Soon to be stars: Adam Carriker

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson looks at NFC East players on the verge of a breakout in 2011.

I have to be honest. I am reaching here. But I did like what Adam Carriker did in his first season in Washington, and its 3-4 scheme fits this former first-round pick’s talents quite well. He is what you look for in a defensive end in such a scheme, and he could take yet another positive step forward in 2011.

He finally looks to be over his injury problems and is in a good system for him to thrive. Carriker has great length and has filled out, giving him the ideal body type for a 5-technique end in Washington’s scheme. We haven’t seen much of it yet, but there is upside here as a pass-rusher. Perhaps he enhances that part of his game next season. He is a very sound run-defender who uses his hands well and is stout at the point. He sheds with authority and runs well enough to make plays in pursuit.

Again, there are not many players on the Redskins’ roster whom I even considered to be on the verge of stardom. Offensive tackle Trent Williams showed flashes at a very difficult position and could become more consistent in his sophomore season. Tight end Fred Davis or receiver Anthony Armstrong could see more of an opportunity to show what they can do.

But my bet is on Carriker. The Redskins were among the worst run defenses in football last season, and much of it had to do with their defensive line, but Carriker wasn’t to blame. For the Redskins’ sake, let’s hope he can stay healthy.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.