Final 53 man Roster Prediction:
Quarterbacks (3): Robert Griffin, Rex Grossman, Kirk Cousins
-No surprises here, these three quarterbacks were a lock all along.
Running backs (4): Evan Royster, Alfred Morris, Tim Hightower, Roy Helu
-The Redskins are set to keep four running backs which was probably a good move even before, Royster, Hightower and Helu dealt with injuries this preseason. Having four backs should ensure the Redskins aren’t short-handed during the season like they have been the past few years. All four backs have shown some promise, but none are likely to be a true featured back.
Fullback (1): Darrel Young
-Young returns as the fullback, and like quarterback this position was pretty well set all along.
Tight End (3): Fred Davis, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen
-The only shock here has already occurred as long time vet Chris Cooley was released earlier this week. There is a little bit of a question of depth here if Davis were to go down. Paul is still transitioning in to the position, and Paulsen has shown limitations in the past. As it stands now all three tight ends will get there fair share of work this year. Davis is still limited as a blocker and should primarily be used as a receiver. Paul, shows good two-way promise, but has had some questions with drops. Paulsen made this team due to his blocking prowess and should see quite a few snaps because of it.
Wide Receiver (7): Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan, Anthony Armstrong, Aldrick Robinson, Dezmon Briscoe
-I’m not really in favor of keeping this many wide receivers, particularly when the top four are so well established, but I get the impression that is what will happen. The team appears high on Armstrong given his special teams ability, and I think they will do what they can to try to keep him. Though Robinson has practice squad eligibility the chance that he’d make it to the practice squad probably isn’t as high as most people think. He showed a lot of promise in the preseason, and other teams could take a crack at a guy under control for a couple of years with big time speed. Dezmon Briscoe offers both size and production (as well as former head coach Raheem Morris in his corner). Though the Redskins don’t have an immediate need, he’s too talented to release, as he’d probably crack the top four on the depth chart for a majority of teams in the league.
Offensive Line: (9): Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Maurice Hurt, Tom Compton, Josh LeRibeus, Adam Gettis
-Given the lack of certainty with this position I don’t see how the Redskins can think about keeping less than nine offensive linemen. Now the top 5 are all set, but the next four is very much up in the air. Maurice Hurt seems like a lock given his versatility to play both guard and right tackle. Josh LeRibeus is pretty much a lock given his draft status as a 3rd rounder. That leaves two spots left, while some will push for veteran Jordan Black to get the nod, I would rather see them go with the rookies Tom Compton and Adam Gettis. Yes Black has more experience, but he’s been out of the league and while he’s working his way back his play hasn’t been too sharp. Though Compton and Gettis haven’t had great preseason’s, they’ve arguably been better than third round pick LeRibeus, making it tough to justify keeping him, if you were to release one or both of Compton and Gettis. Willie Smith did play in four games last year, but he is buried on the depth chart and his preseason has been no better than any of the other options.
Defensive Line (6): Stephen Bowen, Barry Cofield, Adam Carriker, Jarvis Jenkins, Chris Baker, Kedric Golston
-The Redskins could consider keeping a 7th lineman, but the numbers game at the offensive positions makes it tough. On the positive side, four of the players (Bowen, Cofield, Carriker, Golston) are veterans so there is a good bit of certainty here. The Redskins will neEd Jenkins and Baker to play big rotational roles, and hopefully have a positive impact.
Linebacker (8): Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Lorenzo Alexander, Keenan Robinson, Chris Wilson, Rob Jackson
-This is probably the toughest group for the Redskins to cut. And while it is tempting to keep a 9th linebacker like Markus White or Bryan Kehl, there is no position with more certainty than linebacker on the Skins right now, so having extra depth isn’t as important as say the offensive line or running back. Chris Wilson was a bit of a camp surprise, but he always flashed a little with the Skins his last go around and is an a very good special teamer.
Cornerback (5): DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, Cedric Griffin, Richard Crawford, David Jones
-Though most would want to see Griffin off this list, he’s versatile and a veteran, two things that the Redskins value highly. Crawford makes it with a great camp, though I don’t see him starting out as more than a 4th corner. David Jones may be a bit of a surprise on this list, but with Thompson having practice squad eligibility and Jones with some nice experience, I could see them going this way. Jones also is a pretty decent special teamer giving him an advantage.
Safety (4): Brandon Merriweather, Tanard Jackson, Madieu Williams, Dejon Gomes
-Despite questions surrounding all of them the three veteran offseason additions (Merriweather, Jackson and Williams) are all locks to make the squad. That leaves just one spot (unless the team gets creative) for Gomes and veteran Reed Doughty to compete for. Though Doughty is a leader and plays special teams well, Gomes will likely get the nod given his youth, team control and greater potential.
Specialists (3): P Sav Rocca, K Billy Cundiff, LS Nick Sundberg
-Cundiff is obviously a surprise, but that decision had already been made. Rocca and Sundberg didn’t even have any camp competition making their jobs fairly safe.
OT Willie Smith– I’d expect the team to try to keep him on the practice squad, hoping that maybe next year his potential will start to become a reality.
FB Dorson Boyce- Boyce I think impressed with his preseason work. With Young dealing with a preseason injury, and zero FB depth on the roster, Boyce could be a nice guy to keep around.
DL Delvin Johnson- Given that the Skins are only keeping six defensive linemen, I’d expect them to look to keep Johnson. Doug Worthington could also be in the mix, but it actually wouldn’t shock me if someone picked him up off waivers.
LB Markus White– I do believe the Skins want to retain White as he’s shown some promise, and they will hope to sneak him through to the practice squad. With both Jackson and Wilson free agents after this year, it is smart to try to stash White.
CB Brandyn Thompson– Thompson has a good shot of being the 5th corner, but his practice squad eligibility could lead to the Skins trying to sneak him through.
S Jordan Bernstein- Bernstein was pretty solid for a rookie 7th rounder, and with Jackson and Williams impending free agents he’s a good guy to keep for next year.
Open Spot- There are some other guys who could be worthy of a spot, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Redskins look outside the organization to try to increase their depth. I expect this spot to be an offensive player, likely either a lineman or running back.
Open Spot- Like with the other open spot the Skins should look outside their organization. It could be another offensive position, or the Skins may look at the possibility of adding a young defensive back with promise.