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Redskins depth chart preview: Wide receiver

Redskins depth chart preview: Wide receiver

Over the next few weeks, Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ 2017 depth chart as the team enjoys some R&R ahead of training camp. Some positions are easy to handicap. Others have moving parts and, thus, are more complex. So, who’s in? And who’s in trouble? 

Up today…

Position: Wide receiver

On the roster: Terrelle Pryor, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Ryan Grant, Robert Davis, Brian Quick, Kendal Thompson, James Quick, Matt Hazel, Levern Jacobs, Zach Pascal

Locks: Pryor, Crowder, Harris, Doctson

A year ago, the wide receiver group was being touted as one of the best, if not the best, in the NFL. This year, after the free agency departures of Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson, not so much.

Pryor will be the nominal No. 1, although it’s hard to call a guy who has one season as a receiver and just barely over 1,000 yards (1,007 to be exact) on his stat sheet a true No. 1. But that is what he wants to be and the Redskins will give him the opportunity to do so.

RELATED: True or false: Kelly Redskins leading rusher

We all know the trials and tribulations of Doctson’s rookie year. Should expectations for him be like those for a rookie? Few receivers start out of the gate quickly as it is a difficult position to learn. Or should more be expected out of him since he did spend a year attending meetings and getting in some practice time and some snaps in games? For his part, he is staying quiet and working hard, a good approach in his situation. He didn’t make any spectacular plays in offseason practices but he also didn’t have any major errors.

Crowder will stay in the slot for the most part, although he will occasionally move outside when Pryor and/or Doctson aren’t in the game. Along with tight end Jordan Reed, Crowder could benefit from being the familiar face that Kirk Cousins has to throw to. It would surprise nobody if Crowder ended up being the team’s leader in receptions and receiving yards.

We will find out this year if Harris is an undrafted free agent find or a failed project. He looked the part in his very limited opportunities (12 targets, 8 receptions) in 2016. But more opportunities do not always lead to more productivity. Harris dealt fine with low expectations as a rookie after he was promoted from the practice squad in Week 7. Now he has a shot at being the No. 4 receiver, the first one off the bench if someone gets injured. That’s a different world and the Redskins hope he is able to handle it.

On the bubble: B. Quick, Grant, Davis

The Redskins signed Quick hoping that he could be an experienced, inexpensive guy down the depth chart. He was disappointing in offseason practices and he will need a strong training camp to stay around.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

Grant is a favorite of Jay Gruden’s. The coach constantly praises his work ethic and versatility. On the other hand, his production — nine receptions in 16 games last year — doesn’t get mentioned much.

Davis was a sixth-round pick out of Georgia State. He has a huge learning curve and it showed in offseason practices. If he makes the team he likely will spend many weeks as the inactive sixth receiver.

Long shots: Thompson, J. Quick, Hazel, Jacobs, Pascal

Of this group, Jacobs looked the best in OTAs and he might have an opportunity as there really isn’t a natural backup for Jamison Crowder as the slot receiver. But the realistic goal for any of these players is the practice squad.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201