Santana Could Excel in Slot Role With Big WR Split Wide

Santana Moss had a great season in 2010, putting up career numbers. Although the Skins have always deployed Moss at split end, I've always thought his diminutive size and blazing speed projects better to a slot role, where he could plausibly be a Wes Welker-type weapon. Do you think Santana has been best utilized as a split end thus far, or do you think he would be more productive deployed as slot receiver?


The problem is that the crossing lanes can only be exploited by such a slot receiver when a legitimate deep-threat exists out wide. Welker had a career season in 2009, with Randy Moss split out wide, as opposed to 2010, when defenses could direct most of their attention to Welker instead. In '09, Welker had 123 catches for 1349 yards. In '10, Welker had only 86 catches for 848 yards. Malcolm Kelly has still yet to prove his NFL abilities and barring a miraculous turnaround from him,  the Skins will desperately need a tall, strong, sure-handed receiver.

I think its important to look past the top-shelf guys like Green, Jones, Baldwin, and UMD's Torrey Smith (who I predict is going to turn some heads in the NFL) since their availability is hard to predict. The Skins must have some lower-round WRs targeted and I think there are actually some decent prospects to look at:

Leonard Hankerson - 6'2" 209 -- Miami -- grades: 9th best WR; 80th overall

This kid had the best statistical season in history by a Miami receiver. This is no small feat considering Michael Irvin, Reggie Wayne, and Andre Johnson all attended "The U." Still needs to polish his receiving and route-running, but compared to Sidney Rice and is evaluated to succeed in a West Coast offense.

Denarius Moore - 6"0' -- 191 -- Tennessee -- grades: 11th best WR; 109th overall

Moore is described as an overall smooth downfield threat. Great hands, route discipline, technique, plus a high-effor guy. Can instantly vie for a starting gig in D.C.

Greg LIttle - 6"2' -- 220 -- UNC -- grades: 17th best WR; 160th overall

Was suspended all of '10 because of inappropriate relationship with agent. As a result, he may be undervalued. This prospect has spent time at HB and his ballcarrying skills reflect his experience. Little has rare body control and has the ability to make flashy catches. He has balance and agility but has work to do in order to run routes with NFL-caliber precision. An amazing athlete who is still a bit raw.

These are just a few examples of low-round, high-upside picks the Skins could use to bolster their scary-thin receiving corps.

Editors Note:

Leonard Hankerson HH Preview via tmarine17


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