Before we turn all of our thoughts toward free agency, the NFL Draft and the 2016 season. Breaking Burgundy will put a bow on the Washington Redskins NFC East-winning 2015 campaign, player report card style. Peter Hailey on the highlights, lowlights and what the immediate future holds for all members of the Burgundy and Gold though he took a more expanded look at...
Player: Jamison Crowder
Position: Wide receiver
Contract Status: One year into his four-year rookie deal
Ended 2015 as: A pretty important contributor on what eventually turned into a dangerous offense. He did cool off in the season’s latter portion starting with the Carolina game (between that matchup, which was Week 11, and Week 16, the rookie never caught more than three passes), but his overall campaign was one to remember.
Preseason buzz: There was quite a bit, especially for a 5’8” fourth-rounder who was fighting for playing time at a crowded position. Once camp started, observers noticed how shifty Crowder was, and the hype about his debut grew. And once the preseason turned to the regular season, Crowder did not disappoint.
Season highs: In Weeks 4 and 5 against the Eagles and Falcons, Crowder posted seven and eight catches for 65 and 87 yards respectively. That’s when Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins truly knew they had a playmaker on their hands. He notched his first 100-yard day in the season finale against Dallas, meanwhile, and this play from that Eagles victory was maybe his best individual highlight in 2015:
Season lows: His cold-ish stretch run was already mentioned as a low, but his punt returning is what was, well, really bad. He was, by some metrics, the NFL’s least effective punt returner, which was surprising when you watched how talented he was on special teams while at Duke. He never broke a big one and looked fairly slow in general. He may just be better suited to strictly play wideout, though he did mention he plans to improve this part of his game in the offseason.
Off the field highlight: A few days after losing to Green Bay, Crowder and his QB went down to his old school to shoot hoops in a quaint little arena called Cameron Indoor Stadium. Although he apparently lost a game of HORSE, Crowder displayed gorgeous form, and could surely hold his own in any five-on-five pickup. (hyperlink: )
Grade: B+. His punt returning left some room for criticism, but he shouldn’t get much. Overall, he was the best first-year WR this side of Stefon Diggs and Amari Cooper.
2016 expectations: They’re high. Rookie pass catchers sometimes have trouble once they turn pro. Crowder didn’t. Now he’ll have to avoid another often-traveled path of NFL players: the sophomore slump. 59 catches as a rookie is no small feat — at all — and he possesses the hands and smarts to continue to be a threat on the outside and slot. People in the DMV aren’t normally fond of Duke, but they should be of this ex-Blue Devil. He’s going to be a real good pro.
Follow Peter Hailey on Twitter at @barelyin.
To get instant Redskins notifications, download the NEW Scout mobile app for iOS HERE!
Be sure to check out the ever-growing benefit package of being a Breaking Burgundy Insider! Check it out HERE.