The Washington Redskins have made a minor roster move on Wednesday afternoon, electing to part ways with De’Mornay Pierson-El in favor of Garrett Hudson.
In what will likely be the first of many offseason roster moves, the Washington Redskins have slightly thinned out their very strong receiving corps and have added a new tight end to their roster. Per their official Twitter, the Redskins waived undrafted free agent De’Mornay Pierson-El and signed Richmond product Garrett Hudson. The move appears to be a sensible one given the construction of the Redskins current roster.
Before waiving Pierson-El, the Redskins had 12 receivers on their 90-man roster. Over the course of the past couple of seasons, the team has mostly kept just five guys on their final roster at the receiver position. While it’s possible that they may keep six this season, Pierson-El was always going to be on the outside looking in.
As it stands, the Redskins have a lot of talent at the receiver position. The top three spots are likely set, and the battle for the final two or three spots was going to come down to veterans Maurice Harris and Brian Quick, 2017 sixth round pick Robert Davis, Mr. Irrelevant Trey Quinn, and then a triumvirate of undrafted players in Simmie Cobbs, Cam Sims, and Pierson-El.
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So, Pierson-El was not only behind the veterans and the draft picks, but he was probably third, at best, among the undrafted wide-outs. And that must have been what led the Redskins to release him.
The player that the team added, Hudson, was a sensible add given what the team had on their roster at tight end. Prior to Wednesday, the team only had five on their 90-man roster, so adding another player for depth doesn’t hurt. And Hudson is a local product with some upside.
Hudson played at Richmond and served as a target for Kyle Lauletta. In three seasons with Richmond, he recorded 65 catches for 1,001 yards and nine scores. His best year came in 2016, when he logged 31 catches for 519 yards and five touchdowns.
Though Hudson has a solid looking 6-foot-4, 245 pound frame, it seems that he’s just a depth/project player for the next level. And this is what NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein said of him in a pre-draft scouting report.
"Move tight end with decent size and athletic ability, Hudson may not have enough quickness out of his breaks to uncover consistently against man coverage and he may not have the speed to threaten down the field. While he has the movement skills to get to his targets in space as a blocker, he hasn’t shown enough consistency in that area to be projected as a likely success story as a pro. Hudson should find a camp invite, but may not have the talent to stick on a roster."
That’s not necessarily a ringing endorsement. But perhaps with training at the NFL level, he can improve as a blocker. He was a receiver in high school, so he does understand how to get open. It’s just a matter of whether or not he has the athletic ability and strength to do that at the NFL level.
Overall, this move seems to be a lateral one for the Redskins. Both Pierson-El and Hudson would have a tough time making the roster. However, in terms of balance, it makes a lot of sense to add Hudson to the fold. The team now has six tight ends, and Hudson can compete with Manasseh Garner and Matt Flanagan for the fourth tight end spot. He’s less buried than Pierson-El, and perhaps he can apply pressure to the other two depth tight ends.
Keep an eye on the Redskins roster in the coming months. They’ll certainly be making quite a few moves as they look to find the most talented group of 53 to start the 2018 season.