Stock watch: Evan Royster moves up among Redskins RBs

Stock watch: Evan Royster moves up among Redskins RBs
August 19, 2014, 12:00 am
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PETER HAILEY

Alfred Morris: Stock down (slightly)

There is no debate: Alfred Morris is the team's starting running back, and he will shoulder the load this season in the backfield. With that being said, Morris did not have the best of nights on Monday.

On the team's first possession, the third year back dropped the ball on a toss from Robert Griffin III, a play that the two have run countless times since they became teammates in 2012. The fumble was recovered by the Browns and halted a Redskins drive that looked promising. 

Morris had a chance to redeem himself early in the second quarter as the Redskins moved the ball down to Cleveland's 3-yard-line. Once there, Gruden called Morris' number four consecutive times, but Morris could not get into the end zone, running for two yards on first down and then being stopped for no gain on three straight plays.

Despite a rough night, Morris is one of the more reliable players on the team and is still set for a huge year, which is why his stock takes a very minor hit. 

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Roy Helu: Stock Even

Roy Helu had a pedestrian night, toting the rock three times for eight yards, and also adding a reception that went for seven yards. Helu's most notable play was a negative, when he dropped an easy check down from Griffin where it looked like he turned upfield before he had the ball. 

Helu is likely to be the team's third down running back and has shown in the past he's capable of making plays with both his feet and his hands, which is why, even despite the drop and unimpressive rushing numbers, his stock stays put. 

Evan Royster: Stock up

Somewhat of a forgotten man amongst the Redskins running backs, Royster had a big night when he needed it most.

Royster isn't a roster lock like Morris or Helu, and he isn't a fresh face like Seastrunk or Redd. However, of all the backs on Monday night, he played the best. 

First, he flashed on a 24-yard catch and run, which he immediately followed with a two-yard touchdown run. Royster makes plays when he's given the opportunity, however limited they may be, and if he doesn't stick around in D.C, he could catch on fairly quickly with someone else. After his strong showing against the Browns, though, his chances of making the cut had to have improved at least somewhat.

Silas Redd: Stock even

Redd followed up his terrific debut against the Patriots with a decent performance against Cleveland. The rookie had five carries for 19 yards and a nice blitz pickup that saved Kirk Cousins from a sure sack. 

While Redd doesn't have a calling card like Seastrunk's speed or Helu's hands, he seems like he can be a jack of all trades. He didn't make a "wow" play tonight, but he did do a little bit of everything.

Lache Seastrunk: Stock up

Lache "Yes, It's Pronounced Like the Body of Water" Seastrunk impressed yet again tonight, totaling 35 yards on seven carries with a long run of 12.

Running the football in the NFL takes a lot of game planning and execution; however, sometimes it simply comes down to who is fastest, and Redskins fans have seen through two weeks of preseason action that Seastrunk rarely loses that battle.

If the Baylor rookie can continue to show his speed, and maybe haul in a pass or two, he could make things very hard on Jay Gruden come roster cut down time.

Chris Thompson: Stock down

In the NFL, if you aren't getting better, you're getting worse; unfortunately, Chris Thompson is just another example of this.

Thompson missed crucial reps as he was forced to sit out tonight's game with an ankle injury, and therefore, his stock took a pretty big hit. It is clear that Gruden likes Thompson's potential, but it's also clear that he is frustrated with the running back's penchant for being hurt.

The second year back will need to get back on the field as soon as he can so he can start making up for the vital lost time.