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Ranking the Redskins 21-30

Aug 21, 2008, 9:15 AM EST

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It’s time for my annual, purely subjective ranking of the Washington Redskins’ 30 front-line players. The lists consists of the 22 offensive and defensive starters, four special teams positions (place kicker, punter, snapper, and kick returner) and a relief running back, third wide receiver, rotational defensive lineman, and nickel defensive back. The list starts with the worst and counts down to the Redskins’ best player. Today, in the first installment, here are players 30 through 21:

30. Kedric Golston, defensive tackle—He had something of a sophomore slump last year, losing the starting job he claimed as a rookie in 2006. It looks like he has taken the first-team spot back from Anthony Montgomery, but he’ll have to do a better job of holding his ground in the middle in order to keep it.

29. Durant Brooks, punter—Right now he’s the favorite to beat out Derrick Frost for the punting job but he will be a rookie and he will have his struggles.

28. Pete Kendall, right guard—Kendall is about at the end of a good NFL career, look for Chad Reinhardt to hold down this spot next season.

27. Demetric Evans, rotational defensive lineman—He can play end or tackle and his versatility should make him the first man off the bench.

26. Rocky McIntosh, linebacker—After the first half of last season, some were talking about a Pro Bowl berth for McIntosh. Even before his season-ending knee injury, that talk had gone away. We need to see a full season out of Rocky before handing out any more accolades.

25. Jon Jansen, right offensive tackle—It would be great to be able to rank him higher. I don’t necessarily doubt Joe Bugel when he says that Jansen is having a great camp, but it would be nice to see the fruits of that camp on the field. So far, that hasn’t happened.

24. Reed Doughty, safety—He’s a heady player who has underrated athletic ability. It will be interesting to see what effect being the starter all the way through OTA’s and training camp will have on his game.

23. James Thrash, third wide receiver—Every training camp since he’s been back with the Redskins there has been talk of getting Thrash more involved with the offense. Every season, that talk turns out to be just talk as he excels on special teams and catches a few passes here and there. We’ll see if that expanded role will come to fruition in Jim Zorn’s offense.

22. Antwaan Randle El, wide receiver—ARE can’t quite seem to have a breakout season, or even a breakout month. It would help if he stopped all of the dancing on punt returns.

21. Carlos Rogers, cornerback—His play was competent last year until the knee injury ended his year. Rogers’ challenge is to continue to improve while keeping himself off of the injury list.

  1. Joe in Raleigh - Aug 21, 2008 at 1:55 PM

    I don’t have any arguments here. In years past, there have been some garbage players on the team that were easy to list as the worst. This year there aren’t guys that really stick out as inferior.

    I expect this offense to be much more dynamic than we’ve seen in the past. I think we’ll learn a lot about Thrash and ARE in a month or so.

  2. Rich Tandler - Aug 21, 2008 at 1:59 PM

    No arguments? Come on, that’s no fun!

    You don’t think that Kendall is better than Jansen? Or Rocky is superior to Reed?

    Wait until I get to #1 and it’s Colt Brennan; then the fun will begin!

  3. HokieJoe - Aug 21, 2008 at 4:43 PM

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: James Thrash does not get open unless there is a defensive missed assignment. I’ve watched him run routes from my upper level endzone seats for a while and he is always blanketed in man coverage. He survives in the NFL because when defenses do make a mistake or he can find a soft spot in a zone he normally catches the ball. He also is a good blocker, great special teams player and basically does all the little things. But to be ranked just ahead of ARE and have 7 players ranked worse than him? I don’t think so.

  4. Joe in Raleigh - Aug 22, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Ok, fine, I’ll play.

    There have been times when you watch Carlos Rogers and you think, this is the worst player on the team. Yes, there are times when he’s been “competent”. There are also times when someone uses the dreaded “double move” and he falls down.

    Listing him better than anyone is speculative. Especially coming off a knee injury. But he’s young and athletic, so that’s worth something. Certainly he’s instrumental in having a decent defense.

  5. Rich Tandler - Aug 22, 2008 at 9:07 PM

    HokieJoe, it may sound kind of dumb to say that I ranked a 30+ player based on potential, but I did. He’s a West Coast offense guy and I think he’ll do well under Zorn. Still, I do have to say that his special teams play, which should be excluded, may have had some halo effect in his ranking.

    Raleigh Joe, thanks for taking a swing at me! Rogers was very tough to rank. Had he gone through 2007 without the injury and played at the same level, I’d probably have him somewhere between 10-15.

  6. wtfree3 - Aug 25, 2008 at 1:30 PM

    Part of me wonders how long this season it’s going to take for Heyer to be put in at RT for Jansen and Reinhart in at LG for Kendall. If the season gets away from this team, I seriously expect both to happen. Jansen looks like a shell of himself once the TV cameras come on.

    I’m thinking replacement without an injury happening here. Not sure either guy is truly ready for promotion, but can it get much worse.

  7. Sports Scatter - Aug 25, 2008 at 7:06 PM

    Okay, I’ll bite. Jansen is looking pretty horrible this spring, but I’d have listed him as a top 5 right tackle based on his last season. When the Redskins ran successfully before last season, it was usually Jansen or Thomas leading the way, whether straight ahead or pulling. Some strange guy who has thankfully left the Redskins broadcast for ESPN seemed to think Wade was a better right tackle. Wade is competent, but not up there. For all the hype about how well Heyer did, it was through the glasses of examining a rookie. Ask Randy Thomas who he prefers on his right. Jansen’s injury wasn’t of the type that should be affecting his play now, so it just has to be mental. My bet is that after a few opportunities to hit people for full games he’ll be fine. He’s not old enough to break down yet. I’d of listed him top 15, more through the glasses of what he’s done when healthy and in the flow of things.

    As far as Kendall being better than Jansen…Kendall was a great blessing to fall into Redskins lap last year after they lost their guard and nearly entered the season with only one competent guard o nthe roster. Having said that, if not for the transitional struggles of Fabini, particularly leading the run, and the constant flux at right tackle, everyone would have noticed that Kendall was the weak spot on the line. He won’t hurt the team in that position because he doesn’t whif often, but he rarely leads the run adequately or throws his man backwards. Because of Zorn’s emphasis on protecting the QB, the lack of whifs will keep him in the lineup another year, but as a total package I don’t even think he’s better than the rookie who blows guys up in the run game right now. Kendall probably isn’t top 30 material any more than Fabini is top 30 material. But it is always nice to have guys who know how to play the game.

    Yeah, Rocky is better than Reed right now. But, rocky is established as what he is. Reed still has to tell us what he is going to be. Rocky was the last guy I expected to see go for 70 yards, though he was explosive in short spaces even when he was a 5’7 235lbs rookie pinball.

    I don’t think Colt or Campbell would be top 30 right now based on what they’ve done or shown, but QBs usually aren’t special until that 3rd or 4th season anyways. Collins I could see being in the top 30 based on his efficiency last year, but obviously he isn’t in the long-term plans.

    McIntosh and Rogers both looked very legitimate to me last year, but they need to do it for a season, so they are probably ranked about right.

    Golston didn’t really slump so much as the skins decided they wanted more of a run stopping presence. He just won’t be that, though he does break down a couple plays a game by getting around his man and redirecting things in the backfield, which Montgomery almost never did. Its just a matter of whether they want a tough worker who makes plays or someone to hold the line for others to make plays while occassionally pushing his man into the pocket. Alexander is probably the better all-around tackle of the three, or four if you include evans at DT.

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