Quick Hits Edition: 3 Rookies Making a Case for Punt Returner
Updated: May 9
Welcome back to The B&G Report. With Veteran Minicamp less than two weeks away, discussions regarding position battles will surely heat up! In another B&G Report Quick Hits Edition, we’ll examine three rookie candidates for the Redskins Punt Returning job. Coach Jay Gruden has continually gone on record stating that Jamison Crowder is still the team’s first option to return punts. That might be, but after last year’s performance and the new rookie blood in town, it’s time for Crowder to just focus on the receiver position in this being a contract year. So let’s take a look at 3 intriguing Redskins rookies, looking to make their case for the Skins Punt Returner!
#1 Martez Carter 5’7 195 lbs RB
*Martez Carter is an intriguing UDFA rookie prospect, who seems to have gone under the radar. As B&G Report readers are aware, Carter has been on my radar for some time though.
(Previous Carter article below)
The Grambling dynamo playfully nicknamed “Mr.Excitement” by his former teammates is exactly that! I was surprised when Carter went undrafted, but delighted that the Redskins signed him as an UDFA. Making the team as the 4th running back is a tall feet, considering Guice, Perine and Thompson seem to be locks. Historically Washington has only kept 3 backs on the 53 man roster, but this year just seems different. I’ve had multiple debates with Skins fans on social media about this particular subject. Many think that Jay’s new player crush is Robert Kelly, considering his recent glowing comments about the running backs progression. Coaches have also mentioned how important it will be for non-starters to contribute on Special Teams. As it stands now Perine and Kelly will be battling for the 3rd RB spot, but it’s unlikely that the Skins cut Perine after only one year into his rookie deal. So if they keep 4 backs where does Kelly or Carter fit in? Personally I believe Kelly is the odd man out, based on his athletic limitations. On the other hand, Carter could be inserted as Thompson’s back up as the Third Down Scat Back, as well as the Redskins primary Kick/Punt returner. Carter thrived in that role while at Grambling, he was also the primary back in Grambling’s run scheme. Although Carter registered zero punt returns for TD’s while at Grambling, he did have a 9.7 yard per average on 26 total returns. Carter thrived as a Kick Returner though, to the tune of 4 TD’s with a 22.5 per yard average during his first three years. Word is Grambling was hesitant to use Carter as their primary Punt Returner, due to the possibility of injury. They were comfortable using him on the kick return unit though, until his final year. The former Tiger was simply too valuable during his final year to risk a Special Teams injury, so he focused on being the team’s primary back. Many wonder what kind of numbers he could have put up in 2017, if he continued returning kicks/punts. Mr. Excitement is a long shot to make the roster, but if he gets an opportunity to return Kickoffs/Punts in Training Camp LOOK OUT!!!!
#2 Greg Stroman 5’11 180 lbs CB
*Most believe Virgina Tech rookie cornerback Greg Stroman will seize the Punt Returning job. I tend to agree with that sentiment. The rookie has the most impressive punt return resume of the other two on this list. The former Hokie finished his college career with 4 punts returned for TD’s and a 11.3 per return average. Although he only returned kickoffs his freshman and junior years, Stroman still had a 20.8 per yard return average. I really like the tenacity Stroman showed on film, his weight could be a limitation as a full time runner though. In the end, Stroman will be up to the task and win the job!
Trey Quinn 6’0 200 WR
*Now for the Darke Horse candidate! Although Quinn only registered five punt returns and five kick returns during his time at LSU and SMU, he still had a 22.6 per yard kick return average. Quinn is the kind of player that Coach Jay Gruden salivates over. The player that can run all the routes, make tough catches on stick routes and most importantly accrue yards after contact. He also wears #14, hint hint! Coach Gruden was asked today about some of the rookies that have stood out and he had glowing remarks when it came to the former SMU WR.
“He’s a quiet assasin and a very detailed route runner. Maybe he returns punts.”-Redskins Presser Jay Gruden on Quinn
Quinn will make this team, but if he can show his value as a returner then he could rise up the team’s depth chart in a hurry! Quinn will get a shot for sure, per Gruden’s latest comments. I have the former Mustang receiver taking over as the team’s primary slot receiver in 2019, considering Crowder will be due a decent pay day after his rookie deal runs out this year and will become an UFA. Quinn will be making noise one way or another in the Nations Capital for years to come!
Thanks for checking out another Quick Hits Edition of The B&G Report! Stay tuned for more roster battle perspective, player evaluation and much much more!
*Credit to fansided.com, thenewsstar.com and fanragsports.com for the photos*