Predicting the 53 Man Roster After the 4th Preseason Game
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Quarterbacks (3): Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman
-This is pretty much set in stone. Pat White did some nice things this preseason, but he’s clearly behind Rex Grossman. He really struggles to throw anything intermediate or outside the numbers, and that eliminates any positives he has as a rusher. Grossman is a more complete quarterback, and with both Redskins QB’s dealing with some injuries it makes even more sense to keep him.
Running backs/Fullbacks (5): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Roy Helu Jr., Evan Royster, Chris Thompson
-The Redskins should probably keep 5 combined running backs and fullbacks, but that could be tough if the team decides to keep 6 receivers. The third running back spot will come down to Evan Royster and Keiland Williams, though Jawan Jamison had a strong 4th preseason game. Williams is a better special teamer and more all around versatility than Royster. Royster though showed in the 4th game to be the superior runner, and with Williams getting nicked up I have Royster winning this spot. Chris Thompson probably earned himself a roster spot with some good plays, including a big punt return for a TD in the 4th preseason game.
Wide Receiver (5): Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, Josh Morgan, Leonard Hankerson, Aldrick Robinson
-Top five spots are all locked up, the issue here is the 6th spot. Do the Redskins use it on another running back instead (Chris Thompson)? Or do they keep one of the young UDFA return men, either Skye Dawson or Nick Williams? Or do they keep one of the two bigger and more talented receivers Dezmon Briscoe or Lance Lewis. I think after the 4th preseason game Thompson has locked up a spot on the 53 man roster, it is likely coming from this 6th WR spot. Lance Lewis impressed some in the 4th preseason game, but he should still be able to make it to the practice squad. Briscoe had a real nice game, but he got banged up and that might be enough to cost him the roster spot.
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Tight ends (4): Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul, Jordan Reed
-This really is one of the easier roster decisions, especially since Davis, Paulsen and Paul have all looked good in camp/preseason. Jordan Reed has been a little banged up and has had some issues, but his potential makes him a lock as well.
Offensive Linemen (9): Trent Williams, Kory LIchtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Tom Compton, Adam Gettis, Josh LeRibeus, Tony Pashos
-Though they haven’t don it yet, it is pretty likely that Maurice Hurt goes on the PUP list, buying the Redskins some time to figure out their back-up offensive line roster. Compton and Gettis have shown some flashes and should be pretty safe. Josh LeRibeus is still struggling, but he’s young and the team doesn’t want to give up on a 3rd rounder just yet. Pashos would give the Redskins the veteran back-up which could be key as a spot replacement this season.
Defensive Linemen (6): Stephen Bowen, Barry Cofield, Kedric Golston, Chris Baker, Chris Neild, Phillip Merling
-Keeping six defensive linemen isn’t the most ideal given the high number of injuries at the position, but they will get a boost when Jarvis Jenkins comes back after week 4. Given the numbers crunch one of Neild or Merling would need to go at that point.
Outside Linebacker (4): Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Brandon Jenkins, Darryl Tapp
-No real surprises here, Jenkins and Tapp keep locking up their spots. The interesting thing will be what happens once Rob Jackson comes back. I don’t see the Redskins exposing Jekins to waivers in hopes of putting him on the practice squad, and Tapp will have proven useful. Can the Redskins keep 5 OLBs? that will be an interesting question.
Inside Linebacker (4): London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Nick Barnett, Bryan Kehl
-No real surprise here especially with Nick Barnett getting his first game action and Muckelroy getting injured. Barnett may not be at 100% yet as he shakes off the rust, but he and Kehl give the Redskins some solid back-ups and should both contribute to special teams. Both Barnett and Kehl had strong 4th preseason games and should give the Redskins plenty of faith in case one of their starters go down.
Cornerback (5): DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, David Amerson, E.J. Biggers, Chase Minnifield
-With Richard Crawford‘s injury this position is down to 5 guys. They could consider keeping Jerome Murphy or bringing in a 6th CB, but they will probably use that spot elsewhere now. Amerson and Biggers are fighting for the 3rd corner role, but it looks as though Amerson will have it to start the season.
Safety (5): Brandon Meriweather, Bacarri Rambo, Reed Doughty, Jordan Pugh, free agent or waiver signing
-It was good to see Brandon Meriweather finally play this preseason and get some work with Rambo. Doughty is a lock for one of the back-up roles and it will come down to Jordan Pugh and DeJon Gomes for another spot. Even though I believe that they will keep 5 safeties, I believe only one of them make it. Given his ability to back up the free safety spot, I think Pugh gets the nod. The Redskins will hopefully find a good veteran safety to help ensure their depth in this safety group.
Specialists (3): K Kai Forbath, P Sav Rocca, LS Nick Sundberg
-With John Potter cut this is set in stone (hopefully there won’t be a Billy Cundiff signing), but there really wasn’t much doubt to begin with.