Predicting the Redskins 53 Man Roster after two Preseason Games
Quarterbacks: (3) Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman
-There is no debate here as the Redskins are keeping three quarterbacks and it will be RGIII, Cousins and Grossman.
Running backs: (3) Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr., Keiland Williams
-Tough decision here between keeping 4 RB’s and 5 WR’s, or 3 RB’s and 6 WR’s. Personally I would have kept the extra running back, either Evan Royster for depth, or Chris Thompson/Jawan Jamison for potential, I just don’t see the Redskins making that decision. Shanahan has kept at least 6 WR’s each year he’s been here and he’s not been afraid to keep fewer running backs. Morris and Helu are locks, but the 3rd running back spot is up in the air. Though many may want to keep Thompson or Jamison, they seem like long shots at this time. One or both could end up on the practice squad, or perhaps due to Thompson’s injuries they could find a way to stash him on IR for a year. This battle is really between Royster and Williams. While Royster is probably the better runner, Williams is a good special teams player who can add value while being active on game days. That to me is enough of an edge to give him the roster spot.
Fullback: (1) Darrel Young
-No debate here this is an easy decision
Tight end: (4) Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul, Jordan Reed
-keeping four tight ends isn’t easy, but the Redskins are a lock to do so if these guys are healthy. Davis is the starter, Paulsen the top blocker, Paul the special teams standout and Reed the young guy with upside. The real interesting thing will be if the Redskins can keep 4 TE’s on their game day roster.
Wide Receiver: (6) Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Aldrick Robinson, Lance Lewis
-Though I’m not a big fan of keeping six wide receivers it just seems like it will happen to start the year. The first five spots are locks at this point, leaving just the sixth spot up for grabs. At this point it is really a race between Donte Stallworth, Dezmon Briscoe and Lance Lewis. Stallworth is the long term veteran, who Mike Shanahan may be most comfortable with. The problem is there is no upside there, he really isn’t a special teamer, and he’s been nursing an injury most of camp. Briscoe is young with good size and was on the team last year, but he hasn’t separated himself this year. Lewis is a young guy with solid size and unlike the other two, isn’t an impending free agent. Lewis also has another thing going for him; his practice squad eligibility. Come week four the Redskins will need to clear two roster spots for suspended players Rob Jackson and Jarvis Jenkins. Also, the team will need to add Maurice Hurt off the PUP list at some point. A guy like Lewis could offer depth for a couple of weeks, and then if he isn’t needed for a larger role the team could try to sneak him through waivers to the PUP list.
Offensive line: (9) Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Josh LeRibeus, Adam Gettis, Tony Pashos, Tom Compton (PUP Maurice Hurt)
-Mike Shanahan reaffirmed that Maurice Hurt isn’t close to coming off the PUP list, which means it is almost a lock he starts the season on the list. That makes the roster decisions a bit easier. In addition to the top 5 starters, I think the Redskins will keep four back-ups: veteran Tony Pashos and 2nd year players Josh LeRibeus, Adam Gettis and Tom Compton. Though it is not a particularly strong 2nd unit I think the team will stick by their recent draftees. The interesting thing will be to see what happens when Hurt comes off the PUP list. Do they go with 10 linemen like the did for the final two months last season? Or do one of these back-ups get cut.
Defensive line: (6) Stephen Bowen, Barry Cofield, Kedric Golston, Chris Baker, Chris Neild, Phillip Merling
-The top five spots were set leaving just the 6th spot and the possibility for a 7th lineman the only decisions to make in this group. Merling has played well against back-ups so far this preseason and seems likely to fill that 6th defensive lineman role. So far no other player has really stood out making it unlikely they go with 7 defensive linemen. It will be interesting to see if they look to keep Merling after Jenkins comes back from his suspension.
Linebacker: (8) Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Nick Barnett, Bryan Kehl, Brandon Jenkins, Darryl Tapp
-With the addition of Barnett and the suspension of Rob Jackson to start the season there isn’t much debate for this group. The only interesting thing will be what happens with Jackson comes back. Nine linebackers is a bit on the high side, but there isn’t an obvious guy to cut.
Cornerbacks: (6) DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, E.J. Biggers, David Amerson, Chase Minnifield, Richard Crawford
-While five corners is typical, the Redskins shouldn’t look to get rid of any of these six. Not only is there play and potential deserving of roster spots, but with Hall and Wilson both nursing injuries and the fact that they are both UFA’s (Biggers as well) next season, it makes sense to have depth. The only interesting thing here will be how this depth chart shapes up. Amerson is getting a lot of preseason work, but will that continue once the regular season begins.
Safeties: (4) Brandon Meriweather, Bacarri Rambo, Reed Doughty, Jordan Pugh
-Safety is a real weak point for the Redskins as Phillip Thomas has already gone down with injury. Ideally they would keep 5 safeties to start the year, given that Brandon Meriweather is still not playing with the starters. Unfortunately there just doesn’t seem to be the talent worthy to keep a fifth safety. Third year player DeJon Gomes has struggled mightily and shouldn’t be an option to keep a fifth guy. Unless they sign a veteran I think they will only keep four safeties, and Pugh making the cut because he can possibly fill the FS role.
Specialists: (3) Kai Forbath, Sav Rocca, Nick Sundberg
-With a possible extra spot floating around, I considered keeping kick-off specialist John Potter to start the season, but I just don’t see that as the way the Redskins go this year.