6 Redskins Players with Insanely Bright Futures
Much has been made of the Redskins' roller coaster of a season, but regardless of what goes wrong, Robert Griffin III has given fans hope for the future alongside a few other young prospects who could eventually make this team great.
There's still a lot of building to do before Washington becomes a true contender, but there are pieces in place to build on. Here are some players who could be part of that foundation.
Robert Griffin III
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Here's the obvious choice. We all know that Robert Griffin III is a special kind of player on and off the field. He does it all. He has 1,993 passing yards, eight passing touchdowns, 529 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns and a 93.9 quarterback rating.
Griffin is on pace to break pretty much every rookie record in the books for the Redskins with barely any weapons around him. Imagine what he could do with a good group of receivers.
Once RGIII gets a few years under his belt, he could easily be one of the best in the league. He's not far off from that mark now, but he just can't make the plays he's capable of because he's getting no help.
Pierre Garcon coming back from injury should help give him a reliable target, but until he's healthy, Griffin will have to make due.
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Here's another shocker. Alfred Morris has been a force this season. He has just under 800 yards rushing with five touchdowns. He's been in a bit of a slump with the rest of the Redskins offense the past few games, but he'll break out again in the end of the season.
The running back position has been a turnstile since Clinton Portis was in his prime. Morris is the answer for the future. With both the starting quarterback and running back spots settled for at least the next five years, the 'Skins can now fill the holes at wide receiver and offensive line that have kept the offense from being truly remarkable.
While not a burner, Morris is everything the Shanahans want in a running back and should have a great career in their zone-blocking scheme.
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Logan Paulsen has been huge stepping in for the injured Fred Davis. Before this season, he didn't see much action after being acquired as an undrafted free agent in 2010. But since Davis went down, Paulsen has been a solid target for RGIII.
I wasn't too high on Paulsen before this season, but he has impressed me so far. Since becoming the starter, he has 177 receiving yards, has been a solid blocker and really a good player overall.
He'll only get more opportunities in the last part of the season, so look for him to break out a bit more if no one else can give Griffin a good target.
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Coming in as a fourth-round pick out of LSU in 2010, Perry Riley didn't see much of the field in the first few games of his rookie campaign. But that soon changed when he beat out Rocky McIntosh for the starting inside linebacker spot next to London Fletcher.
With Fletcher's productivity in decline, Riley has stepped up and played pretty well this season. Fletcher's not getting any younger, so linebacker will soon become a position of concern for Washington. If Riley can continue to hold down one of the spots, it'll make it that much easier on the front office to find the other piece next to him.
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While most don't think of Pierre Garcon as a young talent, at 26, he has his best days of football ahead of him. In a disappointing first season of a five-year deal, Garcon has yet to really show off his true talents.
When healthy, Garcon can stretch the field and be the receiver that defenses fear. He's a game-changer, and the Redskins don't have many of those. While he might not be the traditional top receiver, he's capable of putting up those numbers.
It looks like Garcon might see the field this week against the Eagles, but he likely won't be healthy until next year. Even with a bum foot, I can see Garcon leading the Redskins in receptions through the rest of the season if he can go.
If Washington could get anyone else who can catch the ball on the field with Garcon next year, this offense could be scary good.
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It doesn't seem like a good sign when one of the more promising youngsters on the Redskins roster is an undrafted free agent who missed the entire season with injury, but I think Chase Minnifield has a chance to come in healthy and compete for some playing time next year if he's healthy.
Coming off his original knee injury, Minnifield showed flashes in OTA's and was impressing coaches. On a team with arguably the worst secondary in the league, he definitely has a chance to find his way onto the field.
At this point, all Minnifield has to do is beat out Cedric Griffin or fellow rookie Richard Crawford. That doesn't seem hard. Granted, Washington will probably bring in a few more DBs in the draft, but with some experience in camp under his belt and a year to prepare, Minnifield will definitely get a shot.
Mostly though, the defense is a huge problem right now, and anyone has the chance to step up and compete for a job.