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Need to Know: Which Redskins will surprise in 2016?

May 23, 2016, 5:11 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Monday, May 23, one day before the Washington Redskins start OTAs.


—The Redskins last played a game 134 days ago. It will be 112 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 66; Preseason opener @ Falcons 80; Final roster cut 103

Two up, two down

Here are four Redskins who I think will surprise in 2016; two who will exceed expectations and two I think will fall short of expectations.

Two up

DL Stephen Paea—I think after last year the expectations of him are so low that he could do just about anything and exceed them. Paea has last year’s injuries behind him, he’s had a year in the defense, and he should be ready to contribute. I’ll put him down for about eight starts, 650 snaps, and five sacks. He isn’t going to get any Pro Bowl votes but he should be a solid contributor.

S DeAngelo Hall—He will be 33 before the season ends and many are skeptical that he can learn a new position and thrive. I think he will do well if—and this is a big if—he can make at least 14 starts. Hall missed major portions of the last two seasons but he has been healthy most of his career. If he makes 14 starts I think he plays almost every snap and ends up with six interceptions.

Two down

WR DeSean Jackson—I sense some high expectations for Jackson this year but I’m not so sure that a big year for him is in the cards. I don’t think he’ll be a bust but I don’t think he’ll approach his 2014 stat line of 56 receptions for 1169 yards (20.9 yards/catch) and six touchdowns. He’s likely to miss a few games with injuries—he has only played 16 games in a season only once in his eight years in the league. And the additions of Josh Doctson and Vernon Davis and a possible resurgence in the running game will mean fewer targets for him. Jackson will be more productive than he was last year (30/528/4) but a 1000-yard seasons looks unlikely.

CB Josh Norman—I think that Norman will be a victim of high expectations and expected to do things that he isn’t necessarily capable of doing. He’s not a shutdown corner who will be expected to take the other team’s best receiver out of the game. And he’s not going to get eight or ten picks; he has only seven interceptions in his four-year career. He will contribute a lot but I think a lot of fans will be looking for numbers that he won’t deliver.

Stat of the day

Kirk Cousins completed 69.2 percent of his passes on third down last year, the highest completion percentage among the 26 quarterbacks who had at least 100 third-down passing attempts.

In case you missed it 


  1. abanig - May 23, 2016 at 5:58 AM

    I agree with 3 out of the 4. I think Paea is going to match what you said and Hall.

    I think that Norman will not repeat he performance of last year in Carolina. I think he’ll be our top corner but I think the talent around him in Car aided him and I’m not sold he’s a true shut down corner.

    As for Djax I think he will have a year similar to his best year in Phila. I say 75 caches, 1200 yds & 9 tds.

    If Djax had played 16 games last year he would have had 78 catches, 1206 yds and 9 tds.

    • Rich Tandler - May 23, 2016 at 8:29 AM

      Not sure how you get that. He played in nine games and had 30/528/4. Divide those by nine and multiply by 16 and I get 53/938/7.

      • abanig - May 23, 2016 at 8:33 AM

        He really only played “100% healthy” in 7 games. Week 1 he barely played, I throw out the pats game because he hadn’t played 8 weeks.

    • Trey Gregory - May 23, 2016 at 1:17 PM

      And you think Desean will have this year based off what? That he’s suddenly going to be healthy? That he, and not Jordan Reed, will be the centerpiece of the offense? That he’s suddenly going to become more than a one-dimensional receiver who will catch more than 3 passes a game? Or that Garcon, Crowder, Doctson, Reed, Paul, and Davis will all be pushed aside in the game plan for Desean’s greatness and he will get all the passes?

      Enough with the Desean Jackson Koolaid guys. he’s going to be a decoy who gets a shot at a deep pass every now and then to keep the defense honest while the truly dynamic receivers do all the real work. He’s going to get phased out because he’s not coming back next year. That’s Desean’s season.

      • abanig - May 23, 2016 at 2:16 PM

        Well I’m not one to predict injuries. I mean what are you gonna do just spitball a fictional number he’s going to miss?

        In 2011 he played in 15 games, 2013 he played in all 16 and in 2014 he played in 15 games.

        Typical cherry picking because a guy missed half the season last year to say that he always missed “games.” Which has the connotation that he’s always missing a month of the season

        It’s just simply not true. In 8 years Djax has missed 17 games and 7 of them were last year.

        So the “he’s always injured” line doesn’t fly with Jackson.

