​​Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has been optimistic when it comes to the guy his team took first in this years NFL draft. 


In fact, Gruden believes Josh Doctson will be back from his injury (sore Achilles tendon) and ready to play week 1, if not preseason week 4. When asked if Doctson would start the season on the PUP list (physically unable to perform) Gruden's response was direct, “I don’t think so. This is an injury, like I’ve  said before, it’s a unique deal. I think it’s just something that he’s going to have to work through." 


"He’s going to have to be honest with the trainers, honest with the coaching staff. We’re going to try and push him when we can push him," said Gruden. "I think it’s just a matter of him getting out there… He did the route tree today, which is very positive – not 100 percent yet obviously – he’s not running full-speed but he’s doing a lot more now than he did a week ago, which the progress that we see is a very, very good sign for us. I have total expectation that he’s going to be ready Week 1, possibly the fourth preseason game."

Many times when players make the jump from college to the pros they have a mental gap to work on bridging before they are completely comfortable in the NFL. Gruden doesn't believe the mental gap will be that big of an issue with Doctson, despite him missing valuable preseason reps.


“I think he’s in good shape right now mentally," said Gruden. "He’s getting all of the mental reps he can. He’s been working in the meeting rooms and he is studying the game and he is a very bright kid. He understands football, which is good." 


"Now, the difficult thing is getting that rapport with the quarterback – you know, the timing and the routes and the definition and the depths and all of that where you have to actually run them with your footwork. That’s the one thing that we have to work through, so how much he plays early in the season, I don’t know yet but I do know that the little bit we did see of him in the OTA's and rookie minicamp, I think that he’s got the ability to do whatever we ask him to do. Obviously, we wouldn’t take him in the first round if he didn’t have the skill-set that we could find something for him to do somewhere on the field.”


The role that may be available for Doctson, if he's ready, is still unknown as the Redskins are deeper at receiver than any other position on the roster. In all likelihood, Doctson would be somewhere in the number 5-6 receiver area right now with Ryan Grant and Rashad Ross being his main competition. ​Ross has had an up and down preseason thus far.


Below is a video of Josh Doctson from his time at TCU. The kid's got some serious skills.

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