Welcome back to The B&G Report. The Redskins have made an effort to upgrade their offense in 2018 by adding wide receiver Paul Richardson Jr, trading for QB Alex Smith and drafting former LSU RB Derrius Guice. The receiver position is in the midst of a remodel, but that doesn’t mean production will drop. In fact the youth at the position speaks volumes to the direction this team is heading. In saying that, the B&G Report OffensiveDark Horse candidate is 2017 6th Round Draft selection Robert Davis. ESPN Redskins beat writer John Keim has mentioned on few occasions, just how good Davis has looked in OTA’s and how impressed coaches are with his maturity. Davis is capable of big things, but the stars must align. Davis has a golden opportunity before him, but I believe he has a few attributes that separate him from the other tall pass catchers on the roster. Although Davis isn’t a finished product, his upside can’t be denied. Without further ado let’s get to it!
#1 Speed & Strength
*Although 2016 1st Round selection Josh Doctson boasts similar size/speed to Davis, the similarities end there. Both wideouts performed well at the NFL Combine and had good 40 Yard Dash times (JD 4.50 sec & Davis 4.44 sec), but Doc was rated as one of the top prospects at his position. On the other hand, it was an honor for Davis just to get a Combine invite and he didn’t disappoint. The former Georgia State receiver’s level of competion without a doubt effected his draft stock. Many Skins fans mention the late round gems of the 2018 Draft, but this kid could end up being the best of the bunch! Landing Davis in the 5th round was a steal in my opinion. Many fans were upset, when the Redskins made no attempt to resign current San Fran receiver Pierre Garçon a few seasons back. Davis certainly looks to the part. The former Georgia State receiver could have a Garçon type impact in the run game as well. It just seems like the youngster gets it, at such an early age which is rare in such a diva position.
“I think I can make an immediate impact in the run game and special teams”-Robert Davis
Davis played in a run heavy scheme in High School and already embraces his role as a run blocking receiver. Factor in his speed & 19 bench press combine reps and he can be much more! Davis is viewed as a gym rat type, similar to Terrell Owens, without the attitude that is. I bring up Owens because I can see Davis having a similar career to Owens, who was also a small prospect. Of course all the chips must fall precise for Davis, but Davis is more of a physical specimens than Owens was this early in his career. I also see some Julio Jones in the youngster as well. The size speed combination are intriguing for sure, but he has a long way to go before he’s even in Jones or Owens universe!
Davis reportedly deadlifted over 500 lbs last year, in comparison Trent Williams recentlyput up 600 lbs. That is a crazy weight for a wide receiver to put up, I can only imagine his strength in year five! How does his strength translate to the receiver postition you might ask? Well as previously mentioned, he’s considered a proficient run blocker and after you add in his raw strength and desire to help in run game, we could be in for a treat! I have visions of Davis lowering his shoulder and taking out NFC East DB’s & Linebackers!
#2 Route Running
*Although Davis is considered a raw route runner, many in the Redskins organization have stated just how far the youngster has come in a short time and it showed in OTA’s per reports. Last year Davis was activated from the Practice Squad for the final three games. Davis never saw the field as a receiver though and was diagnosed with a concussion on a Speical Teams play vs Denver. Saying it was a disappointment would be an understatement. The first two games Davis was eligible to play, he was deactivated. Personally I didn’t think any other young receiver on the Redskins roster was more deserving for playing time. I was glad to see Mo Harris finally get snaps as a receiver last season, but after his Week 10 circus catch vs Minnesota, his fire flamed out. After watching his tape, it became apparent that Harris’s lack of strait line speed and separation are his Achilles heel. I mention Harris because other than the rookie receivers Cam Sims and Trey Quinn, Harris seems to be who Davis is competing with for a roster spot. The one aspect of Davis’s game that I’m confident he’ll improve in is his route running and play recognition. Barring injury, Davis has the opportunity to dominate vs the 2nd/3rd team defenses.
#3 Football IQ
*I might be getting a bit redundant, but Davis’s realization of how important run blocking is, puts him well ahead of the curve. Helping out his teammates in the run game will ultimately elevate his learning curve. Former Jay Gruden player crush Ryan Grant is a great example of how far football intelligence can take you in Jay’s offense. Grant also displayed his blocking ability, which in turn resulted in more snaps at receiver. Davis’s work ethic hasn’t been questioned, so look for Davis to assume a similar role to Grant if he continues to progress and learn the offensive concepts. Fans need to keep in mind that Jay’s offensive scheme is West Coast based, but many players admit it takes at least two seasons to fully learn the playbook.
The Redskins receiving core is loaded with talent and potential. Since the departures of Desean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, this could be the most talented unit as a whole in years! Of course it’s all projection and hope at this point. With Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson and Jamison Crowder the Skins have a young, but promising receiving core.
Fans need to keep in mind that it’s s contract year for Crowder. Another decent season from the former Duke receiver, could equal a yearly pay raise between $8-$10 million, similar to the contract Richardson recently signed. I just don’t envision the Redskins dedicating that much CAP to another receiver, that’s not viewed as elite. So rookie Trey Quinn has an opportunity to carve out a niche in 2018, before he takes over the slot in 2019. So fellow rookie receiver Cam Sims and Davis have opportunities.
Thanks for checking out another edition of Quick Hits. Stay Tuned for more roster predictions and evaluations!
Written By Adam Aniba