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Homer: Leonard Hankerson could be a steal for Redskins


themurf

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(photo by Eric Espada)

For those who missed it, yesterday we had the chance to chat with Omar Kelly, who covers the Miami Dolphins for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Because of how much ground we covered during our conversation, I went ahead and broke it up into two parts.

In yesterday’s installment, Kelly chatted primarily about quarterbacks – specifically, John Beck and Vince Young.

Today, we turn our attention to receivers and the good news for ‘Skins fans is that Kelly has a lot of positives to say about the guys who’ll be catching passes from Beck, Young, Rex Grossman or whoever. Without further adieu, here’s part two.

Out of everyone the Washington Redskins selected in this year’s draft, the player who seems to get the locals most excited is Miami receiver Leonard Hankerson. What can you tell me about this kid?

“He’s a good receiver and, quite honestly, I’m surprised he didn’t go in the first round,” Kelly said. “I think he’s probably in the best spot for him, considering what their needs are there. Anthony Armstrong is a guy who they had down here on the practice squad. He’s a talented receiver and a nice deep threat, but he’s not going to be an every-down, possession receiver. And then you’ve got Santana Moss, whose time in Washington may be done. It’ll be interesting to see what happens there with him being a free agent.

“But if they’re looking for a new guy to come in and take over, I can see Leonard Hankerson being a 1,000-yard receiver,” he continued. “He’s got everything you need, which is why I was troubled that he went so low in the draft. To me, every question people had about him, he addressed it.

“He’s got speed, toughness and hands,” Kelly said. “He was the one guy who stood out in the Senior Bowl. They said he’s not that fast and then he runs a faster time in the 40 than [university of Maryland wide out] Torrey Smith at the combine, so I’m puzzled why he was there that late. But sometimes I think its better that guys get a good opportunity and land in a good fit, rather than worry about where a guy gets drafted. But I definitely think he’s got Pro Bowl potential.”

I jokingly refer to him as Malcolm Kelly with two good knees because he’s a guy with a big body who isn’t afraid to go across the middle, but at the same time, this team’s recent draft history isn’t exactly littered with guys that could be considered a steal. We’re kind of conditioned to expect the worst rather than get our hopes up, but the more I see of Hankerson, the more there is to like. But I think it’s safe to say you like what Hankerson bring to the table, right?

“No, you’re right. He’s got it all together,” he said. “I can’t really point to any major flaws in his game. I’ve heard questions about his intellect, but I think a lot of that is overblown just because he’s a Miami kid. I’m from Miami and I’m very familiar with Leonard Hankerson and the one thing about him is he works hard. If you go back and look at the receivers he broke the records of, those guys have had very successful careers at the next level and I expect him to have the same success.”

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Still pinching myself at our good fortune to find him in the third. In any other year, under different circumstances, he could well of been a low first to second rounder.

I actually really like the look of our receiving options. There's a good combination of quality youth in Austin, Kelly (Fingers crossed he's over the injury bug) Hankerson, Paul and Robinson; with older heads in Moss if he's retained (and honestly, it wouldn't bother me if he isn't to give one of the younger guys a chance of a years action in another down year) and Armstrong. (All be it with limited experience.). Throw in the best receiving TE combo in the league, and backs that have shown their dangerous out of the backfield; and that's some pretty good weapons/options in the passing game.

My main fear, outside of having no competent QB to get them the darn ball, is the OC. I just hope for the likes of Hankerson's sake he remembers he's on the roster and fully utilizes the talent at his disposal. Unlike year one. The criminally under used FreddyD comes instantly to mind.

Good interview Murph as per.

Hail.

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It generally takes two to three years for WR's to develop so I wouldn't get our hopes up too high for a really productive rookie season. Through in the lockout and he could struggle the first half of the year. I certainly like his long term potential.

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Still pinching myself at our good fortune to find him in the third. In any other year, under different circumstances, he could well of been a low first to second rounder.

