The Washington Football Team is deeper at receiver than its been in a long time. With Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims Jr, Kelvin Harmon and newcomer Curtis Samuel, the roster is loaded with weapons.
Since this is the so-called "dead period" of the offseason (after OTAs and minicamps but before training camp), it's the perfect time to evaluate rosters' strength and weaknesses. To that end, ESPN put the microscope on WFT and looked at its talented receiving corps.
The result: ESPN named one veteran player on the roster bubble for 2021, putting the bullseye on Sims Jr.
"There are a few receivers who could be in this spot, but Sims has been the most productive of the players who are in trouble. Sims had 23 catches in the final five weeks of the 2019 season, creating separation with short-field quickness. He had 34 catches overall and entered 2020 as Washington’s top slot receiver. But injuries and drops hurt him last season — he dropped three balls on 39 targets, including in some key situations. Washington then signed Adam Humphries and drafted Dax Milne to play in the slot. Sims can return punts, but there are concerns about ball security there as well. Sims still looks quick but has an uphill battle in Washington."
This shouldn't be a shock to anyone, but that analysis will likely only motivate Sims.
The 2019 WFT season was one of the worst in recent memory. Their 3-13 regular season was good for last place in the division, their head coach was fired after an 0-5 start, and starting quarterback Alex Smith was lost with a life-threatening injury.
But there were two bright spots. Wide receivers Terry McLaurin and Sims Jr. As a third-round draft pick that year, McLaurin's contributions were expected.
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Sims' path was different. He was undrafted out of Kansas and signed by Washington as a free agent. But he won over the coaches in training camp and made the 53-man roster.
In an October loss to the New England Patriots, his breakout moment came on a 65-yard rushing touchdown, WFT's only points of the game.
For Sims, that 2019 season resulted in 34 catches, 310 yards, four touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and a kickoff return for a touchdown.
During last season's division-championship run, however, his production regressed with only 27 catches and one touchdown.
Sims absolutely has the talent and ability to make an NFL roster and to be a productive receiver. But showing only inconsistent flashes on a competitive WFT roster has him uncomfortably on the bubble entering training camp.
Sims will have to prove himself at least one more time.
CONTINUE READING: Washington: A Top-10 Roster, But Also No. 1