And though he came into the 2011 season unsure of his role on the team, Royster has now established himself as one of three Redskins backs looking to get carries in 2012.
For his efforts, Royster was recently named the 11th-best prospect in the National Football League by Football Outsiders.
The list — compiled for ESPN.com by Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz (you must have ESPN Insider access to read the entire piece) — includes players that:
• Were drafted in the third round or later, or signed as an undrafted free agent
• Entered the NFL between 2009 and 2011
• Have fewer than five career games started
• Are still on their initial contract
• Are age 26 or younger in 2012
Here’s what Football Outsiders had to say about Royster:
“Royster, a sixth-rounder from Penn State, put up the best rushing DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) ever by a running back with at least 40 carries. Similar small-sample size studs of the past didn’t necessarily develop into star backs. However, they did generally develop into useful part-time players, and Mike Shanahan certainly does have a history of getting the best out of his running backs. Royster also brings blocking skills and good hands as a receiver to the table.”
The NFC East was also represented by: James Brewer, OT, New York Giants (eighth); Victor Butler, LB, Dallas Cowboys (20th); Phillip Hunt, DE, Philadelphia Eagles (22nd); and earning Honorable Mention status was Da’Rel Scott, RB, Giants.
As an organization, Football Outsiders ranked Washington No. 21 overall in terms of its 25-and-under talent (again, you must have ESPN Insider access to read the entire piece)
Here’s what they had to say about where the Redskins stand in terms of their younger talent:
“We are unabashed RG3 boosters. He had one of the two highest Lewin Career Forecast scores in the history of the system. However, the cost of trading up to get him, as well as decades of bad drafting by Bruce Allen‘s predecessors, mean that the cupboard around him is mostly bare. Stars and scrubs continues to be the theme in Landover. DE Brian Orakpo graduates our list and is replaced by Ryan Kerrigan. Between Roy Helu and Evan Royster there are probably a few good seasons of rushing to be found. LT Trent Williams is good, if injury-prone, and Perry Riley stepped in nicely at linebacker at midseason. (Robert) Griffin III will probably be worth his weight in gold, but beyond him, players without questions are hard to find. And this ranking will probably plummet further in future years as the Redskins struggle to find worthy young players without first-round picks.”
The rest of the NFC East Division goes as follows, according to Football Outsiders: Philadelphia Eagles (sixth), New York Giants (14th) and Dallas Cowboys (21st).
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