When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith this offseason, many felt the veteran signal caller was simply a game manager, who needs a solid running game and a few offensive weapons to be successful within an offense. Many said he was a dink-and-dunk passer, despite him leading the league in deep passer rating last season.
Last year under Andy Reid in Kansas City, Smith passed for a career high 4,042 yards and 26 touchdowns, while completing 67.5 percent of his passes. He also chipped in 355 rushing yards and a touchdown. Smith had a plethora of offensive weapons in Tyreek Hill, Albert Wilson, Travis Kelce and rookie running back Kareem Hunt, but his offensive line struggled a bit throughout the season, especially left tackle Eric Fisher, allowing the mobile quarterback to be sacked 35 times.
In DC, Smith will have a more dynamic receiving trio in Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson and Jamison Crowder. The two-headed tight end monster that is Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis may not be as dangerous as Travis Kelce, but if Reed can manage to stay healthy (a BIG if), and Davis can continue to defy the odds of time, they could combine for 800 plus receiving yards between the two. The addition of rookie running back Derrius Guice, and the dynamic Chris Thompson will help keep defenses honest while also giving Smith more weapons in the passing game.
The Redskins’ bookend tackles are an upgrade to what Smith had in Kansas City, and Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff, and second year center Chase Roullier will help to solidify the interior. Left guard leaves some questions, but the Skins should be able to find a solid a starter between Ty Nsekhe, Shawn Lauvao, T.J. Clemmings and Kyle Kalis.
I am predicting Alex Smith to have a career year in Jay Gruden’s offense this season. I feel he will put the team in better situations with his ability to recognize defenses and audible into higher percentage plays at the line of scrimmage. The addition of Derrius Guice will drastically change the way defenses play this team, opening up even more opportunities for Smith to take some downfield shots. If Doctson takes the next step in his maturation, and Paul Richardson gives Gruden the deep play threat we have been missing since DeSean Jackson departed in 2017, this offense should be fun to watch. Add in the consistent slot presence Jamison Crowder gives us, with a hopeful resurgence by Jordan Reed, and you have a recipe for big success.
Alex Smith 2018 predictions:
16 games started
4,570 passing yards
66.5 completion percentage
275 rushing yards, 2 TD