Jay Gruden ‘really, really, really impressed’ by third-year corner Fabian Moreau

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Fabian Moreau is entering his third year with the Washington Redskins, and it appears that he is making big strides in his role.

Many thought the Washington Redskins got a steal in the 2017 NFL Draft when they were able to land Fabian Moreau in the third round. Moreau, a corner from UCLA, impressed in the pre-draft process and was viewed as a potential first-round pick. However, a pec injury hurt his draft stock, and he fell to the ‘Skins as a result.

In his first season with the squad, Moreau played sparingly and was buried on the depth chart. But last season for the Redskins, his first as a starter and primary nickel player, he made 58 tackles, had five pass breakups, and one interception while making 10 starts. He played 81 percent of the snaps on defense, logging 489 snaps in the slot and 281 on the outside.

Moreau demonstrated versatility and while he wasn’t always perfect in coverage, he showed enough tools and upside to remain the starter. And it appears that he is on his way to retaining a big role with the team in 2019.

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Per Jake Kring-Schreifels and Kyle Stackpole of the Redskins official website, Jay Gruden has been “really, really, really impressed” by Moreau this offseason. He took time to praise both Moreau and Shaun Dion Hamilton after practice on Tuesday.

"[Linebacker] Shaun Dion Hamilton, along with Fabian [Moreau], are two of the most improved players out here."

That’s seemingly a good sign for Moreau’s development. He should continue to improve and if his progress is as good as Gruden indicates, he may be able to make a massive impact on the ‘Skins’ cornerback group and potentially emerge as a top corner for them, if not, a high-end No. 2 guy.

This development should also ensure that most of the jockeying on the Redskins corner depth chart will be for the backup spot. Greg Stroman, Jimmy Moreland, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Danny Johnson, and Adonis Alexander all have intriguing skill sets, but it seems that only three will make the roster, barring an injury or a surprise cut at the top of the depth chart.

Of the group, Moreland has impressed quite a bit at camp, so he could be en route to winning the backup slot job. It’s still very early though, and Stroman showed well last year while DRC would add a veteran to the mix. At the moment, Johnson and Alexander seem to be on the outside looking in, but both would be strong practice squad candidates.

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We’ll see if Moreau can continue to establish himself on the field and help to better work out a pecking order in the cornerback room. Right now, it certainly seems that he is on the right track in that regard.