Redskins CB Jimmy Moreland primed to capitalize on opportunity

Redskins cornerback Jimmy Moreland was a fan favorite almost immediately after being drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Now, however, with a regime change clouding the roster, he’s been all but forgotten.

It’s peculiar that Jimmy Moreland has been forgotten, considering the state of the Washington Redskins cornerback room. Josh Norman was released ahead of free agency. Quinton Dunbar was recently traded to the Seahawks for a fifth-round pick. The lone returning starter is Fabian Moreau, who himself is not guaranteed a job in the fall.

The Redskins signed Kendall Fuller in free agency to reinforce the position, and added Ronald Darby as high-upside depth, but even with Fuller back in D.C., the team’s cornerback group is still mired in uncertainty, and given the team’s lack of early-round draft capital in the coming 2020 NFL Draft, it may be up to some in-house options to answer the questions that loom in the coming months.

Jimmy Moreland is one player who’s primed to have an opportunity to compete for an increased role in 2020. Landon Collins himself endorsed Moreland on Twitter recently, naming the former Duke as a player who would take a leap in 2020. The soon-to-be 25-year old started five games and played in 14 in 2019, logging 42 tackles and four pass deflections, while allowing 8.6 yards per completion.

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Moreland was a mixed bag in his rookie season, as he succeeded in allowing zero touchdowns in coverage, but also allowed almost eighty percent completion in his direction. Flashes on the field made fans aware of Moreland’s ability and his ball-hawking mentality at defensive back, but those flashes weren’t consistent enough to ensure him a place on the 2020 squad.

That said, Moreland has the tools to work with, and with his traits, he can start off on a good note with new head coach Ron Rivera. Moreland is feisty and aggressive in coverage, and his athletic numbers often go unnoticed; at James Madison’s Pro Day in 2019, Moreland logged a 4.44 40-yard dash, a 6.90 three-cone time, and an explosive 39-inch vertical.

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Moreland is a bit undersized, potentially limiting his utility on the boundary, which makes his role projection unclear with Kendall Fuller presumably manning the slot on the majority of his snaps. But Moreland has the quickness and the play speed to make an impact wherever he goes, and for a Redskins cornerback group searching for answers, he provides some security with his potential.

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