Redskins Wide Receiver Offseason Plan: Part 2
In Part 1 of the Redskins wide receiver offseason plan the focus was on how the Redskins can cheaply fix their receiver position via free agency. With the Redskins having so many pressing needs this year and limited resources, they don’t need to spend too much money or high draft picks on building up a receiver position, that frankly will bring back limited value. Though there is no doubt that the Redskins need better receivers, there is little correlation between quality of receivers and winning, and since the Redskins already have one very good option in Pierre Garcon they don’t need to be desperate. This is a year where the Redskins don’t need to go overboard for an option. In part 2 I’ll look at some mid-late round receiver options the Redskins can target to boost their position without overspending.
Now I won’t look at every receiver, but some of the ones the Redskins should be targeting from the 4th round on. A couple of these guys could go higher, but it’s such a deep draft that it’s likely some guys will be sliding. For instance last year 11 guys were taken in the top 3 rounds, but currently CBS Sports lists 14 guys in their top 96 rankings (i.e. top 3 rounds worth of picks). Also, even if more receivers were taken in the top 3 rounds this year, it is possible that a couple of them are guys who are listed lower that jump up for some reason. Here are 15 guys the Redskins could conceivably target:
Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin, 4th round pick:
-He’s a guy who would need to slide a little bit, but it’s definitely possible. He’s not a guy with great height or blazing speed so he’s not likely to get overhyped, so there is a good chance he’s there at the top of the 4th. What Abbredaris does bring to the table is excellent hands and route running ability. He’s one of the more polished receivers in this draft and should be able to contribute immediately. In fact he’s the type of guy who will produce more early on, and doesn’t have the bust potential that many first and 2nd round receivers will bring to the table. While size and speed aren’t his game, he’s good in both areas so it’s not as if he’s a liability, by any stretch. He’s one of the safest receivers in the draft and should give immediate results.
Robert Herron, Wyoming, 4th round pick:
-Herron is a smooth, quick receiver who profiles well as a slot option. He could be the replacement for Santana Moss and shows some nice deep speed as well. If he times well at the combine then maybe he gets taken in the 3rd, but otherwise there is a reasonable chance he’s on the board in the 4th. He had a strong senior bowl week catching just about everything thrown his way and showing a nice ability to separate and run crisp routes. The Redskins will need to determine how much they will be using the slot receiver position and if they want a smaller/quicker guy to handle the role. If it’s not as big a priority then they may wait to fill this role.
Martavis Bryant, Clemson, 4th round pick:
-Bryant is a tall, physical, big play receiver that has ridiculous upside. Unfortunately he also is extremely raw and will probably take some development time. In addition he also carries a greater chance of being a bust. While some team could definitely jump on him early, he could easily slide as well. He likely wouldn’t offer much immediate help to the Redskins, but he could really boost their receiving corps in the future. If the Redskins want size and potential this is the guy to target, but they have to be aware that you are likely going to need to “redshirt” him for a year.
Josh Huff, Oregon, 4th-5th round pick:
-Huff comes from Oregon’s high tempo offense so you know he’s got some speed and quickness. He had a breakout senior year as the Ducks started throwing the ball more, and had over 1,100 yards and 12 TD’s on 62 catches. Huff had a strong Senior Bowl week as well, showing nice speed and hands, and he was a better route runner than he’s given credit for. He can work some in the slot, as well as be a deep threat on the outside. His stocks going up, but he probably could be available at the top of the 5th round.
Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss, 5th round pick:
-Moncrief is coming out a year early, and some people are questioning him since he didn’t have as strong a junior year as his break-out sophomore year. That’s not to say though that Moncrief had a bad year as he still led the Rebels in yards and touchdowns and was second in catches. Moncrief hasn’t broken the 1,000 yard mark, but he’s now had two very productive years in the SEC in an offense that prioritizes running the ball, and with just an above average QB. He’s got good size and nice speed and could be a solid 5th round option.
Devin Street, Pittsburgh, 5th round pick:
-Street has been a 3 year starter at Pitt and played a fair amount as a freshman as well. In that time despite being in an offense that didn’t throw that much or have strong QB play, Street managed over 2,800 yards and 15 TD’s. He’s listed as 6’3″ so he’s offer some size and red zone ability and he looks to have pretty nice speed as well. He’s fairly polished and should be able to contribute some as a rookie (though not as a starter). He doesn’t have the upside of some of the other receivers on this list, but he offers size and is a safe pick.
