May 21, 2012; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Niles Paul (84) runs with the ball during organized team activities at Redskins Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
Hogs Haven is adding more structure to your life, god knows a lot of you guys need it, and part of that structure will be features you can count on from week to week here at HH. One such feature is going to be a look at five non-starters from week to week who could have a major impact on that particular week's match up. Since we're still fourteen days away from the preseason opener against the Bills, we'll highlight five names to keep an eye on at camp this summer. This week we'll highlight five non-rookies:
1. Niles Paul, TE: Everyone wants to know how Paul will transition to the tight end position, some already have the second year player penciled in in front of veteran TE Chris Cooley without even seeing Paul take a snap. Surprisingly the Nebraska product lost weight over the offseason, but has also been briefly mentored by NFL Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe. Paul obviously has receiving capabilities and he excelled in the blocking game at Nebraska, it'll be interesting to see how the sophomore looks at his new position and what growing pains may become prevalent.
2. Lorenzo Alexander, ILB: Lorenzo Alexander has been a human Swiss-Army knife for the Redskins over his tenure and this year he'll take a stab at the inside linebacker position. The veteran has lost over 30 pounds this offseason and has been working out with DC fitness legend Kevin Ewoldt. While LoAx's roster spot may seem solid to some he'll need to show he can beat out more experienced linebackers Johnathan Goff and Bryan Kehl, as well as talented rookie Keenan Robinson to maintain a spot on this team. It may be a more uphill battle for LoAx then it looks.
3. Evan Royster, RB: Mike Shanahan has had his fair share of flash in the pan running backs over the past fifteen years or so. So is Royster an aberration or the real deal? It'll be interesting to see what kind of reps Royster receives in regards to Tim Hightower, Roy Helu, and more importantly rookie Alfred Morris. Is Royster set to become the next great Shanny-back or the Redskins next roster cut?
4. Chris Cooley, TE: Many have put the Redskins all-time leading receiving tight-end out to pasture. How will Cooley respond to injury and how will he respond to the competition of Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul, and Richard Quinn? Perhaps Cooley fills a veteran role and becomes a flex player who can also play fullback, similar to some sets we saw him play in the Week 3 match up against the Cowboys last year.
5. Morgan Trent, CB: The veteran corner, who played for three teams last year, was an under the radar signing for the Redskins. The fourth year player has starting experience in the NFL but will have a slew of young defensive backs gunning for his primary backup role, including Bradyn Thompson, Jordan Bernstine, and Richard Crawford.