As pass-heavy offenses dominate the NFL, the role of the slot receiver continues to increase in importance. Players such as Wes Welker (Denver), Percy Harvin (Seattle), and Danny Amendola (New England) have proved invaluable to their team's offenses, racking up catches and big numbers from the inside position.
While Santana Moss had a decent season (42 catches, 452 yards, 2 tds), he will turn 35 in June, has diminished speed and quickness, and is a free agent. It's likely the Redskins re-sign him for one more year so that he retires in the burgundy and gold. However, the Redskins need to make the investment in a slot receiver for the future.
The Redskins will have the choice to either sign a proven slot receiver via free agency or draft a player. Either route, the Redskins would serve their offense well by adding a speedy player that can provide RG3 with a reliable and steady inside presence.
Emmanuel Sanders (Pittsburgh): Has improved each of the four seasons since he was drafted and has the ability and talent to be a 1,000 yard receiver.
Ted Ginn (Panthers): Seven year veteran receiver revived his career in Carolina. Also provides help in the return game.Darrius Heyward-Bey (Colts): He has never lived up to the expectations of a top-10 draft pick, but he'll only be 27 at the start of the season, has been mostly injury free during his career and doesn't need to produce as a number 1 receiver for the Redskins. His excellent speed could present match up problems on inside routes.
The Redskins could use a mid-round draft pick on a slot receiver to be groomed under Moss. There are a number of slot receivers that will be available in rounds 3-5 in the 2014 NFL Draft. Below are 5 names worth a look.
2014 NFL Draft Options: Jalen Saunders (Oklahoma) Bruce Ellington (South Carolina) John Brown (Pittsburgh State) Michael Campanaro (Wake Forest) Tevin Reese (Baylor).