Washington Redskins' Most Under and Overrated Offseason Additions
Though their foray into free agency was quieter than most fans are used to, the Washington Redskins made enough moves to improve themselves from last season. They drafted for need and made the effort to re-sign their own players.
However far from ideal this offseason has been, it is difficult to disparage any of the moves or picks they made.
It would be great if every move was a winner and deserved all of the praise in the world, but sometimes that just isn't the case. On the flip side, some moves deserve praise but don't stand out as prominently as they maybe should.
Here is a look at the underrated and overrated additions made by the Washington Redskins this offseason.
Underrated: Pat White, Quarterback
Even though Robert Griffin III has every intention of being ready to start the first game of the season, the Redskins knew they needed someone under center to carry out the best imitation of RGIII for practices. Pat White may never step foot on the field, but the signing was very smart for Washington.
White was out of football in 2012 after making a brief appearance on the UFL's Virginia Destroyers roster in 2011.
No one expects White to make any impact during the regular season, at least not on the playing field. However, he is fast and can make plays outside the pocket or on the run, which is what the Redskins need him to simulate.
It may be an offseason engagement or last through preseason, but it is a sound addition for the Redskins, who can't expect Kirk Cousins to provide the same sort of threat in practice scenarios.
Overrated: Lance Lewis, Wide Receiver
Does Lance Lewis have good size and playmaking ability? Yes. Does he have a leg up on rookie undrafted free agents by virtue of learning the playbook as a Redskins practice squad player? Yes.
Has he made a single play on the field for the Redskins during the regular season? No.
Nothing against Lewis, he's a good guy and has the look and feel of a big-play receiver, which the 'Skins are desperate to have. Behind Pierre Garcon are a lot of questions, including whether Josh Morgan can be a bigger part of the offense, Santana Moss can recreate last season's success or Leonard Hankerson can break out.
Lewis could very well be a surprise star in his first season on the active roster, but until then, there's no need to make a big deal about it.
Underrated: Brandon Jenkins, Outside Linebacker
Brian Orakpo may be the focal point of the talk surrounding the defense this offseason, but Brandon Jenkins is flying under the radar as an untested rookie. With Rob Jackson suspended for the first four games of the season, Jenkins could get some action very early in the season.
If not for an injury in 2012 after a drop in production in 2011, Jenkins could have been a much higher rated prospect with his skill set.
Jenkins isn't a perfect player and could use some work to smooth out the rough patches in his technique,but his 13.5 sacks as a true sophomore show his potential to be a surprise contributor, even as a rookie.
Just imagine if Jim Haslett gets wise and uses a sort of rotation at outside linebacker, and both Jenkins and Jackson get ample time on the field.
Overrated: Donte Stallworth, Wide Receiver
If you didn't know, the Redskins signed Donte Stallworth to a one-year deal after he spent 2012 with the New England Patriots catching just one pass, albeit for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Stallworth was with the Redskins back in 2011, when he caught 22 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite having a big name, whether it be for his exploits on or off the field, he isn't likely to be a factor in Washington's plans this season. He's 32, hasn't played a full season since 2007 and hasn't caught 50 passes in a season since 2005.
He's a veteran who is familiar with the team, who can push the younger guys and provide some mentoring to guys like Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson, who, like Stallworth did at one point, have the potential to be productive.
Underrated: Xavier Nixon, RT
There may be a reason why Xavier Nixon fell out of the draft only to be signed as a free agent, but he has experience playing both left and right tackle at Florida. Though at times he struggled and lost his starting job while at Florida, he has the size and tools necessary to be the solution for the Redskins' right tackle problems
Nixon's consistency has been his biggest problem, but under the watchful eye of Mike Shanahan, he could be yet another steal from this year's pool of prospects.
If you assume Nixon can become a consistent player, the players ahead of him on the depth chart aren't particularly difficult to leapfrog. Tyler Polumbus is the de facto starter, but he struggled himself last season, and the team responded by adding veterans Tony Pashos and Jeremy Trueblood to compete.
It may be a stretch to pencil him in as the Week 1 starter, but if he can display the left tackle skills he flashed at Florida and transition them to the right side, Washington's offensive line will be complete.
Overrated: DeAngelo Hall, Cornerback
Maybe it is a stretch to lump this in with offseason additions, but he was released and re-signed, so let's run with it. DeAngelo Hall was Washington's top corner last season, which means he was the least awful corner last season.
He showed up late in the season but ran his mouth quite a bit during the rest of it, and he did very little to back up his words.
Granted, if the Redskins hadn't brought Hall back, their secondary would have looked terrible at a glance and upon further review. But, the team draft David Amerson, signed E.J. Biggers and have Richard Crawford turning heads, which means next season could feature a completely new pair of starting cornerbacks.
Still, Hall's return should not be applauded unless he finally becomes the player he has told the world he is since his NFL debut.
Underrated: E.J. Biggers, Cornerback
The last time Raheem Morris brought a player over from his days as head coach of the Buccaneers, it failed miserably, and Tanard Jackson still hasn't been reactivated from his suspension. E.J. Biggers played under Morris in Tampa Bay and was signed this offseason to spruce up the cornerback position.
Biggers, known more for his work as a nickel corner, could be a big part of the Redskins defense in 2013, with Josh Wilson losing his grip on the starting job and David Amerson being a rookie.
The problem with Biggers is that he played with Tampa Bay last season, which trotted out the second-worst secondary in the NFL. He takes a step up to the third-worst secondary, but with young talent around him.
He'll play a lot of nickel corner in 2013, but he's a long corner with active hands and plenty of time to refine his technique.
Overrated: Bacarri Rambo, Safety
If you overlook the woeful play of the Redskins corners for the majority of the season, you'll notice the void in the center of the field where Madieu Williams was doing his best impression of a free safety. With their first pick in the draft, the Redskins tried to fix their cornerback problem.
With their sixth pick in the draft, they picked Bacarri Rambo, and in every workout, OTA or minicamp since, he's been the talk of the town.
Rambo is a supremely gifted athlete with the potential to be a big-time playmaker in the secondary, the likes of which the Redskins defense has not seen in the past few years. However, he fell to the sixth round for a reason, and has yet to show in actual NFL action that he is the man for the job.
By all accounts, he is turning out to be a steal given his talent and production at Georgia, but can we calm down until he plays a down?