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Further review: Another look at offensive UDFA players at Redskins Training Camp

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Preparing for the Mason-Brennan Offseason Hype Award: A summary of 5 offensive undrafted free agents that will be going to Richmond for Redskins training camp

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 five players highlighted in this article, simply click on the player’s name at the top of each player summary below.

Yesterday, we looked at four UDFA wide receivers who will be in Training Camp with the Redskins. This article is designed to highlight other UDFA offensive players that are currently on the roster:

  • RB Martez Carter
  • TE Matt Flanagan
  • FB Elijah Wellman
  • OL Timon Parris
  • C Casey Dunn

There is also some information on a sixth player — Garrett Hudson, TE from the University of Richmond — who was signed at the end of May (knocking WR De’Mornay Pierson-El off the roster). Garrett Hudson was never individually profiled on Hogs Haven, being the last UDFA to join the team, however, he is a 6’4”, 245 pound TE from Richmond who has an opportunity, along with all the other UDFAs on the Redskin roster, to earn a spot on the final 53, ahead of September’s season opener against the Cardinals. You’ll find an embedded highlight video and links to two articles about Garner in the player review portion of the article below.

These six UDFA offensive players will go to training camp with the Redskins to compete for spots on the regular season roster. While the odds are generally stacked against UDFAs, I believe that some of these players have very real opportunities to break into the 53-man roster, and one or two of them could make it by the end of the preseason. It’s very possible that a few 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.

Running back

Martez Carter, RB/KR, Grambling State

His sophomore year, after working hard and proving his skills, No. 40 became No. 4 — a running back who returned kicks with such explosiveness and versatility on the field that he turned heads and caused fans to wonder who the new kid was.

He became known as one of the most exciting players to watch in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), and Mr. Excitement has lived up to his name since.

Despite his smaller size at 5-foot-7 and 193 pounds, Carter is a threat in both the run and receiving games. He added 449 yards and two touchdowns through the air during his senior season. He was also a significant contributor on special teams throughout his career at Grambling State.

How would he fit with the Redskins?

The Redskins have a deep backfield for now with Chris Thompson, Derrius Guice and Samaje Perine all locks to make the roster. I expect them to add a 4th running back to the group and it will probably be a player who is a good threat in the passing game.

My favorite to take the 4th spot is Carter. He will be a good understudy to Thompson as a third down running back. Even more importantly, Carter will be a great threat in the return game. If Carter is not kept on the Redskins’ 53 man roster, I think another team will pick him up and add him to their roster.

Washington fans will already be aware of the strong connection that the Redskins have to Grambling State through Doug Williams, who not only led Grambling to 36 wins as a 4-year starter at QB, but also spent 9 years as the head coach of Grambling’s football team, most recently in 2013, just prior to joining the Redskins front office as a personnel executive. Doug is also a Louisiana native with strong ties to the area; I sense that he may have had a lot to do with getting Carter into Redskins training camp.

Note: My personal opinion is that, of all the free agents in Redskins training camp this year, Carter has the greatest likelihood to get meaningful offensive or defensive snaps at some point during the regular season. He’s my “sleeper” for the 2018 season. I think he has the chance to beat out Kelley, Bibbs, Marshall, and Marshall — BiB

What did readers think about him?

The full list of Running Backs in Redskins Training Camp

  • Derrius Guice
  • Chris Thompson
  • Samaje Perine
  • Rob Kelley
  • Kapri Bibbs
  • Byron Marshall
  • Martez Carter
  • Keith Marshall
  • Elijah Wellman

Elijah Wellman, FB, West Virginia

Elijah has gotten just about every cliche in the book thrown towards him: Hardworking, blue-collar attitude, lunch pail mentality, titles, titles, titles. As much as we can mock the coach speak, Wellman was an extremely important part of the Mountaineers monster backfield, whose most potent running attack came out of the loaded pistol with Wellman leading the way.

Wellman, listed at 6-2 and 241 lbs., has played a multitude of positions since he first stepped onto the gridiron. Depending on whatever website one loads on the computer to get his information, he is shown as a linebacker, a tight end and a fullback. The latter position is how he is listed for the Burgundy and gold.

It’s interesting that the Redskins made the move because the FB position seems to be a dying breed in the NFL.

Wellman isn’t very fast with a 4.82 40 yard dash time but he did well on the shuttle with a 4.22 second time and on the 3-cone drill with a 6.83 second time.

Even making the practice squad could be a stretch for Wellman. Gruden hasn’t had a roster or practice squad spot devoted to a fullback since Darrel Young last played for the Redskins in 2015 — a season that saw DY with a diminished role.

