Let’s get this out of the way up front, this is an article about guys that we are almost completely in the dark about. We’ve spent countless electrons on 2020 draft picks and recent free agent acquisitions, and without OTAs and other offseason activities, it’s a pretty thin atmosphere to discuss Redskins’ news.
However, it’s a great time to revisit - and speculate about the futures of - players on the margins of the Redskins’ roster. The players below are mix of former draftees and undrafted free agents. All have been in the league for at least a year, but some may never take a snap in the NFL. They’re all the sorts of players who - if they can step up and play a solid role - can provide critical depth on a young team desperately in need of it. Let’s take a look.
Josh Harvey Clemons (LB)
Josh Harvey-Clemons (JHC) was selected by the Redskins in the 7th round of the 2017 draft. The linebacker out of Louisville was initially compared by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein to Kam Chancellor.
“Has elite size, length and athletic traits, and is a rangy tackler with the ability to cover and blitz. He could be considered by teams as a box safety or hybrid linebacker.”
In his three years with the team, JHC hasn’t started a single game on defense for the Redskins. The vast majority of his snaps have come on special teams, with his highest percentage of snaps both on defense (19%) and special teams (73%) coming in 2018. 2019 saw him taking the fewest snaps of his NFL career. With several linebackers added this year in free agency and the draft, 2020 will be a make or break year for JHC.
Jordan Brailford (DE)
Brailford was drafted by the Redskins in the 7th round of the 2019 draft. In 2018, Brailford collected 10 sacks for Oklahoma State, leading the Big 12. That said, some of the pre-draft assessments of Brailford were brutal:
“He showcases some necessary qualities to rush off the edge but lacks hand skills, extension awareness, rush counters and functional strength to play with his hand in the dirt.”
Brailford’s rawness, and need to improve his technique and strength, were consistent with him getting stashed in injured reserve at the beginning of the 2019 season. Has he spent the last year bulking up and getting handwork training from Ryan Kerrigan? It’s hard to say. There’s been almost no news on him since last August. If he develops, he could potentially be a pass rushing specialist, in the same mold as Nate Orchard, with perhaps some more upside. If not, he’s at risk of a practice squad assignment or cut, given the Redskins depth at pass rusher.
Bryce Love (RB)
Love was taken in the 4th round of the 2019 draft, with his draft stock having slipped significantly as a result of an ACL tear during his senior year. During his junior season, in 2017, Love rushed for over 2,100 yards and 19 touchdowns, was named PAC 12 Offensive Player of the Year, and was a Heisman Trophy runner up. Had Love been healthy in 2018, there was speculation he would have been a first or second round pick.
Obviously there are concerns about Love’s durability, but if he’s healthy, he projects to be a part of a pretty crowded backfield that will include several other talented backs like Derrius Guice, Antonio Gibson, and Adrian Peterson, that should provide him the opportunity to be used judiciously. If Love is fully healthy, he instantaneously becomes an important offensive weapon for the Redskins. If he’s not, he could either end up on PUP/NFI list or cut from the roster altogether.
Caleb Wilson (TE)
The Redskins’ second Mr. Irrelevant (with Trey Quinn being the first), Wilson was taken by the Cardinals with the last pick in the 2019 draft. He was placed onto the Cardinals’ practice squad before the 2019 season and poached by the Redskins in December (a couple of months after TE Hale Hentges was claimed by Washington after being waived by the Colts).
Wilson finished his college career at UCLA as their single-season record holder for tight end receptions (60) and receiving yards (965). He was also named first team PAC 12 and second team All American in his junior year. He’s primarily a receiving TE, without a lot of value as a blocker, and there are questions about his level of effort. However, in a very crowded tight end room - and without any clarity on the depth the chart - Wilson will likely be given a fair shake to prove himself. If he can’t beat out Jeremy Sprinkle or Hale Hentges, he’ll probably be fortunate to end up on the practice squad.
Emanuel Hall (WR)
Hall, originally projected by some to go in the third or fourth round of the 2019 draft, was ultimately picked up by the Bears as an undrafted free agent last year. He was waived by the Bears before the season, picked up by the Bucs and added to their practice squad. Dropped from their PS in September, he was added to the Redskins practice squad in December.
A high speed (4.39 40) deep threat who had some injury issues in college, Hall is an interesting potential addition to the Redskins’ WR corps, particularly in light of the switchover to an Air Coryell-style offense. Given that Terry McLaurin is the only “sure thing” WR on the roster right now, this may be Hall’s best (and last) chance to make an NFL team. He needs to have improved his route running and catching quality in the offseason to realize that opportunity.
Timon Parris (OT)
The Redskins picked up Parris as an undrafted free agent out of Stony Brook after the 2018 draft. He’s spent most of the past two years on the practice squad, though he was elevated to the 53-man roster at the end of the season last year in order to prevent his being poached by the Colts.
Parris was a three-time All CAA in college, and was projected as a Day 3 pick before breaking his leg in October of his senior season. We haven’t heard much about Timon since he’s been in the NFL, and all of his snaps last season were on special teams. However, the Colts’ interest in him is a positive sign, and the Redskins morass of uncertainty at both tackle positions should provide Parris the opportunity for a fair shot at a roster spot.
Which of these players, if any, do you think is most likely to have an impact in 2020?
This poll is closed
None of them