Redskins Rookie Report: What to Expect Week 1
The Redskins take on the Texans tomorrow for their first game of the season, and it will be the first game for the Redskins rookie class. Here is what the Redskins should expect in their first game:
OLB Trent Murphy:
-Murphy was the Redskins 2nd round pick and he was selected to give the Redskins a 3rd legitimate pass rusher from the edge, to be used in a back-up role and on obvious passing situations. Likely with the Texans wanting to run the football, Murphy wouldn’t have seen much work this week outside of special teams and maybe 10 snaps on defense. That plan has likely changed with starting ROLB Brian Orakpo listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Though the expectation is that Orakpo will play, the Redskins may limit his snaps some since he’s not 100%. Instead of playing 85-90% of the snaps, Orakpo might only play 65-75% of the snaps (possibly less if the ankle is worse than what is being reported). That opens up the door for Murphy to play a fair number of defensive snaps week 1. When he is replacing Orakpo he’ll likely have a tough test going up against 2x Pro Bowl LT Duane Brown. Those snaps will serve as a good litmus test for where Murphy is in his development.
OT Morgan Moses:
-Moses was the Redskins first of two 3rd round offensive linemen that they drafted this year. He was asked to learn both tackle positions this offseason which probably limited his overall development and his ability to challenge incumbent RT Tyler Polumbus for the starting job. Moses had an mixed bag of success in camp and the preseason, but he continued to look better as the preseason wore on. In the 3rd game, Moses suffered a minor knee injury that forced him to miss the rest of the game. While he came back for the preseason finale, he didn’t look as effective as he did in the 2nd and 3rd preseason weeks. Though he’s back to fully practicing if the knee is a concern the Redskins could opt to play Tom Compton ahead of him and possibly even make Moses inactive. The Redskins though could go with 8 offensive linemen on the active roster, particularly if they might want to run more jumbo packages against the Texans tough front. Moses could get some looks as an extra offensive lineman and help on short yardage situations.
OG Spencer Long:
-The Redskins 2nd 3rd round pick, Long had an up-and-down camp/preseason. It looks like 3rd year guard Josh LeRibeus is ahead of him on the depth chart and will likely serve as the back-up interior lineman for the game. That means that Long is likely to be inactive for the first week and won’t even be in on special teams. Until Long can beat out LeRibeus he will probably spend most of the season on the inactive list, though any interior line injuries would quickly move him up the ladder.
CB Bashaud Breeland:
-Breeland had a nice camp/preseason, but it seemed likely he’d be no more than a special teamer early on in the season with veterans Tracy Porter and E.J. Biggers on the team. Porter though has been hampered by an injury and has already been declared out for the game. E.J. Biggers will likely take over primary nickel corner duties, but Breeland should see some work with the defense as well. It may be no more than 10-15 plays, but it will be interesting to see how Breeland works against the Texans receiver corps. If he plays like he did in the preseason, Porter might be coming back to a 5th CB role whenever he gets healthy.
WR Ryan Grant:
-The Redskins 5th round rookie was a camp sensation and put together a really nice preseason. Not only did he lock-up a roster spot, but he’s now likely to be active on game days. He will make it a tough decision as to whether or not the Redskins can activate all 6 receivers. The top three are set, but the bottom three make for some interesting decisions. Moss given his experience and ability to play in the slot will likely be active, but do the Redskins want to see the rookie who is a quality route runner or roll with the deep threat Aldrick Robinson. I think the Redskins are so impressed with Grant that he could get the nod as the 5th receiver and back-up on the outside. He might not get much work week 1, especially with the Redskins likely using more 2 TE sets and keeping a fullback in there a lot against a tough Texans front 7, but look for the Redskins to try to give him a couple snaps.
RB Silas Redd:
-An undrafted rookie Redd was a surprise this summer as he beat out multiple higher touted prospects to earn the Redskins 3rd RB job. He is likely to be active week one, but chances are his only time on the field will be on special teams. He played well on special teams this summer so he could be a nice addition to the unit. As the season wears on he’ll likely get some spot duty (particularly if the Redskins can have a big lead), but early on in the year he’s likely regulated to ST work, barring an injury.