Redskins draft class has major implications on the depth chart
With the main part of free agency done and the draft now completed the Redskins depth chart has begun to take shape. Here’s how each pick could effect the Redskins depth chart.
1. T/G Brandon Scherff-
-There is no doubt that Scherff is starting, and it appears to be at right tackle. That leaves incumbent options Tom Compton and Morgan Moses in an interesting situation. Depending on how many total offensive linemen the Redskins keep, one of the two might not even make the final roster. Moses and Compton could also perhaps look to increase their versatility, and have a chance at winning a starting job by working at guard as well.
2. OLB/DE Preston Smith-
-Smith is likely to take over for Brian Orakpo as the primary right side pass rusher in the Redskins defense. In 3 man fronts he’ll stand up as the ROLB, but when they are in a 4 man front he’ll play with his hand in the dirt. Now it had been assumed for some time that the Redskins would add a right side pass rusher as 2014 2nd round pick Trent Murphy is overmatched as a edge rusher facing off versus left tackles. The thought was though that for at least this season that if the Redskins drafted an undersized edge player (i.e. Vic Beasley, Randy Gregory, Eli Harold, etc) that Murphy could still get a fair amount of work on early downs vs the run and in coverage. Smith though is a more complete player who is capable of setting the edge vs the run. So unless he struggles early Murphy could see his projected playing time cut by half (or more). He can still serve as the primary back-up at both positions and get some work as a 3rd pass rusher in certain sets, b
3. RB Matt Jones-
-It was expected that the Redskins might draft a running back at some point in the draft, but they decided to select Jones in the 3rd round, which pretty much assures him of a roster spot. That means that with Alfred Morris locked into the starting role, the Redskins are set at two spots. If they only keep three running backs one of Silas Redd and Chris Thompson are out of a job. Jones could also eat into some of FB Darrel Young’s value as a short yardage back and personal protector for the QB. I doubt it will fully risk Young’s roster spot, but it could limit his playing time even further.
4. WR Jamison Crowder–
-Crowder should be the front-runner for both punt and kick-off return duties so any other player looking to make the roster based on that will need to beat out Crowder in that role. Crowder also projects as an intriguing slot receiver so, long term he could be forcing veteran Andre Roberts out of a role.
4. G Arie Kouandjio-
-Kouandjio is a good power blocker who has the talent to compete for a starting role as a rookie and he’s all but assured a roster spot. Both of those things reflect poorly for the incumbent guard group of Shawn Lauvao, Chris Chester, Josh LeRibeus, and Spencer Long. The Redskins will keep between 8-10 offensive linemen and it’s unlikely that all 5 of these guards (including Kouandjio) are on the final roster. Chester’s $4 million price tag definitely puts him squarely on the chopping block, but Josh LeRibeus also could be in danger of losing his job.
5. ILB Martell Spaight-
-Spaight joins the ILB depth chart and he could be seen as the long term replacement for Perry Riley, who remains a underwhelming player. If the Redskins keep only 4 ILBs, they will have an interesting decision to make behind the starters Keenan Robinson and Riley. Will Compton filled in last year when there were injuries and played well enough to be considered at least a solid back-up/spot starter. Adam Hayward is one of the Redskins special teams leaders which makes his roster spot tough to crack. Typically 5th round picks make the team so Spaight is fairly safe, which could mean the Redskins are planning on keeping 5 ILBs, in which case another position could have one less spot.
6. S Kyshoen Jarrett-
-Jarrett is known as an in the box safety who excels at special teams, and the latter figures to be why he was selected. Again it becomes a numbers game for the Redskins as in addition to FS Dashon Goldson and SS Jeron Johnson (the projected starters) the Redskins have SS Duke Inhenacho, SS Phillip Thomas, FS Trenton Robinson and SS Akeem Davis who all have NFL experience. The Redskins are keeping 5 safeties at most, so with Jarrett that leaves 5 players for two or three spots. Of those two or three spots it is likely that at least one goes to Thomas or Robinson who project the best of the group to back-up the free safety position, which could make things even tougher on Jarrett for making this roster. Special teams is going to be the key for this group so the guys who are best in that area will make it.
6. CB Tevin Mitchel-
-Right now Bashaud Breeland, Chris Culliver and David Amerson are pretty well locked into roster spots (Amerson has struggled mightily, but rarely due 2nd round picks get cut this soon). And DeAngelo Hall will have a 4th spot locked down if he’s healthy and doesn’t start the season on the PUP list. The Redskins will keep either 5 or 6 corners, so if Hall is healthy there is only one or two spots available. Right now Tracy Porter has to be the favorite for one spot given that he’s by far the best slot corner on the roster (and there really isn’t much competition). Unless Mitchel has an incredible camp/preseason he might have a tough time making the 53 man roster unless Hall starts the year on the PUP list.
6. WR Evan Spencer-
-Spencer’s value likely will come primarily as a special teamer which gives him a solid shot to make the roster whether the Redskins keep 5 or 6 receivers, but that could make things tough on 2nd year receiver Ryan Grant. Grant showed some promise last year, but with the additions of Crowder and Spencer he definitely will be competing for a spot. Even if the Redskins do keep 6 receivers and Spencer and Grant both make it, Grant might not be active many weeks if he can’t contribute on special teams.
7. C Austin Reiter-
-Reiter wasn’t high on may people’s draft radar so he probably has his work cut out for him to be more than a practice squad option. He is a center though and after last year of the Redskins not having a true back-up center, they might opt to keep a back-up OL who has center experience. This will be especially true if Chris Chester is cut since he was the back-up center option last season. Currently that puts Reiter in competition with Tyler Larsen for a back-up center role. If one of them makes it, not only does it knock the other one off the roster, but it could mean that another guard or tackle option is cut as well. Instead of keeping maybe 4 OT’s the Redskins could opt for just 3 and an extra center. And if the Redskins decide to keep more offensive linemen in general (9 or 10), it would make for an interesting roster decision elsewhere.