      • bangkokben - May 23, 2016 at 6:01 PM

        Trey, this is a ridiculous take: (Enough with the Desean Jackson Koolaid guys. he’s going to be a decoy who gets a shot at a deep pass every now and then to keep the defense honest while the truly dynamic receivers do all the real work.)

        Jackson taking two defenders out of the play is a credit to his talent and to the coaching staff recognizing the impact he has on the offense. If Jackson does produce the numbers abanig suggests, it’s not only because he’s healthy but because the other guys are making plays underneath.

        Here’s some stats: “In the nine games in which Jackson played a substantial amount last season, Cousins’ passer rating was 126.1.” (From Keim at the four letter.) There’s also: “In the past two years, Jackson has averaged 55.30 yards per catch on his 10 touchdown receptions – that’s nearly 20 yards more than anyone else, according to ESPN Stats & Information.” Jordan’s Reed’s yards per catch also went substantially up when Jackson was on the field.

        • samhuff96 - May 23, 2016 at 7:09 PM

          Decoy? Everyone has to cover Mr. DeSean and it’s difficult. But teams can take him away — mostly. Then Reed shines.

        • Trey Gregory - May 24, 2016 at 3:39 AM

          Okay. I guess I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and exaggerated my point a bit.

          My main argument was that there’s 7 regular mouths for Cousins to feed: Garcon, DJax, Crowder, Doctson, Reed, Davis, and Paul. Plus we know Gruden likes to throw to his RBs and Chris Thompson, Pierre Thomas (if he returns), and Matt Jones are all decent receivers. I’m not saying DJax is going to have a bad year, I just think it’s more likely the ball gets spread around and he doesn’t get the opportunity to put up huge numbers.

          But it’s also no secret I’m not his biggest fan. He is frail (and it’s hard to fault him for that with his build, he looks like a pencil out there). Even in the games he plays he’s constantly coming out for a series because he tweaked something. I also can’t stand his attitude, but that’s less quantifiable.

          I maintain that he’s not dynamic and he’s essentially a one trick pony. But I concede that he’s extremely good at that one trick. I also agree that any player who takes multiple defenders away from other players is a huge asset. I just think we can do better. He is not the only guy in the league who stretches the field. Other WRs take, and beat, double teams and stretch the field but are also: tall, can work the sideline, are redzone threats, can block, can win jump balls, can work the middle of the field (and not get murdered), and can get physical with (and beat) physical corners. Guys like Dez, Brandon Marshall, Julio Jones, Demarius Thomas, etc., etc. I would take any of them over Desean . And it’s not just about height. Antonio Brown and OBJ figure out ways to make plays beyond their stature that I’ve never seen Desean make.

          And I think we found our guy in Doctson. Doctson, Reed, and Crowder are the future of this teams receiving corps. So I expect them to get phased in more and Garcon and DJax to get phased out more and more. I just don’t see Garcon getting phased out as much because he makes those tough possession receptions.

          So those are my thoughts on why I don’t think Desean will have a monster year. Maybe 2-3 home runs a game but that’s about it. Sorry if I offended anyone with the Koolaid. We all have our favorite players.

        • bangkokben - May 24, 2016 at 9:25 AM

          “I guess I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” No problem. With everything going on at Baylor, having a general sense of frustration is understandable.

          “Sorry if I offended anyone with the Koolaid.” No offense here. DeSean’s too cool for school approach is outputting and he did cost the home game against Dallas with his punt return gaffe. He simply falls into the category of one of those players that the “rules” don’t apply to due to his talent AND impact. But he’d have to have a monster year to get a new contract here and I’m not sure the Redskins would even bid too hard for him if he does have a monster year.

          As for your list of better options, every single one gets paid more than Jackson except ODB who certainly will as soon as he’s finished with his rookie deal. So there is a wide range between the elite receivers in the game (last year Julio Jones and Antonio Brown had the 2nd and 4th most receiving yards ALL TIME in a season) and Aldrick Robinson 2.0 (which is kind of what you implied Jackson is). ” I just think we can do better. He is not the only guy in the league who stretches the field.” For what he does there are limited options and no better options available. Let’s see how Doctson adjusts to the NFL and an NFL offense too.

          There is no need to push aside Garcon or Jackson until next year and no need to offer them a contract before then either. Let’s see how this season plays out.

