Peter Hailey on which Redskins are changing opinions while Ben Standig talks about which positives from Sunday's rout over the Saints are sustainable.
Over the course of every NFL season, the expectations and job descriptions of many players change. Guys who were supposed to fill minor roles pleasantly surprise, while others who were predicted to break out actually disappoint.
With the Redskins entering 2015's stretch run, it's time to evaluate a few members of the team who've had the biggest swings in value since the start of the year. The names on this list have seen the perception of them undergo dramatic changes, either for better or for worse.
The oft-injured tight end was certainly projected to be a difference-maker on offense, but few could have imagined how big of a difference-maker he'd prove to be. Reed already has six scores through the team's first nine contests, yet he's only played in seven. We knew he was good, but I don't think anyone knew he'd be elite.
When Paea signed his healthy free agent contract in the offseason, many thought he'd build on his six sack campaign he had with the Bears in 2014. So far, that hasn't been the case. Paea has just 1.5 quarterback takedowns in his first season with the 'Skins, and he's had a few games where he's barely seen the field. Perhaps he'll finish the year strong, but up to this point, he's underperformed.
Jamison Crowder :
The rookie from Duke looked like he'd be a minor contributor in the passing game with DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon and Andre Roberts ahead of him on the depth chart, but it didn't take long for him to seize a major role. While #80 hauled in his first career touchdown against the Saints, he has made clutch catches all year long, turning into a dependable option for Kirk Cousins in his first year in the NFL.
Jackson was a phenomenal deep threat in his debut in the nation's capital, but injuries and difficulties with getting back on track have prevented him from building on that this time around. He was supposed to keep making explosive plays, but only has five catches to his name as of now.
Chris Baker: Baker's been a fine rotational player with Washington, and after an offseason in which new GM Scot McCloughan made a conscious effort be improve the Burgundy and Gold's defensive line, it looked like he'd stay on that path in 2015. But Baker has arguably been the defense's most consistent player, and already has four sacks after entering the year with just two in his career. That's pretty "swaggy."
Jeron Johnson: Many, including myself, saw Johnson as a diamond in the rough, a guy who McCloughan picked out of free agency and who could end the Redskins' long-running problems at safety. The former Seahawk has only just recently cracked the lineup, however, and hasn't had the impact he probably envisioned upon agreeing to join the franchise during the offseason.
Kyshoen Jarrett :
The first-year pro out of Virginia Tech was projected to play only on special teams after making the team out of camp, but boy, he's done so much more than that, filling in at corner and performing admirably. Solid organizations get solid contributions from late-round draft picks, and Jarrett seems like a guy who could develop into a good defender for years to come.
Chris Culliver : Another struggling member of the secondary, Culliver has yet to pick off a pass and has looked lost at times in coverage after coming to D.C. in April. Bashaud Breeland has looked more like the No. 1 corner that Culliver was supposed to be.
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