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. We're past the halfway point with only four units left...
Unit #4: The cornerbacks
What to watch for:There are a ton of storylines here and that's just with Bashaud Breeland's suspension and injury. Otherwise, what I’ll be paying the most attention to is Amerson’s development. The long armed corner had a promising first year in 2013, but had the slumpiest of sophomore slumps in 2014. There’s been nothing but positive talk surrounding how he’s behaved thus far in the offseason, however, and he showed as a rookie that he can be a productive corner. I’m expecting Amerson to rebound big time in his third pro season, and start becoming the ball hawk he was in college.
Why the corners land at #4: In my mind at least, there’s a lot to be pumped up about at the cornerback position if you’re a Burgundy and Gold supporter. Culliver, Breeland and Amerson are three long armed defenders, and Culliver and Breeland are especially aggressive players. Mitchel, meanwhile, looks like he could be a real find in the draft, and should help out on special teams immediately. This is a position that’s been dreadful for years in the nation’s capital, but I’m looking at 2015 as the campaign that things finally turn around. Fortunately, initial reports have Breeland only missing 6-8 weeks with a knee injury suffered Friday
Unit #3: The running backs
Who else is in contention: Chris Thompson, Mack Brown
What to watch for: Most will point you in the direction of Matt Jones, but I’m intrigued by the battle between Redd, Williams and Thompson. Those three are fighting for one or, at most, two spots, as the Redskins will need to find a shifty back to be their option on third down. I think Redd makes the team again, and Williams beats out Thompson in a bit of a surprise. However it shakes out, though, it’ll be something worth monitoring.
Why the running backs land at #3:This group is talented and deep, and if Gruden keeps the promises that he was making over the summer, they’ll get a lot of use during the regular season. Morris has been knocked down a bit by analysts and fans during the past few months (which is crazy, I think), and I predict he’ll get his yardage totals back up to 1,200 or so behind a (hopefully) better offensive line. Then there’s Jones, who’s been compared to Marshawn Lynch and has a lot of people liking what he’s done so far. Those two could combine to form a punishing tandem, and with a couple of speed backs behind them, should be the backbone of D.C.’s offense starting in September.