By: Ryan Cooley
The Redskins have a lot of questions at the wide receiver position. As of now, Terry McLaurin is the only WR that can be considered reliable. This is a very young core, with Latimer, at the age of 27, being the oldest in the group.
Here is a breakdown of Washington’s WR core.
McLaurin is the clear cut #1 receiver heading into the 2020 season. I believe he should have won rookie of the year after what he was able to do in his first season. In 15 games, he ended with 58 receptions for 919 yards and 7 TDs. This was with poor QB play for most of the season. McLaurin was also the highest-graded rookie WR by Pro Football Focus with an 85.7 grade.
I believe he didn’t receive the recognition he should have due to the Redskins not having much success in the 2019 season. If Haskins can take a step forward, I expect a lot more people to notice how special McLaurin is.
Last year Sims made the team as a return specialist, but due to injuries, he got his chance to play on offense. He improved as the season went on, and I was impressed with his route running in the last 2-3 games.
Sims has been working out with WR coach David Robinson who has coached Dez Bryant, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, and Chris Godwin. Robinson said he loves Sims and thinks he will be a star in this league. I expect big things from him this upcoming season.
I loved this pick in the draft. Not a lot of people knew who Gandy-Golden was due to him playing at Liberty University. Last year, in 13 games, he put up 79 receptions for 1,396 yards and 10 TDs. He also received an 89.4 grade from Pro Football Focus.
A concern is his ability to play at a high level when going against significantly better talent. Even watching his highlights, you can see the DBs were not very good. At 6’4 and 220 lbs, he has a lot of potential, but it may take him a while before he hits his ceiling.
It will be interesting to see how much playtime Harmon gets next year. The biggest problem with the returning players for Washington is how much Rivera likes them. Fans have to remember that Rivera did not sign or draft those players. Harmon was taken in the sixth round in last year’s draft, which was great value. I thought he could have been taken in the 3rd or 4th round, but luckily he fell to the Skins in the sixth.
He showed flashes of his potential, but couldn’t consistently play at a high level. However, he did not have a whole lot of opportunities either. The addition of Gandy-Golden could hurt his opportunities this year too, with them having a similar skill set.
Gibson is listed as an RB, but I think he will be used more as a WR. He will most likely be a returner along with Sims. It will be a lot of fun watching Gibson play as he is the definition of a swiss army knife and will be lined up anywhere and everywhere.
He was special anytime the ball was in his hands at Memphis. He averaged 11.2 yds/carry, 19.3 yds/reception, and posted 12 total TDs in 2019. I expect him to take a role similar to that of Christian McCaffrey, but more as a receiver and less as a runner.
Quinn is definitely on an uphill climb to make the team. He was taken with the last pick in the 2018 NFL draft. He showed some potential his rookie year but failed to have any success when he was thrown into the starting slot role this past season.
Sims will be the starting slot receiver, so Quinn will have to work to be his backup. I liked Quinn coming out of SMU. He produced crazy numbers his last year there, posting 114 receptions for 1,236 yards and 13 TDs. Hopefully, this new coaching staff will be able to develop him into a solid WR.
Cam Sims was a fan favorite in the 2018 preseason. Many thought the Redskins hit the lottery with his 26.3 yds/reception in his three games in the preseason. However, injuries his rookie year hurt his chances to prove he belongs.
The 2019 preseason was a very different story for Cam, as he struggled with drops. With a crowded WR room, Sims will have a very difficult time making the team this year, especially with a new coaching staff.
Latimer will be entering his 7th season now on his third NFL team. The former second-round pick hasn’t come close to living up to expectations. He put up his best stat line last year with the Giants. His 24 receptions for 300 yards and 2 TDs were all career highs.
Latimer was arrested on May 16th for firing a gun inside a Colorado apartment. The reports first came out, saying he threatened to shoot his friend after a night of drinking and playing poker. However, new reports say that one of the people playing poker sexually assaulted Latimer’s four-year-old son. As a fairly new case, nothing has been verified, so it is mostly speculation at this point.
Ron Rivera is a no-nonsense type coach that will not tolerate players getting in trouble with the law. However, I think it will depend on the context that led Latimer to fire the gun, that will ultimately decide his fate with the Redskins.