With training camp right around the corner, I wanted to give you my five surprises of the preseason.
1) Aldrick Robinson wins starting wide receiver position: The 5'10" 185 pound blazer showed glimpses of promise last season. Although he caught just 11 passes, he averaged 14 yards per reception, and scored three touchdowns. With his low 4.4 speed, Robinson makes it look easy to get over the top of defenses, and his hands are very reliable once the ball reaches them. The part of his game that is vastly underestimated is his ability to make the tough catch in traffic, and hold onto the football after taking a jarring hit. This, I believe, is what will ultimately make it hard to keep him off the field come the regular season.
2) Evan Royster is cut: The number two running back on the depth chart last season will be fighting to save his roster spot this preseason. The cumbersome third year player out of Penn State lacks power, speed, fluidity and blocking ability, and may not have a spot on this team come September due to the return of Helu, and the potential that Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison bring as rookies. Sure, some may say that one of the two rookies can be stashed on the practice squad, and that Royster, along with Morris, Helu and the other rookie will make the team, but I don't see this Scenerio playing out. I believe Royster's days in Bergundy and Gold are numbered.
3) David Amerson is our starting right boundary corner: Anyone who follows this site with any regularity knows how big of a David Amerson fan I am. On our pre draft conference call with NFL Networks Mike Mayock, my first question to him was about Amerson. But, this prediction is not about blind homerism, or rabid fandom. Moreover, it's about him being a better fit on the outside over Josh Wilson in our heavy cover 2 scheme. Amerson has size, speed and instincts that make him a natural at the position. His propensity to gamble will be an asset in a cover 2 scheme, whereas Wilson would benefit the team greatly in a slot-corner role, as his short-area quickness, and ability to excel in hip-trail technique will be effectively used against smaller, quicker players.
4) Tom Compton wins the right tackle job: Compton has been a guy who has been talked about quite a bit this offseason, and for good reason. The team promoted him to the 53 man active roster late last season after Cedric Griffin was injured. There were also rumors that other teams were interested in signing Compton off of the Redskins practice squad, so this move may also have been done on the part of the Redskins to protect their investment in a talented, yet raw prospect. Compton saw action in practice last season at both left and right tackle, and enters camp as Trent Williams primary backup, but all he really needs to do is beat out the likes of Tyler Polumbus, Jeremy Trueblood and Tony Pashos(which shouldn't be all that difficult) to claim a starting spot on the offensive front. If Trent Williams were to leave with an injury, Compton could always kick over to the left side, and our reserve tackle could step in at right tackle.
5) Adam Carriker is released: I've made this prediction before, but I feel that the nagging leg injury will force the staff to make a tough decision on Carriker. Two guys will be linchpins in this decision: Jarvis Jenkins and Philip Merlin. The first needs to show the form that we saw in the last six games of 2012, and the latter can solidify a place on the roster with a solid camp showing. If the previously mentioned two step up and show the staff what they need to see out of a 3-4 defensive end, Carriker could be a goner.
Which one of these is most likely to happen? Cast your vote below.