As camp is now a week in the books, I figured I would take a moment to preview the 53 man roster as I see it panning out. Some questions are still open in my mind on if we should keep more than 3 TE’s, 6 defensive lineman, 10 defensive backs or seven wide receivers, so I’m going to give a 52 man projection and have the last spot be sort of a wildcard. Look for the section titled “bubble players” at the bottom.
Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman
After Mike Shanahan made it known very early on that Robert Griffin III would be the starting quarterback of the Redskins this year, any thought of a battle for the number one spot was gone. But there is an interesting battle that is on-going in camp between Grossman and Cousins for the backup spot. Cousins has been getting a lot of the second team reps in practice but I would be highly surprised if Rex doesn’t start the year off as the backup. I do however believe Cousins will be the backup by mid-season as Rex is destined to hold the clipboard and ride the pine this year.
I think we all know that Crompton is nothing more than a camp body.
Tim Hightower, Roy Helu Jr., Evan Royster, Darrel Young
If Tim Hightower is healthy I believe the starting job at running-back is his to lose. While Hightower has been recovering from his knee injury suffered last year, Evan Royster has been getting a lot of the first team snaps in camp and he and Helu look to get a fair amount of carries this year. Darrel Young has been a little banged up so far this year but his spot is all but locked up on the roster.
Alfred Morris, Antwan Bailey, Lennon Creer, Stafon Johnson,Tristan Davis
The interesting name in this cut list is Alfred Morris who I believe could make the team if Hightower is unable to go, otherwise I see him starting the year on the practice squad. Should also be noted that Tristan Davis is currently on the PUP list. (UPDATE: Tristan Davis has been activated)
Wide Receivers (6)
Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Anthony Armstrong, Dezmon Briscoe
This will ultimately be a battle all the way through preseason but I believe that the top four are set in Garcon, Morgan, Moss and Hankerson. From there I believe Armstrong knows the playbook well enough to be a decent five or six and Briscoe gives the Redskins a red-zone threat if he can keep his head on football.
Terrence Austin, Aldrick Robinson, Brandon Banks, Darius Hanks, Sam Kirkland, Lance Lewis
Reports have been saying that Austin has been having a really good camp and that Robinson has not. There is still a very good possibility that Austin, Robinson or Banks could beat out Briscoe or Armstrong or the team could keep 7 receivers. So who knows yet fully, but I’m thinking Banks may not make the roster this year. (see bubble players)
Tight Ends (3)
Fred Davis, Chris Cooley, Niles Paul
First and foremost, I think we can all agree that this is Davis’s job to lose. Cooley is on the outside looking in at this point and will need to have a strong camp and an injury free preseason to make the team. Niles Paul is making the transition to tight end and could surprise some this year with some decent production in his first year at a new position.
Logan Paulsen, Richard Quinn, Beau Reliford
The tight end position could be tricky this year, some think that Shanahan may go with four tight ends, in that situation, Paulsen will make the team.
Offensive Lineman (9)
Trent Williams, Willie Smith, Tyler Polumbus, Maurice Hurt , Will Montgomery, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Josh LeRibeus, Adam Gettis (Jammal Brown?)
Offensive line poses a difficult situation as Lichtensteiger recently had his knee scoped and will miss the preseason in a move so that he doesn’t re-injure himself. A few days ago I would have had Jammal Brown penciled down in this list, now I’m left with that not so sure feeling inside about him since he is currently on the PUP list. Polumbus has been taking a lot of the snaps with the first team in camp in place of Brown, but obviously what most would want would be for Polumbus to be a depth piece instead of a starter. I believe the key here will be how well the rookies can step in when needed as Gettis and LeRibeus could end up playing vital roles if injury strikes. An argument could be made that keeping ten offensive lineman wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Tom Compton, Jordan Black, Nick Martinez, James Lee, Grant Garner, Cole Pemberton, Erik Cook (Jammal Brown?)
Again Brown will be a deciding factor in this as I am unsure of his availability at this moment. I for one would really like it if Tom Compton could step up and make the team and be effective in a situation we need him in (right tackle), but I believe he will need at least a year on the practice squad before being ready for the NFL.
Defensive Lineman (6)
Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen, Adam Carriker, Jarvis Jenkins, Kedric Golston, Chris Neild
Kentwan Balmer, Chris Baker, Darrion Scott, Doug Worthington, Delvin Johnson
Balmer has apparently gone AWOL from camp, which is highly peculiar to say the least, but I don’t believe he would have made the roster anyways. Scott and Baker could perhaps make a push towards a roster spot.
London Fletcher, Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Perry Riley, Rob Jackson, Markus White, Lorenzo Alexander, Keenan Robinson
Bryan Kehl, Chris Wilson, Brian McNally, D.J. Holt, Monte Lewis
Defensive Backs (10)
Josh Wilson, DeAngelo Hall, Cedric Griffin, Madieu Williams, Tanard Jackson, Brandon Meriweather, Reed Doughty, DeJon Gomes, Brandyn Thompson, Richard Crawford
I think the bigger question here is who can the Redskins keep that can help the team, I must admit some of the names above would not strike fear in me as an opposing fan but I believe the idea is to use our strength (front seven) to put pressure on the quarterback, which will disrupt timing in the play. If Meriweather can return to the way he played in New England, this unit will be a lot better than most have given them credit for. The word out of camp is that D. Hall is enjoying playing the nickel back so far, that’s worth keeping an eye on.
Kevin Barnes, Morgan Trent, David Jones, Jordan Bernstine, Michael Hamlin, Travon Bellamy
In a perfect world Bernstine would make this team, of course in the world we live in he will have to spend a year on the practice squad. I believe the long needed cutting of Kevin Barnes will happen this year.
Graham Gano, Sav Rocca, Nick Sundberg
I think most Redskins fans were happy to hear that Rackers was brought in to push Gano, but I just don’t think Rackers has the leg to beat Gano out for a roster spot this season. As a matter of fact, I believe Gano will have the best year of his career this season.
Terrence Austin, Aldrick Robinson, Brandon Banks, Alfred Morris, Chris Baker, Bryan Kehl, Logan Paulsen, Kevin Barnes, Tom Compton, Jammal Brown
The list above could very well hold the names of players who will make the 53-man roster but at this point I believe they need to show more in either camp or preseason to be able to make the team.
I will give another update on this after week two of the preseason.
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