It's week 2 of the preseason and another edition of the Mason/Brennan Hype! awards. Week 1 of the preseason saw a number of stellar and not so stellar performances from Mason/Brennan nominees. In addition some new names will be added after some breakout performances.
1. Player must have been drafted late or signed by the Redskins as an undrafted free agent. Players that have only been on other teams practice squads that are signed by the team are also eligible.
2. A player that has been on the team for several years is still eligible if most of that time has been spent on the practice squad, inactive, or with very limited productivity/time
3. The Pat White Rule: High draft picks(busts/out of the league) from other teams who have never completed an NFL pass, but can run the read option/wildcat are now eligible.
Now typically late round pick has been defined as 5th or later, but exceptions are made for players who apply under the 2nd rule. So while Jamison Crowder might not be eligible (he would run away with the vote if he was), Josh LeRibeus is eligible. Here are some of the top eligible options, feel free to write in other guys in the comments:
WR Ryan Grant:
-Grant was a popular target in the first quarter with the first string offense, but the most interesting thing was his place in the 2nd team offense. What was interesting was the fact that he wasn't part of the 2nd unit. We knew that he would start given the injury to DeSean Jackson, but what was surprising is that he got the "starters" treatment and was pulled when the 1st unit went out. Veteran receiver Andre Roberts stayed out with the 2nd team, while Grant's night was done. Jamison Crowder has been expected to be the young receiver that challenges the veterans for snaps and targets, but it could end up being Grant who is the sleeper receiver for the Redskins this year.
WR Rashad Ross:
-Ross picked up where he left off in last year's preseason, making plays and generating a ton of hype. Ross played with the 2nd and 3rd units and made a number of big plays in the game. He highlighted his breakaway speed and looked more complete than a year ago. He's still probably on the outside looking in for a roster spot, but he'll have another chance to shine tonight vs the Lions.
RB Chris Thompson:
-Thompson pretty much locked up a roster spot in the first preseason game, but unfortunately it wasn't all due to Thompson's performance, as his only real competition for the 3rd RB role (and likely 3rd down role), Silas Redd was lost to the season due to a serious injury. Thompson did help his stock on his own as well as he's proving to be a more complete back (though maybe not a returner option). Thompson should get plenty of work tonight and should push for a bigger role in this offense.
OLB Houston Bates:
-Talk about moving up the hype train. Bates was an afterthought in the Redskins training camp OLB depth chart, but he showed up in a big way when he got some reps late in the game. He had back-to-back sacks and was a force off the edge. He might have been facing off with 3rd and 4th string talent, but it was a nice showing none the less. His chances for making the 53 man roster aren't very good, but he could definitely be locking up a practice squad spot.
ILB Martrell Spaight:
-Spaight was a 5th round pick this year and there has been some buzz that he could have a bright future with the Redskins and possibly develop into a starter. Spaight had a good first game and was all over the field making tackles. He probably needs a year to crack the starting line-up, but he could be working his way up the depth chart and challenging Will Compton for the 3rd ILB spot.
ILB Terrance Plummer:
-Plummer had a similar 1st game as Redskin as Spaight, but he's a little further down the depth chart. Right now he's on the outside looking in, but if he keeps playing like he did week 1, he's going to make things tough on the Redskins coaching staff come cut down day.
S Akeem Davis:
-Safety is still a position of need for the Redskins, and the bottom of the depth chart looks fluid at the moment. Davis got a lot of hype last year and ended up on the 53 man roster as a special teams ace (though his performance left that distinction wanting), but this year he's going to need to show more to make the roster. He caught an interception, though it really wasn't due to him making a big play, so he will need to show up more this week. Davis has good range and big hitting ability and if he puts it all together he could be an intriguing prospect.