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2011 Washington Redskins: Projecting Every Rookie Redskins Stats This Season

KC ClyburnCorrespondent IIMay 23, 2011

2011 Washington Redskins: Projecting Every Rookie Redskins Stats This Season

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Ryan Kerrigan, #16 overall pick by the Washington Redskins, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Because there's nothing else to talk about this offseason.

    Really, this lockout is probably the most unfair to the rookies. Rookies who should be in the classroom and getting into the groove of the way things work are instead sitting on the sidelines, waiting for a lockout that they had nothing to do with to end, being fought for a cause that, while possibly just, is becoming increasingly futile.

    Still, it seems likely that there will be an NFL season, and if/when there is, the Redskins will need to count on their younger players to step up and make plays. The Redskins drafted 12 players in this draft, and a lot of them have a legitimate chance to make the football team and contribute immediately. They might not all start, but some of these guys will contribute on offense and defense at some point during the year, and a few of them will surprise with big seasons.

    So, let's take a look at some bold rookie projections for the 2011 NFL season.

Leonard Hankerson

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    Leonard Hankerson at the NFL Rookie Photo Shoot
    Leonard Hankerson at the NFL Rookie Photo Shoot

    Leonard Hankerson fancied himself a first-round talent. The Redskins fanbase figure they finally have their number one receiver.

    In 2011, they'll find that's true.

    While he won't start the season on top of the depth chart officially, the Redskins will try to get the ball in their rookie wide receivers' hands as often as possible. Kyle Shanahan will have a nice toy to play with in the offense; Kyle loves to be able to move his wide receivers around. Hankerson can play outside or in the slot, and he'll move around a lot.

    He may not be Andre Johnson (yet), but Kyle will move him around like he does, and Hankerson will make just as many plays; no matter who the quarterback is. His great hands and his advanced route running will make him an invaluable asset, and while he'll have a few concentration drops, he'll surprise a lot of people in his rookie year. Dare I say, he'll have a better season than one of the two top ranked receivers, Julio Jones and/or A.J Green.

    Hankerson will make heads turns, and will make Redskins fans very happy.

    2011 Stats:

    73 receptions, 1,015 yards, nine receiving touchdowns.

Niles Paul

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    LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 13: Niles Paul #24 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers finishes off a reception against the Kansas Jayhawks during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Defeated Kansas 20-3. (Photo by Eric Franc
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Niles Paul makes the team and is a solid possession receiver throughout the season. He doesn't start from the beginning of the year, but an injury to a veteran (or probably Malcolm Kelly) will force him into the third receiver role. Paul will be a little raw, and he'll make some crazy baffling drops, but he'll get more consistent as the season goes on and eventually becomes a solid receiver who can also go outside the numbers.

    It's all about versality. Niles Paul will bring it not just to the offense, but on special teams and in the return game. By the end of the season, Paul becomes a solid wide receiving threat that fans will love having on the team, even though he has a little of the Diva receiver attitude in him.

    But sometimes, having some swag is a good thing.

    2011 Stats:

    53 receptions, 623 yards, three touchdowns, one punt return touchdown

Roy Helu

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    LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 13: Roy Helu Jr. #10 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers runs for the endzone the Kansas Jayhawks during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Defeated Kansas 20-3. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty I
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Bold Prediction: Roy Helu breaks a 73-yard run versus the Giants in Week 1 and doesn't look back.

    Helu brings the one thing fans were clamoring for—speed, and the coaches were looking for; speed. Not just speed, but an insane work ethic and drive. Helu makes the Opening Day roster and starts being a huge change of pace for the offense. There's some questions about his willingness to run between the tackles and block, but Helu is tougher than he looks, and he'll show himself to be more effective.

    Helu will slowly but surely become the starting running back when injuries force Ryan Torain out. He'll break out and then become the every down back, adding the run game the Redskins desperately wanted. He'll get stronger as the season goes on and be a fantasy football stud, as well as a stud on the field.

    2011 Stats:

    215 attempts, 1,110 yards rushing, seven rushing touchdowns, 18 receptions, 137 yards, one receiving touchdowns

Evan Royster

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    STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 27: Running back Evan Royster #22 of the Penn State Nittany Lions carries the ball during a game against the Michigan State Spartans on November 27, 2010 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. The Spartans won 28-22
    Hunter Martin/Getty Images

    Forget the speed. Yeah, I know. He didn't run the fastest 40 and he's from Penn State and he shouldn't even play, what a wasted pick...

    Whatever. Royster will prove a lot of people wrong. Not right away; the Redskins will carry Royster onto the 53-man roster, but he won't be active for the first three weeks. When Ryan Torain gets banged up, Royster comes into the game and proves he's more than capable of being a starting caliber runningback.

