This breakdown was a hit with readers last year so I’ll continue it again this year.
The Washington Redskins are attempting to start fresh under new general manager Scot McCloughan, who has brought a different attitude and scouting perspective after stints with successful franchises like the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.
The team isn’t expected to improve on it’s record from the last two seasons (3-13 in 2013 and 4-12 in 2014) much, if at all, but under McCloughan’s guidance, the quality of the roster appears to be on the upswing.
Prediction: 4th NFC East
Power Ranking: None
Analysis: “The question being asked is who goes first: RG III or Jay Gruden.” – Howard Balzer
Notable Anecdote: Robert Griffin III is named the Redskins player on the hot seat. Here’s a snippet from that sidebar: “Griffin’s just trying to prove that he’s a legitimate starting quarterback. If he fails to do so this season, he might get one more shot, but it won’t be in Washington.”
Prediction: 4th NFC East
Power Ranking: 15th NFC
Analysis: “This probably isn’t a team that can challenge the Cowboys and Eagles atop the division in 2015, but even a finish somewhere around .500 — which is entirely possible — would be considered a significant step in the right direction.”
Notable Anecdotes: Trent Williams dropped from the best offensive tackle in football last year to 18th this year in Athlon’s player rankings. Williams was named to a third straight Pro Bowl last season.
Prediction: 4th NFC East (6-10) – via Michael Gentry
Power Ranking: 14th NFC, 27th overall
Analysis: “Robert Griffin III is on the ropes in the Jay Gruden Era, which makes the Redskins’ passing offense too unpredictable to trust. Their defense is also under transition under new coordinator Joe Barry. That’s enough to make Washington last in the mighty [NFC] East.”
Notable Anecdotes: Running back Silas Redd is named a potential breakout candidate that can replace Roy Helu Jr. in the change-of-pace role.
Prediction: 4th NFC East (4-12) – via Nate Davis
Power Ranking: 15th NFC, 30th overall
Analysis: “Has Jay Gruden bought into Robert Griffin III. How about vice versa? Everything hinges on this tenuous relationship.”
Notable Anecdote: Jordan Reed is listed as the team’s “X Factor.” USA Today cites his natural ability and athleticism as reasons for a potential breakout season. He also needs to stay healthy in order to do that.
Prediction: 4th NFC East (6-10)
Power Ranking: 15th NFC, 28th overall
Analysis: “We’re not sure how they’re better.”
Notable Anecdotes: The magazine decided to stop using the name “Redskins.” It’s the first time, at least that I’ve noticed, that an NFL preview magazine has taken a stand and not called the team by their name. The magazine also listed Chris Chester vs. Spencer Long as the position battle to watch. That was obviously written before Chester was released by the team in late May. The magazine also made a couple errors, calling Long “Chris Long” in its offensive line breakdown and also stating that Jason Hatcher was a 2013 free agent pickup when he was actually signed in 2014.