Redskins' Roster Review: Breaking Down Washington's Running Backs

Dilan AmesCorrespondent IJune 13, 2013

Alfred Morris was an incredible steal a year ago.
Alfred Morris was an incredible steal a year ago.Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins struck gold in 2012 when they drafted unexpected starter Alfred Morris in the draft. 

Morris went on to have one of the best rookie seasons for a running back in franchise history. In 2012, he was the league’s second-leading rusher and scored double-digit touchdowns. 

Aside from Morris, Washington also has a couple of other young backs who have contributed in the past. Roy Helu and Evan Royster have both shown flashes of starting ability, but there’s no way they push Morris off of his pedestal. 

They recently added two more runners in this year’s draft, and both will have an opportunity to become contributors in the Redskins’ offense. 

Overall, the runners in Washington are pretty solid.


The Good

The obvious star here is Al Mo. No. 46 was more dominant on the ground than most guys in the NFL

He was the perfect fit for Mike Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme; his stocky build and one-cut ability is what makes him such a good fit in the offense. 

Another guy who will be someone to watch for is Chris Thompson, the recent draftee from Florida State. The incoming rookie may turn out a very valuable piece of the offense for Washington. 

He possesses great speed and is a very shifty guy; he has a knack for making guys miss or can even opt to just flat-out outrun them. 

If Thompson proves that he can be the change-of-pace, complementary back to Morris, than he could find a pretty prominent place in the Redskins’ running game. Especially if he can show his dependability in the passing game, he has a great opportunity in front of him.


The Bad

When it comes to Washington’s running back stable, there isn’t really too much bad. But, for argument’s sake, I’ll put Keiland Williams in this category. 

Williams actually started his career with Washington before spending a couple of seasons with the Detroit Lions. Now that he’s back in the nation’s capital, he will have to prove his worth in order to solidify his chance at getting a roster spot. 

Williams has never really proved himself worthy of an important offensive role and only has a 3.7 career yards-per-attempt. He’s also not the fastest guy; he’s more a power-runner than anything. 

With Morris being the workhorse back and Jawan Jamison looking like Larry Johnson in ’06 (in terms of being a tough tackle), Williams could very easily find himself out of a job by the time the season rolls around.


The Ugly

Again, there’s not a whole lot to hate about this group. This may come as a surprise pick to some, but Helu probably fits in here best. 

I know, a couple of years ago he looked like the inevitable starter, but after a couple of injuries and setbacks, his future is looking somewhat bleak. 

He’s more a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type of guy, which won’t cut it in Shanahan’s offense. 

Given the archetypes of power back and speedster covered by Morris and Thompson, Washington needs a role player in the passing and screen game. Royster didn’t do a terrible job, and neither did Morris, but no one really shined. 

Helu could end up being the odd man out largely because of his inability to stay healthy. It sucks to lose your job because of injury, but Morris has certainly earned his right to start