After the NFL Draft and OTAs, the Washington Redskins are looking to have a successful season this year. Hopefully. With outside linebacker Trent Murphy and offensive right tackle Morgan Moses signing their rookie deals, all of the draft picks are now under contract. The question is: what will this Redskins team look like with new head coach Jay Gruden calling the shots?
Well for starters, they upgraded their receiving corps tremendously. The Redskins resigned veteran Santana Moss, signed Andre Roberts and DeSean Jackson in free agency and drafted Ryan Grant out of Tulane. Not only that, but tight end Jordan Reed is returning from a concussion injury and a great rookie season last year and Logan Paulsen has emerged as a top target as well. With all of these new additions to the offense, quarterback Robert Griffin III should easily rebound from last season’s poor performance. The biggest acquisition for the Redskins was signing DeSean Jackson on April 2. Jackson is coming off his career-best season with the Philadelphia Eagles and can also be a great punt returner for the Redskins, a need they have searched for in recent years.
Now let’s focus on defense. With the departure of London Fletcher, no one knows for sure who will step up to replace him. The resigning of Perry Riley has assured his spot on the depth chart as a starter, but it is unknown who will start alongside him with Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo. With injuries and poor tackling, the Redskins linebacker corps has been in question heading into this season. Washington picked up Darryl Sharpton in free agency, hoping to replace Fletcher. However, Sharpton has been injury prone for the last couple of years. He is at the prime of his career at the age of 26, but there is uncertainty with his ability to stay on the field. Keenan Robinson, Akeem Jordan and Adam Hayward are also on the roster, but they will have to make their presence known during training camp in order to snatch that starting role.
Now back to the offense, specifically with the offensive line. Even more specifically, the position of right guard and right tackle are in question. Chris Chester holds that right guard spot, but with his increasing age and decreasing productivity, that might soon change. Third-round draft pick Spencer Long could push him out of the starting spot and second-round pick Morgan Moses could fill in at right tackle, beating out veteran Tyler Polumbus. These rookie players must develop quickly during training camp in order to gain RG3’s trust.
There are many other things to discuss about the Redskins. For example, can Phillip Thomas step in at safety after being injured last season? Can rookie running back Lache Seastrunk make some plays coming out of the backfield? All of these questions will be answered in due time. For now, fans are going to have to be patient and see if Gruden’s Redskins can make a difference this year.