Redskins' WR depth chart taking shape

Posted Aug. 26, 2011 @ 12:35 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

The re-signing of Santana Moss made it clear he would be the Redskins' No. 1 WR option, no questions asked. We might not know who the Week One quarterback will be — Rex Grossman started the third preseason game, but Mike Shanahan said he wouldn't announce the starter vs. the Giants until soon before that game — but we know how important Moss' role will be.

What had been less clear was how the rest of the receivers would fit together. That totem pole is starting to line itself up more as the preseason wears on.

Jabar Gaffney, bought at pennies on the dollar from the Broncos, appears to be the second option to Moss, and you can expect them to get a lot of work with TE Chris Cooley's knee still a concern. That should be true no matter who the quarterback is. Gaffney has been one of the most consistent receivers in camp.

Right now, Anthony Armstrong is running third. He will be on the field a lot, especially in longer-yardage situations. Armstrong earned a lot of credibility by showing his good deep speed and surprisingly good hands in a breakout 2010 season.

Although he has flashed in camp, third-rounder Leonard Hankerson has had too many drops to put him higher than fourth in the WR pecking order. He uses his body fairly well and could end up being the perfect intermediate option; there are plenty of slant patterns to be run in this offense. But until the drops are cleared up, he is where he is.

That leaves Donté Stallworth, Niles Paul, Brandon Banks, Terrence Austin, Malcolm Kelly and others fighting for the final spot or two. It's possible that both Banks and Austin, each of whom has had a nice camp and preseason, could make the team despite their size restrictions.