Five Things to Watch Heading into Washington Redskins Training Camp
The Washington Redskins open up their training camp with both rookies and veterans reporting on Wednesday, July 26th, and practices starting the 27th. With new acquisitions at a pair of skill positions, Redskins training camp will be one to watch. So, let’s take a look at the five biggest topics that’ll be popping up at camp for the Redskins.
RB Position Battle
The biggest position battle to watch at Redskins camp will be the one at the running back spot. It features incumbent two-down thumper Rob Kelley, pass-catching specialist Chris Thompson, and newly drafted rookie, Samaje Perine. Many are picking Perine to eventually become the starter, as Kelley was largely unspectacular when handed the starting role. Perine is also intriguing to many due to his role at Oklahoma in college. Perine split work with now-Bengal Joe Mixon, and actually scored more touchdowns in 2016.
However, perhaps the Perine hype has become overblown. The odds he overcomes Chris Thompson for a passing game role are slim to none. He caught only 40 passes in three years at Oklahoma. This means Perine will top out as a two-down player on a pass first offense. If he can overtake Rob Kelley as the Redskins’ early down running back, Perine would be a potential RB2 in standard leagues, and a fringe FLEX in PPR leagues. Thompson will be a steady, if unspectacular asset in PPR leagues due to his role. Perine’s ceiling is capped, but as a late round flier, one could do worse.
New Addition Terrelle Pryor
Terrelle Pryor exceeded 1,000 yards receiving, even with the QB play in Cleveland. Kirk Cousins is a vast upgrade for Pryor to say the least. However, Pryor will face much more competition for targets in Washington than he did in Cleveland. Pryor is an incredible athlete, no doubt. But some are suggesting that he will be third in line for looks in the passing game, behind Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder. This offense does look like it can support two solid WRs as well as a top five tight end, but it will still be important to see how quickly Cousins and Pryor get adjusted to one another.
Jordan Reed’s Health
Reed is a consensus top five tight end this year. When on the field, Reed is an incredible weapon. The when is the catch. Reed has an alarming history of injuries, ranging from hamstring strains, knee injuries, and at least five recorded concussions since entering the NFL. While the Washington training camp was reportedly rather mellow in 2016, taking Reed’s health for granted is not a good idea. If even a small injury were to pop up, it would be a cause for alarm with Reed. Odds are he emerges unscathed, due to the nature of training camp. But still, Reed is such a weapon that he may be worth the headache.
Kirk Cousins’ Situation
Kirk Cousins has had quite the offseason, with his contract negotiations being one of the biggest stories around. For this season, Cousins will be in Washington. Long term, the status is much more murky. Now that the deadline to work out a long-term deal has passed, perhaps this story is behind us. Both sides have questioned the long-term partnership, meaning we could see an ugly breakup at some point. It’s unlikely we get there this offseason though. For now, it’s worth seeing how Cousins looks when trying to integrate a new weapon in Terrelle Pryor, and continue to prove he can be the face of a franchise. Our own TFA rankings have Cousins as the ninth QB overall. After his top five finish last year, I think he represents a solid choice at his current rank among quarterbacks, especially with a new weapon at his disposal.
Josh Doctson’s Status
Doctson had an almost entirely wasted rookie season. He caught a grand total of two passes, across two games. Now, with the addition of Terrelle Pryor, he sits no higher than third on the wide receiver depth chart. With Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson also in tow, Doctson may actually be more like a fifth option in the Redskins’ passing game. At minicamp, Doctson was working with the second team primarily. Doctson won’t be fantasy relevant this year. It’s more worth watching to see if Kirk Cousins has another weapon for 2017, or for dynasty owners invested in Doctson. If Doctson can’t earn the third receiver role in Washington, it may be time for concern.
The Redskins training camp will no doubt be one to watch, especially due to the uncertainty at running back, both in Washington and across the fantasy landscape. For more updated news, notes and analysis, check out Redskins.com and follow the team writers as they break down the above issues and many others.