As a follow-up to my Washington Redskins pre-draft position grades, I will be updating each review for the next few weeks. Today's installment is on the Wide Receiver and Tight End positions.
Wide Receivers (Rankings):
Others: Robert Davis (Rookie), Matt Hazel, Reginald Diggs and Kendal Thompson
Pre-Draft Grade: B
Pre-Training Camp Grade: B
New Notes: The Wide Receiver position is an interesting projection this year for the Washington Redskins. I think many are quick to assume this group will not have much of a drop-off in production from last year. One side of me believes the upside is there for it not to be much of a drop-off in production. But it's not often a team has two receivers that go over 1,000 yards (DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon) with a third receiver not far from that mark (Jamison Crowder). I think there's maybe two things you can depend on from this group right now: Crowder being the lead receiver and Pryor having some impact downfield. If you ask me, the most reliable target behind those two right now is Maurice Harris.
Second year receiver Josh Doctson has a potential to really step in and fill the Garcon role. I don't think he has Garcon's toughness. However, I like the fact they're working him in that role because it fits him best. My pre-draft evaluation on Doctson was that he'd be a very good complementary receiver with added red-zone value. He has to first prove he can stay healthy, then prove it on the field.
Lastly, if Ryan Grant finds his way into the starting lineup, I'm dropping this position a whole letter grade.
Tight Ends (Rankings):
Pre-draft Grade: B-
Pre-training camp Grade: B
What was said pre-draft: The people who think the Redskins are settled at tight end are mistaken. While Reed is a stud, he's also a concussion away from his career being in danger. Vernon Davis is getting old and I don't expect him to build off the campaign he had last season. Niles Paul hasn't been healthy in several years. Not to mention, Derek Carrier has also been injury-prone. The tight end position is key in Gruden's offense and offensive line coach Bill Callahan loves to utilize in-line tight ends. I would not be surprised if they draft one at some point.
New Notes: I raised the Redskins' tight end position grade to a "B" thanks to them adding another piece via the draft. However, if my limited time watching him practice this offseason is any indication, Sprinkle's strength is not as a pass blocker. Not yet at least. He still has things to work on in that regard. But I do like his potential in the pass game. It will be interesting to see if he's able to take Carrier's spot.
I'm still concerned about the health of Reed, Paul and Carrier. I also still don't expect Vernon Davis to continue playing at a semi-high level. But for as long as Reed can stay healthy, he is still a premier tight end in this league.