So the past two days I’ve given my Offensive and Defensive predictions for how the 53 man roster will break down. While that leaves a few guys out in the cold, there are 10 roster spots that aren’t accounted for just yet and that is the Redskins practice squad. While it is true that these 10 roster spots don’t carry the same weight (or pay checks for that matter) as the 53 man roster, being worthy of a practice squad role is nothing to scoff at. Players like Matt Ioannidis, Quinton Dunbar and Chris Thompson all spent some time on the practice squad earlier in their careers. Developing talent on the practice squad can be a good way for late round picks and undrafted free agents to eventually earn a role on the team. Here are the 10 players the Redskins should look to sign to their practice squad after final cuts:
– While Hogan is a long shot to impress coaches enough to force the team to carry a 3rd quarterback on the active roster, the Redskins are going to want to keep a 3rd QB in the organization. Hogan still is practice squad eligible despite playing in a combined 8 games over the previous two seasons. While his long term upside is limited, perhaps he could develop into a capable back-up QB down the road. The Redskins didn’t bring in any camp competition for Hogan so unless some other team claims him on waivers after cut down day, he appears to be in the Redskins plan as their 3rd QB and scout team QB in practice.
– Harris is going to be a tough cut for the Redskins as he’s been with the team a couple years now and has clearly developed some. He still should qualify for the practice squad, though it is definitely possible another team looks to claim him (though the same could happen to Robert Davis or Trey Quinn). If he does make it through to the practice squad, bringing him back for another year makes sense as there is clearly some potential with Harris. If Harris does get claimed I’d expect to see the team add one of Simmie Cobbs or Cam Sims to the practice squad from the receiver group.
– Not the flashiest of names, but I think the team would be wise to have an extra tight end in the facility in case Jordan Reed goes down with injury. While Flanagan is an in line blocking TE, he could move up to the 53 man roster and allow Sprinkle to fill in for Reed in his absence. Fellow undrafted rookie Garrett Hudson could also be vying for this practice squad role.
– Kalis was on the Redskins practice squad at the start of last season before the Colts claimed him week 5 last season. He played 4 games with Indianapolis including two starts, but he was eventually waived and re-claimed by the Redskins. While he has a chance to make the team, I think he ends up missing out. Though he could potentially get claimed again on waivers, if he makes it through he would be a top option for the practice squad. The Redskins are thin among interior offensive linemen so Kalis is a guy who could quickly be needed for the 53 man roster if an injury occurs. If Kalis is claimed, looked for Timon Parris to be a practice squad option.
– Given their rash of offensive line injuries last year, don’t be surprised if two of the 10 practice squad spots are reserved for OL depth. Catalina made the team as a UDFA last year and played in 7 games, including two starts. This year he could have a tougher time making the 53 man roster as the competition for the final couple spots figures to be very tough. Catalina could also end up getting claimed (in which case Parris would again be the option to replace him), but if he doesn’t he makes an obvious option. Catalina has some versatility and early camp reports are positive so there is some long term potential.
– Pipkins was a UDFA signing a year ago, who has good size and an ability to play both the 5 technique role or the nose tackle role. He was cut last season and didn’t initially earn a practice squad spot, but was on the PS for the final 11 weeks of the season. He’s a long shot to make the team, but he’s one of the few defensive linemen in camp with practice squad eligibility (that aren’t projected to make the team). With Stacy McGee potentially starting the season on the PUP list, Pipkins could quickly find himself called up to the 53 man roster if there are any injuries among the defensive linemen to start the year.
– Robertson is a guy who has definitely impressed in camp, and he got the PS call up a year ago due to a number of LB injuries. Unfortunately for him is the numbers are really tough to make it from the LB group this year, with 6 guys locked in and three others pretty safe, Robertson could just miss making the team unless they opt to keep 10 guys. There is definitely a chance Robertson would get claimed if released, but he’s probably less likely to be claimed than guys like Shaun Dion Hamilton or Josh Harvey-Clemons. If the Redskins could stash Robertson it would be a plus, given that there could be a lot of turnover in the linebacker group after this season.
– Stroman was a 7th round rookie and the only player drafted this year on this list (and likely to be cut). While the Joshua Holsey injury gives Stroman a bit of an opening to make the team, he has to battle with UDFA Danny Johnson for the role. Right now Johnson looks to be ahead in the battle, but obviously this could change in a hurry. I’d expect whomever loses the 6th corner battle to end up on the practice squad.
– Smithson is another repeat practice squad member as he was signed to the practice squad for the first 15 weeks last season, before getting called up the final two games of the year. Smithson faces another tough numbers crunch as the top four safeties on the depth chart appear to be set unless there is an injury in camp/preseason. Maybe Smithson earns a spot if the Redskins opt to keep 5 safeties, but that appears to be the only real chance to be on the 53 man.
– Blanding was a 4 year starter and team leader for UVA in college and was thought by many to be a top 150 player in the draft. He didn’t end up hearing his name called draft weekend and signed with the Redskins. Though his upside is a bit limited, he is a guy who could become a solid back-up/special teamer for the team down the road and is worth keeping around on the practice squad.
Who would you look to keep on the practice squad?