We have now had over a week’s worth of practices and the Redskins roster is starting to become a bit more clearer. Some positions are still up for grabs, and there are a couple spots with really interesting positions battles as the preseason starts, other positions are fully set. Here is how I would predict the final 53 man roster for the offense will end up:
– The Redskins did go out and acquire a 3rd QB Kevin Hogan prior to the draft, but they didn’t really give up much to do so and appear to view him more as an insurance policy rather than a part of the future of this franchise. There is still a chance they would opt to keep three quarterbacks, but it’s more likely they try to keep Hogan (or someone they pick up) on the practice squad. Smith is locked in as the starter and the team thinks highly enough of Colt McCoy to extend him into next year. With both their starter and back-up secured through at least next season, there is little reason to keep a 3rd quarterback on the 53 man roster.
– While before I thought they would only keep 4 running backs out of camp, I am leaning to them keeping 5 guys. Whether it is 4 or 5, Guice and Thompson are both locked into spots. One of Kelley or Perine should have a roster spot locked down with 4, but both become an option if they opt for 5 backs. I think one reason why the Redskins could go with 5 backs vs 4 is that Chris Thompson doesn’t sound like he will be 100% to start the season. Not only does that make keeping a back-up option for the 3rd down role (like Marshall or Kapri Bibbs) more likey, I think it lends itself to having more depth overall. Kelley has had a strong camp and he’s shown some ability to contribute out of the back-field and on special teams in the past, I could see him being a jack of all trades type of back.
– The top three of this group are set, with not only clear roster spots but clear roles on the team. The bottom of this depth chart is one of the better position battles on this team. Quick, Davis, Quinn along with Maurice Harris, Simmie Cobbs and Cam Sims are locked into a huge battle for likely only 3 spots. Maybe the Redskins would consider keeping a 7th receiver, but it seems unlikely. While I don’t think there are any locks yet in this bottom group I think it will most likely come down to 3 of Quick, Davis, Quinn and Harris being kept. I don’t see an “easy” cut out of that group as all four can make a strong case. Quick has the most experience and is the most versatile of the group, which probably gives him a leg up since he’d be the top replacement option for any of the 3 starters. Harris is a good route runner with size and has improved every year. Davis is a burner with really good size and upside. Quinn though just a rookie and a 7th rounder, is the only other natural slot option outside of Crowder on the team. Also he’s got return experience to help out on special teams. Given Quick and Quinn being a bit more unique in what they bring, I could see this coming down to Davis vs Harris. Not sure there is a wrong call here, but I think opting for the speed/upside of Davis could be the deciding factor.
– No real surprises here, perhaps the team would consider a 4th TE, especially a guy who could serve as a blocker, but likely the Redskins break camp with these three tight ends. There is definitely a depth concern given Reed’s injury history, but the other guys in camp just seem like too much of a long shot to warrant using a roster spot on one of them. Expect at least one TE on the practice squad though, possibly two.
– With Shawn Lauvao having a strong camp by all accounts the Redskins starting offensive line looks set for the season. Nsekhe and Christian are locked into back-up roles given their contract and draft status. Unfortunately both primarily are tackles by trade, though Nsekhe worked some at guard last year and has trained some to be a back-up guard this year. Still the Redskins would be wise to use one of their remaining two roster spots on an interior offensive lineman, which is why Bergstrom has a pretty clear road to a roster spot. Bergstrom started some for the Redskins last year due to injury and is a capable back-up for all three interior offensive line positions. For the final spot I think right now the Redskins would go with TJ Clemmings, even though he too is primarily a tackle, though he’s worked a little bit as a guard in the past. Clemmings has the highest upside from the remaining offensive linemen in camp, and for the most part reports of him in camp have been strong. The team could opt for either Kyle Kalis or Tyler Catalina instead, but I think Clemmings could have the edge.
– No change or surprises here as this is the one position group with no chance (barring injury) of anyone else to make the squad. The Redskins don’t even have a back-up option at any of these spots in camp.