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Positional outlook: receivers

2/10/2014

The Washington Redskins had the NFL's most prolific pass catcher this past season in Pierre Garcon. The problem is, they didn't have anyone who could consistently help him at wide receiver. That will be something the Redskins need to find this offseason, whether it's by continued development, free agency or the draft (which is said to be deep at this position).

Pierre Garcon

Nobody was more consistent offensively than Garcon, who caught at least five passes in every game. He excelled at yards after the catch (5.65) in part because he caught so many screens or smoke routes. It leads to good yardage after the catch, especially when you run as hard as Garcon. He was 10th among all pass-catchers in yards after contact with 167. And he was second in targets at 176. Garcon remains a vicious blocker.

2014: Starter

Contract status: Signed through 2016

Leonard Hankerson

Had Hankerson not been hurt, then he might have eased into another role this season, that of a slot receiver. He has been the Z receiver but would occasionally run routes from the slot. The problem is, he might not even be fully recovered from his torn ACL until the middle of August. If that's the case, it'll be tough to rely on him early in the season. His hands were better in 2013, lowering his drop rate from 6.9 percent to 4.3 percent (according to ESPN Stats & Information). Hankerson is not a threat after the catch (3.8 yards after the catch in 2012; 4.3 in 2013). That limits his effectiveness.

2014: Backup

Contract status: Signed through 2014

Aldrick Robinson

Robinson played better at the end of the season, with a combined 12 catches in the last four games. He started to understand how to run underneath routes better and at the proper speed. Too often he would arrive too soon after running a route too fast. But if he can become consistent underneath then Robinson can be more than an occasional productive target. Robinson can play both the X and the Z receiver spots.

2014: Backup

Contract status: Signed through 2014

Santana Moss

The Redskins remain convinced Moss can still help them. He told Cleveland radio station 92.3 recently that he wanted to remain with the Redskins (with Kyle Shanahan in Cleveland, and with a need for a slot receiver, Moss could be a Browns target). Moss is not dangerous anymore (averaging 4.1 yards after the catch last season), but he is a good route runner and excellent in the locker room and with young receivers. But, according to ESPN Stats & Information, Moss had one of the NFL's highest drop percentages (8.9). It was 6.8 percent in 2012, which still put him in the bottom third.

2014: Chance to return

Contract status: Free agent as of March 11

Nick Williams

He had a chance, but did not do anything to suggest he'll be in a battle for a roster spot in 2014. He caught three passes for 15 yards as a slot receiver. But he had a real chance to make an impact as a returner and averaged 20.9 yards on nine kick returns, with a long of 29. The Redskins liked Williams enough that he was their first target as an undrafted free agent after the draft. But he needs more seasoning. If Moss returns, it's difficult to see how Williams makes the roster. But even if Moss doesn't return, Williams has a tough road.

2014: On the bubble

Contract status: Signed through 2015

Josh Morgan

Morgan has been on a big push, telling everyone how much playing in his hometown means to him -- and how he was never told why he played less and less. Morgan made many tough grabs in his first season in Washington, but was never a threat after the catch (ankle issues perhaps the reason). But Morgan was unproductive this past season and played poorly late in the year, as a blocker and pass-catcher, and was inactive for the finale. It was deserved. If Morgan indeed wants to return, he'll have to convince the staff why 2015 would be different. Of course, it would be at a much lower salary.

2014: Should be gone.

Contract status: Free agent as of March 11

Dez Briscoe

He spent the season on injured reserve because of a shoulder injury. But he was a fringe player with the previous staff and was not overly impressive last summer. The Redskins need to upgrade this position and it's hard to see how Briscoe would fit in. His size helps, but you need more than just good measurements.

2014: Should be elsewhere

Contract status: Free agent as of March 11

Josh Bellamy

Signed off the Redskins' practice squad in Week 13. Bellamy did not play a down from scrimmage, but was a part of special teams.

2014: Not on active roster

Contract status: Signed through 2014