With training camp set to begin on July 25, Redskins.com will be previewing the current state of the roster, continuing today with the team’s wide receivers.
The Redskins feature a large group of wide receivers with several new additions.
-- Jamison Crowder
-- Maurice Harris
-- Terry McLaurin
-- Kelvin Harmon
-- T.J. Rahming
-- Steven Sims Jr.
CURRENT STATE OF THE UNIT
The wide receiver corps is possibly one of the most-intriguing groups heading into training camp. From new additions to returning talent, the group has a competition ahead of them for who will secure spots on the 53-man roster.
The Redskins welcomed a pair of additions through the draft in Terry McLaurin (third round) and Kelvin Harmon (sixth round). Both players showed promise throughout OTAs and minicamp at both wide receiver and on special teams.
"Terry [McLaurin] and Kelvin [Harmon] are – knocking on wood right now – are very good,” head coach Jay Gruden said during OTAs. “Terry is doing an excellent job. He can do everything. He can block. He can run the vertical routes. He can run the short intermediate routes. ...I have just been impressed with the total package of Terry; not just his speed, but his toughness, his attention to detail. He has the ability to finish plays, to block, line up correctly. He has just been outstanding in all phases."
Two more newcomers came in the wake of college free agency. T.J. Rahming played collegiately at Duke, earning All-ACC honors twice and finishing his career with 2,919 yards on 253 receptions. Steven Sims Jr. played at Kansas and totaled 2,582 receiving yards on 214 receptions.
Last year, the Redskins picked up another Sims -- Cam Sims -- in college free agency, but he missed his entire rookie campaign with an injury that occurred on the opening kickoff of the season opener. He's now back at full strength, and he looks to have a solid relationship with the quarterbacks. He caught a bunch of balls during offseason workouts.
“It feels great to come back and be part of the team. It feels great to be around a group of guys and just play,” Sims said during minicamp in June.
He delved into the playbook while rehabbing, something he believes has expedited his development.
“That was pretty much the only think I could do besides rehab," Sims said. "When you rehab, the only thing you can do is go look in the playbook. Shoot, when you’re hurt the playbook is your friend.”
Another player coming off of a season-ending injury is Trey Quinn, who played in just three games a year ago, catching nine of his 10 targets for 75 yards and a touchdown. Still, it's those sure hands combined with his crisp route-running that have helped the last pick in the 2018 draft become the projected starter at slot receiver this fall. He'll receive the first chance to fill in for Jamison Crowder, who left for the New York Jets during free agency.
"We have great expectations for him and the entire receiving group,” Gruden said during minicamp. “Trey’s done an excellent job, you know. He’s come in here and stepped to the head of the class as far as his position’s concerned and done a great job. He understands raw concepts, he’s physical, he’s got strong hands, he can separate and he can block. He’s also a punt returner for us, so he’s a valuable member of our time right now. ...That slot position is critical for us. He’s got enough quickness to separate. He’s got no fear. He makes quick, sound decisions and he can catch it."
Paul Richardson Jr. is the second-most experienced receiver in the Redskins' arsenal aside from Brian Quick. In four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and last year with the Redskins, Richardson has proven himself as a reliable receiver when healthy. His best season came in 2017 when he averaged 43.9 yards per game and recorded six touchdowns.
Josh Doctson, a first-round pick in 2016 draft, is poised to have a breakout campaign after an uneven start to his career. And while the team declined his fifth-year option this offseason -- meaning Doctson will become a free agent at the end of this season -- the coaches remain confident in his ability to produce on the outside.
“When the ball’s in the air he’s been making plays left and right,” Gruden said. “I’m Josh’s biggest supporter up here and I’m really, really hopeful that he comes through in a big way this year
Third-year players Jehu Chesson and Robert Davis are fighting for roster spots in Richmond. Chesson only saw six targets for three receptions and 25 total yards over his first two seasons, while Davis missed the entire 2018 campaign with a leg injury.
Rounding out the wide receiver unit are Quick and Darvin Kidsy, both of whom the Redskins have signed and waived multiple times over their careers. Quick has tallied 114 total receptions since entering the NFL in 2012.
WHAT TO WATCH:
Of the 12 roster hopefuls at wide receiver, six appear have job security: Doctson, Harmon, McLaurin, Sims, Richardson and Quinn. What unfolds in Richmond will go a long way towards determining who else makes the 53-man roster as well as the Week 1 depth chart.