        • Trey Gregory - May 24, 2016 at 5:10 PM

          Man. All the Stuff at Baylor has been awful. I think I told you I work at the local paper. People just randomly call in and cuss me out like its my fault Sean Oakman raped someone. It really sucks all around. I might write a column about it soon. If I do I’ll send you the link.

          But anyway. You make a good point about Jackson’s salary. I did list some high priced guys. I should have added A.J. Green too. I was simply trying to point out that Desean isn’t the only deep threat in the league. Even guys who aren’t as fast can be deep threats because they’re so dynamic. Jackson is a deep threat because he beats the DBs downfield and he’s open when he catches the ball. But he’s not winning a battle for a contested ball. Those other guys can get downfield, maybe slightly slower, but still catch a deep ball because they can beat the DBs for a contested ball. They too require double teams and a safety to play deep. But they can also do so much more on the field.

          Brandon Marshal’s contract is actually kind of comparable to Jackson’s. If you ignore the average salary and look at the actual cap hit, they’re close. Same with Jordy Nelson. And I think Jordy is one of the best deep threats in the game. But he does all that other stuff too. Emanual Sanders actually costs less than Desean, and he’s no slouch.

          I wasn’t exactly trying to call Desean Aldrick Robsonson 2.0 (although one of my favorite plays ever was that Robinson TD on Thanksgiving in 2012). More like Mike Wallace. Wallace was great in Pittsburg with AB and Emanual Samders. But when he went to teams where they expected him to be a true dynamic #1 receiver, he couldn’t do it. Garcon has been the #1 on this team. DJax is there for the home runs. But if all we had was DJax for our #1 receiver, we would have been in some trouble. Just like Miami and Minnessota with Wallace.

          I’m not trying to kill the guy. Desean has amazing ball tracking ability, great hands, and he’s shifty. Ross proved it takes more than speed to be a deep threat last year. They could maybe get more use out of him in the screen game. But we tried that and he got banged up. I’m not trying to kill the guy I’m just sick of people acting like he’s the only player who can stretch the field. I want more out of my WRs than Desean is physically capable of giving. I want a deep threat who can do all the other stuff.

          That’s why I’m so excited about Doctson. I think he’s that guy. Doesn’t have the speed but he’s not slow either. I’m not trying to write anyone off the team before their time, I just don’t see us bringing Desean back unless he takes a huge paycut. Probably the same with Garcon. But I give Garcon a better chance. McCloughan always talks about these blue collar, thought, hard working football players: that’s Garcon. DJax doesn’t exactly fit that mold. Plus Garcon might be willing to take less than Jackson.

          A Garcon, Doctson, Crowder 2017 WR corps sounds pretty good to me. And who know what other guys may come along and surprise us before then.

        • bangkokben - May 24, 2016 at 7:37 PM

          Djax ball tracking ability on deep passes is second to none. Combined with his speed, he is the ultimate “throw him open” guy when covered one on one. Having said that, he isn’t Antonio Brown and won’t be but could if he cared. The other comps are just too different physically. Jackson IS THE ONLY ONE who the Redskins have that can legitimately stretch the field. Ross until he proves he can get open and catch a deep ball will only draw single coverage. Garcon’s ability to catch the deep ball is a weakness. Until Doctson puts on the B&G, I’ll remain optimistic but skeptical in his abilities to be a legit deep threat. Emmanuel Sanders, Pierre Garcon, and Desean Jackson will be the best available free agent options at wide receiver so unless either of the Redskins have a down year, a lower average per year salary cap hit is unlikely. Let them both walk and get compensatory 3rd or 4th rounders for them in 2018. Let’s enjoy the weapons the Redskins have this year on offense because it isn’t likely to be this stacked for a while.

        • Trey Gregory - May 24, 2016 at 9:26 PM

          I basically agree with everything you said. I’m just sad to see Garcon go and his toughness will be hard to replace.

          And you’re absolutely right to be skeptical about Doctson until he actually shows it on an NFL field. I’m just very familiar with him. The kid is a monster. I thought Kevin White was the best WR the Big 12 produced since Dez. Until watching Doctson and Coleman this year. The two of them were just on a different planet. And, while White hasn’t done anything in the NFL yet either, remember how some argued he should be taken before Amari Cooper based off raw talent? I’m telling you, Doctson was better than White. If that’s any gauge as to what our expectations should be. I’ll be shocked if he’s a bust.

          Speaking of Big12 WRs. Remember I said this. The Giants got a damn good player in Sterling Shepard. That guy is going to take over that Victor Cruz slot role and be a pain in our ass real quick.

