As we noted yesterday, the Redskins have eight wide receivers on the roster. NFL teams generally carry a dozen receivers during minicamps and training camp so they will almost certainly add some wide receivers to the roster.
The question is, will they add camp fodder, bodies who will catch passes in practice, try go get a few good plays on film during preseason games, and then get cut when the games start to count? Might they add some marginal talent that might compete for a spot at the lower end of the depth chart? Or will the aim to bring in a player who will seriously compete for playing time?
The latter option likely means spending a high or mid-round draft pick at the position. In a draft that is deep in wide receivers it is very easy to envision scenario where the Redskins’ turn comes up in, say, round 3 and the best player on the board is a wide receiver. In fact, if teams wait on drafting receivers because there are so many the two or three best players on the board could be wide receivers.
What should the Redskins do? Your third-rounder isn’t expected to start right away but he should at some point in the next year or so. But on the Redskins the top three wide receivers, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, and Andre Roberts, are all still in their primes and under contract for three more years. Since rookies get four-year contracts a 2014 draft pick would be entering the final year of his deal before getting a shot at a starting job.
Still, despite needs in other areas, the Redskins should seriously consider taking the best player available even if that player happens to be a wide receiver.
For one thing, the receivers in line behind the three top are nothing to write home about. Santana Moss will be 35 soon, Leonard Hankerson is coming off of his second major injury in three years in the league and Aldrick Robinson has yet to show that he’s anything more than a fast guy. Should Jackson, Roberts, or Garçon miss any significant time there would be a considerable drop off in ability.
And, as we know, contracts in the NFL are far from ironclad. The Redskins could release Garçon and Roberts next year with minimal cap pain and Jackson could go in 2016. Although right now it’s difficult to imagine circumstances under which the Redskins would want to make any of those moves things can change in a hurry. And they can change very fast if there is a younger and cheaper backup pushing hard for some playing time.
Certainly if the Redskins end up getting a wide receiver at any point during the draft the critics will be out screaming about other needs. They will have a case, especially if a player at a position of need goes shortly after the Redskins’ pick. But injuries happen. Jackson and Garçon missed five and six games with injuries in 2012, respectively. If November rolls around and one or two of the top receivers are sidelined they won’t worry about what was said in early May.