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2017 Redskins In Richmond: Wide Receivers

Posted Jun 30, 2017

With training camp set to begin next month, Redskins.com previews the current state of the Redskins' roster, continuing today with the team’s wide receivers.

With training camp set to begin next month, Redskins.com previews the current state of the Redskins' roster, continuing today with the team’s wide receivers.

The Washington Redskins lost two 1,000-yard wide receivers in free agency but enter Richmond with a returning Josh Doctson, free agent signing Terrelle Pryor Sr. and third-year veteran Jamison Crowder leading a young group.

ROSTER SUBTRACTION(S):
-DeSean Jackon (Free Agent Signed By Tampa Bay)
-Pierre Garçon (Free Agent Signed By San Francisco)

KEY ADDITION(S):
-Terrelle Pryor Sr.
-Brian Quick
-Robert Davis

CURRENT STATE OF THE UNIT:
The Redskins had one of the most explosive passing games in the NFL in 2016, averaging nearly 300 yards per game through the air.

Only the New Orleans Saints, as they have so often ever since Drew Brees arrived, averaged more passing yards per game.

But despite all of the success the Redskins had, the passing attack will look quite a bit different this year. Gone are veterans DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, each of whom eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in the regular season finale.

Jackson decided to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency while Garçon reconnected with former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan with the San Francisco 49ers.

While losing both was a difficult dose of reality the Redskins had to deal with early in free agency, the team quickly responded by gaining a 1,000-yard receiver in Terrelle Pryor Sr.

Despite 2016 marking his first full year at wide receiver and despite the fact he had five different quarterbacks throwing him the ball, Pryor recorded 77 receptions for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns for the Cleveland Browns.

The 6-foot-4, 228 pounder totaled five different games with at least 90 receiving yards.

Washington also returns 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson, who appeared in just two games during his debut season before continued Achilles injuries sidelined him for the year following Week 2.

While his on-field work was brief (he missed all of training camp and the preseason), Doctson did manage to record a 57-yard reception against the Dallas Cowboys.

He finished the season with two catches for 66 yards.

The Redskins top returning wideout from last season is Jamison Crowder, who posted career highs across the board (67 receptions for 847 yards and seven touchdowns, a team best).

All seven of Crowder’s touchdown receptions came in the first 13 weeks of the season.

Also returning from the active roster last year are Ryan Grant and Maurice Harris.

Grant is now the longest tenured wide receiver on the roster entering his fourth season while Harris, a college free agent out of California, recorded eight catches for 66 yards.

Along with Pryor, the Redskins signed Brian Quick in free agency, as the 6-foot-3, 218-pound wide receiver recorded 564 receiving yards and three touchdowns last season with the Los Angeles Rams.

Then in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Redskins selected Georgia State wide receiver Robert Davis. He is the program’s all-time leading receiver, catching 222 passes for 3,391 yards.

Washington also has Matt Hazel, Levern Jacobs, Zach Pascal, James Quick and Kendal Thompson on the 90-man roster.

WHAT TO WATCH:
While the Redskins still have plenty of talent at wide receiver even with Jackson and Garçon no longer in the fold, Richmond will be the time in which the group comes together.

For Doctson in particular, he’ll have his first extended opportunity to show why he was a first round selection after coaches limited his workload during offseason workouts.

“This time last year, OTAs were hurting me and setting me back for the whole season so I can understand it, appreciate that, you know?” Doctson said of being eased back in during offseason workouts. “Now that this is over, I can see the bigger picture, which is training camp and the season.”

As for Pryor, he’ll have an elongated period to continue building his rapport with quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Cousins and Pryor got a step ahead during the offseason, working out together in Florida. But Richmond will provide their first lengthy time period together against a live defense, especially as Cousins learns how to time the deep ball to the speedy Pryor.

“Once he gets his feet churning, he’s fast, so they’ve got to trust that he’s going to go get it. It’s just a timing deal,” said head coach Jay Gruden. “The quarterback has got to see it and feel it. You can’t talk about it on tape so much, you have got to go actually out there and execute it. They’ve got to understand, they’ve got to really stick that back foot in the ground and launch it for him because he will go get it. He has been good, he’s been good to work with. The timing will come.”

Crowder, meanwhile, could see his role expand from behind the slot.

“He can play outside, inside. He can play running back probably if he wanted to, so we’ll utilize Jamison and try to get him more involved, not just in the passing game and the running game,” Gruden said. “He’s an excellent player, dynamic player. He just continues to prove every day why we like him so much. He’s great on option routes, he can run vertical stems. He can run just about anything you ask him to run.”

Like Harris last year, training camp could provide the launching pad for one of the college free agent signings on the roster as they compete to secure a spot on the active roster or the practice squad.

“We have a number of receivers that are battling,” Gruden said last month. “If we played tomorrow, we could only dress five, it would be a really, really hard decision right now. So special teams will become part of that obviously but we have got great options right now and it’s a matter of keeping them healthy and giving them all opportunities from now until the fourth preseason game after training camp and seeing who the best ones are, who makes the most plays.”

REDSKINS IN RICHMOND:

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