Every summer a couple of unknown Burgundy and Gold players - think Colt Brennan, Brandon Banks and yes, Babe Laufenberg - seize opportunity and turn heads during training camp and preseason. With the Redskins starting camp at the end of July, now is a good time to predict who those players will be this time.
First, we predicted that undrafted running back Trey Williams would make the 53-man roster, and named sixth-round pick and cornerback Tevin Mitchel as a surefire special teams contributor. Today, we look at wide receiver Rashad Ross’ chances.
Name: Rashad Ross
Hometown: Vallejo, California
Height and weight: 6’0”, 181 pounds
Acquired: Re-signed with Redskins practice squad on December 8, 2014. First came to the team in May 2014.
College: Arizona State
College stats: Played 2 years and 26 games for the Sun Devils…Caught 55 passes for 864 yards and 7 touchdowns, averaging 15.7 yards per reception…Returned 28 kicks, averaging 27.8 yards per return with 2 touchdowns. Here’s a highlight tape.
What he’s up against: There are 11 wide receivers currently on the Redskins roster. Of those 11, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant and Jamison Crowder are all but guaranteed roster spots with and Evan Spencer on the cusp of joining them. Don't count on the Redskins entering the season with more than six wide outs on the final roster. Grant and Spencer are probably the ones most in danger of missing out. If they slip up, Ross might step into one of those slots.
Can he do it?: His chances aren’t as good as Mitchel and Williams, but hope remains. To do that, however, he’ll have to show that he’s improved as a receiver while still impressing as a kick returner. Last preseason, he did just that, averaging over 30 yards per return.Luckily, Ross finds himself with a team that has been aching for a kick return threat to emerge in recent years. If he does rip off a few big returns in August, head coach Jay Gruden and his staff may deem the former Pac 12 standout worthy of a roster spot. That he’s been such a weapon on special teams since his college days gives Ross a fighting chance, at the very least.
Prediction: Ross falls just short, but may do enough to catch on somewhere else. In Crowder and Spencer, the Burgundy and Gold already have two younger wide receivers that will help out in special teams. That’s why I think Ross will lose out. I absolutely wouldn’t be surprised if Ross pops as a returner and maybe turns in a Brandon Banks-ish preseason where he has a touchdown or two, but in the end, there’s simply no room on the team’s roster for another receiver. Somewhere else, however, he could certainly find himself an opportunity.We've given you three potential breakout performers. Now it's your turn. Let us know which overlooked players we perhaps overlooked in the .