The Washington Redskins have one of the league’s best feature backs in Alfred Morris, but he isn’t much of a pass-catcher despite his terrific rushing ability. Last year, No. 2 back Roy Helu, who is one of the best backups in the business at the running back position, finished the year with 31 receptions, while nine catches went to Morris. It looks like the Redskins are high on second-year RB Chris Thompson’s ability to provide some sort of a spark as a change-of-pace back, though he figures to have heavy competition from Baylor rookie Lache Seastrunk. That said, Seastrunk wasn’t much of a pass-catcher in college either, so the stage could be set for Thompson to make a big impact as a receiver.
According to ESPN NFL Nation’s John Keim, Redskins third-year signal-caller Robert Griffin III stated that the team wants him to be their version of Philadelphia Eagles star scat back Darren Sproles. RG3 said, “We want him to be Darren Sproles…I love the guy.”
I think the last part of the quote is worth noting, because RG3’s “love” for Thompson could turn into some targets if the Florida State product sees the field with some sort of frequency next season. Plus, RG3 might not be the only influential person on the Redskins who likes Thompson, because head coach Jay Gruden stated earlier this offseason that the small, sprightly RB was an incredibly exciting player in college.
Durability is a major question mark for Thompson, but he could be a sleeper in the Redskins offense as an elusive, pass-catching back if he can stay healthy. He already has the ear of RG3, but has also already accrued several major injuries in his young career, including a torn labrum and torn ACL. Andre Robert is getting the first crack at special teams duties, but Thompson’s explosiveness could make him a factor in this phase of the game.