Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 10:46am
Hankerson will play his first game this season on Sunday, after missing the first nine thanks to ACL surgery last December. Now that he’s back, the Redskins have seven receivers (unless they opt to release one of them to make room for nose tackle Barry Cofield’s return this week).
And that means someone will get less playing time. Clearly it won’t be any of the top three wideouts -- DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts. It's hard to imagine much changing with how they've been used and how many targets they receive. If Hankerson is comfortable in the offense, he provides the Redskins a receiver who can run routes from various positions and, at 6-foot-2, he's also their tallest. His blocking isn’t bad, either.
It could be -- and should be, if he’s right -- that Hankerson plays ahead of Santana Moss and even Ryan Grant. It’s hard to see how Aldrick Robinson would be active with Hankerson around if he couldn’t be without him on the roster.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 7:26pm
The 6-foot-2 Hankerson provides the receiving corps with needed size and a player who can help at multiple spots. They've used him inside and outside in the past and he improved as a blocker, which helped the run game. He's coming off a torn ACL and subsequent surgery and is in the last year of his contract. Hankerson, a 2011 third-round choice, has 81 receptions in his first three years combined, with six touchdowns. He caught 30 passes in 10 games before getting hurt last season.
With Hankerson, the Redskins have seven receivers. Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts have combined for 103 catches and are firmly entrenched. They also have rookie Ryan Grant, who has five catches; Aldrick Robinson, who has one catch, and Santana Moss, who has none. Though Robinson has been inactive recently, they want to keep him around, in part because of his speed.
As expected, Reed is out Monday night and Niles Paul is active and will get the start at TE for Washington. Believe it or not, it's a pretty good matchup for Paul against Seattle as the Seahawks (ranked 29th) have given up fantasy points to TEs this season. Paul took a nasty hit last week and suffered a concussion.
Saturday, October 4, 2014, 2:04pm
But Gruden said he expects that to change going forward, although he didn’t spell out a circumstance or scenario for activating Moss. “He’s very close right now,” Gruden said of Moss, 35, whom he singled out for praise more than once during training camp.
As it stands, the story went on to say, Moss is caught in a numbers game through no fault of his own, the coach explained. It starts with the issue of raw speed. It’s a quality Gruden prizes in wide receivers, and three-time Pro Bowler DeSean Jackson has it, timed at 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash. With Jackson ailing since Week 2 with a left shoulder sprain, Gruden has chosen to keep fourth-year wide receiver Aldrick Robinson active as insurance, in case Jackson needs a break. Ryan Grant is also a factor in things. Even if Moss plays, he likely isn't going to be a safe fantasy option given the other WRs.
Jackson is considered day-to-day. If he's available Week 3, which happens to be against his former team, the Eagles, he'll have Kirk Cousins throwing him the ball as Robert Griffin III is out indefinitely with a dislocated ankle. If Jackson can't go, Andre Roberts likely gets the WR2 role and makes for a potentially sneaky start as the Eagles rank near the bottom in allowing fantasy points to WRs. Guys like Ryan Grant, Aldrick Robinson and Santana Moss now possibly pop up on the fantasy radar if Jackson can't go.
Thursday, June 5, 2014, 10:13am
“Santana, he’s had an excellent offseason program, man,” new HC Jay Gruden said. “He’s fun to be around. He’s fun to watch. He knows every position [and] he’s making big plays out there. He looks like a young kid. He’s got energy. He’s a great leader.”
Gruden added: “If he drops a pass, he holds himself accountable. If the quarterback misses him, he’s like, ‘Let’s get onto the next one, man.’ He’s a great guy to have for these young guys to learn from at the receiver position, and every position for that matter.”
