Josh Doctson’s first two season in D.C. have been disappointing. But there is light at the end of the tunnel for the third year pro. Many will say it takes a full two years for a receiver to really come into their own in the NFL. Considering Doctson only played in two games as a rookie due to injury, 2017 was essentially his first season.
In 2017, Doctson was targeted 78 times by Kirk Cousins, hauling in 35 of those targets for 502 yards and two touchdowns. He never really seemed to get on the same page with his quarterback, and also had some drops in key moments of games that may have caused hesitation for Cousins to look his way.
With Doctson’s athleticism, head coach Jay Gruden wanted Cousins to take more shots to Doctson, as he has a unique ability to come down with 50-50 balls due to his exceptional leaping ability and outstanding body control. That never really happened in 2017, and Doctson finished with numbers well below what was predicted of him.
Enter Alex Smith...
Smith seems to have no problems throwing guys open, or taking shots downfield against one-on-one coverage. Alex has great accuracy in the pocket and on the move, and is quick to recognize coverage, and immediately find the open man.
Having Smith under center should greatly benefit Doctson this season. The addition of Paul Richardson as a true Z receiver should also help to take pressure off of the 6’2” 208 pound air-ballerina. If Jordan Reed comes back healthy, his presence will also help Josh reach his potential, and Reed can command double teams as frequently as Richardson can.
Finally, and maybe most important, is the addition of Derrius Guice to the Redskins backfield. For the first time in years, the Redskins have a true bell-cow type back, who can pound defenses between the tackles, turn the corner and take it to the house, and also catch the ball out of the backfield. His presence in the offense will make defenses play the Redskins honest, and should greatly help to open up lanes for the receivers in the play-action passing game.
Josh Doctson Season Predictions:
59% Catch Rate