Monday, July 14, 2014
What to expect: Redskins' rookies
By John Keim
Taking a look at various aspects concerning the Redskins heading into training camp. Today, I take a look at their rookie class:
LB Trent Murphy: He entered as the No. 3 linebacker and was used in multiple ways throughout the spring. That will obviously continue. Murphy is not an explosive player so you won’t be wowed by speed off the edge. But he knows how to use his hands on the rush and he’s adept at the details of the position. He’ll be the third linebacker in their nickel package. In the spring, they rushed him from over the guards, through the middle and on both edges.
OT Morgan Moses: Just don’t see any way he unseats Tyler Polumbus based off college tape and his performance in the spring. He’s still inconsistent and bends at the waist too often. He cut down on this in the spring – he knows it’s an issue – but it’s still a problem. It forces him to rely on his long arms; that’s OK in college but in the NFL it’s about the arms and the feet.
G Spencer Long: They loved him coming in and nothing has changed. That does not mean they think he’ll beat out Chris Chester, certainly not right away. But they like what they have in Long. Unlike the past couple years, the Redskins have worked their rookie linemen on both sides. Typically they stuck them on one side and let them get comfortable. But there’s too much competition to bring them along slowly.
CB Bashaud Breeland: He’ll help on special teams and if the others stay healthy, he’ll be a No. 4 corner at best. Breeland looked good for the most part in the spring, though I’ll be curious to see in training camp how much he still grabs and holds. But he’s a physical player and has a good mindset.
WR Ryan Grant: Another guy the coaches really like, but I have a hard time seeing him do a whole lot given his size and lack of strength. It’ll be tough for him to get off jams or to even block. But it’s not like he must contribute immediately. My guess is he’d be a fifth or sixth receiver right now – it’ll depend on Leonard Hankerson’s availability and Aldrick Robinson’s improvement. Grant is a good route runner and worth developing.
RB Lache Seastrunk: He’s a good fit for Jay Gruden’s offense, especially when they want to run the ball out of a shotgun spread formation. It’s what he did at Baylor. Seastrunk will be a spot player on offense. It’s hard to see him emerging as a third-down back, at least early in the season. It’s not just about catching the ball, it’s about recognizing blitzes and running routes. It’s not easy. The Redskins also have Chris Thompson in this role and, while Gruden likes him, his durability is an issue. Plus, Thompson has practice-squad eligibility.
TE Ted Bolser: Didn’t see anything this spring that suggested he warranted a roster spot. He dropped too many passes – and he’s supposed to be a pass-catching tight end. Bolser blocked better in space than he did on the line in college – much better – but that won’t be enough. Entering camp he looks like a practice-squad player unless the Redskins keep four tight ends.
K Zach Hocker: Looked good during practices with his field goals. Will be curious to see his leg strength on kickoffs and his accuracy during games. Practices matter, but the games count. Consider that practices are like quizzes and the games are tests. Kai Forbath has been an accurate kicker so Hocker is no gimme. But they drafted him for a reason (leg strength/kickoffs). It’ll be an interesting competition.