Jamison Crowder’s contract is up at the end of this season. Currently, he’s on the injury report and is unlikely to play yet again this weekend against the Cowboys.
The question I have is would the Redskins be better off moving to a big, more physical slot receiver in the future?
I have seen teams recently move bigger WR’s to the slot to take advantage of mismatches.
Below are some prominent “Big” receivers who spent at least 50 percent of their snaps last year in the slot.
2017 Percentage of targets lined up in the slot:
Allen Hurns: 83.6
Robert Woods: 83.1
Larry Fitzgerald: 79.2
Mohamed Sanu: 79.2
Chris Hogan: 72.9
Adam Thielen: 58.5
JuJu Smith-Schuster: 57.1
Keenan Allen: 54.3
Michael Thomas: 52.0
Julio Jones: 51.4
Outside of Julio Jones, none of these receivers are what you’d call speed guys. Some have big bodies, some have good height, some play with great physicality. A few have a combination of all three traits. One trait that does stand out is that all the guys on this list are pretty dangerous after the catch with the ball in their hands.
Could the Redskins benefit from a larger presence in the slot?
One of the great advantages of being in the slot (usually), is that the receiver is lined up off the football, and the defender covering him is usually not able to get a clean jam on him at the line of scrimmage. Most of the time, slot receivers are covered by a nickle back or safety who is playing a few yards off the receiver. This can benefit receivers who do not possess that first-step quickness, and ability/physicality to beat press-man coverage off the line of scrimmage.
Playing against smaller corner backs and/or slower safeties can create mismatches that intelligent offensive coordinators can exploit throughout the game. It can also eliminate single-high safeties from cheating to one side of the field in man-over looks.
Here are some Redskins who may benefit from being in the slot, and the reasons why.
Maurice Harris: We have already seen the 6’3” 200 pound receiver line up in the slot for the injured Jamison Crowder. Harris does not possess the physicality, speed or quick-twitch ability to consistently beat press-man coverage on the outside. What he does do well, is run good routes, catch the ball away from his body with his hands, and use his frame well to shield defenders. He’s best when he can operate against a zone defense.
Michael Floyd: At 6’3” 220 pounds, Floyd has the body that can gain position on smaller defense backs, and use his size to win contested balls. He’s not a burner or quick-twitch receiver, so operating out of the slot could really benefit him, and help to create mismatches.
Brian Quick: Much like Floyd, Quick, who is 6’3” 215, is a long-strider, who takes time to build up speed. He is a physical guy who plays like a power forward, so matching him up against a smaller defensive back could be advantageous. He’s good after the catch.
How valuable is Jamison Crowder to this team? Over the last three seasons, he’s been our most consistent receiver. Should the Redskins do all they can to retain his services here in D.C. for years to come?
Should the Redskins consider getting other receivers reps in the slot?
This poll is closed
Only until Crowder returns - he’s our best option
Yes - Mo Harris
Yes - Michael Floyd
Yes - Brain Quick
Trey Quinn is the future in the slot