The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.
Let’s have a look at 5 offensive Undrafted Free Agents in Redskins Training Camp.
For three years, Tyler Catalina held down the left side for the University of Rhode Island. For his final season of college football, he knew he wanted to take it to the next level. Fortunately the University of Georgia provided just that opportunity.
Catalina started every game at left tackle last season for the Bulldogs, a tremendous leap from the Colonial Athletic Association, part of FCS football (formerly known as Division I AA) to the SEC. As Catalina himself says, it was a tremendous experience to play across from multiple first-round picks week after week, a transfer student thrown into a new line, a new scheme, a new coaching staff and playbook. It speaks volumes about Catalina’s skill set that he could immediately join the Bulldogs and start at the most important position on the line.
He's big and strong. He played LT almost exclusively in Athens and was exposed frequently by speed on the edge. So you do not want him on either end against NFL pass rushers unless you have a Kirk Cousins death wish. But he was an effective run blocker and could work well on the interior. The tools are there to be a solid NFL guard, particularly as he fills out his frame entering mid-20s. But having not seen him play in those tight quarters I'm not sure how well he adapts to the differences coming inside.
[H]e did so poorly against the better SEC edge rushers, I wouldn't trust him even on the right outside. And his length makes playing center a tricky ask. So right or left guard seems his only home.
Kalis' shows good balance and has a strong lower base which is tough to move. He also appears to never blow an assignment and takes to coaching well -- as previously stated. However, he cannot play in space at all and doesn't move very well.
Kalis has always seemed like a quiet guy off the field, but he is a tough SOB on it. He plays angry and wants to destroy the guy across from him on every play. Whenever the Wolverines would score a touchdown, he was the first lineman, in the end zone celebrating with them, so he is a team player as well. As far as his style goes, he needs work in opening holes in the running game, but it strong when it comes to pass protection. He needs to add more speed to his game, but he is very strong and very determined. He definitely fits more into a power scheme because he lacks the quickness for a zone blocking scheme. He has the attitude of a prototypical Redskins' lineman and it seems like a perfect fit for him.
I don't see any way he claims a starting job for the Redskins, unfortunately. He will be a project at the next level, but I think he can win a backup spot. Like I said, he has a great attitude and work ethic, but his mechanics need work at the next level.
A graduate of Old Dominion University (my sister’s alma mater, by the way) Pascal was happy to get a shot with the Redskins:
“I got to choose between all the teams I wanted to go to,” Pascal said Monday. “The best option for me was the Redskins, which is funny, because it’s right here.”
Pascal will have work to do, though: The Redskins will head into offseason workouts with 12 receivers on the roster, according to USA Today’s Redskins Wire. They drafted Georgia State receiver Robert Davis in the sixth round and signed Pascal and Louisville receiver Mike Quick as undrafted free agents.
Pascal also lined up in the slot and at running back and played on all four special teams units during his ODU career. His versatility could be what gives him his best shot at a getting a foot in the door.
At Old Dominion, Pascal recorded 233 receptions for 3,184 yards and 30 touchdowns in 49 career games.
Asked about Pascal in a training camp press conference, Jay Gruden had positive things to say about him, and added that he (Jay) had seen Pascal play at ODU, and followed his play there.
Strengths - Can secure inside release for post routes through clever set-up on release. Runs routes with consistent purpose and urgency. Varies speed of route to create man-made "burst" within his trek. Route salesman. Generates distress in cover safeties with route work. Utilizes body lean and believable head fakes to create hip commitment from defenders. Quick getting upfield after catch to maximize the play. Tracks the deep throw and adjusts rapidly to underthrows. Subtle route adjustments in space to avoid redirection from zone linebackers. Cover experience on special teams early in career.
Weaknesses - Small, thin target. Unlikely catch-and-run option on next level. Too small to fight through tackles after catch. Quicker than fast. Has some build-up speed, but might not be fast enough to threaten aggressive corners looking to squat on routes. Stiff hands can be unforgiving. Finished career with 19 drops against 123 catches. Has focus-drop issues but also struggles to finish catches that are outside his frame. Needs to do better job of working aggressively back to throws. Route separation comes through route work over acceleration from breaks.
Slot receiver with average athleticism and quickness and below-average hands. History of drops combined with his thin frame re likely indicators of issues with contested catches on the next level.
5’ 11” and 185 pounds, Jacobs finished his career ranked 7th in Maryland history in receptions (130) and 12th in receiving yards (1,544).
Jacobs is shifty and runs very well after the catch. He also shows the ability to make the tough catch across the middle of the field. He progressed as a run blocker while at Maryland as well.
Last year, Jacobs gained 439 yards on 43 receptions and scored two touchdowns. He has shown the ability to play both outside or inside, but his ideal position will be in the slot.
Bonus Player : E.J. Bibbs - Tight End
Bibbs isn’t a college free agent; he’s spent time in the league over the past two years, including the Jacksonville practice squad last season. But he came into the Redskin camp late when Jordan Reed developed a sore toe, and this seemed like a good opportunity to introduce him to the fan base.
Of the handful of tight ends who tried out for the Washington Redskins, E.J. Bibbs won. Washington’s first training camp signee made an impression strong enough to earn a spot on the 90-man roster following the team’s opening walk-through on Thursday.
Later that afternoon, he practiced. It’s a difficult turnaround going from tryout hopeful to the sixth tight end on the field in a 24-hour span, but that’s life for summer free agents trying to latch on with an NFL team.
“I really thought I was gonna have a breezy day today from working out and coming in, but nah man,” Bibbs said after his — and the team’s — first practice. “It’s football for you, man. You’ve just got to take it.”
These opportunities often arrive because of an injury. In Bibbs’s case, tight end Jordan Reed started training camp on the physically unable to perform list because of a toe injury and Vernon Davis dealt with a sore hamstring.
Bibbs, who lives in Jacksonville after spending last season on the Jaguars’ practice squad, received the call for a tryout on Monday and arrived in Richmond on Wednesday evening. The undrafted product out of Iowa State played seven games with the Cleveland Browns during his rookie season in 2015, recording just one reception for seven yards.
Redskins Coach Jay Gruden announced the signing during his news conference before that first practice, a five-word sentence without a follow-up question. The team waived LB Houston Bates, who was on the physically unable to perform list, as the corresponding move on the 90-man roster.
Bibbs, 25, glanced at the playbook before he took the field, taking reps during 11-on-11 periods with players that have had at least an entire offseason in the same scheme he’s known for a few hours.
“Coach put me in the fire, man,” Bibbs said. “He told me to go out there. I was like, ‘All right.’ I just tried to use my best ability and understand the playbook and the plays that were coming out. It was fun for the most part.”
Mistakes were expected. During one rep with the third team, Bibbs tried to jump the cadence but got caught with a false start. He was subbed out on the next play and stood next to tight ends coach Wes Phillips, who calmly chatted with Bibbs during the series.
“It’s practice, so you’re going to mess up a little bit,” Bibbs said. “ …[Phillips] said it’s going to happen, but it’s just mainly moving fast though.”
Bibbs has remained on the roster for four days now entering Monday’s practice, but it’s uncertain how much longer this opportunity will last. Reed will be activated off the PUP at some point, giving the Redskins seven tight ends. Bibbs can only hope that his practice performances will persuade the Redskins to give him a longer look. Otherwise, he’ll return to Jacksonville in search of another shot.
Which OFFENSIVE undrafted free agent has the best shot at making the Redskins 53-man roster?
This poll is closed
Tyler Catalina - OL
Kyle Kalis - OL
Zach Pascal - WR
James Quick - WR
Lavern Jacobs - WR