Free agency is done. The draft is history. Rookie minicamp is in the rearview and the 90-man offseason roster has been filled out. Now comes the difficult part for Jay Gruden and his staff: putting it all together. With OTAs set to begin next Tuesday, Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will examine top priorities on Gruden’s to-do list as he prepares the team for training camp in Richmond later this summer.
Up today …
Wide receivers-tight ends to-do list
Tandler: The Redskins got an infusion of talented pass catchers during the offseason, adding rookie Josh Doctson at wide receiver and veteran tight end Vernon Davis. Now they have to figure out what to do with everybody.
Davis has a lot of the same abilities as Jordan Reed in the passing game but he is a better blocker. Now we’re not going to see him utilized as a third tackle like Tom Compton was in 2015 but they will try to figure out a way to get Davis to be of some help in the rushing game.
Although they have until September 3 to finalize the 53-man roster they also need to start the process of figuring out who will stay and who will go. It seems that the top three are set with Reed, Davis, and Niles Paul. They could keep Logan Paulsen or Derek Carrier, who is still rehabbing a knee injury, as a fourth tight end if they want to sacrifice a roster spot elsewhere.
At wide receiver they need to see how much Doctson will be able to contribute as a rookie and see what he does best. They also need to make sure that Rashad Ross is continuing to develop or if they need to find serious competition for his roster spot.
El-Bashir: Wide receiver seems pretty well set as OTAs begin, with DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson occupying the top four spots.
To me, the biggest questions at this position are No. 1) how quickly can Doctson get up to speed? And no. 2) can Ryan Grant and Rashad Ross hang onto the No. 5 and No. 6 spots?
Doctson recently admitted that he’s practicing at about 75-80 speed as he picks up the playbook. He also acknowledged that he didn’t run a double move in college, while the Redskins’ offense features “a whole arsenal of double moves.” So, yeah, Doctson’s progress will be something to track over the next three months.
As for the final two spots, I don’t suspect there will be much drama. As long as Grant and Ross show some growth, they should be able to fend off underafted rookies Reggie Diggs, Maurice Harris and Veldez Showers. Unfortunately for Grant and Ross, though, the addition of Doctson seriously hinders their opportunity for any upward mobility.
I foresee even less drama at tight end. So long as Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis stay healthy, they’ll be 1-2 at this position. Niles Paul, who is still working his way back from a significant ankle injury, figures to lock up the third spot, while Derek Carrier (knee) appears to be a candidate to start the season on PUP.
Can Logan Paulsen rebound from the toe injury that cost him the 2015 season and force his way onto the 53? I suspect he’ll need to stand out on special teams in order to pull it off.