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A review of UDFA Wide Receivers at Redskins Training Camp

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Preparing for the Mason-Brennan Offseason Hype Award: A summary of the 4 undrafted free agent receivers that will be going to Richmond for Redskins training camp

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During the month of May, profiles for all the undrafted free agents signed by the Redskins were posted on Hogs Haven. To read any of these detailed profiles for the four players highlighted in this article, simply click on the player’s name at the top of each player summary below.

This article is designed to highlight those UDFA wide receivers that are still on the roster. At least a couple of UDFA receivers who signed with the Redskins early have been cut already. Both Micah Holder and De’Mornay Pierson-El were profiled on Hogs Haven, but their stays with the Redskins were short-lived, with each being waived in May to make room for other players.

That leaves four UDFA wide receivers who will go to training camp with the Redskins to compete for a spot on the regular season roster. While the odds are generally stacked against UDFAs, I believe that the makeup of the Redskins wide receiver depth chart and Jay Gruden’s desire to add at least one punt returner to the roster for the ‘18 season opens up the very real possibility that one of these four players could make the team — and when I say that, I mean that any one of the four has the possibility and opportunity to break into the 53-man roster. It’s very possible that more than one of them could end up with regular season contracts when the ten Practice Squad slots are taken into account.

For each of the UDFAs that were profiled on Hogs Haven in May, two poll questions were put forward:

  1. As UDFAs go, rate this player: A, B, C, D or F
  2. How good are the chances that this player is on the Redskins roster in 2018?

— Pretty strong

— Above average

— 50/50

— Unlikely

The results of each poll are printed below each player’s short profile below to give you an idea how each player is seen by the Hogs Haven readers. To make it a bit easier to compare the players, I’ve prepared a summary table here:


Wide Receivers

Simmie Cobbs Jr., WR, Indiana

After limited action in his freshman season, Cobbs broke out as a sophomore in 2015, putting up over 1,000 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. Cobbs’ sophomore campaign was a spectacular one, which led to extremely high praise entering his third season at Indiana.

But Cobbs suffered a season-ending ankle injury on the first play of the 2016 season, and lost a year of his college career.

In 2017, he certainly bounced back and caught NFL scouts’ attention. Although he didn’t match his sophomore breakout, in his comeback season he caught 72 passes for 841 yards and eight touchdowns as a redshirt junior at Indiana. Cobbs was a two-time Indiana offensive player of the week and finished in the top-10 of the Big Ten in receptions (2nd), receptions per game (2nd), yardage (4th), yards per game (4th) and touchdowns (6th), and was named First-Team All-Big Ten.

[W]hile Cobbs’ size and physicality are impressive, he does come with some flaws.... According to his draft profile on NFL.com, Cobbs has a drop rate of 11.4 percent. Two plays before his touchdown catch against Denzel Ward, Cobbs had an easy touchdown catch go through his hands. His film shows either incredible catches or frustrating drops. [O]ften times, as Lance Zierlein also noted in his draft profile, Cobbs got lazy with his technique. If Cobbs can remain focused on the ball more, he’ll make more [impressive] plays.

In addition, Cobbs certainly isn’t the fastest wide receiver. At the Combine, Cobbs posted a 40 time of 4.64 seconds. He isn’t able to separate from corners, and thus is often put into contested catch situations. Fortunately, he can win those balls, but that won’t happen every time.


Cam Sims, WR, Alabama

Cam Sims looks the part of an NFL Receiver if you watch any of his highlight reels on YouTube. He has excellent size (6’5”, 214 pounds) and decent speed (4.52-4.59) for that size.

Sims missed a lot of time at Alabama, playing in only 23 games over his four years there. Sims suffered ACL and MCL tears in 2015 and a shoulder injury in 2016. He was able to stay mostly healthy in 2017.

Sims played in 11 games in 2017, catching 14 passes, including a nice leaping touchdown vs Mercer.

Overall, my outlook on Sims is that he is a talented prospect who was well worth signing as an UDFA. Sims played special teams for Alabama and he could make the team doing that if he does it well.

With Injuries keeping Sims sidelined so much, he is a very raw player. After recovering from his ailments, Sims had to fight for playing time with a deep wide receiver group at Alabama. Calvin Ridley received most of the passing targets and rightly so.

I expect that the Redskins will keep at least three out of the talented group of rookie wide receivers between the 53 man roster and the 10-player practice squad. Sims could certainly earn a spot on the practice squad if he shows his talent during training camp and the preseason. I doubt very much that Sims could make the roster, as he has a lot of learning to do.


Shay Fields, WR, Colorado

Shay Fields is a guy who might’ve done himself a disservice by going back to Colorado for his senior year. Draft Utopia said that he was a 4th round prospect at the end of his junior year with the Buffaloes, and — in May last year — The Ralphie Report (CU’s SB Nation website) listed Fields as one of the Buffaloes who would “hear their names called” at the NFL Draft:

Shay Fields [is a] flat out playmaker. “Big Play” Shay led the Buffs in receiving yards (845) last season and has nine career plays of 50 yards or longer. Could stand to put on a little weight, but the NFL team that drafts him next April is getting a true deep threat.

