The Redskins traded back one spot in the first round of the NFL Draft, then used the No. 22 pick to nab TCU’s Josh Doctson—the big wide receiver they currently lack.
Doctson, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 202 pounds, hauled in 79 passes for 1,326 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior. He finished his TCU career with the school record for receiving yards (2,785) and receiving touchdowns (29), despite beginning his career at Wyoming.
“My game starts with the most dominant trait a receiver should have, and that’s catching the football,” Doctson said via conference call from Chicago. “I want to make sure I catch the football in all situations if the quarterback decides to throw it to me and trusts me to catch it. I want to make sure that I have all that trust.”
Doctson is the first wide receiver to be drafted by the Redskins in the first round since Rod Gardner in 2001. The Redskins entered the draft with the No. 21 overall selection, but traded it to the Texans for the No. 22 pick and a sixth rounder in 2017. Houston selected Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller with the 21st pick.
Doctson joins a Redskins' receiving corps that includes Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, Andre Roberts and Rashad Ross. Doctson is two inches taller Garcon, four inches taller than Jackson and six inches taller than Crowder.
“Josh was obviously a very productive receiver at TCU and made a lot of big plays in his career,” Coach Jay Gruden said. “He’s got height. He’s got the mad leaping skills, which are very appealing in the red zone. And he’s another guy who is going to bring great athleticism to this offense, and we’re excited to have him.”
Gruden added: “Josh was clearly the best on the board at that time for us.”
Gruden also said he expects Doctson to contribute immediately.
“You check all the boxes with him, as far as person [and] off the field,” he said. “He’s got great work ethic, too. We did our due diligence on that. So you bring in a receiver with the great skill set that he has, and a guy that’s willing to get better and learn and work. I anticipate him challenging for a lot of balls in this offense.”
Doctson expected to be drafted in the mid-to-late first round. He did not, however, expect to end up in Washington. But he’s glad he did.
“I wasn’t expecting it all,” Doctson said. “I met with them one time—and it was an informal interview at the combine. I didn’t really think they were interested in me at all. Which is why I’m saying it was so sudden and really abrupt, being picked by the Redskins. But, hey, I’m happy and ready to get to work.”
The Redskins’ wide receiver depth chart is going to be shaken up this year and it likely will look very, very different by the time the 2017 season starts.
The selection of Josh Doctson in the first round of the draft today was more about 2017 than it was about 2016. But the immediate effect will be that he will need to get some snaps this year to prepare for a bigger role next year.
It seems likely that Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson will remain the starters on the outside with Jamison Crowder taking a lot of snaps as the slot receiver. Doctson will compete with holdovers Ryan Grant and Rashad Ross for playing time. It will be a major upset if Doctson didn’t win that competition by the time the season starts.
It should be noted that Andre Roberts is still on the roster but he does not appear to be in the Redskins’ plans and is likely to be released sometime before training camp.
We also can look for a lot of sets with four and five receivers with the 6-2 Doctson and the 6-2 Jordan Reed in the slots. That will create some severe matchup problems for opposing defenses, particularly if they do it in the red zone.
Taking a peek ahead to 2017, both Jackson and Garçon will be over the age of 30 and both will be free agents. It seems likely that one or both of them will walk, leaving Doctson as the No. 1 receiver with Grant, Ross, and perhaps another draft pick and/or free agent will fill in the rest of the depth chart.
Like FedEx Field on a Sunday during a matchup with the Cowboys, the Redskins' wide receiver depth chart is getting crowded. And on Thursday, another name was added to the group.
After switching spots with the Texans in a draft night trade, Washington selected TCU pass catcher Josh Doctson. As a senior for the Horned Frogs in 2015, the 23-year-old snagged 79 balls for more than 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns. In other words, he knows his way around the football field.
Soon after the choice was made and Doctson posed for pictures with Roger Goodell while hoisting a Burgundy and Gold jersey for the first time, the wideout's new teammates began welcoming him on Twitter. A sampling of their messages:
You can never have too many pass catchers. The more the merrier 😎— DeAngelo Hall (@DeAngeloHall23) April 29, 2016
Let's welcome @joshDoctson to the family We won't bite just nibble haha let's get better— Bashaud Breeland (@Salute_me17) April 29, 2016
Outisde of the rookie himself, few people are gleaming more about his impending arrival than his quarterback, Kirk Cousins. As of now, Cousins is slated to play out 2016 on the franchise tag, which means he's looking to put together a repeat performance of last season in order to secure a long-term deal. By picking Doctson, GM Scot McCloughan has handed the signal caller another weapon for his arsenal. Does Kirk like that?
Jordan Reed. DeSean Jackson. Pierre Garçon. Jamison Crowder. And now Josh Doctson?— CSN Redskins (@CSNRedskins) April 29, 2016
How ya feelin', Kirk?
Yeah, Kirk likes that. After all, he has more options than a customer at The Cheesecake Factory. Meanwhile, the journey to earn playing time on the outside is about to begin for Doctson. His tape shows he's up for the challenge.