For any team to be successful in any given year, they need boom-or-bust players to boom rather than bust. We've combed through the Washington Redskins' roster in an attempt to identify the key players who are sitting on that bubble heading into the 2012 regular season.
Robert Griffin III
Every rookie is boom-or-bust, even the most highly touted. In fact, especially the most highly touted.
It's very unlikely that RG3 busts as a rookie, but the expectations are so high nowadays for rookie pivots that he could take significant heat for a poor initial showing. A boom year would be something like what Cam Newton did last season in Carolina.
Boom or bust? Let's call it a mild boom. Griffin's in for a solid year, but there will be growing pains, especially with that offensive line.
There are high hopes for the second-year wide receiver in spite of the fact he has just 13 catches and 163 yards in his career. There's little doubt he has the ability to become something special, but Hankerson has to stay healthy and make some headway on a packed wide receiver depth chart.
Boom or bust? Another minor boom here. I'm not sure I trust Santana Moss or Josh Morgan, which means Hankerson has a chance to become the No. 2 guy at some point this year. That said, I can't see the 2011 third-round pick breaking out in a big way until 2013.
Technically, all four of Washington's running backs could be on this list. But I feel like we have a grip on Tim Hightower's ceiling, I'm concerned about Roy Helu's durability, and Alfred Morris has nothing to lose.
Royster averaged 5.9 yards per carry in limited reps as a rookie and has continued to impress early this summer. The 2011 sixth-round pick might be approaching a crossroads. He'll either take off or fade away, and it'll happen soon.
Boom or bust? I'm leaning toward bust, just because I don't trust running backs to stay consistent nowadays.
For all intents and purposes this is Jenkins' rookie season. He lost last year due to a knee injury but was killing it in camp and the preseason prior to that, and he's picked up where he left off this month.
Jenkins isn't likely to start early, but he'll be an important part of the rotation up front. The 6'4", 310-pounder is sneaky nimble and has the versatility to contribute as a rusher and a run stopper.
Boom or bust? I think he'll get it together this year and gain steam as the season progresses. By the time 2012 is through, Jenkins should be getting starting reps.
He made the most of his opportunities to start during the second half of 2011 and is now entrenched as the starter opposite London Fletcher inside. The 24-year-old has a chance to be a very good player for many years to come, and he's flashed a solid ability to rush the passer, too.
Boom or bust? Riley has to get better in coverage, but if he can do that he'll become a Pro Bowl-caliber linebacker. Either way, he's not going to bust.
One of the NFL's most overrated players is slated to start at strong safety, but he's had a subpar preseason and is now hurt. The Redskins took a chance on the former first-round pick after he was cast aside by Chicago, but I'd argue they have better options below him on the depth chart.
Boom or bust? I suppose it's obvious I'm thinking bust. Tanard Jackson is a better player, and I'd even argue that DeJon Gomes or Reed Doughty would be more productive in that spot.
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