When J.D. McKissic was signed by the Redskins, I was dismissive of the signing, and I openly disagreed with anyone who suggested that he would contribute to the team. I never believed he’d make the 53-man roster and I described him as an unproductive back who had never been more than a marginal player anywhere he’d been.
I was not a fan.
McKissic had been in the league for 4 years at the time. He had less than 1,000 yards from scrimmage and had scored 4 touchdowns. We had Adrian Peterson, Darrius Guice and Bryce Love on the roster.
I may have referred to McKissic more than once as a “camp body”.
Well, McKissic proved me wrong last year!
In 2020, J.D. McKissic was highly productive, gaining 954 yards from scrimmage as, basically, a part-time player. He chipped in 3 touchdowns. When Antonio Gibson missed time late in the year with turf toe, McKissic stepped up and handled an expended role during Washington’s stretch run towards an unlikely division title and a spot in the playoffs.
So far in 2021, McKissic is slightly off the pace he set last season, but not by much. He didn’t play much at all in Week 1 — apparently the coaches forgot he was on the roster — but he was the hero of the Falcons game, scoring a huge 4th quarter touchdown that was integral in the Football Team leaving Atlanta with a 2-2 record.
McKissic appeared on the Jim Rome show recently
In an appearance this week on the Jim Rome show, the running back talked about how much it meant for him to have a coaching staff that believes in him, and he talked about the value of getting an opportunity.
Hopefully, J.D. McKissic didn't read my early responses to his signing, or my projections for what would become of him in his efforts to earn a spot on the Washington roster. If he did see them, then I hope that he used my opinions to stoke the fire.
When Chris Thompson left Washington, I didn’t think I would ever see another running back in burgundy & gold in my lifetime who would match him for excitement and electric, game-changing plays week after week. Well, McKissic proved me wrong again. In 2020, McKissic’s yardage totals eclipsed Thompson’s best season, which was 2017, though CT still holds the edge in touchdowns (6 for CT in 2017; 3 for JDM in 2020). The two are cut from the same cloth, and I’m just as excited these days when I see No. 41 sprint onto the field as I used to be when I saw No. 25.
McKissic is 28 years old and set to be a free agent at the end of the season. I have no idea whether he’ll be in the team’s plans going forward, but, despite my early and stubborn dismissal of him, I am now a J.D. McKissic fan, and I’m looking forward to the next 13 games as he continues to be an element of an increasingly exciting offense that has so far managed to keep the Football Team relevant while the defense tries to remember where it put its mojo.
Should Washington bring McKissic back for his age 29 season?
Yes, he’s earned a 3-year deal!
Just bring him back on a one-year team-friendly deal. RBs fall off a cliff after age 29.