When the Washington Redskins signed free agent WR Andre Roberts, they did so with very little fanfare. Picked in the third round by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2010 NFL Draft, Roberts has never had more than 64 catches in a season. Considering what round he was selected, and given his productivity–or lack thereof–there may seem to be a reason why many don’t expect much from Roberts next season, but here are what I think are some very valid points as to why he may have a breakout season wearing Burgundy & Gold in 2014:
1. Roberts has the speed Pierre Garcon doesn’t
In looking at some video of both Roberts and Garcon, Roberts seems to be a bit more shifty/quicker in his route-running than Pierre. However, I will say Garcon runs his routes with more consistency and precision than Roberts.
2. Roberts has the size/power that DeSean Jackson doesn’t
No WR on the Redskins’ roster is more of a threat to take the top off a secondary than Jackson, but with Roberts having comparable speed to DJax, what Roberts can do better is break tackles.
3. Roberts will have a QB throwing to him that has a better skill set/upside
RG3 may not be as experienced as Cardinals’ QB Carson Palmer, but it’s safe to say his better days as an NFL starting QB are behind him at this point. Robert Griffin III brings more to the table in terms of play-making threat ability, speed, and accuracy.
4. With Roberts mostly seeing time at slot WR, he’ll have somewhat of an advantage
Roberts’ size and speed will give him an advantage against most slot corners, who are generally smaller and not as good at man coverage.
5. Roberts’ production should increase noticeably
Playing with the likes of Garcon, Jackson, and TE Jordan Reed should open up a lot of space for Roberts in the passing game. He’s never had more than two TD catches in a season. I fully expect that number to reach at least six or seven this season.