I actually really like the look of our receiving options. There's a good combination of quality youth in Austin, Kelly (Fingers crossed he's over the injury bug) Hankerson, Paul and Robinson; with older heads in Moss if he's retained (and honestly, it wouldn't bother me if he isn't to give one of the younger guys a chance of a years action in another down year) and Armstrong. (All be it with limited experience.). Throw in the best receiving TE combo in the league, and backs that have shown their dangerous out of the backfield; and that's some pretty good weapons/options in the passing game.

My main fear, outside of having no competent QB to get them the darn ball, is the OC. I just hope for the likes of Hankerson's sake he remembers he's on the roster and fully utilizes the talent at his disposal. Unlike year one. The criminally under used FreddyD comes instantly to mind.

Good interview Murph as per.

Hail.

I'm as pessimistic as possible when it comes to this team after years and years (and years) of disppointment, but I think if Moss, Armstrong and Hankerson are at the top of the depth chart next season the Redskins could be in pretty good shape. Add in Chris Cooley and Fred Davis to the mix and you begin to think that if they can get any sort of production out of the quarterback and offensive line that this team could finally keep defenses from stacking the line of scrimmage. And that's without even considering guys like Malcolm Kelly, the Austin/Banks combo or the other rookie receivers. Hopefully they finally have an offense worth cheering for this season.

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I'm as pessimistic as possible when it comes to this team after years and years (and years) of disppointment, but I think if Moss, Armstrong and Hankerson are at the top of the depth chart next season the Redskins could be in pretty good shape. Add in Chris Cooley and Fred Davis to the mix and you begin to think that if they can get any sort of production out of the quarterback and offensive line that this team could finally keep defenses from stacking the line of scrimmage. And that's without even considering guys like Malcolm Kelly, the Austin/Banks combo or the other rookie receivers. Hopefully they finally have an offense worth cheering for this season.

How did I leave Banks off the list? *Slaps head.

I'd be with you on next year man if it wasn't for the VERY big "IF" of the highlighted part above. Grossman, if he is indeed the starter, scares the living piss out of me in his want to get the ball to the opposition with more frequency than his own guys. (Slight exaggeration, but all relevant.).

Throw in my major concerns going forward about Kyle, which is a whole other topic, and I honestly don't see much of anything on offense this year. Which might not be a bad thing in the great scheme of things with some of the QB talent on offer next year with all the youth a year further down the line.

Hail.

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The last big possession reciever that we've had with this sort of potential was 50/50. Which means that we've been starving for a true big-play WR for years (no disrespect to Moss). But part of the reason we've been so anemic in scoring points is partically due to a lack of a big athletic body in the red zone. I really hope & pray this kid is the real deal.

---------- Post added May-26th-2011 at 08:15 AM ----------

IMO, best case scenario going into the season. Many ppl, including myself have been touting this for months. Santana NEEDS to be in the slot!

“Yeah, I could see them having a productive season,” Kelly said. “I like Armstrong as a flanker who goes deep, Hankerson as a possession receiver and I’ve always thought that if Santana Moss was put in the slot, he’d be one of the better slot receivers in the NFL. That hasn’t always been his role, but I think he could excel there as he gets up there in age.”

---------- Post added May-26th-2011 at 08:19 AM ----------

Still pinching myself at our good fortune to find him in the third. In any other year, under different circumstances, he could well of been a low first to second rounder.

I actually really like the look of our receiving options. There's a good combination of quality youth in Austin, Kelly (Fingers crossed he's over the injury bug) Hankerson, Paul and Robinson; with older heads in Moss if he's retained (and honestly, it wouldn't bother me if he isn't to give one of the younger guys a chance of a years action in another down year) and Armstrong. (All be it with limited experience.). Throw in the best receiving TE combo in the league, and backs that have shown their dangerous out of the backfield; and that's some pretty good weapons/options in the passing game.

.

Ppl may disagree with me, but i'm convinced that there is NO need to address WR in FA. Before the draft, I felt WR was a FA priority along with OL and NT. But now, i think that could end up being a position of strength for this team, especially if Kelly is healthy and Moss is re-signed.

