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Redskins 53 Man roster projection – Pre-Training camp

Steve Shoup

With Training Camp starting this week, now is a good time to take a look at the Redskins 53 man roster projection at this point. These are going to change, but this is a good look at who will likely make the Redskins squad to start the year and how many players they keep at each position.

Quarterbacks: 2 – Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

– The only semi-mystery with the quarterback position is if the Redskins will decide to use an extra roster spot on Kevin Hogan to keep a 3rd QB. While it is possible they would keep Hogan given that Colt McCoy is likely in the final year of his time in DC, and Hogan could give the Redskins a cheaper back-up option, it’s likely they hold the extra spot for another position.

Running backs: 4 – Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine,  Byron Marshall

– Guice is locked in as the starting back and Chris Thompson assuming he’s healthy will be the 3rd down back and all-around weapon out of the backfield. What becomes interesting is who the Redskins keep behind them. Perine didn’t do much as a 4th rd rookie, but he had a couple of flashes and the team probably won’t want to give up on him just yet. The real question is do the Redskins feel the need to keep a Chris Thompson 3rd down back insurance policy like Marshall or Bibbs over a more established running back like Rob Kelley.

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Wide Receivers: 6 – Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Paul Richardson, Brian Quick, Maurice Harris, Trey Quinn

– The Redskins are likely to keep 6 receivers like they do most years and the top three appear locks as Doctson, Crowder and Richardson are all somewhat established and/or have some serious assets tied up in acquiring them. The bottom half of the depth chart is more up in the air. Quick has the most experience of the group and has a good combination of size, speed, and versatility that should help him earn a spot. Harris has shown some flashes the past two seasons in camp and last year in the Regular Season, while Trey Quinn was reportedly a player that Jay Gruden was pounding the table for during the draft weekend. That would leave last year’s 6th rounder Robert Davis and a trio of intriguing UDFAs in Simmie Cobbs, Shay Fields and Cam Sims on the outside looking in. I’d expect two of those four to end up with practice squad roles.

Tight Ends: 3 – Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

– The last couple of years the Redskins have kept 4 tight ends on their active roster, but there isn’t an obvious 4th choice among the group they have in camp. That is a big concerning given Reed’s injury history and Davis’ age. It appears that the Redskins will be really counting on Jeremy Sprinkle to take on a much bigger role this season.

Offensive Line: 9 – Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Chase Roullier, Shawn Lauvao, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tony Bergstrom, Kyle Kalis

– Team’s typically keep between 8-10 offensive linemen, on their 53 man roster and after last year’s host of injuries the Redskins should definitely be on the higher end of 9 or 10. Currently only Williams, Scherff, Moses, Roullier, Nsekhe and Christian are locks. Lauvao has a pretty clear road for both a roster spot and a starting role, but he has an extensive injury history so he could quickly get passed by and released. Depth wise the Redskins don’t have a lot they can count on behind Nsekhe. Christian was a higher pick, but he’s unlikely to be ready for a serious role this year. It’s really an open battle for the last two spots along this line.

Defensive Line: 7 – Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee, Anthony Lanier, Tim Settle, Ziggy Hood

– The Redskins figure to keep either 6 or 7 defensive linemen, but with this being another position with a higher injury rate, they are probably lean towards the latter. Allen, Payne and Ioannidis figure to play the majority of the snaps and be the key to the defensive line. McGee contributes on rushing downs, while Lanier has shown the ability to put up good pressure numbers. Settle was a steal in the 5th round and he has the potential to be a serious contributor down the road. Even as a rookie he can help bolster the run defense. Hood has been over-matched in the starting NT role the past few years, but as a rotational depth piece it makes sense to keep him around.

Outside Linebackers: 4 – Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Pernell McPhee, Ryan Anderson

– This is another position where there doesn’t look to be much competition for both roster spots and roles on the team. Kerrigan and Smith should be the clear starters, with McPhee as the veteran back-up/3rd pass rusher in certain formations. Anderson is hoping for a breakout year after he struggled as a rookie, but his roster spot appears safe. The biggest concern here is that the Redskins have a long history of key pass rushers getting injured and now their depth is pretty thin.

Inside Linebackers: 5 – Zach Brown, Mason Foster, Zach Vigil, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Josh Harvey- Clemons

– The Redskins could opt to keep only 4 ILBs, but that would be a bit of a surprise. Brown and Foster should be the clear starters here. Both are at least decent options, with good range and solid production. The concern is neither appears to be an elite anchor that you typically like to have in a 3-4 defense. Vigil will likely be battling Martrell Spaight for one back-up role, while Josh Harvey-Clemons should have the other role and could find playing time as a nickel linebacker. Hamilton is pretty safe to make the team, but with his injury history it is possible he will need a year on IR, which could open a spot back up for Spaight or at another position.

Cornerbacks: 6 – Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Orlando Scandrick, Joshua Holsey, Adonis Alexander

– In terms of numbers and the guys who will make the squad there seems to be little unknown here. The one real battle to watch is Holsey vs 7th rd rookie Greg Stroman. It’s possible that Stroman wins that role, but he might have a better shot of making it to the practice squad. I think the bigger question at the corner back position is the actual battle for roles on the squad. Norman is locked in as the number 1 corner, but the 2nd-4th spots are going to be interesting to watch between Dunbar, Moreau and Scandrick.

Safeties: 4 – DJ Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Troy Apke, Deshazor Everett

– If an extra roster spot opens up elsewhere a 5th safety could be kept between Quin Blanding and Fish Smithson (both are definite practice squad options). Otherwise it would be shocking if one of them make the roster over the top four options above. Swearinger and Nicholson should be the clear cut starters with 4th rd pick Apke in a back-up/special team role. Everett is a core special teamer and has some starting experience due to injury as well, so it would be a safe to say his role is his to lose.

Specialists: 3 – K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way, LS Nick Sundberg

– This is probably the easiest position to predict on the team as barring injury these three specialists should have their jobs locked up. The Redskins don’t even have any current camp competition for these players, though it wouldn’t be surprising if they sign an option or two as camp begins so as to not over work their starters.

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