Can the speedy Rashad Ross catch up with his opportunity?

With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon entering the final year of their contracts, opportunity is calling Rashad Ross to prove he is a valuable piece for the future.

The Washington Redskins remain in the slow lane during free agency, which for now means plenty of roster spots are available on top of the battle for playing time we know will take place. As we wait for additional signings and the NFL Draft, Breaking Burgundy begins a series looking at those current players with a shot at advancing their previous roles into something larger for 2016. Check out previous profiles below plus additional mentions in the above video.

Player: Rashad Ross

Position: Wide receiver

2015 overview: Blazing speed is perhaps Ross’ best-known asset. Nicknamed “The Rocket,” Ross made his presence known primarily as a kick returner, most memorably with a 101-yard kick return touchdown in the waning moments of the Week 3 loss to the Giants. The second-year receiver also hauled in his first career touchdown in Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Room for improvement: Route running, particularly short-to-intermediate patterns.

Opportunity: Both of Washington’s top wide receivers, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, are entering their final season under contract, which leaves room for Ross and fellow wide receiver Ryan Grant to prove themselves worthy of expanded roles in the 2017 season.

2016 projection: With Jackson, Garcon, Jamison Crowder and possibly Grant ahead of him on the depth chart, Ross will continue to be primarily a return threat. Still, he proved a capable deep threat at times last season, and he should be able to build on his 2015 campaign.

Opportunity (also) calling:

Dan Roth is a freelance sportswriter and Breaking Burgundy contributor. Follow Dan on Twitter @DanRothDC.

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