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Washington Redskins Stat of the Week: Leonard Hankerson

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Since leaving the Redskins in the offseason, Leonard Hankerson has looked like another player entirely.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

It's something we see fairly regularly around these parts: A player struggles playing in Washington, then goes elsewhere to have success. Sometimes it's the reverse, when a player thrives for another team, then comes to the Redskins (or Wizards, or Nationals, or Capitals...) and can't replicate that success. It happens for all teams across all sports on occasion; sometimes a player just does well in a certain environment. It just seems to happen all the time around here.

The one that sticks out for me is Carlos Rogers, who was decent while with the Redskins but could never hold onto the interceptions he should have caught, then he went to the San Francisco 49ers and (allegedly) got his eyes checked, and he made the Pro Bowl in 2012.

So that seems to be about what the Redskins have on their hands in 2015 with Leonard Hankerson, who has 17 catches for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns already this season.

The former Skins receiver is averaging 60.2 yards per game this year. In his three seasons (not including 2014) in Washington, Hankerson averaged between 33 and 41 yards per game each year. He is on pace to easily surpass his career-best year, 2012, in which he caught 38 passes for 543 yards and three touchdowns.

It's not surprising, really. At 6'2" and 211 pounds, he's a big target and an endzone weapon waiting to happen. He struggled with drops and injuries while in Washington, and it obviously didn't help not having a reliable quarterback (let the hate from both RG3 and Kirk Cousins supporters begin).

Matt Ryan is a very good quarterback who helps his receivers much more than Cousins, Robert Griffin III or Colt McCoy have any history of doing. Julio Jones has been an absolute terror this season, with 38 catches for 478 yards and four touchdowns. His presence is certainly making life easier on Hankerson, as well.

His four games this season have already surpassed his totals from any single-season four-game stretch in his career, by a substantial margin. In fact, Hankerson's performance in Week 4 this year — six catches on eight targets for 103 yards and a touchdown — was perhaps the best game of his career. The only two games that really compare are Week 1 of 2013 (five catches on seven targets, 80 yards and two touchdowns) and Week 9 of 2011 (eight catches on nine targets, 106 yards and a touchdown).

Considering it's the Redskins, and Hankerson is bigger than any Redskins cornerback, I'm predicting he puts up something along the lines of 60 yards and a touchdown. Jones will still get the bulk of the attention, as he should; he is among the top five receivers in the NFL and is damn near unstoppable when healthy. But Hankerson is off to a solid start and could be in for a big game against a secondary that will be up against its first real test of the season.