The reviews are in for the Washington Redskins offseason, and they’re good.
The Washington Redskins were relatively inactive in free agency, but they made a couple key moves that will help the team in 2018. They put speed back in the offense by signing Paul Richardson to a deal, and they added depth on the defense, signing Orlando Scandrick and Pernell McPhee to bolster the ranks. Re-signing Zach Brown was perhaps the most important move of that period; Keeping him in the building was a must-do.
Much of the Washington Redskins activity, however, came in the 2018 NFL Draft. The team built along the trenches, drafting Daron Payne, Geron Christian, and Tim Settle with three of their first five picks, and with the other two, they added a first-round talent at running back in Derrius Guice, as well as a speedy special teamer in Troy Apke.
In the last two rounds, the Washington Redskins didn’t slow down; The team managed to add Shaun Dion Hamilton, a linebacker with starting talent, if healthy, Greg Stroman, a cornerback with natural coverage ability and quick feet, and Trey Quinn, an NFL-ready wide receiver with crisp route running and consistent hands.
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The Washington Redskins had a very successful offseason, but the foundation of this group was laid as many as eight years ago, around the time that Trent Williams and Ryan Kerrigan joined the ranks. Couple all these moves with the largest of the offseason, made before even free agency, when the Washington Redskins traded for Alex Smith, and a question arises: Is this the best roster Jay Gruden has ever had?
At first, it may seem like a tough question to answer. Gruden, now in his fifth year, has had four rosters come and go with each passing season. Ranking those rosters with this one, based on results, would be impossible, because the 2018 Washington Redskins haven’t played a down yet.
But based on talent, it appears that, yes, the 2018 Washington Redskins roster is the best roster Jay Gruden has ever had in D.C. This will be the first year that Gruden actually has depth in the trenches. His offensive line is one of the better units in the nation, and he has the talent on offense to make use of that, with an actual No. 1 running back in Derrius Guice.
There are many areas on the roster where Jay Gruden will be forced to believe in potential. Quinton Dunbar has the potential to be a very good starting cornerback. Montae Nicholson has the potential to be one of the best safeties in the league. Jordan Reed has the potential to be the best tight end in the league, if he can stay healthy.
Potential is something every team relies on. And the Washington Redskins have a lot of it. In previous years, that hasn’t been the case. As a roster, the Washington Redskins haven’t been this deep, or this talented, in a long time. In a tough, competitive NFC East, they’ll need every yard they can get. Do you think this is Jay Gruden’s best roster yet? Give your thoughts below!