How Many Runningbacks Will Make the Redskins Final 53?
The Washington Redskins have an interesting situation at the running back position. The team has multiple players who possess key skills but only have a set amount of possible roster spots in which to keep them. It’s not exactly a bad situation to be in, in fact, most NFL teams would love to have the same issue.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know that Alfred Morris is the starter and has NO chance of losing that role. Trying to figure out the rest of the depth chart is a complete mystery at the moment. You have to believe that Roy Helu Jr is in the driver seat to be the number two, but Helu has some serious competition from second-year back Chris Thompson and rookies Lache Seastrunk and Silas Redd.
Helu is entering his fourth season in the league and has a skill set that includes great speed and the ability to catch passes out of the backfield. Helu has rushed for 916 on 215 carries as a pro for a 4.3 yard per carry average and has 87 catches for 675 yards receiving. Those are not bad numbers for a guy who has only started five games in his career.
Chris Thompson is a bit of a mystery at this point as it pertains to his durability. His athleticism is not in question, and he has nice speed, but he has a history of injuries. This offseason Thompson has worked to get better at being a pass catching back so he can be of more use to the Redskins offense.
Lache Seastrunk may be the most talented athlete the Redskins have at the running back position. His ability to change directions and make sensational cutbacks is ridiculous. Seastrunk’s abilities are unknown at this point as he didn’t play in an offense that stressed the importance of a running back. Because of that Seastrunk slipped in the draft but the Redskins have found that he is a capable pass catcher as well as a talented back this spring/summer. The small amount of time he played against the Patriots in the preseason opener gave him a chance to show off just a small amount of his abilities while leaving us (especially myself) wanting to see more.
Silas Redd is the wildcard of the bunch. He clearly has the ability and athletic means to be an NFL back, the question is; is he better than Seastrunk or Thompson. There is a good chance Redd ends up on the practice squad this year.
Evan Royster is the forgotten back for the Washington Redskins it seems. Not as athletic or fast as the others on the list, Royster is an average back trying to make the roster. It’s quite possible he will be among the first to be cut from this list as he just doesn’t fit the mold of what new head coach Jay Gruden looks for in a running back.
If the Redskins were only to keep three running backs, I believe they would be Morris, Helu, and Thompson. Of course, at the same time, I also believe they should keep four backs. Leaving Seastrunk off the roster will lead to other teams having a chance to pick him up, which could be a fatal mistake in the long run. Redd, on the other hand, will more than likely clear waivers and then be placed on the practice squad. If/when Royster is cut, he is not eligible for the practice squad.
We probably won’t know exactly how many running backs will make the Redskins final 53 man roster until the final roster itself is released by Jay Gruden, until then these five guys will continue to battle it out.
This is how I rank them right now:
- Alfred Morris
- Roy Helu Jr
- Chris Thompson
- Lache Seastrunk
- Silas Redd
- Evan Royster