Washington Redskins: Evaluating offense entering NFL draft
The team finished third in total offense last season and had the second most passing yards per game in the league. Granted Garcon and Jackson were a big piece of that as they both finished with more than 1,000 yards receiving. Two of Washington’s biggest offensive weapons return in 2017- wideout Jamison Crowder and tight end Jordan Reed.
Crowder was selected by the Redskins in the fourth round of the 2015 draft and has taken off since then. He caught 59 passes as a rookie and caught 67 last season. According to NFL.com, Crowder was the best slot receiver when it comes to creating separation from a defender. He beat out players such as Green Bay’s Randall Cobb and Seattle’s Doug Baldwin. The former Duke Blue Devil is still on 23 years old and his best football is still in front of him.
Reed is one of the best tight ends in the league and was selected to the Pro Bowl last season. Reed may be the best route running tight end and is a matchup nightmare for defenses. He has the body of a tight end, but runs routes like a wide receiver. His backup is not too shabby either.
Vernon Davis had a career resurgence last season. He had 44 catches for 583 yards and averaged over 13 yards per catch. Those are not bad numbers for a starting tight end let alone a backup. Davis at 33 years old is past his prime, but proved last season that he still has several good seasons left in him.
Starting quarterback Kirk Cousins returns. There are questions when it comes to his long-term future, but he will be on the field in 2017. He threw for just south of 5,000 yards and had 25 touchdowns in 2016 earning him a trip to the Pro Bowl.
Last year’s first-round pick, Josh Doctson barely saw the field last season. He has all the tools to be a number one receiver. As long as he stays healthy his athleticism, strong hands and leaping ability will add a lot to the Redskins offense.
Washington added Terrelle Pryor (Cleveland Browns) and Brian Quick (Los Angeles Rams) in free agency. Pryor is 6’4” while Quick is 6’3”. Docston is not short by any means at 6’2”. All three wide receivers are strong in the air and excel at getting the ball at its highest point. They should help to overcome the Redskins red zone woes.
The Redskins also have decent depth at wide receiver with Maurice Harris and Ryan Grant. Meanwhile, Chris Thompson is a good third-down back that excels in the passing game with his speed, hands and shiftiness. He and Matt Jones can spell starter Robert Kelley. Still, Washington may add a running back in the draft, which could help to improve their running game.
The Redskins also have the seventh-best offensive line in the league according to Pro Football Focus. They rated Trent Williams as the best left tackle in the NFL. He has made the last five Pro Bowls. Add in third year Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff amongst others and you have a solid line.
All told, head coach Jay Gruden does have a new coordinator in Matt Cavanaugh. And that means the Washington Redskins may not be the same on offense in 2017. They just may be even better.
Will Fairfax is a Washington Redskins writer for Pro Football Spot. Follow him on Twitter at @WillFairfax1.