Just how “homegrown” is the Redskins roster?
If you watched the Sunday night game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears they talked about how the Packers are built primarily through the draft and the signing of college free agents. They mentioned that the Packers just have 5 players on their roster that played with other teams. That was the lowest in the NFL, while their opponent the Bears had the most with 31 players from other teams. That got me thinking about the Redskins and their own roster construction. For the purpose of this I will look at all the players currently on the Redskins 53 man roster, plus their injured reserve list. Players that were either on another team’s practice squad or played in a couple games (but not significant action) with another team won’t count against the Redskins. Afterwards I will look deeper at the roster construction:
*Note Tanard Jackson won’t count on either list
Players From other organizations:
Injured Reserve: 4 players
DL Barry Cofield, CB DeAngelo Hall, S Duke Inhenacho, LB Akeem Jordan
Offense: 9 players
Defense: 9 players
DL Jason Hatcher, DL Stephen Bowen, DL Frank Kearse, LB Adam Hayward, LB Everette Brown, CB Tracy Porter, CB E.J. Biggers, S Brandon Meriweather, S Ryan Clark
*Note: both Trenton Robinson and Chris Baker saw limited time with other organizations, but played in no more than 3 games with those teams and didn’t really see a lot of work.
Players From the Redskins:
Injured Reserve: 2 players (*note I’m only counting IR players who have played in the NFL)
OLB Brian Orakpo, DL Chris Neild
QB Robert Griffin III, QB Kirk Cousins, RB Alfred Morris, RB Roy Helu Jr., RB Silas Redd, FB Darrel Young, TE Jordan Reed, TE Niles Paul, TE Logan Paulsen, WR Ryan Grant, WR Leonard Hankerson, WR Aldrick Robinson, OL Trent Williams, OL Morgan Moses, OL Tom Compton, OL Josh LeRibeus, OL Spencer Long
Defense: 15 players
DL Jarvis Jenkins, DL Chris Baker, DL Kedric Golston, LB Ryan Kerrigan, LB Perry Riley, LB Keenan Robinson, LB Trent Murphy, LB Will Compton, LB Jackson Jeffcoat, S Akeem Davis, S Phillip Thomas, S Trenton Robinson, CB David Amerson, CB Bashaud Breeland, CB Greg Ducre
Specialists: 3 players
K Kai Forbath, P Tress Way,LS Nick Sundberg
Of a possible 59 players 22 were acquired from other organizations which is probably pretty good overall (note: players like Chris Baker might be counted differently according to the ESPN standards). The only troubling thing is just how many of these players were expected to play significant roles with this team to start the season. The Redskins top 3 receivers, 4 starting offensive linemen, top 2 defensive linemen, and four of the 5 top members of the secondary (Tracy Porter was expected to be the nickel corner) were from other teams. What makes it worse is the fact that few of those players have actually produced positive results for this team this year.
The team has relied on free agency to build the defense more than the offense. If everyone was healthy the breakdown would likely be 12 players from other organizations and 12 from the Redskins. Meaning there is a pretty significant reliance there from outside the organization.
Two issues that have forced the team to rely so much on free agency have been the lack of top draft picks and overall selections, as well as a poor job of retaining late round picks. The lack of top selections explains why so many free agents were placed in starting or key positions, while the missing on later round picks has hurt the depth and forced the team to target cheap free agents to fill out the roster. In the last 3 drafts the Redskins have had 13 selections from the 5th-7th rounds, of those just 3 players (Alfred Morris, Tom Compton and Ryan Grant) remain. That is a pretty low retention rate.