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Redskins Receivers Look to Shine

The Redskins have improved their roster in many ways. They have added much needed youth and depth to positions such as the defensive line and running back position. One area though that has caught my eye is the Wide Receivers. This has been an area of trouble for quite some time after failed experiments with Michael Westbrook, Albert Connell, Brandon Lloyd, Antwan Randell El, and Devin Thomas. On the brink of preseason game number 2 however, the Redskins seem to have a quality group of receivers vying for playing time.

Starting last season with the emergence of Anthony Armstrong, The Redskins have put together a nice group under Shanahan’s eye. Re-signing Santana Moss was essential and the Skins did so quickly. Moss has been extremely productive throughout his tenure with the Burgundy and Gold despite numerous quarterbacks and limited options elsewhere. He put up career numbers last year working out of the slot and should continue to put up great numbers in the next 3 years. Given Moss’s production, the addition of Jabar Gaffney is not surprising because of his route running abilities. Moss and Gaffney are all-pro route runners and should give Beck/Grossman solid targets each and every snap. Add Gaffney’s strong hands and the Skins have two solid veteran receivers.

Anthony Armstrong’s presence should help the Skins quarterbacks as well. Skins fans should love Armstrong because he reminds me of Ricky Sanders. Armstrong can flat out fly and should continue to stretch the field with his speed. There are several comparisons to Sanders. For starters, the two came in the NFL a little late and both fill the need for a receiver to really stretch the field. Armstrong should continue to produce solid numbers and keep defenses honest.

The top 3 positions on the depth chart seem set and the results should be solid. The depth at receiver is another strong plus for the Washington Redskins. Leonard Hankerson, Malcolm Kelly, Niles Paul, and Terrance Austin are all fighting for roster positions and playing time. Hankerson has all the tools to become a big time receiver, but needs to work on his hands. The rookie should produce in years to come. Kelly is the most difficult to assess because he has not been on the field. Malcolm Kelly has the tools to be a great receiver, but his inability to stay healthy and on the field  may leave him off the Redskins roster. Paul has impressed in camp and could sneak onto the team. He will most certainly make the Practice squad and could be the heir apparent to Santana in the slot. Austin had a nice preseason outing versus the Steelers and may see quality playing time this season. However, his first goal should be to make the roster and then compete for playing time.

The Redskins top 3 receiver spots are filled out and there is plenty of competition to fill out the remaining spots on the roster. A nice mixture of veterans and youth have the Redskins excited about their receiving corps. Hopefully, they will produce big numbers in 2011.

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