Predicting the Redskins 53 Man Roster After the 3rd Preseason Game
Quarterback: (3) Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
-The Redskins need 3 quarterbacks between their roster and practice squad and with no one else in camp it is tough to see them relying on a random UDFA to be the 3rd QB this year. So McCoy stays with the Redskins and offers them a guy who’s been around the league a bit more and can give RGIII and Cousins some extra advice.
Running Back: (3) Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr., Evan Royster
-I really want to keep 4 RB’s but with the need of 5 safeties and 9 OL it’s really tough to make it work. Perhaps the team would keep only 8 LB’s, but I think the Redskins like the idea of extra depth there and the special teams impact from that group is high. The other factor with keeping the 4th running back is no one looks to have definitively earned that spot. Royster’s versatility and solid play has earned him the 3rd RB spot. I think the team would love to see Chris Thompson or Lache Seastrunk on the roster as an extra weapon, but between Thompson’s injury and Seastrunk’s limitations (particularly in the passing game) neither guy is locked into a spot. Silas Redd has been clearly better than Seastrunk (and arguably better than Thompson), but he didn’t do much in the 3rd preseason game, and he’s a pretty safe bet to make the practice squad if the Redskins want him there. Seastrunk and Thompson have a better chance of being poached, but right now I think all three backs end up being cut, unless they have an amazing 4th preseason game. In that case the Redskins will find another roster spot somewhere else.
Fullback: (1) Darrel Young
-This is an easy decision for the Skins, Young is one of the better fullbacks in the league and is very versatile, not only is he a lock to make the roster, but the Redskins will find a lot of ways to keep him involved in the offense.
Tight End: (3) Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul
-No surprises here really, the three holdovers from last season are far ahead of the other tight ends on the list and barring an injury are all pretty well set to make this team. So far not only has a 4th tight end not challenged any of the incumbents, but they haven’t shown they are even worthy of consideration for a roster spot.
Wide Receiver: (6) DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Andre Roberts, Santana Moss, Ryan Grant, Aldrick Robinson
-Though I don’t think the Redskins really need to go with 6 receivers and I’d rather keep an extra RB, I don’t see how they cut Aldrick Robinson right now. Maybe they could workout a trade for a conditional 7th rounder from some team (Cleveland perhaps), but otherwise I think Robinson makes this roster. I do think Moss is ahead of Robinson as the coaches like his versatility and leadership. He’s also a great guy to help develop Ryan Grant going forward. The rest of the receivers are clearly set.
Offensive Line: (9) Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Morgan Moses, Spencer Long, Tom Compton, Josh LeRibeus
-*Originially I had Mike McGlynn making this roster over Josh LeRibeus, but the Skins just released McGlynn today. LeRibeus still will have to fight Maurice Hurt given his versatility and perhaps some questions surrounding Moses’s health. The Redskins may also opt to keep just 8 OL and keep that 4th RB, though that can be risky, particularly since two of the back-ups would be rookies. There is basically no real experience now among the back-ups for the Redskins which is risky.
Defensive Line: (6) Jason Hatcher, Barry Cofield, Jarvis Jenkins, Chris Baker, Kedric Golston, Clifton Geathers
-No surprises with the top 4 guys as they will be the primary rotation of defensive linemen on this team. Golston’s leadership, veteran experience and special teams work also is likely to earn him a spot as well. The final spot will likely come down to Chris Neild and Clifton Geathers. I go back and forth here but I will go with Geathers, though I think it’s really going to come down to the final preseason game. Also don’t be surprised if DE Frank Kearse sneaks his way on the roster, he’s been solid for the Skins so far in camp and the preseason.
Linebacker: (9) Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley, Trent Murphy, Everette Brown, Will Compton, Adam Hayward, Akeem Jordan
-The top 5 guys listed are locks, and the Redskins will also keep likely three of Compton, Hayward, Jordan and Darryl Sharpton. I think Sharpton is the odd man out right now. Compton and Hayward appear to be ahead of him and Jordan has more experience and contributed with a big ST’s tackle. Jordan just has the most experience as well as the fact that he’s made some plays each and every week. Rob Jackson was a bit of a surprise first cut, but he’s been outplayed by both Everette Brown and Gabe Miller. Brown I think gets the roster spot since there is a good chance the Skins can stash Miller on the PS.
Cornerback: (5) DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tracy Porter, Bashaud Breeland, E.J. Biggers
-Hall, Amerson and Breeland are set in stone, and then the question becomes do the Redskins keep 2 or 3 back-up corners. Tracy Porter is a veteran with a two year deal so the Redskins are likely to keep him, though injuries have slowed down his camp. Biggers is another veteran who brings a lot of things to the table. He’s solid in coverage, and more consistent than a rookie like Breeland (especially early on). Biggers can also back-up the FS position and play solid special teams as well. Last week I had Minnifield making it but now I don’t think there is a spot for him with the team needing to keep 5 safeties (see below).
Safety: (5) Ryan Clark, Brandon Meriweather, Bacarri Rambo, Phillip Thomas, Trenton Robinson
-This position has turned upside down in the past couple of days. With Brandon Meriweather suspended the first two weeks and Phillip Thomas dealing with an injury the Redskins basically have no choice but to keep 5 safeties. I know some think that the Redskins may keep 4 safeties and just cut Phillip Thomas, but it is very rare to see a team give up on a 4th rounder this quickly, even one with some injury issues. Remember Keenan Robinson missed a year and a half due to injury and now he looks to clearly be the Redskins best ILB. If the foot is semi-serious and Thomas would miss extended time they might consider using the IR spot or even the IR designated to return spot, but I don’t see them outright cutting him. Due to the issues with Meriweather and Thomas, Rambo is now basically the starter the first two weeks with Trenton Robinson the only reliable back-up. Robinson still might have edged out Rambo due to special teams, but that is a moot point right now.
Kicker: (1) Zach Hocker
-I think this battle will go right down to the wire, but Hocker seems to be in the lead and at the very least has the tie-breaker of being handpicked by the Redskins ST coach. I’m less confident with this prediction then a week ago, but I think Hocker has a slight lead.
Punter: (1) Robert Malone
-Really haven’t been impressed with Malone this preseason, while I’ll put him in here he could easily be a place holder. Look for the Redskins to scour the waiver wire when final cuts are made, if any decent punter gets the ax I think they will try to pick them up.
Long Snapper: (1) Nick Sundberg
-Easy decision as he’s the only long snapper on the team.