Nevertheless, Roberts made the most explosive play in the first quarter of Monday night's preseason game at FedExField against the Cleveland Browns. Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III took a shot downfield, and Roberts beat Browns defensive back Jordan Poyer for a massive 49-yard gain.
But Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan in D.C. hinted at how Roberts was an unlikely candidate for such a play call:
As we all predicted, the first deep shot by the #Redskins' offense tonight would be hauled in by ... Andre Roberts.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) August 19, 2014
Roberts, who wound up with two receptions for 54 yards on Monday, was overshadowed as a member of the Arizona Cardinals in a passing attack that featured superstar Larry Fitzgerald and promising youngster Michael Floyd. Something similar is likely to happen with Jackson and Garcon in the nation's capital.
At least Roberts is willing and eager to get heavily involved, as he told The Washington Post's Mike Jones:
I knew I was going to be involved on offense, it was just a matter of how much and where they’re going to put me. I’m not really worried about that. I know I’m going to be a big part of this offense regardless of where I am...Coming into a new system as a receiver, obviously you have to learn new plays and a new system. But I think with Jay Gruden’s offense, I’m going to be all over the place, just like DeSean and Pierre. I’m just ready to learn.
However, Griffin is adjusting to a more complex, West Coast system under new head coach Jay Gruden. And that's not even to mention how RG3 is coming off a nightmarish 2013 campaign, when he rushed back from an injury to disastrous results.
It's no guarantee the Washington offense will be prolific, as Griffin still needs to demonstrate he can throw more than mere underneath passes and deep balls.
Based on how Griffin has rapport with incumbent starter Garcon and how dynamic Jackson is (82 receptions, 1,332 yards last season), it would be an overreaction to endorse Roberts as more than a borderline flex option at best.
Tight end Jordan Reed is supremely athletic. With the increased prominence of tight ends utilized as pass-catchers in the NFL, Reed also offers more upside with similar risk to what Roberts projects to be.