We profiled seven logical and potential choices for the Redskins, starting with Albert Wilson of the Kansas City Chiefs. Of course, playing with Alex Smith is a natural connection, but it's also about his growth at the position and versatile skill-set that should jump out to the Redskins, as it did to me.
Wilson can do just about everything you ask him to do and expanded his role with Kansas City over the years.
Per Chiefs correspondent, Joseph Nammour of NumberFire.com and other outlets, Wilson was 2nd in the NFL with 5.0 YAC (Yards After Catch)/Target and was third in the NFL with 15 missed tackles forced. Also, Wilson was in the top-five in the NFL in "contested catch conversion rate." Clearly, the Redskins need more of all of this.
Let's take a further look at some of what Wilson can do with a few selected video clips, courtesy of NFLGamePass.com.
In the clip above, Wilson and the Chiefs are playing the Miami Dolphins in week 16 of the 2017 season. Wilson is lined up outside on the left side of the formation (top of screen) and the cornerback is lined up right over him. Upon Wilson's burst off the line, the Dolphins cover-man plays outside (towards sideline) leverage and Wilson reads that and runs a perfect in-cut/modified slant to make the catch and pick up a first down.
In our second video (below), in the same game, Wilson is lined up to the bottom of your screen in a vertical stack formation. He simply takes a modified jab step and stops to await the pass from Smith on a run-pass option.
It's what Wilson does after the catch that is very impressive. The move he puts on the Dolphins defensive back to get another first down is something the Redskins absolutely need.
Our third video look at Wilson is from that same Miami game and features Wilson and Smith hooking up on a third down and eight conversion.
In the clip, you see Smith with a hard audible out of a bad call as he recognizes the overload blitz on the left side, before hooking up with Wilson, who is "hot" and Wilson makes a defender miss after displaying great pre-snap awareness and communication with his quarterback. This is something that the Redskins did a poor job of in my opinion over the last few years in general, but it seemed a lot worse in 2017.
In our final clip, Wilson lines up from the slot, where he is very comfortable and darts over the middle of the field before making the catch and forcing a couple of Chargers' defenders to miss tackles in a tight space. This play is a perfect example of the YAC stat and the forced missed tackles stat above.
Wilson works plenty from the slot, but as our first three clips show, he can work on the outside perimeter. He appears fearless over the middle and very capable of getting off of bump or tight coverage with a shoulder dip and speed to get into his route.
Per NFL NextGenStats, Wilson was number one in the entire NFL in "Average Separation" at 4.1, while Wilson was tied for eighth lowest in the NFL with Randall Cobb and Jarvis Landry for "Average Targeted Air Yards" at 6.4.
While that will raise some red flags in terms of a match that the Redskins are ideally looking for, remember that the Chiefs had Tyreek Hill to run the longer developing, homerun routes that Smith was so good connecting on last season.
Wilson has clocked speed in the mid 4.4's, so it's not because he can't run. It would be up to the Redskins to use him properly and get the most value out of him.
It goes without saying that Wilson should be a top priority for the Redskins.
Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for eight seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five years. He covers the Redskins, Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade for Monumental Sports Network (www.DCHotRead.com). Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN