It’s time to do a little stock watch with a few Redskins players. For this post, there’s only one question we’re asking of each guy: “What have you done for the Burgundy and Gold lately?” Here are some names that are rising and some that are falling:
Chris Baker - It looks like Baker has finally figured out the recipe to be a consistently effective lineman for Washington. After a few years of #92 sprinkling in some “wow” plays to go along with mostly average production, Baker has been a force all season long, especially recently. With three sacks and two forced fumbles against Philadelphia and Atlanta, the 28-year-old has probably been the most dominant player for Joe Barry during the last two weeks. The contract he signed in the offseason is already looking like a bargain.
Jamison Crowder - We figured Crowder would have some sort of impact in 2015, but 21 catches in the last three games? Those are Jordan Reed-ian numbers for the rookie out of Duke, who has snatched away the slot receiving duties with his ability to always be open (should we start calling him Drive-Thru?). He’s become a focal point of the offense, and Kirk Cousins trusts him. In a deep draft class, #80 may turn out to be the best. He’s quickly becoming a fan favorite.
Chris Thompson - The running game has stalled as of late, but Thompson hasn’t. The small tailback has been a threat in both the running game and the passing game, and he’s also taken a giant step forward in pass-protection. His running has looked fluid since the New York game, and it feels like Jay Gruden is more comfortable with using him. The Florida State product has filled in for the departed Roy Helu Jr. with ease, and it now looks like he’s truly comfortable at the NFL level.
Kory Lichtensteiger - Always on the smaller side for centers, Lichtensteiger has been getting manhandled on many snaps the past couple of weeks. A few have
particularly stood out, including one against Atlanta that forced the Redskins out of comfortable field goal range during a drive that eventually ended with Dustin
Hopkins missing his kick. The offensive line as a whole has been a pleasant surprise, but Lichtensteiger himself needs to start playing better.
Matt Jones - Everyone’s thinking it, but I’m going to say it: Matt Jones hasn’t been very good since his standout effort against St. Louis. He had that disastrous fumble versus the Giants, and has run for just 31 yards the past two times out (picture the distance between your desk at work and the water cooler — that’s about as much distance as he’s covered recently). Is he still going to be a major part of the offense for years to come? I’d say so. But getting ready to crown him the Offensive Rookie of the Year after two contests was a bit premature, because lately, he’s been neutralized.
Ryan Grant - Yes, Grant fell down on the game-losing interception in Atlanta, but that could happen to anyone, and that’s not why he’s on this list. He’s here because while offensive players like Thompson, Crowder and Pierre Garçon have stepped up to fill the void of DeSean Jackson in the passing game, Grant has been pretty absent. He caught five balls for 45 yards in Week 4, but in Weeks 3 and 5, he totaled only three receptions combined. I’m big into Grant and am so glad that he’s finally getting a chance to get major snaps. I’m not big into his lack of production, however.
Peter Hailey is a contributing writer for Breaking Burgundy and creator of BarelyInBounds.com. You can find him on Twitter @p_hail2189.
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