ASHBURN, Virginia — The Washington Redskins have a talented backfield, but one that comes with some injury questions. They added another player Saturday who fits both descriptions by drafting Stanford running back Bryce Love in the fourth round of the NFL draft.
Love was talented and productive enough in 2017 to be a Heisman Trophy semifinalist and was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. His final year at Stanford, however, ended with a torn ACL in the season finale.
Love said his goal was to be ready for training camp or mid-training camp at the latest. The Redskins, though, don’t need for Love to rush back as this move was designed more for the future than the present.
The Redskins already have Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson in their backfield, but there are questions — Peterson is 34, Guice is coming off a torn ACL and Thompson has missed 12 games because of injuries over the past two seasons.
When healthy, Love would provide depth as a third-down back in case something happens to Thompson, who turns 29 this season. Love also could provide relief in case Guice struggles with durability.
In the meantime, Love will learn from Peterson.
“It’s a blessing,” Love said. “He’s one of the greatest to play the position, one of the greatest of all-time. Being able to come in and learn from him and learn from all the other backs is definitely going to be big.”
Love rushed for 739 yards and six touchdowns for Stanford last season. He added 20 catches for 99 yards in 10 starts. In 2017, Love rushed for 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns.
The injury caused Love to fall to the fourth round, but he said he’s progressed to treadmill work and is starting to do impact drills. Love said once he gets back to his old self, he knows what he brings.
“Being able to bring explosivity, versatility,” Love said.
Love does have a mini-connection to Washington: Redskins running backs coach Randy Jordan once tried to recruit Love to North Carolina.