Washington Redskins: Most Overrated and Underrated Players

By Michael Schwartz
July 19, 2012 2:39 pm
1,516 Views 6 Comments

RB Roy Helu
- Under Mike Shanahan, it’s always hard to figure out which RB is going to have the most carries as he likes to incorporate an interchangeable system with multiple players.

However, Roy Helu is a player who is just starting to garner a lot of buzz. At 5-11, Helu is small and fast enough to dodge tackles and be difficult to bring down in the open field.

His explosive cuts and bursts of agility show his potential as a dynamic playmaker to watch on a weekly basis.

Helu also possesses good hands on screen plays as he caught 49 passes for 379 yards which adds to his versatility. Of course, it’s hard to predict what Shanahan will do with his running backs as he has Tim Hightower and Evan Royster who were both successful at times last season.

Yet, with RGIII under center, Helu looks like the best Redskins' RB and is set for a breakout season.

TE Fred Davis - Fred Davis had a season filled with highs and lows. In the first 13 weeks, Davis emerged over Chris Cooley as the team’s best TE by amassing 796 yards and 3 touchdowns which is especially impressive considering Rex Grossman and John Beck were his QBs.

However, his breakout season ended abruptly when he got suspended for the final four games for marijuana use. An embarrassing drug suspension derailed his season and may have played a factor in why he’s now playing under the franchise tag rather than a long-term contract.

Yet, if Davis is able to mature and bounce back, he has the potential to be one of the best tight ends in the NFL with the explosive RGIII in the pocket. Davis can get downfield quickly and his physical strength allows him to bust through tackles and gain plenty of yards after the catch (he was fifth amongst all tight ends in the NFL in YAC).

With the athletic RGIII who can move quickly out of the pocket and extend plays, Davis could greatly benefit as the young quarterback's safety valve.        


WR Pierre Garcon
- Garcon got a massive deal this offseason when he signed a five-year, $42.5 million contract with the Redskins. The former Indy WR will now be the top threat for rookie Robert Griffin III who undoubtedly is an upgrade over Rex Grossman.

Yet, RGIII may struggle in his first season and that may be difficult for Garcon to overcome who had his best years under the experienced Peyton Manning. Garcon also brings his own struggles as he isn’t the best route-runner and has been plagued with crucial dropped passes.

Garcon will also need teammates like Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan to draw coverage away from him as he isn’t the most physical player.

If Hankerson and Morgan don’t step up, safeties will also focus on Garcon who’ll struggle to get open often. In the end, Garcon is a lively big-play threat but he needs to be more dependable as he only had three games last season with 100 or more yards. Garcon will need to become more consistent or he’ll be just another Washington acquisition who failed to live up to his gigantic contract.

WR Santana Moss - Age has unfortunately caught up with the explosive Santana Moss as he wasn’t able to break down opposing defenses in the open field with his speed. Moss suffered a broken hand last season which made him miss a month but even when he was healthy, his production dropped due to his fading skills and the Redskins’ lackluster QB play.

Moss may still be able to bounce back with RGIII but he’ll have to fight for targets amongst Garcon, Davis, Hankerson and Morgan. Moss is an experienced veteran but 2011 may have indicated that he just isn’t the same receiver anymore.   

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3 years ago
Moss could surprise this year. Young qbs need the quick checkdowns sometimes, and putting 'Tana in the slot could be an X factor for this offense.
3 years ago
I see that happening if Moss is healthy and finds some of his old speed again. I just feel like a lot of the checkdowns may end up going to Davis and perhaps Moss to a lesser extent. To me, he obviously isn't the same receiver anymore but I definitely won't throw out the possibility he can be rejuvenated somewhat with better QB play from RGIII if he doesn't struggle at all which is a big if for a rookie no matter how talented he is.
3 years ago
Mike, a couple of things that you may want to check on. 1. Pierre had his best season with Painter (and Collins and the water boy for that matter) last season, not with Peyton. 2. Tanna was healthy for the first part of the season and we're talking maybe the first 6 games or so (I remember reports starting to come out just after the bye that he was fighting a thing or two-don't ask me what...). I only point this out because to hear you tell it Tanna is washed up and Garcon can't make it away from Peyton...Also you seem to be under the misconception that Josh and Hank are starting infront of Tanna. At this stage that is untrue. Neither Hank nor Josh has been on the field during team activities (drills) this whole off season. To say that Tanna is overrated is to say that you got the Garcon part of this piece correct (seems very revisionist to me).
3 years ago

1. I was referring to his two previous seasons with Manning where he became a valuable receiver. Also he amassed more yards last year than in the previous years but if you take away three games last years where he had over a 100 yards and 2 touchdowns in every game, he didn't do much partially because Painter clearly isn't a good QB but also because Garcon is all or nothing which won't cut it in D.C.
2. Whether who is starting or not, all three (Moss, Morgan and Hankerson) will be battling for targets. If you look at Moss last year when compared to prior seasons, of course he didn't look nearly as good or effective which is why I said he's overrated right now. However, I also said RGIII could reinvigorate him on the field again. Plus the Redskins once get their official training camp underway which for veterans starts on the 25th, I believe they'll look at all of their WR options and Moss won't have his spot as nailed down as you think.
3 years ago
Thank you for proving my point, bud. You didn't explain yourself in a couple of your opinions and the piece came across bias to prove the point you were making on overrated players. About Pierre I agree that he is indeed overrated. But your reasoning, as presented, was flawed. Your explanation was much more concise than what you choose to use in the piece. On the matter of Tanna, the only time when healthy that he didn't look good is in the area of getting his normal yac. After he started fighting injury he started looking...well...old. That didn't change until the last game or two when he started looking more like himself. If he has lost the 15 lbs that the coaching staff was talking about AND he is looking more in control of his body then I don't think that you CAN overrate his value as a veteran, experienced player in the system or as a mentor/guide to not only the receiving core but also to the young QB. Your explanation about fighting for targets is the same story in every other receiving core in the league. On your OPINION about Tanna and his 'fading' skills I won't argue because it is just that, your opinion. But before you write it into an article you need to specify that as what it is as opposed to the 'fact' that you made it out to be ("...age has unfortunately caught up with the explosive Santana Moss...".
3 years ago
I still like Moss in the slot to burn some plays down the seem. Josh Morgan has huge hands and is very athletic. He is at his best in jump ball situations.

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