Position: Wide receiver
Height: 5'11" Weight: 187 lbs
College: The Citadel
Drafted: Third round, 88th overall by the Arizona Cardinals (2010)
Andre Roberts came to the Washington Redskins a year ago with the understanding that he would be the team's No. 2 receiver. When Washington sprung at the opportunity to bring DeSean Jackson aboard, Roberts was relegated to the third WR spot, a development he wasn't thrilled about. The ensuing season was widely considered a disappointment for the former Cardinals receiver, and this year Roberts is looking to salvage his image, if for no other reason than to earn a No. 2 job elsewhere in the future.
#1. As the Robin to Larry Fitzgerald's Batman in 2012, Roberts put together a career year, despite the looming presence of Michael Floyd, who soon took over the sidekick duties. He recorded career highs in targets (113), catches (64), yards (759) and touchdowns (five), despite four different quarterbacks starting games for the Cardinals that year. Otherwise, Roberts has been good for about 500 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 40 catches or so each season.
#2. He's had a tough time developing any sort of chemistry with his quarterbacks, and it's easy to see why. Since he came into the league in 2010, Roberts has played with a whopping 11 quarterbacks. Eleven. In five seasons. Get ready for this list, it's not pretty: John Skelton, Derek Anderson, Max Hall, Richard Bartel (!), Kevin Kolb, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Lindley, Carson Palmer, Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. Nobody will blame you if you stop reading right now and take a shower to rid yourself of the stench of that list.
#3. The only time Roberts had any sort of QB consistency was the 2013 season, when Palmer started all 16 games. Perhaps it's no coincidence that 2013 was, by a substantial margin, his best season for catching passes he should have caught; he dropped just two of the 45 passes deemed catchable by Pro Football Focus that year, a drop rate of 4.44% that was good for 10th-best in the NFL.
However, with that much turnover (pun only kind of intended) at the game's most important position, it's difficult for an offense to get any sort of rhythm going, and Roberts has especially struggled in this area. His other four seasons have painted the picture of a receiver without hands, with the numbers steadily declining:
2010: 26 catchable passes, 2 drops, 7.69% drop rate
2011: 57 catchable passes, 6 drops, 10.53% drop rate
2012: 74 catchable passes, 10 drops, 13.51% drop rate
2014 (with the Redskins): 43 catchable passes, 7 drops, 16.28% drop rate
#4. Of his seven drops last season, four came in a three-game span in Weeks 5-7. Kirk Cousins started all three of those games, as well as the Week 3 game when Roberts dropped another pass. Perhaps that's just a coincidence, but consider this: Cousins attempted 204 passes last season, 17 of which were dropped. That means 8.33% of the passes he attempted were considered catchable balls that receivers erred on. Compare that to RGII, who threw 214 passes and only had 10 dropped (4.67%), and McCoy, who threw 128 passes and had just two dropped (1.56%).
#5. Considering Roberts' career drop rate is a miserable 11.02%, it's unlikely he'll experience much of a turnaround in that regard this season. He had the fifth-worst rate in the NFL among receivers last season and the third-worst among receivers with at least 40 catchable balls thrown their way. It would be interesting to see how he would perform if he had a full 16-game season with Griffin (or one of the other QBs) under center, but given the team's recent history at keeping a QB upright and successful, well, that won't happen.
Bottom Line: You might have noticed this profile focused primarily on Roberts' drops, and that's no accident; it was the defining aspect of his 2014 season, and it frustrated fans and coaches alike. He was targeted 43 times in the first eight games of the season, but that number dropped to just 25 for the final eight games, and that was also no accident. He doesn't offer the big-play ability that DeSean Jackson boasts, nor does he have the size or track record that Garcon brings to the table. If he puts together another disastrous season like he did in 2014, there is simply no reason to keep him around after this season.
*For the record, I loved the Andre Roberts signing when it was announced.