Football Team

Risers and fallers from Washington's second session of open camp

Football Team

The Washington Football Team's second session of open training camp spanned from Saturday to Tuesday. It featured a spirited speech from Ron Rivera, the offense's best play so far and a glimpse of what Chase Young is capable of.

Before the Burgundy and Gold get back to it with their Thursday practice at FedEx Field, let's check in on who's rising and who's falling in light of their performances over the course of those four days.

RISERS

Terry McLaurin

McLaurin has picked up a lot of nicknames during his short stint in the NFL. With that in mind, here's one more: Terry Targets.

The emerging star is almost always Dwayne Haskins' first read, and sometimes, it feels like he's his second and third look as well. McLaurin is going to be all sorts of involved in 2020 and he appears more than ready for it. The guy just doesn't drop passes and his routes are crisper than some overdone bacon.

Ronald Darby

Darby loves Rivera's defensive system and it's evident in his play. The corner has more than held his own in his 1-on-1 battles with McLaurin lately and he got his hands on a ton of passes in the recent stretch of camp.

 

The starting spot opposite of Kendall Fuller was supposed to be a close race between Darby and Fabian Moreau, but Darby's definitely separating himself with what he's doing. On Tuesday, Rivera told the media he's been "really impressed with" the ex-Eagle.

Geron Christian

The 2018-third rounder has taken advantage of Saahdiq Charles' absence and is in line to be Washington's starting left tackle come Week 1, as he's gotten a lot more work with the first-stringers than Cornelius Lucas has. 

On Tuesday, Christian spoke to how he changed his approach this offseason and decided to take things more seriously.

"I knew we had Trent [Williams], I knew we had Morgan [Moses], I knew we had those guys," he said about his rookie and second campaigns. "Playing before... I feel like my mindset should've been more aggressive. I was working to get ready, but I just didn't notice how soon my name could be called upon."

Good on Christian for adjusting. Fans may be nervous about the thought of him setting up at such a key position, but remember that he's a Day 2 pick entering his third year. This is his time to assert himself, which he's absolutely done in Ashburn up to this point. 

Troy Apke

In the first session of practices, Apke lined up next to Landon Collins as a starting safety. Was he there because he earned it, or because he was a part of all the experimental lineups Rivera explained he would be rolling out early on? It was easy to assume the latter.

But there was Apke again in the second collection of workouts, still holding things down with Collins. While Rivera has mixed things up elsewhere on his depth chart, Apke hasn't moved. And he's been playing with a lot more physicality, too, which isn't something he's always had.

Like Christian, Apke was tabbed as someone who could be on their way out due to a uninspiring start to his career and a regime change within the franchise. Also like Christian, he's actually surging instead of fading.

FALLERS

Reuben Foster

The excitement was real when Foster was activated off the PUP list, but he just hasn't done much at linebacker since. The former first-rounder has been rotating in with the backups and backup backups and he's yet to really have an impact. 

This is someone who admitted to still having confidence issues in his knee, and that's understandable. Hopefully, he can continue to rebuild that. Sadly, right now, it's holding him back from factoring in to the front-seven conversation.

Sean Davis

Davis' placement in this category directly relates to what Apke is doing. 

When Washington signed Davis to a decent one-year deal in March, he was presumed to be Collins' next comrade on the back end. Yet that just hasn't unfolded.

In a camp where members of the secondary like Darby, Apke, Greg Stroman, Kendall Fuller and even seventh-round selection Kamren Curl are thriving, Davis' moments haven't come yet. 

 

Antonio Gandy-Golden

Gandy-Golden hasn't been outright disappointing in his first NFL camp, it's just that he hasn't been an outright standout, which was the hope when Washington snagged him on Day 3 in the draft.

The Liberty product has shown an ability to get open; the problem has been capitalizing once the ball comes his way. For a target who's supposed to dominate in 50-50 situations, he's producing at a ratio that's closer to 25-75.

These slight struggles aren't that surprising for a rookie who's coming out of such a small school and who didn't have a single OTA or minicamp to learn from, and his future remains bright. In the short term, however, Dontrelle Inman might be the better receiver to use across from McLaurin.