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Ppl may disagree with me, but i'm convinced that there is NO need to address WR in FA. Before the draft, I felt WR was a FA priority along with OL and NT. But now, i think that could end up being a position of strength for this team, especially if Kelly is healthy and Moss is re-signed.

You'll get zero argument from me here man.

Even before the draft I was relatively happy with the receiving group of Moss, Kelly, Armstrong, Austin and the deep threat of Banks; allied to the TE's. The upgrade in the draft has just cemented that.

Hail.

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How did I leave Banks off the list? *Slaps head.

I'd be with you on next year man if it wasn't for the VERY big "IF" of the highlighted part above. Grossman, if he is indeed the starter, scares the living piss out of me in his want to get the ball to the opposition with more frequency than his own guys. (Slight exaggeration, but all relevant.).

Throw in my major concerns going forward about Kyle, which is a whole other topic, and I honestly don't see much of anything on offense this year. Which might not be a bad thing in the great scheme of things with some of the QB talent on offer next year with all the youth a year further down the line.

Hail.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I feel a lot better about receiver and tight end than the rest of the offense. Quarterback could very well be an issue this season, which would make it difficult for any of the receivers to post Pro Bowl-type numbers, but hopefully with a trio of solid receivers and two solid tight ends, whoever takes snaps has a few options to make his life easier.

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Here's hoping whom ever is under center this year does indeed get some decent production out of the receiving weapons around him. Anything to get some fun back into Sundays finally.

The state of our offensive skill positions, backs included, certainly fills me with optimism going forward. All a pretty young, and on the face of it talented bunch. If we can finally snag our QB next year, along with adding to and improving the line, we could have a pretty darn good O for a pretty long period.

Without getting ahead of myself after so many false dawns and corners turned we've just gone around in a circle over the years; the mid 2010's on could really see this organization come back to Nationwide prominence.

Hail.

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Without getting ahead of myself after so many false dawns and corners turned we've just gone around in a circle over the years; the mid 2010's on could really see this organization come back to Nationwide prominence.

At this point, I'd be happy if the team was no longer a punchline. I guess my bar is set a little bit lower than yours.

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At this point, I'd be happy if the team was no longer a punchline. I guess my bar is set a little bit lower than yours.

I agree, but don't think it's possible without major focus to both lines. As it stands now, they look pretty sad outside of TW. 3 wrs and 2 hbs rubbed me the wrong way, even if they are hard workers.

If Rabach is starting again, take that as a giant "knock knock" to the NFL.

I'd prefer to be wrong here ;p

Hehe, murf you infected me with your font...and after an edit back to normal....weird. Nice article BTW, but they always are. I took my time joining this site, and enjoy your work.

HTTR

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It generally takes two to three years for WR's to develop so I wouldn't get our hopes up too high for a really productive rookie season. Through in the lockout and he could struggle the first half of the year. I certainly like his long term potential.

That is not a general rule. The general rule is that a WR who will be good will likely be solid to good in his first to second year but a solid to good first year guarantees nothing. The corollary to the general rule is that just because a WR is not solid to good in his first or second year does not mean you should necessarily give up on him. Now with the lockout, there is also a higher likelihood that Hankerson has a bad to mediocre first year at least in appearance. Given the LO, I'd almost say that you may want to extend his initial training by putting him on the PS but I do not think that wise.

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Now with the lockout, there is also a higher likelihood that Hankerson has a bad to mediocre first year at least in appearance. Given the LO, I'd almost say that you may want to extend his initial training by putting him on the PS but I do not think that wise.

Agreed, the PS would not be wise for Hankerson.

I did raise a point in another thread about the lockout & it's effect on on WR group. It'll be difficult to carry 3 rookie WR's on the 53 roster with such limited exposure to this offense. Good news for some of last years hold-overs, imo.

