On Thursday night, Washington Redskins first-round pick Josh Doctson didn't really give an answer when asked if he fashions his game after a certain wide receiver. But when Doctson's new head coach looks at him, he sees a resemblance to an All-Pro with whom he is very familiar.
"Reminded me a lot of A.J. [Green] that we took a couple years ago in Cincinnati," Jay Gruden said. "[Doctson] is 6-foot-2, A.J. was 6-foot-4, but he’s got that same type of body control and the ability to high-point it, which is big time.”
If you're looking for more comparisons, Green and Doctson both clocked a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash at their respective combines. But Doctson was more explosive in Indianapolis. His 41-inch vertical leap bested Green's mark by more than half a foot and tied for the highest jump at this year's combine. Doctson's 131-inch broad jump, second-best this year, surpassed Green's 2011 result by five inches. Gruden is looking forward to putting those qualities to work in the field's most important areas.
"He’s got the mad leaping skills, which are very appealing, especially in a red zone, obviously," Gruden said of Doctson. "... He’ll get plenty of opportunities down there in the red zone."
While Doctson's size and ability to rise above defenders attracted the Redskins, there's a lot more that sold the team on taking the TCU product at No. 22 overall.
"I think he’s the most polished receiver of the [draft], personally," Gruden said. "I think he can do a lot of different things across the middle, and when the ball is in the air, he has got the jumping ability and leaping ability. He has great hands. I think he’s got the best hands in the draft also. He’s a great pure route runner.
"No game is too big for him. He’s just a solid all-around football player with that great body control. You can’t coach that. If the ball is in the air he can twist all kinds of different directions."
The Redskins don't need Doctson to impact a game like A.J. Green immediately. With Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder and others already in the stable, the rookie will be able learn on the job without too much pressure. But Doctson's presence gives Kirk Cousins and the Redskins' passing game yet another option. That's a good problem for Gruden.
"You only have one ball," Gruden said, "but the ability to spread it around like I like to spread it around will help Kirk out, the offensive line, the running game, all of it."
Breaking Burgundy publisher Ben Standig contributed to this report from Ashburn.
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