*With training camp set to begin later this month, Redskins.com previews the current state of the Redskins' roster, continuing today with the team's wide receivers. *
The Washington Redskins will venture down to the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center later this month with 10 wide receivers, a group that has many believe could be the most dynamic in the league.
DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon return as the veterans of the corps, leading some impressive youngsters including Jamison Crowder, Rashad Ross and Ryan Grant. Leading the group of rookies is first-rounder Josh Doctson, followed by college free agents Reggie Diggs, Maurice Harris, Valdez Showers and Jarvis Turner.
ROSTER SUBTRACTION(S):- Andre Roberts (Released; Signed By Detroit),
- LaRon Byrd (Released; Free Agent)
KEY ADDITION(S):- Josh Doctson (Drafted No. 21-Overall From TCU)
Before the Redskins head to Richmond for training camp, check out who all is on the roster position-by-position. Today, it is the wide receivers.
CURRENT STATE OF THE UNIT:**
By the end of Redskins minicamp, sophomore wide receiver Jamison Crowder made a statement to ESPN 980 that would wind up getting some major buzz over the next week.
"We are the best in the league," he said of the Washington receiving corps. "The coaches know we have a really talented group. We know. All of us just can't wait to get out there and show the world the talents that we are."
A few days later Doug Williams took that belief a little farther, stating that the current group of receivers are better than "The Posse," which featured a Hall of Famer in Art Monk, and Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders, whose names are at or near the top of several Redskins receiving records.
"Oh it's no doubt about it I'm not biased at all," Williams said, "I'm a real realistic individual."
Certainly, confidence is not an issue for the Redskins' crop of receivers, and there is good reason to have it considering all of the versatile weapons they possess. That tight end Jordan Reed gives them a tall, physical, sure-handed presence over the middle of the field will only help the group's ability to get open and make plays.
Besides releasing Andre Roberts in the middle of the spring, the team returns its familiar crop of faces and will hope it's fastest member – DeSean Jackson – will stay healthy for the entire season to give Kirk Cousins a consistent deep threat.
Last season, Jackson missed most of training camp with a shoulder injury and then pulled a hamstring in the team's season opener against the Dolphins, not returning until the eighth game of the year. He was limited 528 yards, a career-low, and four touchdowns.
This offseason, Jackson has made it a priority to get stronger and more durable, and has hit the weight room a little more to help prevent the kinds of injuries that have held him out of his career.
"For a guy like me, my speed is everything on that field. It was just an unfortunate injury because as much as I wanted to get back out there with the team, I wasn't at full speed and if I'm not at that 100 percent speed then it's not good for me out on that field."
Pierre Garçon returns for his fifth season in Washington after leading all receivers last year in yards (777) and touchdowns (6).
His biggest game came in Week 4 against the Eagles at home, when he hauled in three clutch catches, one of them the go-ahead score between two defenders, on the final drive of the game.
Likely lining up beside him in the slot position, which he made look like an easy transition, is Jamison Crowder, who broke Art Monk's rookie receptions record in 2015 with 59 catches.
Crowder led all Redskins receivers with 251 yards after the catch, his 5-foot-8, 182-pound frame helping acquire his 604 yards receiving on the year.
With three strong options already in place, the Redskins shocked many when they decided to take Josh Doctson, the standout wide receiver from TCU, with their first pick in this year's draft. General manager Scot McCloughan noted many times that he was the best option on the board, noting his leaping ability as one of the brightest factors he brings to the table.
While the move may also signal some stability for the future, the Redskins will have to determine how to best use Doctson right now. The rookie suffered a small Achilles injury this offseason and wasn't able to participate in any competitive scrimmages, so training camp will likely be the first opportunity to see how he functions in the offense.
Rashad Ross and Ryan Grant also return to the roster and look to take the next step in their careers after getting solid playing time last year.
The talent has wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard extremely excited to see where the group will take the Redskins this year.
"Along with Jordan Reed and this group, we just feel good about having a group of guys they can get the ball to and they can make things happen," Hilliard said. "Different skill sets which is good, you don't want to have a room full of the same type of player, so it gives us a few more options, spread the field, so we're looking forward to going in on the rest of the offseason and training camp and into the year."
WHAT TO WATCH:**
Most eyes will be on Doctson, and rightly so, since he has yet to face off against the defense. Specifically, the way he uses his size and leaping ability will be of primary interest as Cousins looks to find another solid corner end zone option besides Reed.
Because of Docton's addition, Ross, Grant and the several college free agents competing this year will have a tougher time finding a roster spot.
There should be some hearty competition while watching the second and third team offenses, which will likely be determined by special teams play.
Aside from some of those smaller battles, it should be fun watching all the components of the offense come together with Cousins under center and how they gel with one starting quarterback from the offseason to the end of the preseason.