Washington Football Team

2020 Season Review- Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

As the 2020 season is now in the rear view mirror, it is time to evaluate each position and see what the team needs in the future. The team had a successful season, however there are places where this team can upgrade to become a Super Bowl contender. So I will do a position by position analysis and early prediction of who will be on the roster next season. Here are my reviews of the quarterback and running back positions.

The receiving corps for the Washington Football Team was the great unknown heading into the 2020 season. Terry McLaurin was the only solid player in the group and he performed to expectations. Tight End Logan Thomas ended up exceeding expectations and showed a lot of talent at tight end. The rest of the group were underwhelming on the season. Let’s take a look back.

Review

  • Terry McLaurin- McLaurin’s second season confirmed what Washington Football Team fans already knew, McLaurin is a star in this league. Clearly entrenched as the number one receiver and being the focus of opponents defensive attention, McLaurin routinely performed at an high level. Even with the carousel at the quarterback position, McLaurin still had a 1,000 yard receiving season. McLaurin was an absolute steal as a third round pick that Washington discovered when scouting Dwayne Haskins. Interesting fact, including the playoffs, McLaurin caught passes from five different quarterbacks/players this season (Haskins, Allen, Smith, Heinicke, Thomas). Season Stats- 87 receptions 1,118 yards (12.9 ypc) and four touchdowns on 114 targets. 

    Alex Smith celebrates with Terry McLaurin after their touchdown. 1/3/21 photo courtesy of GriffinVision
  • Logan Thomas- The free agent signing ended up being one of Washington’s most reliable players. Thomas, the collegiate quarterback, played in 1009 of 1089 snaps that the Washington offense had, including 100% in four of the last five games. That’s durability and Thomas added play making as the season went along. Thomas led the team in touchdown receptions with six, and lined up everywhere on the field. No one player epitomized Coach Rivera’s hard work ethic as did Thomas. Washington still needs another tight end to pair with him but they found a gem with Thomas. Season Stats-  72 receptions 670 yards (9.3 ypc) and six touchdowns on 110 targets.

    Logan Thomas fights for yards against the Steelers. 12/7/20
  • Cam Sims- A fan favorite and a practice squad call up the last two seasons finally got a chance to play regularly and was solid. In being the second receiver for half of the season Sims had some big plays and some times where he didn’t come through. Sims’ best game of the season came in the second matchup versus the New York Giants where he had his first career 100 yard receiving game. Sims proved he deserved he should be an NFL receiver but is not a top one or two receiver on a depth chart. Season Stats- 32 receptions 477 yards (14.9 ypc) and a touchdown on 48 targets.

    Cam Sims catches the ball in the 4th quarter against the Steelers. 12/7/20
  • Steven Sims Jr.- Another diamond in the rough from 2019 was the finding of undrafted free agent rookie Steven Sims. Sims eventually supplanted slot receiver Trey Quinn taking his spot for good during training camp this season. The way Sims finished the season last year gave promise for Sims. Sims had a slow start in Turner’s offense and then an injury cost him a month of the season. When Sims returned he never seemed to fit into the offense which needed playmakers. Add in his special team miscues and Sims became a liability. Sims must correct his hands issue but he has a special quickness. Season Stats- 27 receptions 265 yards (9.8 ypc) and a touchdown on 37 targets. 
  • Isaiah Wright- Another undrafted free agent, Wright made the opening day roster. Wright has some natural ability but is a player who needed an offseason and preseason games to learn. Wright was able to fill in on special teams right away and that will probably be his niche for awhile. Season Stats- 27 receptions 197 yards (7.3 ypc) on 35 targets.
  • Dontrelle Inman- The seven year journeyman Inman was brought in to give a veteran presence to the unit. Inman started the season as the number 2 receiver opposite of McLaurin, and teams started taking McLaurin away and making Inman beat them. Inman eventually fell out of favor with the team and started being inactive for games. Last catch on the season was against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Season Stats- 18 receptions 163 yards (9.1 ypc) and two touchdowns on 28 targets. 
  • Robert Foster- Washington picked up Foster after the Buffalo Bills released him during the season. Foster mostly played on special teams so his receiving ability is yet to be determined. Season Stats- 2 receptions 37 yards (18.5 ypc) on 6 targets.
  • The following players didn’t really make an impact for various reasons: Antonio Gandy-Golden, Marcus Baugh, Temarrick Hemmingway.
  • Jeremy Sprinkle- Ended up being the top tight end because of injury last season ended up back in his blocking tight end role. He only had one reception this season.

Recommendation

The wide receiver/ tight end corps is going to need a pretty big upgrade moving forward. Terry McLaurin is a start and Logan Thomas is a starting NFL tight end. Outside of those two talent needs to be added to have the offense operating at its top level. I was highly critical of Scott Turner’s offense but there were numerous games where no one could get open. So I expect a big focus of the offseason to be on upgrading this position. I expect at least two big free agent signings looking for starters along with Kelvin Harmon returning from injury.

  • Terry McLaurin- keep on roster
  • Logan Thomas- keep on roster
  • Cam Sims- keep on roster as a fourth receiver
  • Steven Sims- fringe roster for next season
  • Isaiah Wright- practice squad
  • Dontrelle Inman- release
  • Robert Foster- release
  • Antonio Gandy-Golden- 5th or 6th receiver on the roster
  • Marcus Baugh- Practice squad
  • Temarrick Hemmingway- Release
  • Jeremy Sprinkle- 3rd or blocking tight end