  2. colorofmyskinz - May 23, 2016 at 6:25 AM

    Not so sure about these…

    I think DHall loses his starting job to either Cravens or Bruton. I say DHall is a down. He cannot hit like all other Safeties on the team. He can pass defend but not hit like them. Down and possibly out.

    I agree with Paea.

    DJax depends on the number of games. It appears he is taking the offseason differently than in the past. If he continues to work in the offseason, then we see more games out of him. Not sure if he gets the stats, but he will continue to pull the top of defenses which is what his job is. Open up opportunities for other receivers like Reed and Crowder.

    Norman will be the best defensive man on the squad. Not sure if he hits the stats you discuss but he will make it easier on the front 7.

    I say Cravens and Long / Reiter up and DHall and Licthenstiener down.

    • abanig - May 23, 2016 at 8:34 AM

      Cravens isn’t a FS, Bruton has the possibility of starting over Hall or even Blackmon.

    • abanig - May 23, 2016 at 8:55 AM

      So Reiter is an up without ever making an NFL roster before but a 7 year vet in Kory L is a down because the new thing must be better than the old right? IMO, Reiter may… May make the team over Leribeus but i don’t think he has much of a chance at all of starting over Kory.

      Every offseason there seems to be a feel good story ppl pick to push a UDFA or practice squad player into a major contributor or stater because the vet starter got injured or had a down year the year before and 9 times out of 10 it never comes to fruition.

      I’d put my $ on Kory

      • bangkokben - May 23, 2016 at 9:36 AM

        “Every offseason there…”

        Agreed. How many years did fans try to push Santana Moss off the roster for the likes of Leonard Hankerson et al? Reed Doughty? Kedric Golston? There is always some “weak link” veteran that fans want replaced. That part is fine in and of itself, however, the vet usually isn’t as weak as perceived AND more often than not the suggested replacements are usually downright pipe dreams — some guy that has never been active for game day BUT has LOADS of potential.

        Having said all that, it wouldn’t break my heart in the least if Lichtensteiger’s fate this year is similar to Chris Chester’s last offseason. However, just because the Redskins were reportedly ready to draft Ryan Kelly doesn’t mean that anyone can start at center. They drafted zero linemen in this year’s draft, so whoever is on the roster is presumably better than any of the available linemen from the draft and free agency. Let the best men win and if that is Reiter, wow!

        • abanig - May 23, 2016 at 9:38 AM

          Chester was different, he was let go before the offseason even started. That’s never been the case with Kory, so Kory must be doing something right despite what some misinformed fans think.

        • bangkokben - May 23, 2016 at 9:41 AM

          05/27/2015 Released OL Chris Chester and CB Tracy Porter.

          That would give us four more days — more or less. But if memory serves me, it was after the first day of last year’s OTAs. Terry Porter missed a flight to OTAs and was cut as well but the writing had been on the wall for both.

        • abanig - May 23, 2016 at 9:46 AM

          Interesting. I thought Chester was cut before, I guess they waited until after the draft to see how Kuandijo did and if Long progressed.

          Kinda sucks we cut porter in hindsight. Porter stayed healthy last year and was an “OK to good” starter in Chicago. In hindsight that probably was a bad release and a stupid reason to do it IMO.

        • bangkokben - May 23, 2016 at 9:59 AM

          It was hard to tell if Porter’s release was an accountability issue or if it was a numbers game/salary cap cut due to his unreliability due to injury. Remember, at the time, they had Culliver, Breeland, Hall, and Amerson ahead of him.

          The thought process at the time was that Spencer Long had made enough progress to assume the RG position and that LeRibeus and Kouandjio provided enough depth to justify the cap cutting savings. Lauvao was LG and Scherff was RT with Moses out with the lisfranc backing him up. Moses didn’t take the field until training camp and after a week the change was made.

          Bottom line, a lot can change in one year on an NFL team even if the depth is young and cheap.

        • abanig - May 23, 2016 at 10:08 AM

          That’s true, can’t predict injuries either or that Amerson still wouldn’t get last years message even after he was benched for a game.

          If Culliver, Ihenacho & Hall were healthy all year, our secondary would have been a lot better.

