Converted to cornerback as a rookie,
On May 11, 2015, the Washington Redskins announced the signing of former University of Florida wide receiver Quinton Dunbar to a rookie free agent deal.
During training camp, Dunbar, who was trying to catch on within a crowded wide receivers group, was asked to make the switch from wide receiver to cornerback one day with a shortage of defensive players capable of playing the position.
Dunbar hadn’t played any cornerback since attending Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, but he was up for the challenge.
At 6-foot-2, 201 pounds, Dunbar had the length the coaching staff wanted, he just needed to re-learn and master the techniques of the position.
Eventually working his way to the active roster by the end of September, Dunbar would appear in 11 games with two starts, recording 15 tackles with five passes defensed and an interception.
“I feel you can make that transition, but for him to be thrust into action and play that significant amount of plays that he did, I think is unheard of,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said at the NFC Coaches Breakfast last week in Boca Raton, Fla. “To never play corner in your life, now all of a sudden you’re playing on Monday Night Football covering Dez Bryant, I don’t think that’ll happen again. But we’re glad it worked out for him and he’s going to be a good one.”
In total, Dunbar would appear in 259 defensive snaps for the Redskins.
Against the New York Giants in a must-win game in November, Dunbar would record his first career interception when he picked off Eli Manning in the end zone.
Not only would Dunbar grab the interception that day, he also held his own against two-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. when drawing an assignment against him.
“When I saw him one-on-one against Beckham and Dez, first couple times I kind of closed my eyes and listened for the cheers,” Gruden said with a smile. “But the more you watch him the more confident he got and I think he’s just raw enough to where he didn’t really realize who he was covering. He just went out there and covered them. He’s obviously a very talented guy, he’s long and he’s disruptive and he can run. So I think he’s going to be better and better the more he learns the system.”
As he enters his second season, though, Dunbar still has quite a bit to improve on if he wants to settle in at the position.
“There’s certain things he still has to develop,” Gruden said. “He got to know how to play the bunches and the clusters and all that stuff. Handle motions and communication, but for the most part I think he’s got the chance to be a really good one.”