The Redskins hosted Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller for a pre-draft visit on Monday.
The visit is hardly unusual. In fact, Washington also hosted Alabama defensive lineman DaRon Payne and LSU running back Derrius Guice on Monday, too.
What makes Miller's visit stand out, however, is that he plays a position that didn't project to be a need for the Redskins.
At 5-foot-11 and 190 lbs., Miller looks like a prototypical slot receiver in the NFL. And his absurd statistics from three seasons in Memphis suggest he could excel in the role.
As a senior, Miller grabbed 96 passes for 1,462 yards to go with 18 touchdowns. In fact, in his last two seasons, Miller posted nearly 3,000 receiving yards. Memphis runs a wild, fast-paced passing offense, but still Miller's numbers are crazy.
Jamison Crowder has been a consistent producer in the Redskins offense the last three seasons playing slot receiver. Many expected a breakout, 1,000-yard season from Crowder in 2017, only it didn't happen. His numbers went the opposite direction.
In 2016, Crowder had nearly 850 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. In 2017, those numbers dipped to 789 receiving yards to go with three TDs.
2018 is the final year of Crowder's rookie contract. This offseason, the Redskins showed a proclivity to let their own drafted players walk via free agency.
Bruce Allen explained that it was a strategic decision to let guys go, in turn, delivering additional draft picks for Washington. And when free agency opened, the Redskins watched as Trent Murphy, Spencer Long and Ryan Grant signed elsewhere, and those departures will net the Redskins three compensatory draft picks in 2019.
Miller could become a logical replacement for Crowder, should the Redskins think that way, but it won't come cheap. The Memphis wideout won't last past the third round in next week's draft, and Washington doesn't have a third-round selection.
Let's also remember that one pre-draft visit could mean very little. Next to nothing. Miller could be drafted elsewhere too.
But it is worth noting the Redskins' interest in Miller.
The team has Josh Doctson locked in for the next two seasons and could easily pick up his fifth-year option for 2020 if he performs well.
Washington just signed free agent Paul Richardson to start on the outside opposite Doctson. Richardson got $20 million guaranteed, too, which means he's not going anywhere for at least two years.
Looking at the Redskins current roster, there is not a real backup for Crowder at slot wideout. Robert Davis, Maurice Harris and Brian Quick all stand 6-foot-3, and that's simply too tall to play on the inside. Logically, this would be the draft to bring in another slot type player, or the time to get a new deal done for Crowder.
Typically, when the 'Skins want to keep a player, they get a contract extension done before that player gets to free agency. With Crowder, that would mean this summer or early this season.
The team will have a more expensive decision to make with Preston Smith, another guy in the final year of his rookie deal. If Washington wants to keep Smith, they need to allot some serious cash, and that could mean there isn't enough for Crowder.
Again, one pre-draft visit with Anthony Miller means very little. But play it out a bit, and look at the possible moving pieces in the future, and it gets pretty interesting.
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