5 Unheralded Washington Redskins Who Must Step Up in 2014

5 Unheralded Washington Redskins Who Must Step Up in 2014

Washington Redskins
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins have made the chase to the NFC East title a lot closer. Before winning the division in 2012, the Redskins' last division title was in 1999. With multiple signings on both sides of the ball, including the big addition of DeSean Jackson, the Redskins will look to get back to the top of the NFC East. Here are the five players that the Redskins need to step up in order to win another division title.

5. RB Roy Helu

Roy Helu
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

5. RB Roy Helu

Roy Helu
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Alfred Morris is undoubtedly the No. 1 running back for the Redskins. He's rushed for 2,888 and 20 touchdowns in just two seasons. However, in order to keep him healthy for seasons to come, backup Roy Helu must have a bigger role in the offense. The Redskins are looking for a pass-catching running back, similar to Darren Sproles. He caught 31 passes for 251 yards in 2013. If those numbers increase by 50 percent, the Redskins' offense will be set.

4. G Shawn Lauvao

Shawn Lauvao
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

4. G Shawn Lauvao

Shawn Lauvao
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins' offensive line has struggled since Robert Griffin III has become the quarterback. In his first two seasons, he's been sacked 68 times, including 38 times in 2013. The Redskins signed Cleveland Browns guard Shawn Lauvao to a four-year deal. He will be relied on to protect the franchise quarterback, and at 315-pounds, he shouldn't have a problem doing it.

3. TE Logan Paulsen

Logan Paulsen
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

3. TE Logan Paulsen

Logan Paulsen - Copy
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Reed took the starting tight end job from Fred Davis, who tore his Achilles in the 2012 season. Reed became a superstar for the Redskins. He played in nine games before suffering from a concussion and missing the rest of the season. In the meantime, backup Logan Paulsen filled in quite nicely. He caught 28 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns. At 6-foot-5, he'll be a nice red zone target for RGIII.

2. S Brandon Meriweather

Brandon Meriweather
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

2. S Brandon Meriweather

Brandon Meriweather
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins' defense was middle-of-the-road at best during the 2013 season. The defense had 16 interceptions (15th-best) and 36 sacks (21st). Brandon Meriweather came over in 2012 after one year with the Chicago Bears. In his two seasons with the Redskins, he has a combined one forced fumble and three interceptions. As one of the veterans on this team, he needs to become a leader and anchor the Redskins' secondary.

1. CB Josh Wilson

Josh Wilson
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

1. CB Josh Wilson

Josh Wilson
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

To continue piling on the Redskins' defense, cornerback Josh Wilson was a disappointment in 2013. In 16 games, he had only one interception, the lowest in his career, and only seven passes defended. The Redskins' defense let up the second-most points last season with 478. Since coming over to the Redskins in 2011, Wilson's numbers have dropped off. He must do a better job getting up with wide receivers and prevent them from scoring.


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