Projection time and not just about the Redskins' 53-man roster. This new series on Breaking Burgundy tackles the question of the best and worst units.
After starting at the bottom with the quarterbacks and tight ends, Peter Hailey moves up the list with his two targets.
Unit no. 8: The offensive line
What to watch for: Keep your eyes on the right side of the line: That’s where two new – and totally inexperienced – starters will take over. No. 5 pick Brandon Scherff and second-year player Spencer Long will replace Tyler Polumbus (won’t that be a relief?) and Chris Chester at right tackle and right guard, respectively. Long has barely touch an NFL field, and Scherff obviously hasn’t yet. Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, and every Redskins pass catcher will be hoping these two young blockers are ready, because it could make or break the team’s offense in 2015.
Why the offensive line lands at no. 8: Aside from Williams, who doesn’t get enough national attention for how talented and tough he is, this unit is full of “let’s hope” players. “Let’s hope that Shawn Lauvao is much better after last season’s poor debut in D.C.” “Let’s hope that releasing Chris Chester and just handing the starting right guard spot to Spencer Long doesn’t backfire.” “Let’s hope that Brandon Scherff shows why the team took him so high.” If all those “let’s hope” scenarios play out, the line could be solid. But I don’t think the chances of all of them happening are very high. Therefore, Washington could be in for another year of below average offensive line play.
Unit no. 7: The specialists
Who else is in contention: Ty Long, a rookie kicker out of UAB.
What to watch for: Will Tress Way be a one-hit wonder like Sir Mix-a-lot or Soulja Boy, or will he continue to be a force in the field position game? The Redskins have used a ghastly amount of punters in recent years: Sav Rocca, Josh Bidwell, Hunter Smith, Robert Malone, Durant Brooks, and Ryan Plackemeier are just some of the names that come to mind, and I didn’t even have to try that hard to remember them. Seeing Way go through another year of booming punts – and improving on his directional kicking – would be a welcome sight for Burgundy and Gold fans.
Why the specialists land at no. 7: Well, mostly because they’re specialists. The rest of the units I’ll be ranking have at least five guys to talk about, and will play a ton of snaps. Forbath, Way and Sunberg, meanwhile, only appear a handful of times every Sunday. With that being said, Forbath is very accurate, Way was a spectacular find in 2014, and Sundberg is very good at his duties. This is a pretty strong unit altogether – just not one that merits a ton of excitement.