As is now being reported on Pro Football Talk, the move of Niles Paul to tight end is permanent. This immediately draws attention to the future of Chris Cooley, but that is not all.
With a new quarterback, and two new receivers via free agency, this move only cements what most already saw in the cards: 1) Shanahan wants his own guys for this system; and 2)There will be more receivers added via the draft.
First, let's rule out some guys on the current roster, who SHOULDN'T be part of the team come June(this is not to say they won't). We have already heard about the move of Paul to tight end, so that makes one less body in the receiving corps. Gaffney was told last week not to report to work, so we can rule him out as well. I can't see any way that Anthony Armstrong see's the end of training camp, as he is one dimensional as a receiver, and doesn't play special teams, so let's get him out of this group too. David Anderson is gone. Actually, why the heck was he even on the roster to begin with? I also have a feeling that Austin will be a camp cut, but I think it could be debatable.
Now, let's put the pieces together.
We know that Shanahan and company targeted Eddie Royal as a free agent. This tells me one of two things; 1)That they are looking for a small, fast receiver to use as a slot guy, and a returner; and 2) They had no faith in the current guys on the roster to be able to do this job. By showing their hand like they did, I would have to believe Brandon Banks' time in D.C. is done.
So if we excuse Paul(position switch), Gaffney, Armstrong(he stinks), Anderson, Banks, and let's just say for arguements sake( I still believe he may stay), Austin, from the receiving corps, we are left with:
Moss will soon be 33, and can not be counted in the Redskins long-term plans. Both Robinson and Hankerson are still unproven. We know Shanahan wants a receiver who can also be used in the return game, so let's assume one will be targeted in the draft. We can also see/assume that at least one more will have to brought in to account for the loss of Paul/Gaffney/Armstrong/Banks?/Austin?, and to provide competition in camp.
By looking at what we have remaining, and sizing this group up, we can see that the biggest guy we have is Hankerson(at 6'2" 210). I'm going to go out on a limb here and say we will be targeting a big receiver in the draft.
We have seven picks in the upcoming draft. One of those is already accounted for in RG3. This is an extremely deep wide receiver draft, and quality can certainly be had in the third and forth rounds(Shanahan found Marshall in the 4th). Expect us to be active in finding two wide receivers to add to this already improved offense come next weekend.
We will talk about some receiver options in the comments section.