Over the next eight days, Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir is going to examine the Redskins’ depth chart and evaluate potential needs in the upcoming draft, ranking them in order from least to most important. We’ll also to take a look at the prospects who could be a fit.
Current depth chart:
Alfred Morris, Evan Royster, Roy Helu, Keiland Williams, Tristan Davis/Darrel Young, Eric Kettani, Dorson Boyce
Last season, the Redskins led the NFL in rushing with 2,709 yards. Two players – Alfred Morris and Robert Griffin III – accounted for 90-percent of that total, with Morris gaining 1,613 yards and Griffin running for 815.
The chances of that happening again don’t appear to be great.
Although Morris managed to stay healthy, he plays a rugged style that exacts a physical toll. It’s also safe to assume that Griffin won’t carry the ball 120 times again, even if he’s under center in Week 1.
So it would at least seem plausible that Mike Shanahan will seek to incorporate another back into the mix. It would make sense for that player to be a change-of-pace runner with strong pass catching ability.
Is he on the roster now? Maybe, maybe not.
Evan Royster averaged 16 snaps a game last season while recording 23 carries for 88 yards as well as 15 receptions. Roy Helu’s campaign, meantime, was cut short after only three games because of a toe injury. The elusive second-year player recently told CSNWashington.com that his health is improving after surgery in February, but until he gets on the field, there will be question marks.
Is that enough uncertainty for Shanahan to entertain the idea of seeking out another gem in the sixth or seventh rounds? As we know, he’s got a pretty good knack for that (see: Morris, Terrell Davis).
Fullback, on the other hand, would seem to be set. After overcoming a hamstring strain in training camp, Darrel Young appeared in every game. But there’s no fullback on the roster after Young who has taken a single NFL snap, so it’s always possible, but admittedly not very likely, the Redskins will target one late in the draft.
Three late-round prospects:
- Kenjon Barner, Oregon
At 5-9, 196 pounds, Barner uses his shiftiness to get into open space, then uses his elite speed to break off long runs. Gained 1,849 yards and scored 21 touchdowns for the Ducks.
- Kerwynn Williams, Utah State
The 5-8, 195-pound Williams possesses elite agility and quickness, giving him the ability to bounce outside for big gains. Can also return punts and kicks.
- (Fullback) Kyle Juszczyk, Harvard
At 6-1, 248 pounds, Juszczyk is the top rated fullback on many boards. He’s an exceptional blocker and hauled in 52 catches for 706 yards and eight touchdowns for the Crimson last season.