Redskins Skill Players Get Younger, Faster

Aldrick Robinson

The 2010 season saw players in the twilight of their careers.  Portis was a broken-down shadow of the RB he once was.  Moss, although he had a great season, had clearly lost a step.  Sellers couldn't get out of his own way.  The Joey Galloway experiment failed miserably.  Roydell Williams....sorry, didn't quite catch that.  Who did you say again?

Now, lets put age aside for a minute.  Speed kills, and the Redskins were seriously lacking in this area last year.  Torain is known for his power, definitely not his speed.  Moss is more quick now than he is fast.  Keiland Williams isn't blowing anyone away with his top-end gear.  Cooley looks like he is running in freakin mud. 

Now quarterback isn't the most athletic skill position on the field, nor does it need to be, but the aging McNabb, and Sexy Rexy combined look like a 3-legged race horse in the Kentucky Derby. 

The two exceptions on offense were Anthony Armstrong and Fred Davis(who saw limited playing time). 

Now enter the 2011 draft class.  Speed and youth(and size) are the emphasis.  We now have 2 wide receivers that are over 6 foot, and weight more than 205lbs.  All of our newly acquired skill players(besides Evan Royster) run 4.45 or below in the 40 yard dash.  We seem to have the makings of a young, explosive offense. 

Roy Helu - 5' 11"  220   4.0 4.42 40 yard dash(4.38 hand timed).  This is a big kid, who possesses elite speed.  He showed one of the best 40 times of all the running backs in the combine.  His 3-cone drill was the best of all the running backs, and his 20 yard shuttle was second only to Miami's Craig Cooper.  Helu also boasted a 36.5" vertical jump. 

Leonard Hankerson - 6' 2"  210   4.40 4.43 40 yard dash(4.38 hand timed).  Another big, fast, athletic wide receiver, who has huge hands(10.5"), and jumps out of the gym(36" vertical).  Aside from his size and speed, Hankerson is a very physical wide receiver, who does not shy away from contact. 

Niles Paul - 6' 1"  224   4.45 4.51 40 yard dash(has been hand timed in the high 4.3's).  This kid is a physical nightmare for opposing defenses.  His height, weight and speed combination is elite.  He boasts a 34.5 inch vertical, and put up 225lbs 24 times on the bench press.  Did I mention he also returns kickoffs?  If Paul was a receiver for a team that ran a more pass heavy offense, he would have been a 1-2nd round draft choice; that's how talented he is.

Aldrick Robinson - 5' 10"  184   4.35 4.43 40 yard dash.  Robinson is a amazing athlete, with speed to burn.  He ran the second fastest 40 time of all the receivers at the combine.  Add to that his 40" vertical, and 17 reps at 225lbs(pretty impressive for a guy his size), and you have dynamite in a small package.  Robinson's production was not too shabby either, totaling 181 catches, for 3314 yards and 30 touchdowns in his career at SMU. 

My hope is for these rookies to displace the older, less athletic veterans on this team, to form a dynamic group of skill guys that will be feared in the division, and the league, for years to come.  I'll go a step further, and say that Davis should be our starting tight end, and Cooley could be used as trade bait.  It is quite the change from a year ago, when the Redskins offense wouldn't even scare 3/4 of college teams. 

Now if we just had someone to get them the damn ball.   

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