Shay Fields failed to make the jump to the next level as a senior. In fact, his production regressed to about the level of his 2015 sophomore campaign. The idea of turning himself into a Friday draft pick instead of Saturday slipped away, and Shay Fields didn’t hear his phone ring until after the Redskins spent the last pick of the draft on Trey Quinn, “Mr. Irrelevant”.

Like most of the Redskin’s rookie class, seeing Fields in action during practice and the preseason games will be important. The Colorado offense didn’t really prepare Fields well for the Redskins but he may be a raw talent who could blossom in the NFL.

The key for Shay Fields may be how well he takes coaching and how well he adapts to the scheme. He has speed; he has decent college production; he has a mentor in Paul Richardson, and he has a coach in Jay Gruden that should enjoy having him on the team and know how to use him.

However, I didn’t see Fields perform well enough in the game tape. I think he will struggle to make the practice squad and has very little chance of making the roster.


Darvin Kidsy, WR, Texas Southern

A bit of background

Darvin Kidsy is an intriguing prospect. He posted great workout numbers but has very little film available on him. Kidsy ran a 4.46-4.50 40 yard dash. He soared to a 41.5” vertical leap and a 10’7” broad jump.

Kidsy didn’t play in 2016, probably due to an arrest for hit and run in January of that year.

For his 2017 season he transferred from North Texas to Texas Southern. I found two game tapes of Texas Southern but the footage was so grainy that I don’t recommend watching them. Kidsy had a huge game vs Houston Baptist though with 8 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown.

Blocking

Kidsy showed an eagerness to block and threw his body in front of defenders a couple of times. He could be an effective blocker in the NFL but may need to add muscle to his 6’0”, 183 pound frame to be more effective in that role.

Change of direction

Kidsy has an amazing ability to stop on a dime and change directions. This helped him be an effective slot receiver at Texas Southern. He also has very good ball tracking ability and excellent hands catching the ball.

Punt returns

The Redskins probably signed Kidsy after rookie camp not just for what he can do as a receiver but also because of his return ability. Watching his highlight reel, I saw Kidsy cut up the field quickly, stop and start to elude defenders and cut off of blocks on returns. Kidsy was most successful in the return game as a freshman in 2014 and used much less in that role in later years.

Kidsy has a dynamic skill set as both a receiver and returner. The level of competition he had success against is not close to the top level of college football at North Texas and Texas Southern but Kidsy’s talent is undeniable.

How would he fit with the Redskins?

Return man

There are so many players vying to become the primary return man for the Redskins that it is impossible to make Kidsy a clear favorite.

Martez Carter, Greg Stroman, Danny Johnson, Kidsy — and possibly Ranthony Texada and Trey Quinn — give the Redskins up to six rookies, many with good returner results in college, to compete with Byron Marshall, Keith Marshall, Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson, Maurice Harris and Jamison Crowder.

Slot receiver

Kidsy also joins Quinn as a rookie who will contend to back up Crowder at slot receiver. Crowder is in the last year of his contract and the Redskins may be looking at possible replacements a year early.

The camp battle

Kidsy could be a surprise winner in that competition as he is faster than and a better athlete than Quinn.

The Redskins will have a heated battle for their punt and kickoff return spots and Kidsy will be in the middle of that competition.

I give Kidsy about a 50/50 shot of making the practice squad.

In the unlikely event that he wins the return job, or is looked at as the successor to Crowder, Kidsy would be the 6th WR on the 53 man roster.

The full list of wide receivers in Redskins Training Camp

  • Josh Doctson
  • Paul Richardson
  • Jamison Crowder
  • Brian Quick
  • Robert Davis
  • Maurice Harris
  • Trey Quinn
  • Simmie Cobbs, Jr.
  • Darvin Kidsy
  • Shay Fields
  • Cam Sims

Today’s Poll Questions

Poll

Which of these 4 UDFA wide receivers has the best chance of making the Redskins 53-man roster?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Simmie Cobbs, Jr.
    (164 votes)
  • 14%
    Darvin Kidsy
    (63 votes)
  • 6%
    Shay Fields
    (28 votes)
  • 40%
    Cam Sims
    (172 votes)
427 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How many of these 4 UDFA wide receivers will make the Redskins 53-man roster?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    0
    (171 votes)
  • 45%
    1
    (190 votes)
  • 12%
    2
    (53 votes)
414 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How many of these 4 UDFA wide receivers will make the Redskins Practice Squad?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    0
    (4 votes)
  • 25%
    1
    (103 votes)
  • 65%
    2
    (269 votes)
  • 7%
    3
    (32 votes)
408 votes total Vote Now