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Need to Know: Five young veterans who could step up for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five young veterans who could step up for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 9, 15 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.

Timeline

It’s been 128 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 124 days.

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 3
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 15
—Training camp starts (7/27) 79

Young players who could have an impact

Today's question is from Facebook:

Joey, I answered the second part of your question last week; take a look at that post here. But your second question is a good one. As is the custom here I will expand it to five young holdovers who may step up in 2017.

WR Maurice Harris—The undrafted rookie spent the first six weeks on the practice squad before getting called up to the 53-man roster. Harris played just 129 snaps so it’s a small sample size but he did catch an impressive eight of the 12 passes thrown his way (67%). He will get every opportunity to earn the No. 4 receiver spot, which would mean more snaps and, presumably, more receptions. At 6-3, he fits right in with the picture of the taller wide receiver group.

CB Kendall Fuller—His rookie year was a disappointment. Fuller suffered a knee injury that ended his final year at Virginia Tech early and he had light duty in the offseason program. All season long he never seemed quite right. He started the year on the game day inactive list and ended it on the bench. In between he was inconsistent playing mostly as the slot corner. I think that being fully healthy and getting in the preparation that an inexperienced player will help him step up and become a more consistent player.

DL Anthony Lanier—Like Harris, Lanier is in a much better spot this year than he was at this time in 2016. When you’re one of the masses trying to get the attention of the coaches you get very few reps and most of those are against other third- and fourth-string players. Once you’ve gotten a foothold like Lanier has you more individual attention and more quality reps. Jay Gruden think that Lanier can turn into a quality pass rusher and after missing the last part of 2016 with a leg injury he should get ample opportunity to prove it this year.

ILB Zach Vigil—It’s going to be tough to crack the rotation at inside linebacker with Zach Brown, Mason Foster, and Will Compton. I’m not quite sold on Spaight so I’m going to take flyer on Vigil. He was only with the Redskins for two games last year after being claimed off waivers from the Dolphins. In Miami, he played 16 games with two starts after making the team as a undrafted free agent. Vigil is fast and athletic and he could do well if he gets a shot at playing linebacker. Even if he doesn’t he should be a good special teams performer.

S Deshazor Everett—Safety is a pretty crowded spot with two draft picks joining starters D. J. Swearinger and Su’a Craves, holdovers Everett, Will Blackmon, and DeAngelo Hall, and draft picks Montae Nicholson and Josh Harvey-Clemons. Everett has the inside track on a roster spot due to his special teams play so he likely will have a shot at some snaps on defense. Everett played pretty well getting just 40 snaps last year so he could earn a regular role.

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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In case you missed it

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One crazy stat that connects Dwayne Haskins with Cam Newton, but also Mark Sanchez

One crazy stat that connects Dwayne Haskins with Cam Newton, but also Mark Sanchez

The Redskins selected Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. While his record at Ohio State was impressive, Haskins didn't log many starts. 

Washington head coach Jay Gruden talked about Haskins back in March during the league meetings, before the Burgundy and Gold drafted the quarterback, and said that because he played just one year in college he would need significant time to learn the NFL game. 

"You would like a guy to play more than a year to see how he’s developed over the years. Haskins has a unique skillset. He’s big, strong and can really throw it," Gruden said. Then, "Is he going to be ready for the first year?"

After OTAs and minicamp, it's obvious Haskins has all the talent needed to play quarterback in the NFL. He's made touch throws and he's rifled balls into tight windows. At the same time, he seemed confused in spots about play calls and struggled with the speed of the pass rush. 

All of that is normal for a player with just 14 starts. But it's that number, the one year of starting experience in college, that makes one statistic stand out about Haskins. 

That's some serious company, both good, bad and ugly. 

As a rookie in 2011, Cam Newton went 6-10 with 35 total TDs and 17 interceptions, not to mention a Rookie of the Year trophy. His running prowess made up for average numbers in the pass game. The more important comparison for Redskins fans is that Newton eventually developed into an NFL MVP and got the Panthers to the Super Bowl. 

For Mark Sanchez, the rookie numbers and the career comparison aren't as kind. Sanchez threw 12 TDs and 20 INTs in 15 games as a rookie, though he was at the helm as the Jets got to two straight AFC title games. Still, for his career, Sanchez threw more INTs than TDs and could not keep a starting job after his rookie contract. 

Trubisky is a different deal. He's only started 26 games since being the second overall pick in the 2017 draft with a record of 15-11. He's thrown 31 touchdowns against 19 interceptions, and run for another five scores. It's hard to describe Trubisky's game. At times he's terribly inaccurate, but in other spots, he looks like a future Pro Bowler. 

Newton is the sure thing, Sanchez is the poor outcome. Trubisky is still to be determined. 

For Haskins, it's not good company or bad company. With only 14 starts at Ohio State before the Redskins drafted Haskins, it's just the company he's in.

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Packers' Davante Adams has high praise for rookie Darnell Savage

Packers' Davante Adams has high praise for rookie Darnell Savage

Darnell Savage was the third NFL draft prospect profiled in our series ‘I Am the Prospect

Darnell Savage has been getting a lot of buzz since the Packers traded up to the 21st overall pick to select him in the 2019 NFL Draft, and his teammates are on board.

The Maryland star was one of the draft's biggest risers, and it was well warranted.

The Packers' Instagram account posted a video of Savage Wednesday, and his teammate Davante Adams chimed in.

“The boy gonna be special,” Adams wrote.

View this post on Instagram

BORN READY. #MondayMotivation #GoPackGo

A post shared by Green Bay Packers (@packers) on

“He’s going to be that guy — I can tell," Adams said, via Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal. "We definitely got a steal." “I know we got him early, but I still think that he could have gone even earlier just based on what he’s doing out there. He plays like a vet, he knows how to practice, and he’s smart, man.

Savage will face the Redskins in Week 14 when the Burgundy and Gold head up to Lambeau Field on December 8 for the matchup against the Packers.

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