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I guess what I'm trying to say is I feel a lot better about receiver and tight end than the rest of the offense. Quarterback could very well be an issue this season, which would make it difficult for any of the receivers to post Pro Bowl-type numbers, but hopefully with a trio of solid receivers and two solid tight ends, whoever takes snaps has a few options to make his life easier.

If we can land Harris and Joseph, if we have a FA period, for the OL, then whatever QB we go with I believe will have a good squad to work with. Moss, Armstrong, Hankerson, Cooley, Davis, Paul, Banks, Robinson, Austin, Kelly as the pass catchers. And the backfield cosnists of Torain, Williams, Helu, Royster, and James Davis.

And more importantly whenever we do acquire a franchise QB, he should have a good squad to grow in. There is no reason we can't land a franchise QB and quality center next draft IMO, so long as they are available.

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Thanks for the article, great interview and write up. The part that excites me the most is the last line; I forgot that we had this dismal season starting out with Galloway and Williams with the latter still on the field towards the end. We also had Portis, Johnson, and Parker.

It really can only get better.

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In reading Hankerson's draft bio I couldn't help but think that he appeared to be a better pro prospect than Malcolm Kelly or Devin Thomas and they were both taken in Round 2.

Glad to see someone else thinks the Redskins pick(s) were good ones. There have been some who have savaged the Redskins picks and yet if the same picks were made by New York or Philly somehow I think they would be viewed more favorably just on organizational reputation.

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I'd be with you on next year man if it wasn't for the VERY big "IF" of the highlighted part above. Grossman, if he is indeed the starter, scares the living piss out of me in his want to get the ball to the opposition with more frequency than his own guys. (Slight exaggeration, but all relevant.).

Throw in my major concerns going forward about Kyle, which is a whole other topic, and I honestly don't see much of anything on offense this year. Which might not be a bad thing in the great scheme of things with some of the QB talent on offer next year with all the youth a year further down the line.

Its taboo to be critical of Kyle Shanahan around these parts. ;)

But, I'm with you and murf.

Kyle might not have any balance to his playcalling but I'll give him credit for producing a top level passing attack (he certainly threw the ball enough) with only 2 viable WRs (Moss,Armstrong) and a QB he didn't get along with.

Hankerson, Kelly, Paul, Austin and Robertson represent a huge upgrade from oldman Joey and Roydell Williams.

But we still need a QB.

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So, you pass up the change to grab a difference-maker at OLB in Kerrigan and a potential #1 receiver down the line in Hankerson to draft a quarterback with a lower draft grade? :)

I don't get it. A 6-10 team that has 25-30 positions to either replace, fill or upgrade can't do ALL of these moves in one offseason.

Why not be realistic in thinking 2011 is Part I of the project of rebuilding the Redskins?

The team needs a strong commitment in free agency to acquire good system players for the 3-4 and the Shanahan offense and another strong draft in 2012.

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In reading Hankerson's draft bio I couldn't help but think that he appeared to be a better pro prospect than Malcolm Kelly or Devin Thomas and they were both taken in Round 2.

Glad to see someone else thinks the Redskins pick(s) were good ones. There have been some who have savaged the Redskins picks and yet if the same picks were made by New York or Philly somehow I think they would be viewed more favorably just on organizational reputation.

The year we drafted Kelly and Thomas, was a terrible WR class, I believe not one WR was taken in the first round...then there was a big rush to draft WR in the 2nd round...

So far I can only name 2-3 WR that did well from that class...

Eddie Royal

DeSean Jackson

Jordy Nelson

And Manningham in the 3rd

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The year we drafted Kelly and Thomas, was a terrible WR class, I believe not one WR was taken in the first round...then there was a big rush to draft WR in the 2nd round...

So far I can only name 2-3 WR that did well from that class...

Eddie Royal

DeSean Jackson

Jordy Nelson

And Manningham in the 3rd

And to add to this, Royal hasn't done anything since his rookie year, and Nelson is just now catching on in GB (not necessarily his fault).

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