        • bangkokben - May 23, 2016 at 10:24 AM

          “can’t predict injuries”
          Isn’t that the truth. However, it seems that no matter who is playing in the secondary for Washington, there WILL be injuries in the secondary and they’ll be significant. Whether it’s Brandon Merriweather, Duke Ihenacho, or O.J Atogwe at safety or DeAngelo Hall, Chris Culliver, or Tracy Porter at corner the result is the same for the Redskins. Adjustments and decline in production. Best guess is the probability of injury. Who has the highest probability for injury back there? This year, you’d have to say Hall and Ihenacho as both have been injured the past two years but then again Porter wasn’t injured last year for the Bears. This is why I was somewhat surprised when they released Culliver. They basically traded one expensive injured corner for one inexperienced injured corner in Fuller. Bottom line, you can only keep so many and you hope the ones you keep stay healthy.

        • abanig - May 23, 2016 at 10:46 AM

          Don’t forget about Landry’s achillies injury in 2010 & 11, if he didn’t have that injury he might be our starting SS still today.

          As for the rest I 100% agree. I think we should have restructured Culliver so he could get healthy and compete for the nickel corner spot or starting FS spot. It also does seem we’ve been a bit snake bit with health and the lack of draft picks developing in the secondary since Sean died.

          That’s why a few years ago I wrote a story titled “The Ghost of Sean Taylor.”

          As for the injury bug, my bet is on Hall having the highest probability because of his age but I’m not going to predict anything major.

          I just can NOT see Ihenacho getting seriously injured for a third year in a row. I predict he’s our stating SS.

    • renhoekk2 - May 23, 2016 at 11:16 AM

      I don’t see DHall in any sort of competition for his spot. I think the coaching staff and McCloughan have a good enough read on how he played at Safety last season. If it wasn’t good enough I think he would have been cut by now. If Hall loses his starting job they won’t keep an aging CB, who probably won’t be a ST contributor making $5M to be a backup safety. That’s starter money. He’ll be cut before they pay him that much money to be a backup. They would save $4M this year and next year if they cut him. Not saying they should, but rather they would if he loses his starting job.

      • bangkokben - May 23, 2016 at 4:35 PM

        I agree with your take on Hall and how the staff views him. I’m not sure if I agree with you on him HAVING TO BE a starter in order to remain on the team this year. Ideally — for the team — he would win the starting FS position but safety is different than Perry Riley at ILB. The Redskins routinely had 7 DBs play significant snaps on defense. After Culliver went down, six DBs played at least 50% of the defense’s snaps (Goldson, Breeland, Blackmon, Hall, Jarrett, and Dunbar) while three of these DBs nearly played every snap (Breeland, Goldson, and Blackmon.) The Redskins used a lot of multiple safety sets. Being the third safety may keep him on the roster at his salary for this reason and the inevitability of injuries, but he has to at least be the third.

        It comes down to a numbers game. Goldson is gone and Jarrett is likely not coming back due to injury but Hall is fighting among Blackmon, Bruton, Cravens, and Ihenacho for the top three spots.

  3. redskins12thman - May 23, 2016 at 6:33 AM

    Eight pleasant surprises last year were Jordan Reed, who maintained his health and proved unstoppable (except for penalties), Jamison Crowder and Kyshoen Jarrett, who had unexpected impact seasons as 4-6 round picks, Morgan Moses, who rebounded under Callahan, Quinton Dunbar and Houston Bates, who were long shot undrafted free agents that worked their way onto the team and made solid contributions, and Dustin Hopkins and Mason Foster, who were acquired mid-season. (I expected Kirk to improve and do well although he was below expectations to begin with and above expectations beginning from the Tampa Bay game).

    The top seven disappointments were mainly defensive, three in secondary — Jeron Johnson, Chris Culliver, Duke Ihenacho — were particularly painful along with DL Stephen Paea and LB Trent Murphy. Duke has had under 20 defensive snaps in two seasons. Even if Paea has 8 starts, 650 snaps, and 5 sacks in 2016 that would still underwhelm me since he should be a major contributor / impact player. I also expected more out of WR Andre Roberts. We probably gave up on David Amerson too soon, which is odd considering our team’s struggles in the secondary, but that’s a surprise of a different kind.

    I mention these to illustrate that it’s really hard to predict who will rise and fall in 2016 as it has a lot to do with injuries and performance levels at particular positions. I don’t think I would have guessed many or perhaps any of the above at this time last year.

    So, with that said, two pleasant surprises in 2016 will be Arie Kouandjio and Junior Galette.

