The Redskins are going to rely on a number of 2nd year guys this season, which one will have the biggest impact?
Ryan Kerrigan: Kerrigan had a great rookie year and looks to be an emerging stud pass rusher. The Redskins defensive success hinges upon their ability to get after the quarterback, and Kerrigan is expected to play a major role in that. He did struggle some both in coverage and against the run, but hopefully that will get better with time.
Jarvis Jenkins: Jenkins season was ended when he injured his knee in preseason last year. He is a former 2nd round prospect, who’s skill set fits well with the Redskins 3-4 defense. He’s quick off the snap and could cause havoc behind the lines if he lives up to his potential. Jenkins figures to reclaim a starting role and could have a big impact on the Redskins success.
Leonard Hankerson: Hankerson started off slow last season, but when he finally got regular work he did produce. He unfortunately missed the majority of the season due to a hip injury, but is expected to be fully healthy this season. He’s fighting for a starting spot, but even if he’s the 3rd WR he’s expected to have a fairly solid role. He’s got the best size speed combo on the team, and could be a major asset to RGIII.
Roy Helu: Helu sits atop the Redskins running back depth chart, and figures to have a big role in the offense this year. Helu might never be a true franchise back, but he is capable of getting 1,000 plus yards, and should be a big weapon in the passing game (could have 40-50 catches). The skill set is there, but he needs to work on his vision and consistency.
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Dejon Gomes: Gomes got a chance to start late in the year last season and given the razor thin depth chart at safety this year, he’s got a fair shot of a significant role this season. He is a solid tackler and has decent ball skills, but can struggle in coverage at times. If he can provide the Redskins with a quality starting caliber safety, it could go a long way to strengthening the defense.
Niles Paul: Paul was an excellent special teamer as a rookie, and was a very advanced blocker as a WR last year. He’s moving to TE this year, where his blocking ability and natural agility could prove effective. At the very least he should once again be a stud special teamer.
Evan Royster: Royster didn’t even make the team for the first 10 weeks last year, but still ended up putting together a pretty good rookie campaign. He took on a significant role the final 4 weeks of the season, even starting the last two games. He doesn’t have break-away speed, but gets the most out of his running ability due to his vision and quick cutting ability. He’s not going to be a star running back, but he can be effective and have a solid impact.