The Redskins are coming off a season where they won the NFC for the first time since 1999, and to try and repeat that, which hasn’t happened since 1984, they need a few players to really step-up this year.
One player that immediately comes to my mind is outside linebacker Brian Orakpo. There are no questions surrounding his talent as a football player, he is one of the best OLB’s in football, but the fact that Orakpo is still playing on his rookie contract and hasn’t gotten his extension yet is because he has suffered two pectoral injuries and has never surpassed more than 11 sacks in a season. Predicting that Orakpo stays healthy, next off-season he will be in for that big contract extension people know he’s capable of playing for.
Another player that is in for a big year is TE Fred Davis. Before getting injured last season, Davis was the leading receiver on the Redskins roster and gained good chemistry with RGIII. After only receiving a one-year deal because of injuries and off the field problems, the Skins hope for Davis to have a breakout year so that they can resign him for a longer contract and have a even better offense than last year.
Jarvis Jenkins, whom may be a surprise to some for being mentioned here, is a very underrated run defender. With Adam Carriker still healing from a quad injury that ended his season last year, Jenkins might be in position to start at the beginning of the season for the first time of his career. Jenkins started to come along as a decent pass rusher towards the end of last season. Expecting him to grow on that, he’s also in for a good year.
The last player primed for a breakout season is WR Leonard Hankerson. Hankerson is entering his third season as a Redskin, and showed improvement from his rookie season to last year. With the addition of receivers Donte Stallworth and Devery Henderson and young speedster Aldrick Robinson still on the roster, Hankerson will have to earn a spot as a receiver on the roster. If Leonard Hankerson is more consistent this season, the Redskins organization will look to give him a contract extension in the future.