Monday, May 26, 2014, 12:34pm
Redskins beat writer Mike Jones on the team's receiving corps:
There’s no question the starters are Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, with slot man Andre Roberts joining them in frequently-used three-receiver sets. But the spots behind them remain up for grabs. Santana Moss had been the slot guy, but now returns on a non-guaranteed deal and will work to compete at whatever spot he can. Aldrick Robinson had served as the deep threat and backup to Garcon, but hasn’t been the most consistent or versatile guy in the past. Leonard Hankerson has seen some time in the slot, but might not fully recover from anterior cruciate ligament surgery until late July/early August. Fifth-round pick Ryan Grant and undrafted free agent Cody Hoffman will push veteran teammates who are on the bubble. Grant doesn’t have the speed that Robinson has, but he’s bigger, and he’s more versatile with the ability to play on special teams, which Robinson does not. Last weekend, Grant lined up both on the outside, and in the slot. He also served as a jammer and gunner on special teams. Gruden praised Grant, saying he played like a 10-year veteran at the minicamp. Meanwhile, Hoffman is the biggest receiver on the roster at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, and he too plays special teams, having stood out in college as a return man. He also is a precise route runner with good hands, according to Gruden. The veterans could have to work extremely hard to fend off these two rookies.
The top three spots seem settled with Garcon, Jackson and Roberts. From a redraft fantasy standpoint, that's all that really matters.
“He looks more comfortable, because he don’t have to worry about that brace,” Moss said. “I think the brace was the big discomfort last year. You know, he’s a young guy with those fiery legs that want to do so much, and that brace probably gave him a little pinch in the behind, because he couldn’t do the things that he was normally accustomed to doing. You can already see, when we’re out there in conditioning and stuff, he’s running around, looking like the old Robert Griffin.”
Which reminded me that Chris Cooley recently hit a local field with Griffin, and had a similarly rave review. This was before Griffin was permitted to work out with his teammates at Redskins Park; Cooley instead took the QB to his own gym, Lifetime Fitness near Ashburn. The men took turns running routes and throwing passes to each other.
“It’s unbelievable,” Cooley reported. “He’s another person right now. I was like, ‘you’re running unbelievably well.’ It was silly to watch….When you watch him run, you’re like ‘You’re a freak. You’re seriously a freak.’ ”
Griffin is a bounce back candidate now that he's another year removed from his ACL surgery and is able to discard the knee brace which obviously limited his mobility in 2013. Jay Gruden coaxed top 5 fantasy numbers out of Andy Dalton, so it's not inconceivable that he could do the same with RG3. It doesn't hurt that the Redskins have plenty of weapons in the passing game (e.g. Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts and Jordan Reed).
Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 4:41pm
Friday, September 20, 2013, 6:36pm
Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring, hip, questionable) was limited Friday after taking full reps earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 3. Hankerson injured his groin in practice so consider him very questionable to turn around and play on Sunday. Look elsewhere (Santana Moss?) for a desperation start.
Redskins HC Mike Shanahan liked what he saw from receiver Leonard Hankerson, who finished with five catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns. It wasn’t about as much or how many catches he had; it was also about his effective route running on other plays.
“He needs some playing time. He’s got to have some consistency, like he did [Monday] night to make those plays. He did a great job in the red zone. He ran an excellent route. What a lot of people don’t see is the route he is running and when he doesn’t get the ball and he’s open. That’s what you are impressed with.”
Hankerson finished with more snaps than starter Josh Morgan and almost as many as Santana Moss, so he's essentially sharing WR2 duties at this point. He's worth a pickup in larger formats, but has disappointed before. Still, he's in his third season and has always been an interesting prospect.
Monday, August 5, 2013, 12:12pm
Veteran Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss is listed as third string, at the ‘Z’ position behind Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson. But if the team had listed a slot receiver separately, Moss would have ranked first on the depth chart.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 12:49pm
Sunday, March 24, 2013, 12:17pm
“I liked the way [WR Santana Moss] played last year,” coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday at the owner’s meetings. “He came in in excellent shape. I think he was a big part of our offense. There’s a big upside to Santana next year because he’s very familiar with our offense. He did a great job in our third-down package. I expect him to come in in the same type of shape and make the same plays he did last year.”
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