ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Football Team pass catching group is much improved but don't tell Pro Football Focus that.
PFF ranked Washington's pass-catchers featuring as the No. 19 ranked group among 32 clubs. The names listed included Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown, Logan Thomas, Adam Humphries, Cam Sims, Antonio Gandy-Golden, Dax Milne and others fighting for a roster spot.
Tampa Bay comes No. 1 following a Super Bowl LV win. Obviously with names like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, a trio like should be given praise.
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Here's part of the rationale on the WFT per PFF:
- Washington wide receivers graded at 65.9 as a group last year.
- Curtis Samuel, mostly from the slot last year in Carolina, had a 76.4 receiving grade with 77 receptions for 851 yards.
- Samuel figures to work outside more in Washington's offense but it would be silly to not use him in the slot at times and maybe more this year.
- Adam Humphries has caught 73.1% of his targets from the slot in his career. If he can stay healthy, he'll be much more reliable for Washington.
- Remember that Humphries and Ryan Fitzpatrick have great cohesion and chemistry already from their time in Tampa together before the two left for greener pastures.
- Dyami Brown -- Washington's third round pick with dynamic downfield ability, averaged over 20 yards per catch over the last two years with the Tar Heels.
- The rest of the group includes Cam Sims (581 yards) but with five drops on 44 catchable passes as judged by PFF. Gandy-Golden, who did next to nothing in his rookie year, was included and a few others.
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Logan Thomas was perhaps the most surprising tight end with 77 catches for 744 yards and six scores. Rookie John Bates will hopefully make a difference this year in the passing game.
Will Washington keep a third tight end? Can rookie Sammis Reyes be consistent throughout camp? Only time will tell.
PFF did not include running backs in the receiving game for this ranking. This hurts Washington due to the upside of J.D. McKissic and potentially Antonio Gibson, who spent his career with Memphis as a slot receivers.
Other teams with strong pass-catching backs are hurt by this too, but Washington certainly took the biggest blow. Last season, McKissic finished third on the team in receptions behind McLaurin and Thomas
As for the teams right above Washington, Pittsburgh comes in at No. 18. Although they have a deep stable - they are missing speed to win over the top.
Washington is absolutely better than the Steelers in that aspect.
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Arizona comes in at No. 17. It's hard to try and leap DeAndre Hopkins, but his first year in the desert was more about possession rather than than explosion.
Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella are fine but not special. Can the addition of A.J. Green keep the Cardinals ahead?
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How to Watch WFT vs. Seattle: Can Washington Turn Season Around?
The WFT's second primetime game of the year comes against the Seahawks who're trying to save its season, while Washington looks to further its year past the regular season.
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If the games were played on paper, which side comes out on top?
The Falcons at No. 16 as of no, but things could change before Week 1. Atlanta seem poised to trade All-Pro Julio Jones before the start of training camp, thus tearing apart the duo. Calvin Ridley, the team's No. 2 weapon, has been exceptional as a compliment. Can he be a legitimate No. 1?
The rest of the group doesn't really blow your socks off so our view is that Washington is better than the dirty birds to say the least. All things could change if Jones remains and Kyle Pitts lives up to his top-five draft status.
That's where the argument ends for now. The Chargers at No. 15 have deep and competent unit while the Packers at No.14 are top-heavy and more proven than WFT.
Things could change by season's end if Fitzpatrick finds a connection with McLaurin and the trio of other targets. It wouldn't be shocking to see WFT nearing the top 10 after a down season of lackluster production in 2020.
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