has deep speed and has put up pretty big numbers the last three years (including last year with out Peyton Manning). On the downside Garcon has never been the top option before, and could struggle facing tougher coverages. He's also had some drop issues in the past, and his deep speed may go to waste some with Griffin lacking a quality line to give him time.

Roy Helu- RB:

Helu figures to be the running back who gets the most carries next season and should be able to gain over a 1,000 yards on the ground. The Redskins are also likely to feature the run more this season then the previous two years, giving Helu a greater chance to showcase himself.  In addition to his rushing ability, Helu figures to play a pretty significant role in the passing game as well, and will likely finish 3rd or 4th on the team in receptions. Helu's combined production could be key for the Skins success this year, but a lot of it is based on potential. While Helu was fairly productive last season, his yards per carry average (4.2) was influenced by some of his garbage time work where he was able to run draw plays versus 6 man fronts. Helu was also banged up with injuries last year, and the question becomes can he hold up with a starters work load.

Fred Davis-TE:

Davis had a bit of a breakout season last year and probably would have led the team in receptions if not for his 4-game suspension last year. He's a very athletic pass catching tight end, who has the speed to stretch the field and pick up big yards after the catch. With a rookie QB, Davis has a chance to emerge as the favorite target and a guy who gets a lot of targets because he's safer than WR's running deep. Davis should be a favorite red zone target, given his size and mismatch potential. On the downside Davis is not a strong blocker, which can force him to cut down on his overall snaps a bit. Davis would also disappear in games last year, ususally not being productive until the end of the game, when defenses were protecting leads.

Leonard Hankerson- WR:

Hankerson had a rough rookie year as the lockout slowed down his developmental time before the season, and an injury forced him out of the 2nd half of the season. Hankerson is supossedly on schedule and is a favorite to win the 2nd WR job. He's got a nice size/speed combo, and could find a lot of success in the intermediate/red zone passing game. The downside is of course the fact that the Redskins might not be able to count on a guy as much in coming back from an injury.


While they can play fairly significant roles on the team, it is hard to imagine any of Tim Hightower, Evan Royster, Santana Moss and Chris Cooley will get enough touches to warrant a spot on this list. Josh Morgan can make an interesting case, but he's likely to be the 3rd receiver and might not have enough touches.

Who do you think will be the x-factor for the Skins offense and how would you order the 4 guys on this list in terms of being a leader?

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  • http://fanspeak.com/members/jcmanuel/ John Manuel

    Evan Royster is going to lead the NFL in rushing

  • http://fanspeak.com/members/meg08/ Megan Shoup


    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406141767 Dion

      I agree that if RGIII is the man over the next decade arugnig against that trade is silly. But are we grading strictly the talent they got or the value and talent combined (e.g. draft and drafters quality)? The skins spent five picks on the QB position in this draft (3 first rounders, a second and a fourth). For a team with holes all over the roster that seems crazy, particularly since many of those picks will impact their ability to fill those holes with blue chip players over the next few years. I’m sure that The Danny will blow us all away with free agent acquisitions but still the cost was so high I have to take that into account in grading their draft.

  • http://fanspeak.com/members/jcmanuel/ John Manuel

    Hearing Shanahan say he sees some Shannon Sharpe in Niles Paul doesn't bode well for Cooley short term and Fred Davis long term. If Paul is half the player Sharpe was both those guys won't be around for long. Interesting to see if Shanny can get Sharpe to work with him before camp starts. Paul was one of my favorite Cornhuskers and am excited for his future with the Skins.

    • http://fanspeak.com/members/steveospeak/ Steve Shoup

      @John- I'm really excited for Paul's future as well. He was a better blocker last season than Davis, and with the extra weight and practice he might help improve our ground game. I really see this as Cooley's last year, and Davis obviously needs to put up big numbers and stay out of trouble if he wants to get extended long term.

  • http://fanspeak.com/members/meg08/ Megan Shoup

    Let's sign and trade Davis…he's the only one I think we could afford to get rid of and still get high draft pick back. I really like Niles Paul and hope he works out at tightend!

  • http://fanspeak.com/members/gms1006/ Gary Struble

    I would really hate to see Cooley gone, he is a fan favorite and true Redskin. I hope he can come back strong this year and put up some big stats. The man really doe's give it his all.

  • http://www.hogshaven.com TheGreenMonk

    Actually, I think it will be Niles Paul. He'll catch a lot of dump-off passes that he'll turn into first downs. Defenses probably won't account for him, which is why I see him as an x-factor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406131793 Mihai

    the same thing on twitter. Reminds me of sotnmhieg Haslett mentioned earlier in the year about a certain player last year who was on IR and had nothing to do with any team activities that guy is no longer on the team. Then you see a guy like J. Jenkins who always seems to be around. Not good hanktimes85, not good.