June 8th 2018
By: Jakob Vaughan
Earlier this week the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup championship and inspired many of the Redskins players that were in attendance.
Week 3 of OTAs came to an end and Redskins quarterback Alex Smith said he has been pleased so far with the progress and foundation being built throughout the team. Safety D.J. Swearinger also had his own input – he said that this year will be different for the defense and the new additions to the defensive front will stop the run. Redskins’ cornerback Josh Norman has always been about the spotlight and having the title of the best cornerback in the National Football League. Josh Norman has already had an eventful off-season as he competed in Dancing with the Stars, but this week he received his honorary Doctorate from Coastal Carolina.
The Washington Redskins repeated the same draft strategy in 2018 as they did in 2017 – drafting defensive players from Alabama and Virginia Tech. The Redskins drafted a total of 8 players in this year’s NFL Draft that include:
1st round 13th overall pick: Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne
2nd round 59th overall pick: LSU RB Derrius Guice
3rd round 74th overall pick: Louisville T Geron Christian
4th round 109th overall pick: Penn State S Troy Apke
5th round 163rd overall pick: Virginia Tech DL Tim Settle
6th round 197th overall pick: Alabama ILB Shaun Dion Hamilton
7th round 241st overall pick: Virginia Tech CB Greg Stroman
7th round 256th overall pick: SMU WR Trey Quinn
The spotlight player to watch out for is LSU RB Derrius Guice. He was a projected mid to late 1st round pick in the draft, but teams passed on him as red flags and rumors were flying around on draft day. GM’s had concerns with his character and he received a lot criticism for being high maintenance, immature, and having off the field issues at LSU. Teams said the more visits he had during the draft process the more they all started to realize Guice was more of a 2nd or 3rd round pick. The Washington Redskins executives said they had no concerns about Derrius Guice and all of the rumors surrounding the running back, as Guice slid to them on the second day of the draft. The Redskins needed a running back that could stand out as the number-one in the backfield for Washington going forward. Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine are also vying for that top spot.
I expect Derrius Guice to bring a spark and flash to the Washington Redskins this season. I expect Guice to have a standout year among the running backs in the NFL and he could be in contention for rookie of the year. He will bring energy and confidence to a Washington Redskins team that needs both of those traits. Running back Derrius Guice is very active on social media and you can follow him on Twitter @DhaSickest and on Instagram @dhasickestt
The Washington Redskins also brought in 18 undrafted free agents:
Virginia S Quin Blanding
Grambling State RB Martez Carter
Indiana WR Simmie Cobbs
Marshall LB Davon Durant
North Carolina State LB Jerod Fernandez
Pittsburgh TE Matt Flanagan
San Diego State WR Micah Holder
Southern CB Danny Johnson
CSU Pueblo OL Ty McCulley
Stony Brook OL Timon Parris
Nebraska WR De’Mornay Pierson-El
West Virginia FB Elijah Wellman
Iowa G Sean Welsh
Auburn OL Casey Dunn
Colorado WR Shay Fields
Alabama WR Cam Sims
Iowa State CB Mackenro Alexander
Iowa RB James Butler
The player to watch out for to make the 53-man roster at the start of the season is a safety from UVA named Quin Blanding. However, another another possible impact player in the preseason will be Elijah Wellman, a FB from West Virginia The Redskins preseason schedule kicks off August 9th in New England followed by home games against the Jets and Broncos. Washington will then finish the preseason on the road in Baltimore against the Ravens.
The offseason has started and the Redskins are off and getting ready for the season as rookies reported to Rookie Minicamp as drafted and undrafted players look to make a name for themselves. There will be three sets of OTAs this offseason for the Redskins at the end of May and beginning of June. Mandatory minicamp will be from June 11th to the 13th.
The one offseason schedule every Washington Redskins fan marks on their calendar is Training Camp, since the Redskins will be in Richmond, VA again this year practicing at the Bon Secours facility. This training camp will be special for the Redskins as they have a new QB in former Kansas City Chiefs star and MVP caliber QB Alex Smith, who will look to lead the Redskins better than two time franchise tag QB Kirk Cousins who signed with the Minnesota Vikings in free agency. Along with a new QB and highly talented draft class the Redskins will be holding a joint practices with the New York Jets, during training camp. The New York Jets are the first team the Redskins have held joint practices with since the Houston Texans. Rookie QB Sam Darnold that was selected with the 3rd overall pick by the Jets will give the Redskins defensive a good test and possible confidence booster if Darnold’s performance goes south.
Off-season news recently for the Redskins: The team has signed former Chicago Bears LB Pernell McPhee and resigned DL Phil Taylor Sr. Rumors spread last week of a retirement coming for veteran CB DeAngelo Hall that was reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, but DeAngelo Hall publically said he has not retired. He has talked to the Redskins about an opening in the front office for him, but I think most Washington fans would like to see the high motor veteran DeAngelo Hall on the field. The one player on the Redskins roster that must have a breakout year this season is former 1st round pick from TCU WR Josh Doctson, who has struggled in his first few NFL seasons. Washington will count on Doctson as their number 1 WR going forward with the arrival of new QB Alex Smith.