After the Redskins acquired free agent wide receivers Andre Roberts and DeSean Jackson, it became apparent that the top of the depth chart at the position would be shaken up. Now it looks like there will be changes when receivers start coming off of the bench as well.
When Roberts, Jackson, or Pierre Garçon need to take a breather it could be rookie Ryan Grant or third-year player Aldrick Robinson coming into the game. The two have had a chance to showcase their talents in practice and in last week’s preseason game against the Patriots since Jackson and Garçon were sidelined with injuries.
Gruden was asked about the wide receiver depth chart and he praised Grant and Robinson equally.
“Between Aldrick and Ryan Grant, those two guys are probably performing the best out of the receiving corps because of Pierre's injury and DeSean's injury,” he said. “So it's great to have depth at that position. Like I said, when DeSean runs deep, to be able to put in Ryan Grant or Aldrick Robinson and be fresh and have that type of depth at the receiver position is really, really exciting."
Grant was the team’s fifth-round draft pick this year and he seems to have been a Gruden favorite from the beginning. Asked about Grant during rookie minicamp, Gruden said, “He plays like a 10-year veteran already. He’s very smooth. He understands route concepts.” Grant’s performance in OTAs, minicamp, and training camp has done nothing but reinforce Gruden’s opinion.
Robinson has shown flashes of promise since he came to the team as a sixth-round draft pick in 2011. He has kept getting chances because of his blazing speed. He may now have a good enough grasp on the fundamentals of his position to be more than just a fast guy.
We will see how it shakes out. One note to keep in mind is that Jackson played 85 percent of the Eagles’ plays last year (1,010 of 1,189) despite the Eagles’ fast pace on offense and the number of deep routes he ran. Jackson might not leave many snaps for Robinson and Grant to play.