On the day the 2019 NFL season kicks off, I will keep it short and sweet (or try really hard to). My optimism for the team’s management, success, and consistency has run dry. There is no one single thing that has made me feel this way. As fellow Redskins fans, you can probably relate when I say it's more of a collection of things that have gone on for a long time - literally like being beat over the head with a stick.
It’s hard to get up when Jordan Reed gets clobbered yet again, or when a top 5 lineman says (through the grapevine) that he doesn’t want to play for the team, or when a young lineman has yet to be re-signed while other top-tier young players are inking big deals. In fact, outside of Derrius Guice being healthy (hopefully), there is little to be excited about regarding the Redskins offense except for the wide receivers.
The Redskins did do something mildly shocking which I have been screaming for them to do for years — give their young players a chance, and put them front and center over veterans who have not produced. That is evident with this year’s WR group. Josh Doctson is gone; so is Jamison Crowder, Brian Quick, etc. Up in the order are Paul Richardson Jr. (27), Terry McLaurin (23), Trey Quinn (23), Kelvin Harmon (21), Robert Davis (24), and Steven Sims Jr. (22). As per James Dorsett’s article last year, which tackled the importance of age and its correlation to success on the field, it’s clear the Redskins are not just trying to get younger at the position, but also seem, anecdotally, to have let go of this notion of players earning their due without getting the opportunity to play.
It’s a step in the right direction. I think Case Keenum is challenged enough without a top tier LT blocking for him. I don’t expect him to have a renaissance year a la Minnesota 2017, but he was at his best when he had two dynamic options on the outside (see Andre Johnson and Nuk Hopkins in Houston, and Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs in Minnesota). Paul Richardson could certainly contribute, I hope he does become that consistent and durable option downfield. I am really looking forward to the three guys behind him in the depth chart playing, though. If you want to know how dynamic I think Terry McLaurin could be, look no further than this profile. If you want to know how dominant Kelvin Harmon can be, look no further than Aaron’s profile on him. I would have written a profile gushing about Trey Quinn in 2018 if I had the DraftBreakdown video to support it. These three players are the future of the Redskins WR corps, and they have a chance this year to prove they are on strong foundations.
All three had excellent college careers. All three have great catching ability. All three have big play ability. I’m excited to see what they can do. So consider this your chance to hop on the young WR bandwagon (t-shirt logo and other ideas welcome). The season might be rough but I believe they will offer a bright spot we can all look to throughout the season.