In this feature article, we track and analyze the progress of the Redskins rookies.
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LB S’ua Cravens: Cravens had a solid game against Minnesota. He continues to learn and excel in this defense each and every week. His tremendous talent allows DC Joe Barry to move him around in multiple positions and to put him in places to make plays. Besides tallying 6 tackles, he had two QB pressures and a tackle for loss, which was a six yard loss on Vikings RB Ronnie Hillman. The defensive coaching staff has to be pleased with his performance this past week. Week Grade: A
Last Week Stats: 6 tackles, 2 QB pressures, 1 Tackle for Loss against the Vikings
Season Stats: 22 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Interception, 4 Pass Deflections, 2 Tackle for Loss
WR Josh Doctson: Doctson was placed on the Injured Reserve. . Grade: Incomplete
Last Week Stats: None, on the IR.
Season Stats: 2 Receptions, 66 Yards, 33 YPC, 57 Long, 0 TDs
CB Kendall Fuller: This was not Kendall Fuller’s best game. At all. He has had a solid rookie season, but this past week was his roughest. Stefon Diggs had a dominating day, catching 12 passes for 158 yards. Much of the damage Diggs dished out came at the expense of Fuller. Fuller allowed 106 of the 158 yards for Diggs on 6 catches. The only consolation is the fact Diggs remainder yards gained and catches came against four other Redskins defensive backs. Week Grade: F
Last Week Stats: 4 Tackles, 1 Pass Defense
Season Stats: 26 Tackles, 0 Sack, 0 Interception, 2 Pass Deflections, 0 Tackle for Loss
WR Maurice Harris: Harris , an undrafted rookie, had his best day of his young career against the Vikings. QB Kirk Cousins spread ball around to seven receivers. Harris caught three passes, the first of which, was his first NFL career reception. Harris has been praised by coaches for his ability to pick up the offense fairly rapidly. He continues to get increased looks and targets from Cousins and that will only increase as Harris continues to develop trust and consistency with Cousins and offensive coordinator Sean McVay. He may very well have already climbed above Rashad Ross on the wide receiver depth chart, but may soon leap over Ryan Grant as well. Although his role was limited against the Vikings, he made the most of it with 3 receptions for 28 yards. Week Grade: B+
Last Week Stats: 3 Receptions, 28 Yards, 9.3 YPC, 0 Long, 0 TDs
Season Stats: 3 Receptions, 28 Yards, 9.3 YPC, 0 Long, 0 TDs – – – 1 Kick Return, 17 Yards
DE Matt Ioannidis: Ioannidis was inactive for the week. Week Grade: Incomplete
Last Week Stats: Not Active
Season Stats: 4 Tackles, 0 Sack, 0 Interception, 0 Pass Deflections, 0 Tackle for Loss
RB Robert Kelley: Rob Kelley proved last week that he can handle the bulk of the carries for the Washington ground game. With Matt Jones being deactivated, the ground game turned to Kelley and Kelley ran for 97 yards on 22 carries, an average of 4.4 yards per carry. His longest run came in the second half, a solid 21 yard dash, in which he shed two tackles. Kelley actually started with a slow start, but brought on the run attack as the game developed. Let’s also remember that Kelley gained 97 yards rushing behind an offensive line that was missing Pro Bowler Trent Williams. The strength of Kelley is of course the power running style. There has been some comments about his ability to break the long ones. That is not what Rob Kelley is about. It is also not what the Redskins are asking him to do. They hope to get that from Chris Thompson. Kelley is a power back with a power running style. Kelley added seven missed tackles and 73 yards after initial contact. If there are two things that Kelley excels at, much more so than Matt Jones, is the fact he holds on to the football and he gains significantly more yards after initial contact, which is what you want in your ground game. In fact, in two starts, Kelley has racked up only one run for loss of yardage. It’s about instinct, and he has it. What Kelley did Week Ten was show the coaching staff that he can handle the feature running back role. Grade: A
Last Week Stats: 22 Carries, 97 Yards, 4.4 YPC, 21 Long, 0 TDs – – – 1 Receptions, -2 Yards, -2.0 YPC, 0 Long, 0 TDs
Season Stats: 60 Carries, 287 Yards, 4.8 YPC, 45 Long, 1 TDs, 11 Firs Downs – – – 2 Receptions, -1 Yards, -.5 YPC, 0 Long, 0 TDs
DE Anthony Lanier: Lanier was active over draft pick Matt Ioannidis. That says enough of where they view Lanier on the depth chart. Lanier’s role was limited and he did not record a tackle. However, he set the tone early int he game with a big hit on Sam Bradford. That hit came on the same plays as mentioned above, in which S’ua Cravens wrapped up RB Ronnie Hillman for a six yard loss. e defense’s second drive just as Bradford completed a toss to running back Ronnie Hillman, who was wrapped up by linebacker Su’a Cravens for a six-yard loss. Lanier played 18 total defensive snaps, and with a fumble recovery the week before, a strong hit on Bradford this week, Lanier could see his role increase. Week Grade: B
Last Week Stats: None
Season Stats: 0 Tackles, 0 Sack, 0 Interception, 0 Pass Deflections, 0 Tackle for Loss
QB Nate Sudfield: The rookie quarterback has not been active this season. Week Grade: Incomplete
Last Week Stats: None
Season Stats: None
This feature article returns to our Redskins coverage and will be a weekly feature article.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: RB Robert Kelley
SOPHOMORE OF THE WEEK: This one is a bit easier because of impact. You can certainly argue for WR Jamison Crowder or G Brand Scherff. However, it is much easier for us to identify the game changer, LB Preston Smith. He was perhaps the MVP of the game. Smith tallied two sacks and an interception against the Vikings. He also added two tackles. Smith’s interception was a thing of beauty, a one-handed grab that crushed a promising Vikings drive in the second half. Smith also ended the game on a 4th and 11 for the Vikings with 11 seconds left int he game, Smith sacked Sam Bradford and sealed the Redskins win. In just two short years, Smith has recorded five sacks against Bradford.