Feb 24, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Denard Robinson makes a catch during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Last year, rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III lit up the NFL for the Washington Redskins, winning Offensive Player of the Year and leading the team to a Division title. Many asked how a player so young could display such poise, especially in 7 wins over division rivals and a win over eventual champions the Baltimore Ravens. While Griffin was certainly brilliant, those people are guilty of forgetting that he had a rusher with 1,613 yards, the second highest in the league, in his backfield. Alfred Morris not only created explosive pays whenever he touched the ball, but also opened up field for Griffin, all as a rookie. The Redskins’ favorite part? He was a 6th round draft pick last year, coming off of a 1-11 season at Florida Atlantic and predicted by NFL scouts to be a free agent.
Redskins’ scouts have got to be feeling lucky, and only time will tell if they are capable of repeating their previous stroke of genius. But they will definitely have options. With a top-notch quarterback and running back, the only piece of the puzzle left in creating a dominating offense is another wide receiver to compliment Santana Moss, Josh Morgan, and Pierre Garcon, the first two of which are set to become free agents after the season.
Luckily, depth in the wide receiver position has been a cited strong-point of this draft. “You can win with this group of receivers coming in,” stated the Atlanta Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. Here are the Redskins best late-round wide receiver hopefuls:
1. Tavarres King, Georgia with the 154th or 162th (both 5th round) pick. King averaged 22.9 yards a reception last year for Georgia, a team that finished 7th in the AP rankings despite playing in the SEC, easily the best conference around. Nine touchdowns and an invite to the Senior Bowl capped off 5 years of being a Bulldog. A 4.40 second 40-yard dash and a 36.5 inch vertical combine with his maturity to make him a fast, athletic force who knows his way around defenders.
2. Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech with the 191st (6th round) pick. Davis neared 1,000 yards last year for the Hokies, finishing the season with 953 yards on 51 receptions with 5 touchdowns. He also boasts exceptional athleticism, with a 4.47 second 40-yard dash and a whopping 39.5 inch vertical. To quote CBSSports.com’s Shane Brugler: “If players were judged strictly on athletic ability, Davis might be No. 1…Davis looks the part with a tall, bulky frame and the explosive athleticism to create with the ball in his hands, flashing a skill set that is very similar to Dez Bryant.” Pure talent may be just the risk worth taking for the Redskins, as speed downfield combined with the ability to catch almost anything makes a giant target for Griffin.
3. Denard Robinson, Michigan with the 191st (6th round) pick. One of the most creative draft options could end up being the memorable one for the Redskins in the long run. Quarterback Robinson was a pre-season Heisman favorite in 2012 for a reason: his sophomore and junior years he finished with a 149.6 and 139.7 passer rating, respectively. Senior year was a bit of a disappointment, dropping from his record of 2570 yards to 1319 yards, but no one disputed his athleticism on a relatively weak team where defenses could focus on him. Scouts are trying him out at wide receiver, running back, and special teams, as his size limits his usefulness as a quarterback in the NFL. This could be perfect for the Redskins, as Robinson, with his 4.37 second 40-yard dash and 36.5 inch vertical, combined with Griffin in the backfield could leave defensive coordinators guessing all day long.