Washington receiver Josh Doctson, a first-round pick in 2016, hasn’t done much in two NFL seasons. He hopes to do a lot more in year three.
“Every new year I’m looking to be better. I have been better,” Doctson said Saturday at a football camp at TCU. “Just off the field maturing, off the field understanding how to be an NFL player. There’s just a lot that goes into this game that people overlook when they first get into the league. I lost my first year [to injury], last year I was able to play and then this year looking to do huge things.”
Doctson has shown flashes, especially last season, but as the story points out, he's never had a 100-yard receiving game and hasn't caught more than four passes in a game.
Alex Smith has already seemed to develop a trust in his slot receiver, Jamison Crowder. Washington has other targets who pleased Smith—and he still hasn’t worked with tight end Jordan Reed. That won’t happen until some point in training camp as Reed recovers from toe surgeries.
But Crowder is the most proven of the wide receivers, with three consecutive 60+ catch seasons as he enters his fourth year. There’s a reason Smith smiles when asked about Crowder, a receiver he clearly clicked with this spring.
Crowder has finished as the WR33 and WR31 over the past two seasons, respectively, due to getting fewer than 15 percent of Washington's targets. In fact, no Washington pass-catcher has received more than 16.2 percent of team targets under Jay Gruden. However, the article does note Smith owns a combined 102.8 quarterback rating when targeting slot receivers over the past five years. That’s third-best in the NFL over that time for quarterbacks who have made at least 30 starts, trailing only Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. Crowder could be the WR to own in Washington, especially at his ninth-round ADP, but his upside appears limited.
Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams is recovering well from offseason knee surgery and is expected to be ready for training camp.
The Pro Bowl left tackle is a critical member of Washington's offensive line. He should be in the lineup and ready to protect Alex Smith's blind side on Opening Day.
Jay Gruden says watching Derrius Guice catch the ball has been exciting.
Redskins quarterback Alex Smith expressed similar sentiments in an interview with Finlay earlier this week. It seems as though Guice, once thought to be a first- and second-down runner only, will have a better shot to contribute in the passing game than expected. That would be a significant boost to the rookie's value in PPR formats.
As much as anyone, the Redskins need 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson to take a significant step forward. The 6-foot-2, 206-pound receiver played just two games as a rookie due to recurring Achilles’ tendon injuries that began during that offseason. A pulled hamstring last August further slowed his development and he finished the 2017 season with 35 catches for 502 yards and six touchdowns. This is his first fully healthy offseason as a professional.
Doctson said he “absolutely” feels in a better place this year, is able to run full sprints and everything else and wants to be more efficient, according to the story. He certainly showed signs last year of why the Skins took him in the 2016 draft, showing size and physicality. He's expected to start opposite of Paul Richardson this year with Alex Smith as the team's new QB.
Reed has played 18 of a possible 32 games over the past two years and has missed 35% of his regular season games in his career. He's great when healthy, but that's a major caveat with Reed at this point in his career.
Pryor will join a Jets WR corps that features Robby Anderson, Jermain Kearse, and Quincy Enunwa. After a breakout campaign at receiver as a Cleveland Brown in 2016, in which he caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns, Pryor struggled to cement himself in Washington's offense last season, while also dealing with injuries. He only appeared in nine games, catching 20 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown.
A day after adding tight end Eric Ebron to their offensive, the Colts are bringing in former Washington (and almost Raven) WR Ryan Grant on a one-year deal worth $5 million. If you will recall, Grant was set to sign a free agent deal worth almost $29 million with the Ravens, but it was voided due to a failed physical.
It's been a game of musical chairs at the wide receiver position by the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens. First, the Raiders released Michael Crabtree and signed Jordy Nelson, then the Ravens signed Ryan Grant (only to void the deal because of a failed physical) and then they turned around and signed Michael Crabtree. The deal between Crabtree and the Ravens is for three years, worth $21 million, and includes $11 million in guarantees.
Crabtree has spent the last three seasons in Oakland, with the first two being his most productive. In 2015, he caught 85 passes for 922 yards and nine touchdowns. In 2016, he went for 89 catches, 1,003 yards, and eight touchdowns. This past season, however, he only caught 58 passes for 618 yards, but he still managed to score eight times. He will now become the No. 1 receiving option in Baltimore's offense.
The Minnesota Vikings are beefing up the interior of their defensive line by signing DT Sheldon Richardson to a one-year deal. Richardson was considered one of the top defensive free agents, and the Vikings may have well added the top free agents on both sides of the ball (Kirk Cousins being the other). After recording eight sacks in 2014, Richardson has totaled 8.5 the last three seasons.
Grant's deal was a headscratcher when it was first announced, and the Ravens have been linked to recently released Michael Crabtree. It's doubtful Grant will find a deal anywhere near as lucrative as the one he was going to sign with Baltimore.
Last season turned out to be a comeback season for ASJ, who flashed the potential many saw in him when the Buccaneers used a second-round pick to draft him in 2014.
In what might be the most surprising signing of the day, financially, the Baltimore Ravens are going to sign former Washington WR Ryan Grant to a four-year deal worth $29 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed. The team brought in John Brown earlier in the day.
According to Adam Schefter, Kirk Cousins plans to sign with the Minnesota Vikings for three years (fully guaranteed). The terms of the deal have not been released yet, but some reports suggested it could be for up to $28 million per season.
Once the Cousins to Minnesota train got rolling it was full steam ahead. Cousins has been a perennial top-10 fantasy QB since taking over full-time in Washington, and he finished last season as the No. 5 scoring fantasy QB. Now he gets to play in an offense with playmakers at each position: Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen at WR, Kyle Rudolph at TE, and Dalvin Cook at RB.
Cousins should continue to put up impressive fantasy numbers and will be a solid QB to target in fantasy drafts.
The Chiefs will receive a 2018 third-round pick and a player to be named on Wednesday, a source confirmed, though any trade involving Smith can’t be completed until the first day of the new league year, which begins at 3 p.m. on March 14. But the sources say the deal is in place and will definitely proceed.
Smith, 33, is coming off a stellar season in which he set career-highs in passing yards (4,042), touchdowns (26) and passer rating (104.7), throwing just five interceptions.
Related players: Kirk Cousins
The change in teams will force Smith to learn a new offense and develop a rapport with a new set of receivers, though he should remain a good value on draft day. Kirk Cousins will hit free agency as the best free agent quarterback since 2012, when Peyton Manning was signed by the Broncos.
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