Currently the Washington Redskins have six offensive tackles competing for four roster spots (two starters and two back-ups). Here is how they rank, including predictions for where they end-up. Tiers are based off of what their expected value is for 2013, due to a combination of past production and likely potential. Overall potential, or contract status is not really taken into account.
Description: Top level starter, absolute lock to both make the team and start. Won’t face any competition for his job.
-Williams last year finally took his game to the level that was expected of him when the Redskins drafted him 4th overall in 2010. He became a major fixture on the left side for the Redskins excelling in both run and pass blocking. Though his penalties were still on the high side, they were an improvement from the year before, based on how much he played last season. Williams is on the cusp of being one of the elite left tackles in the game, if he can repeat and build on this past year’s performance. He’s the only Redskins tackle who is close to this level, which makes his health extremely important.
Description: Quality starter who may have some minor struggles in a given year, but overall is a good football player. Should both easily make the team and start.
Description: Passable starter, can play the position and be okay, but won’t consistently play at a high level. Will be streaky throughout the season and over the course of many seasons. Depending on position would be better served as a good role player, or would be the best reserve player at a position. Should make the team, though not a lock and should face competition for a starting job.
Description: Replacement level starter. This is a guy who could start in a pinch or as a long-term injury replacement but will max out as an average starter, and will probably be below average. He’s a guy who could be okay as a short term filler, but over an extended period will struggle. Depending on position could be a solid player, or would be a good back-up. Has a decent chance to make the team, and could get a look at a starting job, but nothing is set in stone for him.
-Pashos is coming off a season where he missed every game and didn’t even end up signing with a team. Though that is obviously discouraging, if he checks out as healthy he could end up being their 2nd best tackle, and starter on the right side. In the past Pashos would actually have been considered a borderline Tier 2 player and a firm Tier 3 player. Now though it is safe to assume he’s more like a Tier 4 guy, even if healthy. Even if he doesn’t get the starting gig, he offers better competition and should at least be a good back-up.
Description: Solid back-up caliber player. Shouldn’t really ever start, and would be below average in that capacity, but can be a short term injury replacement. Shouldn’t even be much of a role player depending on the position, their best value is in their reliability as a replacement. Depending on the position, should be capable of backing up multiple positions or roles to increase their value. Has a chance to make the team, but really shouldn’t be considered a starting option at all.
-Polumbus started 15 games for the Redskins last season, but his play was well below average. He does have familiarity in the system and has played some guard as well, giving him some versatility. Right now he’ll be given a very fair chance to start which is definitely below what he’s shown/projects for next year. He’s got a pretty decent shot to make the team though and could be a good Tier 5 type of multipurpose back-up.
-Hurt was the Redskins 7th round pick in 2011, and due to injury got a number of starts at LG. He was ineffective in that role, but got a chance this past year at RT to replace an injured Tyler Polumbus for a week this past season. He was sound in that spot start, but he’s still likely more of a Tier 5 player than a Tier 4 guy. Having some versatility helps, but he will need to show that he can play better this preseason after an underwhelming year last season. He’s got a solid shot currently to make this team, but that is due to lack of competition more than anything else.
-Compton was the Redskins 6th round pick last year, but wasn’t even given a real shot to earn even a back-up role last year when rosters had to be cut down. They didn’t even try him in the open right tackle competition, and brought in an out of work veteran in Jordan Black who was out of shape to beat him out. He did get called up from the practice squad to protect him late in the year, but he never played. He does have a little upside and potential, so he could quickly rise to Tier 4, but right now he seems to be more in the Tier 5 bracket. He’s yet to show any interior versatility and obviously wouldn’t be currently considered a viable back-up LT option, making his value tied pretty much to his ability to develop into a starting RT (even if it’s not this year). Given the lack of competition he does have a chance to make the roster, but his lack of versatility would mean if he’s not starting he’s inactive.
Description: Replacement level player. Not considered at all for a starting role, and isn’t even considered a viable back-up. Really only has a shot to make the team if injuries thin out the competition. Overall has a poor chance to make a roster, and is a player who will likely be replaced during the season.
-Though Trueblood has been a starter in the past, he’s really struggled throughout his career. He’s got limited versatility and has only seen his level of play decrease. In reality he’s probably never peaked above a Tier 4 player, and has little to offer right now. If he makes the team it would be as the Redskins final offensive lineman, and would probably only be due to the fact that multiple injuries were sustained.
What do you think? How would you rank the Redskins offensive tackle options? And should that prohibit them from acquiring anymore additional tackle options?