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Washington Redskins 53 man roster prediction after 3rd preseason game: Defense

Steve Shoup

Redskins 53 Man Roster: Offense | Redskins 53 man Roster: Defense

Defensive Line: 6 – Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Tim Settle, Ziggy Hood, Anthony Lanier

– Kept this unit the same, this is another spot where another player could be added from outside the organization, but not sure there is a fit on the Redskins current roster. I do think keeping a 7th guy to start the season makes sense, particularly with Ioannidis recovering from an injury. I just don’t seen any real option on the current roster outside of Phil Taylor and I don’t think he’s done enough to earn a spot. If the Redskins do opt to add a 7th guy along the defensive line, I think they will look to keep only four running backs to pick-up the extra roster spot.

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

-No change here as the top four guys are pretty well set. I think the Redskins would be intrigued if they had a 5th EDGE player, particularly one with speed off the edge, but they just don’t have that on the current roster. McPhee hasn’t had a big camp/preseason, but he’s got a good track record. Anderson has been pretty disappointing though and hasn’t really made much of any impact when he’s been on the field. The hope was that he would really develop in his second season, but right now it’s tough to say there has been much improvement. He just hasn’t shown anything to suggest he deserves a bigger role on the team at this point.

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

-Brown, Foster and Harvey-Clemons are locks to make the team at this point. Hamilton was a 6th round rookie and typically they aren’t guaranteed roster spots, but I think he’s not your typical 6th rounder. He had a much higher draft outlook, pre-injuries and he’s shown he’s healthy enough to contribute as a back-up. I think that is enough where teams would claim him if the Redskins tried to sneak him through to the practice squad. It’s not 100% he makes the team, but he’s shown some promise and I think the Redskins would like to keep him. I think that pits Spaight in a battle with Zach Vigil for the final ILB spot. While Vigil was the better LB last year and a bit more versatile, Spaight has outplayed him every week of the preseason. I think right now, that puts Spaight in the lead for the final spot.

Cornerbacks: 6- Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Danny Johnson, Greg Stroman, Adonis Alexander

-Definitely not as impressive of a showing from the corner group in the 3rd preseason game. Both the starters and the young back-ups struggled leaving a lot of question marks entering the season. While Norman, Dunbar and Moreau are probably all set in their roles, the Redskins may opt to add a veteran corner after final cuts. While young corners Johnson, Stroman and Alexander have shown some development and long term potential, keeping 3 late round rookies could be risky. If the Redskins add a veteran corner, I’d guess either Stroman or Alexander get cut and added to the practice squad. Johnson seems safe to make the team, and right now is slated as the 4th corner.

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Safeties: 4 – D.J. Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Deshazor Everett, Troy Apke

-Same four guys here, as all four are locks to make the team if healthy. Apke had a down game in the 3rd preseason game, but his draft status and athletic upside lock in a roster spot for him. He’s likely only going to see work on Special teams as a rookie, where he could become a nice weapon. He clearly has to develop his tackling and some of his instincts, but his speed and quickness are major assets that could eventually help make him into a quality starter.

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

– No changes here, as the Redskins are set and committed with all three specialists. Hopkins has been a little streaky the last two years and Way hasn’t been as impressive as he was a few years ago, but these guys are set for this season.

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