What Current Back-ups Can Become Starters Next Season?
The Redskins are a team with quite a few needs and not enough ways to fill them all. While much of the lack of resources can be attributed to trading away their first round pick and the cap penalty, the reality is the Redskins would need some back-ups to step up even if they had all of their money and picks. For the Redskins to remain contenders they will need multiple back-ups to step-up to starting or significant roles. The question is who can they count on?
Offensive Line: Open Jobs LG and RT
Offensive Guard Josh LeRibeus- Possible fit starting LG
-LeRibeus is an obvious choice, as he was a 3rd round pick a year ago and starting guard Kory Lichtensteiger is a free agent as well as being ineffective. LeRibeus was inactive for most of the season, though did get some work at the end of the year. He’ll likely get first crack at the starting left guard job.
Offensive Tackle Maurice Hurt- Possible fit at starting RT or LG
-Hurt played some at LG in 2011, but really struggled (though not unexpected given he was a rookie). Last season he worked as a RT during preseason and got a chance to make a spot start at right tackle. He was solid in that spot start and could get a look to start this year, though there are questions about his long term potential. If the Redskins do draft a right tackle in the middle rounds, Hurt could be an option as being a starter to begin the season.
Offensive Tackle Tom Compton- Possible fit at starting RT
-Compton was a 6th round rookie last year, who spent most of the season on the practice squad. He was considered a bit of a project from the get go, but given how thin the Redskins are at tackle he’s likely going to get a shot. While he’s more of a longshot than Hurt, Compton probably has a slightly higher upside.
Offensive Guard Adam Gettis- Possible fit at starting LG
-Gettis was the team’s 5th round pick last season, and showed some initial promise in training camp and the preseason. He was inactive every week during the year, but needed the time to bulk up some. Though not as high of a draft pick and not getting the same chances as LeRibeus, Gettis could win the job given the fact that he outplayed LeRibeus last preseason.
Of the two positions it is more likely that the left guard spot will be filled from with in. To start with it’s not as key of a position as right tackle, and sandwiched between Trent Williams and Will Montgomery, it will be easier to break in a guy who might not be as ready or talented. The fact that the Redskins have three internal options as opposed to just two tackle options doesn’t hurt either. I’m guessing LeRibeus earns the job, but hopefully Gettis and Hurt make him work for it. Hurt is more likely to start if LeRibeus can’t earn the job from the beginning of the season, but don’t be shocked if Gettis ends up being the starter by seasons end.
What do you think? Will the Redskins turn to an internal option at either (or both) offensive line positions? If so who do you see winning the job?
*Check back as we highlight other key back-ups who could be looking to rise up the ranks this season over the next week!