This offseason has been a who’s who of offensive tackles for the Redskins, and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.
Chidi Okeke. Adam Bisnowaty. Jylan Ware. Brian Wallace. These are the names the Washington Redskins have brought into their midst, in the wake of Ty Nsekhe’s departure to Buffalo. The 2018 season left a scar with its chaotic injury waves, and now, Washington is refusing to take the swing tackle position for granted. Even if it means sifting through the deepest reserves, to find a hidden gem.
Of the above names, only one remains on the roster: Brian Wallace. The former Arkansas Razorbacks blocker managed to stick around with Bill Callahan, but one isn’t enough, outside of Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Geron Christian, Ereck Flowers, and Timon Parris.
With all the uncertainty behind the two starters, the Redskins know they need to find a potential answer, and fast. Over the past few weeks, linemen have been coming and going, and now, the Redskins have added the latest developmental tackle: 2019 undrafted free agent Blake Hance. The news was first reported via the Washington Redskins official Twitter account.
While the names of the offseason are sometimes easy to forget, each one has a unique skill set, and unique traits that could bode well in their fight to stick around in the NFL. Hance isn’t a well-known player, but he brings his own kind of intrigue to the table.
At 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, Hance has good size for the tackle position, and with a basketball background, as well as a history at tight end and defensive end, tracking back to high school, Hance’s mobility isn’t a liability. His true movement skills are hard to quantify with the information available, but his combination of history and experience is at least promising. The lack of league interest in him, however, is not.
Hance finished his high school career as a three-star tight end recruit, and signed with the Northwestern Wildcats, where he was promptly moved to offensive tackle. After redshirting his freshman season, Hance started 46 games over the course of his career with the Northwestern Wildcats, primarily at left tackle, although he started four games at left guard in 2017.
Despite his impressive resume, Hance was not drafted in the 2019 NFL Draft. He signed with the Buffalo Bills after the draft as an undrafted free agent, but was then cut by Buffalo on May 22. Just over a week later, the Redskins have scooped him up, hoping to quantify his potential with the time they have.
Hance certainly looks the part, but can he keep up with the pace of the NFL, and can he convince the Redskins that he’s a project worth keeping? It won’t be easy, but with his size, experience, and relative versatility, he might be able to do just that.