While most of the starters and top contributors are set and for the most part we have a general idea of what to expect from them, there are always surprise performers each year. Whether it is a rookie who exceeds his expectation, or a player who gets a chance via injury some one is going to “break-out”.
Here are my candidates:
RB Samaje Perine-
-This is a bit of the “low hanging fruit”, but I’m a big believer in Perine and I think he’s got a great opportunity here for the Redskins to win a large role in this offense. For a 4th round pick he’s got a real shot of becoming a feature back and a 1,000 yard back. In addition he should help the Redskins in short yardage rushing situations and he could have pretty decent TD numbers.
WR Brian Quick-
-Quick is a former 2nd rounder, but the Redskins signed him for a cheap 1 year deal to add some depth to their receiver corps. While ideally he’ll be used sparingly as the 4th receiver, he could see a bigger role if any of the top 3 receivers go down. If he does get the opportunity, I think he could impress. Quick has size and speed and has shown flashes throughout his career. Last season in the first 8 games Quick caught 24 passes for 405 yards and 3 TDs, despite being the 3rd or 4th option and having Case Keenum at QB. Those are pretty good numbers and his total season numbers probably would have been far better if not for Jared Goff. If he had a role in the Redskins offense his numbers would have been far better.
C/G Chase Roullier-
-Rouiller is listed as a center and while his ability to play there is nice considering the Redskins are thin at the position behind Spencer Long, he could find himself in another role this season. Roullier started in college for 2 years as a guard and he could get some consideration for the role if Shawn Lauvao gets injured or falters again. With Kouandjio unable to prove he’s ready to replace Lauvao, the Redskins could get creative and look to move Roullier. It’s probably a bit unlikelier than some other options, but I wouldn’t rule it out.
TE Jeremy Sprinkle-
-With Niles Paul and Derek Carrier returning from major injuries, and Jordan Reed always missing some time, there is a fair chance that Sprinkle can carve out a role this year for himself. He probably won’t put up big stat sheet numbers, but he can contribute as a valuable injury replacement and as a blocker.
DL Matt Ioannidis-
-While the Redskins added a pair of defensive linemen in free agency and drafted Jonathan Allen in the first round, they still need additional help along the line. Only Allen projects as a true every down player (and even then he will probably only play 80% of snaps at most) so the Redskins need rotational pieces to fill in and give them consistent level of play. Ioannidis didn’t have a strong rookie year, but with a year of development he could be poised for a bit of a breakout and turn into a solid role player for the Redskins.
DL Anthony Lanier-
-Much of what was mentioned about Ioannidis’ opportunity rings true for Lanier as well. His role though could be more important though as the Redskins desperately need to get more pass rush from their defensive line. Free agent signings McClain and McGee aren’t strong in that area and Allen figures to mainly just replace what was lost when Chris Baker left. Lanier could be a pass rushing DL who comes in during key passing situations to try to add a bit more pressure. It might not be a starting role, but it could be pretty important.
CB Kendall Fuller-
-Fuller had a rough rookie year and the Redskins brought in Fabian Moreau in the 3rd round this year to help out at the position. I wouldn’t though write Fuller off yet though as he was recovering from an injury last year. Fuller could have a big bounce back year if he’s healthy and has a full off season of OTAs and camp.
What do you think? Who might be a break-out player this year?