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Redskins 2017 roster battles: After Pryor, Crowder and Doctson, questions at receiver

Redskins 2017 roster battles: After Pryor, Crowder and Doctson, questions at receiver

The Redskins go into OTAs with competition for jobs and depth chart position at several spots on the field. Over the next week, Redskins insiders Rich Tandler and J.P. Finlay look at how these competitions stand right now and they each make the case for a potential winner.

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back 

Wide Receiver

The contenders... The Redskins lost more than 2,000 receiving yards this offseason with the departure of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon via free agency. The arrival of Terrelle Pryor should offset at least half of that, but that still leaves a big hole in the offense for Kirk Cousins. Can Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis do more from the tight end spot? Maybe. Will more be expected from Jamison Crowder in the slot? Certainly. And 2016 first-round selection Josh Doctson needs to deliver on his draft position - and stay healthy. 

Still, beyond Pryor, Doctson and Crowder the Redskins have more questions than answers at receiver.

After signing Pryor, Washington also signed Brian Quick to a one-year deal this offseason. A five-year veteran with the Rams, Quick has good size and speed but never produced to the level of his draft status, a second-round pick in 2012. While he has never played with a quarterback on par with Cousins, it's hard to know what to expect from Quick. The best season of his career came in 2016 when he grabbed 41 catches for 546 yards. That would have ranked sixth on the 2016 Redskins.

Ryan Grant will return for the 'Skins, but his career stats suggest a marginal NFL player. Jay Gruden likes Grant, respects his work ethic and his play on special teams. But is Grant a roster lock? Hardly. Maurice Harris should also be back. A former practice squad player that coaches always talk up, Harris could potentially push for a roster spot out of camp. The Redskins spent a sixth-round pick on Robert Davis out of Georgia State. A physical specimen at 6-foot-3 and 220 lbs with blazing speed, Davis will be raw and inexperienced but dripping with potential. 

And the winner is...

Finlay: It's hard to have a winner when the question is unclear. Assuming Doctson is healthy and can go full speed Week 1, the Redskins receiving group should be solid. Pryor should improve on 2016's stats, where he went for more than 1,000 yards, and this could also be the season Crowder gets over 1,000 yards. If Doctson can get to or around the 800 yard mark, Cousins and the Skins offense should be fine. 

Further down the roster, I would guess Harris makes the team. And if Davis can show enough in camp, maybe he has a chance for the practice squad. Quick and Grant will likely round out the roster, and probably also land in that order on the depth chart. 

One name to watch this summer: Maryland undrafted free agent Levern Jacobs. At 5-foot-11 and 185 lbs., Jacobs has the size to play in the slot. The Redskins lack a real backup for Crowder, especially as the team made a concerted effort this offseason to get bigger at the wideout spot. It might be a long shot, but between his size, attitude and a few flashes of ability at Redskins rookie camp, Jacobs is firmly on the radar for the Redskins coaching staff.

Tandler: 

I liked the little bit I saw out of Jacobs during rookie camp. I think he is more of a practice squad candidate than a threat to make the 53-man roster but he will be interesting to watch.

On to the bigger picture, the numbers indicate that some jobs are in danger. They are likely to carry six receivers; that has been the standard number since Jay Gruden has been here. Pryor, Doctson, and Crowder are locks. That leaves Quick, Grant, Davis, and Harris competing for three jobs.

How do they line up? Down the stretch last year, Harris was the preferred option as the fourth receiver. From Week 13 on he played 73 snaps while Grant played 45, with 30 of those coming in one game. While Harris caught just eight passes, he improved as a run blocker, which is one of Grant’s calling cards. Harris should start off as the first option off the bench; it will be up to him to hold on to the job.

That would leave Grant, Davis, and Quick in the mix for two spots. Quick’s one-year free agent deal had only $80,000 in guaranteed money so it would be relatively painless to move on from him if he doesn’t earn a spot. At 6-3 Davis fits in the tall receiver mode that the Redskins now prefer. If the Redskins think that he and Quick can be more productive than Grant, who caught just nine passes in 16 games last year, Grant could be the odd man out. 

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Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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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.

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BORN READY. #MondayMotivation #GoPackGo

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“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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