We all know that one of the problems in the run game recently has been poor tight end blocking. Perhaps Elijah Wellman will be listed as a FB on the roster, but line up as a tight end on running plays where the team needs good blocking to get needed yards.

I think that the Redskins had to have a reason for bringing Wellman to the team, and the things that jump off the page when I read about him are his versatility, his blue collar work ethic, and his willingness to do whatever it takes.

Maybe — just maybe — there’s a role for Elijah Wellman on the Redskins football team as a “lunchpail slash”: fullback / receiver / blocking tight end / special teamer.

Note: I think it’s obvious that Gruden isn’t going to keep a fullback, and that he only has one in camp so that the defense can practice against a full back. He’ll always rely on a TE (like Sprinkle) or a LB (like Anderson) to play FB when needed in a game. — BiB


Tight end & fullback

Matt Flanagan, TE, Rutgers & Pitt

Matt Flanagan played in 12 games in 3 years at Rutgers, where he caught 18 passes. Flanagan caught 11 of those passes — including 3 touchdowns — during his sophomore season at Rutgers. He may of shown promise that season but my guess is that injuries derailed his career somewhat.

After graduating, Flanagan was able to transfer to Pittsburgh for his final year of eligibility. He had his best season statistically with 17 receptions but was limited to only 8 games. He also didn’t catch a touchdown in 2017, so his college career totaled 35 receptions, 295 yards and 3 touchdowns in 20 games over 4 years.

Despite weighing 260lbs, Flanagan has a sleight build. He could obviously add bulk and muscle to his frame with an offseason in the Redskins strength and conditioning program, and I believe that increased size could help Flanagan develop into a good blocking tight end in the NFL.

Barring injury to a player ahead of him, I don’t see any way that Flanagan makes the 53 man roster. Even in the event of multiple injuries, there are better options on the Redskins 90 man roster than Flanagan and in the event of multiple injuries, the Redskins are likely to seek a trade to acquire a player ready to play in real NFL games.

Even making the Redskins practice squad may be tough for Flanagan. Manasseh Garner has experience with the team and also played at Pitt. Flanagan has a big size advantage over Garner though and the Redskins need better blocking from the tight end position so I give Flanagan an edge over Garner to make the practice squad for now. Training camp and the preseason games will determine the winner.

The full list of Tight Ends in Redskins Training Camp

  • Jordan Reed
  • Vernon Davis
  • Jeremy Sprinkle
  • Manasseh Garner
  • Matt Flanagan
  • Garrett Hudson (no Hog’s Haven Profile done for Garrett Hudson)

A little information on Garrett Hudson

A Q&A article with Garrett Hudson: “I belong in the NFL”

NFL.com draft profile on Garrett Hudson


Offensive line

Timon Parris, OL, Stony Brook

Parris may be one of the better UDFA linemen available this season. While he played in the Colonial Athletic Association and suffered the late season injury, Parris had caught the eye of scouts early. He was, for instance, invited to the Scouting Combine and the Senior Bowl, and may be an excellent Practice Squad candidate that will benefit from a year or two of coaching, along with strength and conditioning work to develop into a proficient NFL lineman.

Timon Parris was an offensive tackle in college, but projects as a guard at the NFL level.

In 2017 Parris started the first eight games of the season before he suffered a season-ending leg injury in the first half at Richmond. He was the top performer on the Seawolves’ offensive line that helped Stony Brook average 29.2 points and 351.2 yards per game.

Parris is a good looking physical specimen with thick arms and weight distributed properly throughout his frame. While he has a tendency to lose his knee bend and overall pad level too often, it’s hard to ignore his impressive foot quickness in his pass sets. Even with those pretty feet, his delayed punch and propensity to play too far out over his toes could cause a balance issue that coaches will need to correct.

Timon Parris is exactly the type of player teams want to have on the practice squad. He is smart and talented but raw. With a season spent learning while on the practice squad and an offseason in the Redskins strength and conditioning program, Parris could be a real find.

Parris has a tackle’s physique but could be moved inside to guard if he doesn’t get more consistent with his pass protection. He gets to the second level quickly, which you want out of a guard, but sometimes misses his target. Parris gets to the outside well which would fit what the Redskins like to do in their short passing game.

I think Parris is close to a lock to make the Redskins practice squad. His potential alone dictates at least a season to allow him to learn to be a pro. The chances of Parris making the 53 man roster are very slim however, unless the Redskins suffer multiple injuries on the offensive line.


