During an appearance on ESPN980, Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay spoke highly of the talents of Josh Doctson and believes Matt Jones will be able to take on a greater load in 2016.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Doctson will need to set himself apart in some way early if wants to carve out his own niche with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon returning at the position.
Offensive coordinator Sean McVay not only believes Doctson can do so, he's confident the Redskins will get the most out of the 6-foot-2, 202 pounder early on in his career.
"The great thing about it is we got a bunch of great players, and he'll start out as an outside receiver, where he'll play behind both Pierre and DeSean, and we'll be able to groom him," McVay said Wednesday on ESPN980. "And however well he does, he'll earn that playing time if his play dictates that. He's a guy that we're very excited about."
When the Redskins traded back from the No. 21-overall pick, there was some concern that the Houston Texans, the team Washington exchanged first-round picks with, would take Doctson.
But Houston settled on Notre Dame speedster Will Fuller, leaving the Redskins' No. 1 player on their draft board still available.
"When you've got a guy like that with great body control, elite ball skills, [and] a guy that has a 41-inch vert that plays like that, you see it on tape," McVay said. "The production is incredible, and he's a great guy. [Wide receivers coach] Ike Hilliard and myself went out to dinner with his mom and his stepdad on Saturday. It's a great family, and you can tell he's going to be an exciting guy for us to work with."
McVay also echoed Redskins head coach Jay Gruden's sentiment that Doctson is similar to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, a perennial Pro Bowler.
Gruden was the Bengals' offensive coordinator for Green's first three seasons, where he totaled 3,833 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns.
"I think that's a great comparison, because you look at a taller, leaner player with great body control [and] excellent ball skills," McVay said. "That's a high standard to set, because A.J.'s one of the best players in this league, but I think you do see some of those skills and traits that an A.J. Green has, and that's what excites you about Josh."
Check out the top photos of Matt Jones from the 2015 season.
Matt Jones can handle the load**
The Redskins' intentions with Jones became clear by the end of the draft. They want him to be the lead back and are confident he'll jump into the starting role and be just fine.
Last season, Jones totaled 339 offensive snaps, collecting 490 rushing yards and three touchdowns along with 19 receptions for 304 yards and an additional touchdown.
But for all of the talent Jones flashed, fumble issues put a slight damper on the optimism.
McVay believes with a full offseason under his belt Jones will be able to right the issue, though.
"We know that he had some growing pains, but I think, when you look at the things that he was able to do both in the run game, and in the pass game, he's got the skills and the traits that you're looking for in that every down [running] back, where he can put his foot in the ground," McVay said. "He's a violent finisher. I think he's a little bit more sudden than people give him credit for."