Grading the Redskins inside linebackers on the 2017 performance
Martrell Spaight got an extended run with the Redskins for the first time in his three year career. The former fifth round pick notched six starts, but the results were largely a mixed bag, and it doesn’t look like he will amount to anything more than a backup player.
Spaight made 69 tackles during the 2017 season, and he looked like a solid tackler at times. When he was on the field next to Zach Brown, the duo fared well. Spaight benefited from Brown’s ability to swarm to the ball, and that allowed him to make a lot of tackles.
That said, when Spaight wasn’t on the field with other strong players, he couldn’t hold his own. Spaight showed a lack of instincts, particularly in coverage as he was unable to stay with tight ends, and his tackling ability wasn’t as strong either.
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Spaight’s trouble in coverage will limit him to being merely a backup player at the best. While he did show improvement over his 2016 performance, it wasn’t nearly enough to allow the Redskins to think of him as a future starter. Given that the three linebackers ahead of him on the depth chart were set to hit the free agent market this offseason, it appears that Spaight really missed his opportunity to emerge as a big part of the Redskins future.
Right now, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Spaight return next year, but I’m not certain he will be long for the team’s roster. His mediocre performance combined with his uncertain future will lead him to get a below average grade for this past season.