    I won’t hold it against any receiver, including Jackson, whose production goes down in 2016 compared to 2015. It’s about spreading the ball around to players who are open and not forcing the ball that results in turnovers. With at least three more solid pass receiving options this season and hopefully a much improved rushing attack, I fully expect last year’s production by receiver to go down. For continued downturns, I will guess that Ihenacho, Paea and Murphy do not turn their performance around to be impact players for most of the season which is where my expectation is for each of them.

    • abanig - May 23, 2016 at 9:05 AM

      5 sacks from an interior defensive lineman is a major contributor and just for the record if Paea had been healthy all 16 games last year he would have had around 30 tackles and around 2.5 sacks, or more as a reserve/rotational DE/DT.

      If he doesn’t start this year I’ll be shocked, but even if he doesn’t start I do expect him to get more reps which should mean more production.

      • redskins12thman - May 23, 2016 at 9:38 AM

        The question about “surprises” has a lot to do with our expectations for each player, which varies for each of us. So a surprise for “me” may not be a surprise for “you” or it may be a surprise in a different way and / or for a different reason.

        I thought Paea was going to play DE and not DT / NT. Regardless, I need to know how Paea does with quarterback pressures as a whole, tackles / tackles for loss and whether Paea is facing double teams. My expectation is for Paea to be the best DLman (including better than Baker) on a decent / above average D-line. That’s what my expectation is; we’ll see.

        • abanig - May 23, 2016 at 9:41 AM

          Well when we play 60% of our snaps in the nickel defense and we have two 300 pounders in the game instead of 3, Paea would be playing like a 4-3 DT, not a 3-4 DE.

          That’s a pretty lofty expectation for Paea because he’s never been quite that in his career and isn’t paid to be a super star. He’s paid to be a solid starter but nothing special. I see a healthy Paea & Baker as about equals.

        • Trey Gregory - May 24, 2016 at 4:18 AM

          5 sacks would be a phenomenal season for Paea and the team. It would sure make me happy. It’s unusual for interior linemen, but he’s done it before. 6 sacks in 2014. Granted, it was a different team, a 4-3 defense, and an anomaly compared to his other years. But I think Scot signed him hoping something clicked with him and he could continue being productive.

          It’s really not fair to look at a slice of a season and say “well if he would have gotten hurt the his stats would have been this.” What if Preston Smith was placed on IR after 8 games? Or Kerrigan? Or Cousins? We wouldnt exactly be saying they would have had great seasons based off their early stats. Or what if Jones and Morris were placed on IR week 3. You could predict that they would have been breaking all kinds of rushing records at the pace they went their first two games.

          Players have good and bad days. And big plays often come I waves (it’s truly amazing how sacks seem to come in waves). So you never know man. Maybe something really did click with Paea in 2014 and he’s a great interior linemen who just got hurt last year. We shall see.

          Btw. What do you guys see the front 4 looking like in the Nickle? I’m guessing you have Baker and Paea in as the DTs? What about the DEs and OLBs? I change my mind every day on this one.

  4. garg8050 - May 23, 2016 at 7:01 AM

    Crowder down. Just too many other options and Doctson will take some of his snaps.

    Hall down. I wasn’t all that impressed with him at safety last season. Granted, it was a new position for him. But I don’t see him being able to stay healthy, especially if he’s asked to make a lot of tackles, plus there are other options behind him.

    Long up. Either at guard or center, I think he’ll play well.

    Vernon Davis up. Expectations are pretty low. As long as he’s healthy and still has his speed, he should be able to exploit some mismatches. He won’t have a lot of catches, but I could see him converting some big 3rd downs and scoring 5-6 TDs.

    • colorofmyskinz - May 23, 2016 at 7:17 AM

      Agreed here. When you only have 5000 passing yards to spread around multiple receivers, stats say they all go down. With Reed, Paul, Davis, DJax, Garcon, Crowder, Doctson, Jones, Thompson, and Marshall… You have too many pass catchers to send multiple 1000 yard reception seasons…

      There are 10 pass catchers… Not enough yards to go around….

      • Trey Gregory - May 23, 2016 at 1:20 PM

        I love how you threw Marshal in there even though he probably won’t make the team.

  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 23, 2016 at 7:55 AM

    I look for Doctson to make his presence felt in the red zone.

  6. sidepull - May 23, 2016 at 8:46 AM

    Spaight and Dunbar on the rise.
    Hall and Grant descend.