    He's a smooth runner and little more elusive than people give him credit for. He's a solid fit for Shanahan's scheme. He won't break a lot of big runs, but he'll be a chain mover who will surprise people with a couple long touchdowns and with his reliable hands out of the back field.

    2011 Stats:

    65 attempts, 476 yards rushing, 4 rushing touchdowns, 39 receptions, 355 yards, 2 receiving touchdowns.

Aldrick Robinson

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    DALLAS - SEPTEMBER 24:  Wide receiver Aldrick Robinson #24 of the SMU Mustangs is tackled by Greg McCoy #7 of the TCU Horned Frogs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on September 24, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Bold Prediction: The Redskins have to choose between cutting Brandon Banks and Aldrick Robinson. They cut Banks.

    Robinson might be the most raw of the rookies, but he'll make the team on potential, because the Redskins don't want to take the chance on losing him. Aldrick Robinson will function as the team's fourth or even fifth wide receiver, but he'll definitely get his looks on offense, and he'll have several big plays. He has a lot of potential, and Mike Shanahan will see it and find a way to get him and his blazing speed on the field.

    2011 Stats:

    19 receptions, 212 yards, one receiving touchdowns, four rushing attempts, 55 yards rushing.

Brandyn Thompson

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 04:  Brandyn Thompson #13 of the Boise State Broncos celebrates with the defensive MVP trophy after defeating the TCU Horned Frogs 17-10 during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 4, 2010 in Gle
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Thompson makes it to the practice squad. He gets called up to the main roster due to an injury to the starter and shows some promise but doesn't crack the roster quite yet.

Dejon Gomes

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    SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 30:  Dejon Gomes #7 of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers looks on during the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl against University of Arizona Wildcats on December 30, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Cornhuskers defe
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Gomes makes the team as depth at safety. He has his opportunities on defense when one of the safeties gets injured but can't quite usurp anyone for the starting job. Still, when one of the safeties blows a coverage, people will demand he gets put on the field, so...he's got that going for him.

Maurice Hurt

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    GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 04:  Guard Maurice Hurt #74 of the Florida Gators prepares for action against the Miami University RedHawks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 4, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    A developmental practice squad player, much like Selvish Capers was. May not have his chance unless injuries really devastate the offensive line. Will look surprisingly good in preseason but won't crack the top 53.

Markus White

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31:  Markus White #98 of the Florida State Seminoles against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Another developmental practice squander. Potentially added as depth.

Chris Neild

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    Mike Shanahan always finds one diamond in the rough.

    I think Neild is it. Even knowing he was a seventh-round pick, the guy goes to work every day, and he'll be challenging for a starting role by time training camp and preseason starts. He makes the Opening Day roster, and even though it seems likely they'll bring in a veteran nose tackle, Neild will get his shots, and he'll excel. 

    He's not a disruptive guy, but when he gets in, he'll make an impact. He's a natural born leader, and it'll be hard for Jim Haslett to keep him off the field.

    2011 Stats:

    19 tackles, two sacks.

Jarvis Jenkins

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Some people said that the Redskins stretched when they picked up Clemson defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins with their 41st pick in the second round, but Jenkins filled a big need on the defensive line.

    When drafted, Jenkins was under the impression he'd play nose. Shanahan clarified later, saying he was more likely to play 3-4 defensive end. If I had to guess, the Redskins drafted Jenkins because he was versatile; he can play at defensive end, or he can bulk up a little and play at nose, and either way, he'll wind up filling a big time hole.

    Jenkins has invited the challenge of being a space eater in the defense. He's not going to be the most disruptive guy, but with veteran Vonnie Holliday and the somewhat surprising Adam Carriker doing most of the pass rushing, Jenkins doesn't have to be. He's a run-stuffer and a solid tackler, and though he'll go unheralded, he'll prove himself to be a solid draft pick that'll help anchor the Redskins d-line for years to come.

    2011 Stats:

    33 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles.

Ryan Kerrigan

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    WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - SEPTEMBER 20:  Quarterback Dan LeFevour #13 of the Central Michigan Chippewas is tackled by Ryan Kerrigan #94 of the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on September 20, 2008 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Don't get me wrong; Kerrigan will have to adjust to playing linebacker. Just like every other defensive end who's converting to an outside linebacker will have to adjust to playing linebacker, including Aldon Smith, who was drafted ahead of him.

    Luckily, he'll do a lot more stuffing the run and rushing the passer than he will be dropping back in coverage.

    He has a motor that doesn't quit; he'll be chasing down running backs sideline to sideline and getting after the quarterback. His motor and his hustle will make up for some of his deficiencies in the pass game, and by season's end, he'll look like one the bright spots on the team.

    2011 Stats:

    65 combined tackles, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, one interception

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