Brandon Coleman, Rutgers, 5th round pick:
-Coleman showed so much potential his first two years amassing over 1,200 yards and 16 TD’s on just 60 catches, that many people thought he’d be a first round pick in this year’s draft. While Coleman still came out early, after a disappointing junior year it’s tough to project him out of the mid rounds. He is definitely one of those guys who could jump up draft boards (which only means he pushes someone else down), given his potential and size. If he’s there for the Redskins he’s similar to Bryant listed above. He offers great size and some nice potential, but he’s not a safe pick and probably won’t produce much as a rookie.
T.J. Jones, Notre Dame, 5th-6th round pick:
-These last two years as a starter Jones has 1,750 yards and 13 TD’s and that is again in an offense that doesn’t throw the ball a lot or have quality QB play. Jones was also productive his freshman and sophomore years as a back-up wide receiver as well. He doesn’t have great size or elite speed (though he’s good in both areas), but he’s just a nice all-around receiver. He’s a good route runner and does a nice job working back to his quarterback. He’d be a nice choice particularly if he slides to the 6th round.
Cody Latimer, Indiana, 6th round pick:
-Latimer has been highly productive in Indiana’s passing offense these last two seasons as a starter and is an intriguing late round guy. He’s got good listed height, and has shown some nice route running ability as he’s torn up the Big 10. His speed is still somewhat in question, but he’s expected to run at least a solid time. He probably shouldn’t have come out early, but he could make for an intriguing late round pick.
Michael Campanaro, Wake Forrest, 6th round pick:
-Campanaro is very similar to Robert Herron, as he profiles as a slot receiver who can catch just about everything thrown his way. Campanaro has good speed and great quickness and really runs some nice routes. If the Redskins don’t want to use a 4th rounder on a slot guy, they could wait to the 6th round and probably get a similar player here in Campanaro. Campanaro also has some return ability which is desperately needed in Washington as well.
Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State, 6th-7th round pick:
-Janis is a small school guy and definitely someone who will probably slide in the draft. If Janis put up his kinda of production at any FBS school (even non AQ conferences) he’d probably be a lock for a top 50 pick (if not higher). To back up his ridiculous college numbers (over 1,600 yards and 17 TD’s this year), Janis more than held his own at the Senior Bowl. He showed he’s raw in a few areas, but overall he has really nice size, speed and catching ability. He’d be a great late round option with the potential to be a starter down the road. While there is always some risks with small school guys, Janis is more polished than you’d expect.
Matt Hazel, Coastal Carolina, 7th round pick:
-Hazel had a productive career at Coastal Carolina, and with his listed height of 6’3″ you expected big things from him. Unfortunately that listed height wasn’t valid and he came in under 6’1″ at the East-West Shrine game. Though he came in shorter than expected, Hazel put on a nice show for scouts all week, catching pretty much everything thrown his way, including multiple balls that should have been uncatchable because they were so off target. Hazel has a great attitude and is always going to compete for the football. Despite not great size,and coming from a smaller school, Hazel is a guy who really could develop in a year or two and will likely be at least a quality back-up. He probably could be had in the 7th round and would be a nice pick-up for the Skins.
L’Damian Washington, Missouri, 7th round pick:
-Washington has been overshadowed for much of his college career, but he’s got big play ability and great size. As a senior he finally broke out (though he was still considered the 2nd most dangerous weapon on the team), and really started to make people take notice. The fact that he was also able to succeed in the SEC these last two years also helps his case. He’s still a bit raw as a receiver (especially as a route runner), but there is some nice potential there. As a 7th round guy he’d be a nice pick-up for the Skins if they want to add some size to their receiver corps.
Tevin Reese, Baylor, 7th round pick:
-Reese is the latest receiver to come out of Baylor, and he of course comes with big numbers and big speed. He has some slot potential and can work from the outside as well. He also knows RGIII from their time at Baylor together so he may more easily adapt with the Redskins than some other later round receivers. His route running will be key, since so much of the Baylor offense relies on deep routes and screens, but Reese has the quickness that he should be able to do well as a route runner.
Cody Hoffman, BYU, 7th round pick:
-Hoffman was highly productive throughout his college career leading the Cougars in yards and TD’s all 4 years and leading in receptions for the last three. After a 100 catch, 1,248 yard, 11 TD year in 2012, expectations were high on Hoffman this year. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to duplicate that success this year (though was still productive) and that has him falling some in the draft. He was good Senior Bowl week, but he really didn’t stand out. He’s got nice size, but he’s probably more of a possession receiver as he didn’t show great separation skills. Still as 7th rounder he’d be a nice pick-up for his size alone.