There are several ways to rank the 2016 Washington Redskins. This version goes for the most Training Camp/preseason fascinating. They're interesting, whether by force of personality, their role or their overall fit in the big picture. .
Honorable mention: Valdez Showers - When you're the one wearing No. 10 the season after Robert Griffin III, you're interesting.
Honorable mention: Josh Doctson - First round receivers define interesting. That this one is stuck watching because of an Achilles injury tamps down immediate excitement while ratcheting up fear of a lost season.
Honorable mention: Bashaud Breeland - Are we sure the Redskins can't have two Pro Bowl corners this year?
Honorable mention: Preston Smith - He's leading the team in sacks this year, right?
10. Kendall Fuller - Local kid makes good angle? Check. Actually, check thrice since we've got a Baltimore native who attended High School (Good Counsel) in the D.C. suburbs and played collegiately at Virginia Tech. Good genes? Since he'll be the fourth Fuller brother in the NFL, check? Potential draft steal? Check.
9. Nate Sudfeld - Everyone loves the backup quarterback. Problem: Colt McCoy's status -- no chance at starting and no upside -- makes him the most uninteresting player in camp. That leaves all future hopes and dreams to the sixth round pick. Whatever we see from Sudfeld in camp/preseason will become all we see until next summer barring massive problems. With Kirk Cousins' long-term contract situation unresolved, extrapolating Sudfeld's performances as the future or oy vey becomes the move.
8. Kendall Reyes - Can we all are the defensive line is the sketchiest unit? Outside of Chris Baker and probably Stephen Paea, who knows what to expect, especially at nose tackle. There's opportunity for Reyes. There's also uncertainty over whether the former Charger can provide the defense with a bolt of power.
7. Houston Bates - Junior Galette's injury eliminated the three-headed sack machine with Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith. That the replacement options are unproven commodities makes it hard imagining defensive coordinator Joe Barry can simply plug-and-play a newbie into Galette's spot. Or does it? Bates flashed in limited snaps last season and is receiving the first shot at taking those snaps. Then again, the massive yet raw Lynden Trail looks the part and Willie Jefferson is around. If nothing works here, GM Scot McCloughan will attack whatever is left on the free agent market.
6. Niles Paul - With Galette out, the tight end is the most fan-friendly social media force on the roster. More importantly, the bearded wonder becoming a force once again on the field after his season-ending injury would make two-TE sets with Jordan Reed a handful for defense.
5. Keith Marshall - Recently I jumped on the radio and was asked who would be the breakout star during the run-up to Week 1. Safe bet is always go with the running back. That this running back ran the fastest 40-time at the Combine adds to the allure. That there is a clear role behind Matt Jones and Chris Thompson for said RB made the choice of Marshall easier than Sunday morning. Early indications are the kid has game and he told Breaking Burgundy those previous injury woes are a non-story right now. Unless fellow Robert Kelley shines brighter, Marshall excitement should pop. Considering the two main backs have their own injury worries, the third-stringer could be next man up at anytime.
4. Josh Norman - Every time the free agent addition talks, the chances of his rivalry with Odell Beckham Jr. going next level are real. That the cover corner will battle DeSean Jackson practice daily provides on-field fireworks even before the season kicks off.
3. DeSean Jackson - Speaking of Jackson, the playmaking receiver is practicing with purpose at the start of camp. Maybe it's all about playing out his contract this season. Perhaps Jackson found motivation from the birth of his child or criticism for skipping all non-mandatory practices this season after a hamstring injury limited his 2015 campaign. Whatever the reason, nobody is taking their eyes off Jackson except for those defensive backs juked out of position.
2. Su'a Cravens - Here are two reasons why the masses love the NFL: Mystery and they just do. Much of the game is played off screen and those who design plays often receive epic praise, which is why there is massive interest in analysis. That the Redskins are essentially creating a hybrid position for the instinctive-rich rookie who is already a fan favorite feeds right into that combination of factors why fans love football.
1. Kirk Cousins - The contract. The catchphrase. The record-setting season. The first time, first-team status at training camp. The pass-to-pass analysis. The political answers. The starting QB in Washington reality. The future. The unknown. The glass slipper or the pumpkin. It's all there.
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