After each ranking the Redskins' position groups on a list that went from worst to best, JP Finlay and Pete Hailey will now spend the rest of the week and weekend delving deeper into every spot on the roster.
Next up is one that has a lot of inexperience but also a lot of intriguing options: Wide receiver.
Currently on the depth chart: Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims, Kelvin Harmon, Antonio Gandy-Golden, Cam Sims, Trey Quinn, Cody Latimer, Darvin Kidsy, Isaiah Wright, Johnathon Johnson, Jordan Veasy, Emanuel Hall, Jester Weah
Who's in charge?: Jim Hostler (20 years of NFL experience, was with the Panthers in 2019)
Right now, receiver looks like Terry McLaurin and a host of supporting characters. However, there's a lot to like about some of those supporting characters.
Steven Sims and Kelvin Harmon, for example, really came on late in 2019. Then there's Antonio Gandy-Golden, a Day 3 pick that many pundits have been praising.
Truthfully, this unit may be one year's worth of additions and improvements away from really taking off, but even so, there's some true excitement about what they'll show in 2019.
*Not sure this is really a note but I'm just going to leave this here.
*Dwayne Haskins got asked about his young wideouts. I think the answer is worth noting: "Kelvin is in great shape, he’s running like I’ve never seen him before. Steven looks great."
*I think Gandy-Golden can play, but friend of the pod Josh Norris explained things well when he said that AGG faces a steep learning curve adjusting to life in the NFL after playing college ball at Liberty. Coronavirus and the weirdness of 2020 has made transitioning to the NFL hard for all rookies, but especially a guy going from outside the Power Five in college to the NFC East.
*Considering the situation with Latimer it's not certain the Redskins open the season with a veteran wide receiver on the roster. Don't believe me? Ask offensive coordinator Scott Turner: "I just want the best players possible. I don’t care if they’re rookies or tenth year guys. We want them to compete and then whoever is the best guy and, again, we feel like gives us the best chance to win, we’ll put him out there." Be clear about this Redskins fans -- this staff will not be scared of playing young guys.
*Yes, Haskins worked out with Antonio Brown. No, that doesn't mean the Redskins will sign the tempermental wideout. Don't believe me? Ask head coach Ron Rivera: "I know who Antonio Brown is. I know he is a great player and an impact guy. He is also a veteran guy and we have some guys that we have to find out about. That is the approach. We want to see what we have." Rivera very politlely explained that the Redskins are in a rebuild, want to see what they've got with young guys, and won't be in any Brown sweepstakes.
*Third-round rookie Antonio Gibson might be a running back, but he might be a wideout, too. This quote from Turner on Gibson stuck with me: "You can label him as a running back, you can call him whatever you want, but he played 80 percent of his snaps as receiver in Memphis. He’s a little bit of a guy that can give you some versatility offensively." Gibson is a big play waiting to happen and it looks like Washington's play-caller will be creative finding ways to get him the ball.
*If there is one area I want to see McLaurin do better in as a second-year target -- and let's be real, there's not much to choose from in terms of places he can improve in -- it's taking over games. McLaurin caught more than five balls just twice as a rookie and he surpassed 100 yards three times in 14 contests. Stars like Michael Thomas and Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins will consistently dominate on a given afternoon, often hauling in 10-plus receptions and showing defenses they won't be stopped no matter how much coverage is sent their way. McLaurin has the talent and the smarts to reach that kind of level in Year 2. Let's see if he's able to crank out a few performances that really make people take notice.
*Hello. Hi. Sup. This is me telling you to get hip to Sims now before it becomes a mainstream movement. He finished last year with 23 catches for 259 yards and four scores in Washington's last six matchups, and he's going to be even more of a problem in 2020 because he should be involved from the opener and will continue to grow alongside Dwayne Haskins. Sims' shiftiness is rare; it just is. So, go tell everyone you know to start paying attention to him immediately.
*I envision Gandy-Golden eventually having a more fruitful career than Harmon in terms of catches, yards and touchdowns, but Harmon may outdo Gandy-Golden in 2020. Harmon and Haskins really understand each other -- they've actually been friends longer than Haskins and McLaurin -- and that's a rapport Gandy-Golden can't match. In addition, the Liberty draftee's transition to the NFL will be even more daunting because he'll have fewer offseason reps to get used to life as a pro. For those reasons, don't be surprised if Harmon's stats are better than Gandy-Golden's by December. That said, Gandy-Golden should find his footing as the schedule moves along and he'll make his mark for the Redskins, too.
*Beyond McLaurin, Sims, Harmon and Gandy-Golden, it's pretty hopeless. I can't overlook that. The two things I'll say to try to make you feel better, though, are 1) There are veteran wideouts still out there the Redskins could sign if they want to and 2) the fifth (and, if Rivera wants to keep this many, sixth) receivers aren't really asked to do much on offense outside of an emergency. Those guys are the ones who pitch in on special teams and see a snap or two in certain packages. So, yes, that part of the roster is unsightly, but it's also a part of the roster that won't be featured prominently at all.
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