  7. renhoekk2 - May 23, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    I’m going to go with Keith Marshall as a surprise contributor. RB is probably the easiest position to transition to from college. As long as his knee is healthy and his head is in the game he should be able to contribute right away.

    And for surprise down I’m going Chris Baker. Guys in the final year of a contract can go one of two ways. They ball out trying to get paid. or they worry about injury and not getting paid. Since Baker will be 30 and this will be his last chance to get an NFL pay day, I’m going with door #2 and a drop off.

  8. troylok - May 23, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    Hall did well at safety last year with limited snaps. I think he will continue to do well. A free safety with speed is a necessary ingredient with this defense and Hall is still faster than most guys in the league.

    Something tells me they had a plan when they drafted Cravens and I can’t see him riding the pine much. I liked that the analysts said he was always around the ball. He probably won’t lead the team in tackles but he will just disrupt things with his instincts, speed and strength.

  9. wncskinsfan - May 23, 2016 at 4:20 PM

    It appears that Scot & Co. are developing a true culture of competition from within, meaning that soon enough 90 guys will be competing. We all know this is not the case in some spots, but it would appear that many are up for the taking. Like last year, I think there will be a few surprises . . . likely in both directions . . . up and down. It’s going to get interesting. Fun time to be a fan.

  10. devlyn310188 - May 23, 2016 at 6:46 PM

    Preston Smith Up.. Second year improvement is often significant, I suppose it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise given his strong finish last year but he could really benefit from the attention a fit Galette (and Kerrigan) could draw, and also from a hopefully improved back end. Barry has a lot of options to get creative in subpackages and Smith has the physical tools to take it to the next level

  11. skinsgame - May 23, 2016 at 10:14 PM

    I’m not sure why Hall is considered an “up”. He’s learning a new position and didn’t look very good at it last year. Plus, his age. All down indicators.
    And Norman is pretty much the opposite. All-Pro. Young. Not out of position. Yet you have him as a down?

    • Trey Gregory - May 24, 2016 at 3:48 AM

      Well Hall didn’t play well so he has nowhere to go but up (hopefully). He got thrown into a new position midsession. No offseason to train. No time to refine his craft. Just go. So he should do better.

      And Norman had an amazing season. Players don’t tend to stack monster seasons like that. Jouston Houston was the NFL sack leader with 22 sacks in 2014 then followed up with 7.5 in 2015. Granted, he had a season ending injury after 11 games. But he was nowhere near that 22 sack trajectory. JJ Watt had 20.5 sacks in 2012 and 10.5 in 2013. Stayed healthy both seasons. Doesn’t mean these guys weren’t still two of the best defenders in the league. Things just tend to even out. 2015 was, by far, Norman’s best year ever. It’s possible that he never had a year that good again. Plus, new team, new system, a (perceived) weaker front 7: expecting Norman to have a second all pro season in 2016 is a bit unrealistic

      • skinsgame - May 25, 2016 at 12:36 AM

        Agreed on Norman. Even so, he’s far more likely to have an “up” of consequence than is Hall. The bar being so low shouldn’t be a positive. Hopefully he shocks me. I’m rooting for him.

        • Trey Gregory - May 25, 2016 at 2:23 AM

          Yeah I understand what you’re saying man. And I didn’t even mean to say the bar should be that low for Hall. I didn’t think he played bad, he just wasn’t great. For the situation he was thrown in, I think he did pretty good. That was a tough situation: position change, mid season, no offseason, coming off a serious injury. And he didn’t suck! So I actually have relatively high expectations of Hall. I don’t think people will be talking about Washington having weak safties this year (outside of a rash of injuries).

          With Norman, again, I understand. I expect him to have a great season too. But he could drop off (hypothetically) and only play 80% as well as he did in 2015 and still have an outstanding season.

          I just hope fans understand that. They’re going to want him to live up to that contract. Rightfully so. But he’s still human. He will have his ups and downs and things like: the move, new system, and new teammates to mesh with will affect him. Thankfully we have a great corner on the other side (Breeland), a hungry up and comer (Dunbar), a very promising rookie (Fuller), and a solid vet (Blackmon) for him to lean on in the secondary while he gets comfortable. And who knows how much Hall, Bruton, and Cravens might help him across the middle? Also, Kerrigan, Gallette, and Smith aren’t going to give QBs much time. It’s an exciting defense to contemplate.

  12. Paul Biddlecombe - May 24, 2016 at 3:56 PM

    How many of the 69.2percent made first down? That’s much more significant. Archives

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