Casey Dunn, C, Auburn

After transferring to Auburn and into the SEC as a senior, Auburn’s “6th lineman” proved his value last season playing for the 10th ranked Tigers. Despite not being the starter at Auburn and being a late signing for the Redskins, Casey Dunn could compete for a roster spot with a Redskin team that is looking for interior offensive line help.

Casey Dunn only played one season at Auburn after transferring from Jacksonville State. He injured the MCL in his right knee vs LSU but missed only a few games. With the 2017 season Dunn’s one and only chance to play at the highest level of college football, he made the decision to get back on the field.

Dunn had an excellent season for the Tigers. He is a great technician in the run game and a battler to the whistle. Dunn struggles some in the passing game. He is slightly undersized at 297 pounds and needs to add more bulk and strength.

Bottom line

Overall, I think Dunn is actually a better prospect than Welsh. He is a lot quicker and reportedly ran a 5.01 40 yard dash at his Pro day. He shows better balance and is just as smart as Welsh. I think Dunn plans to get a graduate degree in civil engineering.

Dunn is also better moving to the second level and blocking linebackers. There was a sequence of pics that I didn’t feature where Dunn blocked a player lined up over him, passed that player to the guard to his left and moved on to flatten a linebacker. The play ended up for a loss of yardage do to a teammate missing his block.

How would he fit with the Redskins?

Even though Dunn needs to add strength, he adjusts so well in pass protection that I think he could play as the backup center/guard immediately. I would give him a decent shot of making the roster but I think the Redskins probably go with Tony Bergstrom or Demetrius Rhaney in that spot this season.

Dunn wasn’t signed by any team after the draft and even the Redskins only offered him a camp tryout. The front office will probably feel that Dunn would not be picked up by another team after final cuts and that they could safely add him to their practice squad. I would be stunned if Dunn didn’t get at least a practice squad offer from the Redskins.

A season on the practice squad and a year of strength and conditioning could help Dunn adapt to the stronger and faster NFL players. He could even contend for the starting center spot in 2019 or 2020 with Chase Roullier moving over to his more natural guard position.

Note: I see Dunn as a good example of forward planning and roster development by the Redskins. I think they are putting greater emphasis on player development in recent seasons, and they seem to be committed to filling some of their future roster needs through good UDFA player acquisitions and development time on the practice squad. Brett Kollman (the youtube guy who does the really entertaining player breakdowns) said in a recent video preview of the 2018 Redskins (that I can’t locate right now) that he felt the Redskins had the best UDFA class in the league this year. He specifically mentioned Simmie Cobbs, Quinn Blanding and Martez Carter, but I think Dunn is a bit of the Ali Marpet type of small-school lineman, who can spend 2018 in the weight room and on the practice field, then have a career as a contributing member of the Redskins Offensive Line group. Guys like Anthony Lanier, Rob Kelley and Mo Harris are examples of contributors that the team has already developed from the UDFA ranks. I think that Dunn will be one of two or three 2018 UDFA players that will be on the 53 man roster in 2019 or 2020, and that is part of what I like about how the current coaching/FO group is handling roster construction and player development. — BiB

The full list of Offensive Linemen in Redskins Training Camp

  • Trent Williams
  • Shawn Lauvao
  • Chase Roullier
  • Brandon Scherff
  • Morgan Moses
  • Ty Nsekhe
  • Geron Christian
  • Kyle Kalis
  • Tony Bergstrom
  • Demetrius Rhaney
  • Tyler Catalina
  • T.J. Clemmings
  • Casey Dunn
  • Cameron Jefferson
  • John Kling
  • Isaiah Williams
  • Alex Balducci
  • Timon Parris

Today’s Polls

Poll

Which of these 6 UDFA offensive players has the best chance of making the 53-man roster?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Martez Carter, RB
    (240 votes)
  • 6%
    Elijah Wellman, FB
    (28 votes)
  • 2%
    Matt Flanagan, TE/FB
    (12 votes)
  • 4%
    Garrett Hudson, TE
    (22 votes)
  • 13%
    Timon Parris, OL
    (59 votes)
  • 19%
    Casey Dunn, C
    (88 votes)
449 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How many of these six offensive UDFAs will make the Redskins 53-man roster?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    0
    (88 votes)
  • 49%
    1
    (194 votes)
  • 23%
    2
    (94 votes)
  • 4%
    3
    (16 votes)
392 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How many of these six offensive UDFAs will be put onto the Redskins Practice Squad?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    0
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    1
    (29 votes)
  • 40%
    2
    (153 votes)
  • 40%
    3
    (153 votes)
  • 11%
    4
    (44 votes)
382 votes total Vote Now