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Way too early 2014 Redskins 53-man roster projection

May 12, 2014, 11:38 AM EDT

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Here in what will become an annual Monday after the draft tradition (unless everyone hates it, in which case I won’t do it again) here is my way too early projection of the Redskins’ final 53-man roster.

Starters in bold

Offense

Quarterback (2): Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins

—I wouldn’t rule out a training camp trade of Cousins to a team that suffers an injury to its QB but in any case it will be either Cousins or Colt McCoy on the roster, not both.

Offensive line (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Morgan Moses, Tom Compton, Mike McGlynn, Adam Gettis, Spencer Long

—Moses may not be able to beat out Tyler Polumbus by the time the season starts; if he can’t, Compton is probably gone.

Wide receiver (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Ryan Grant

—Hankerson’s status is iffy due to his ACL injury; starting out the year on the PUP list is not out of the question for the fourth-year receiver. That could open the door for Aldrick Robinson to make the 53 or perhaps, if he has a strong offseason and training camp, David Gettis.

Tight end (3): Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul

—Seventh-round pick Ted Bolser has a shot but he’s going to have to be very, very good on special teams to justify a fourth tight end.

Running back (4): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Roy Helu, Lache Seastrunk

—Chris Thompson will have to make a very strong case and stay healthy if he’s going to make a run at a roster spot.

Defense

Defensive line (7): Jason Hatcher, Chris Baker, Barry Cofield, Jarvis Jenkins, Stephen Bowen, Kedric Golston, Clifton Geathers

—The Redskins didn’t add anyone in the draft so the status quo reigns here. With Baker and Geathers both able to back up Cofield at nose tackle it doesn’t look like there’s a spot for Chris Neild.

Outside linebacker (4): Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Rob Jackson

—Last year they were saying that fifth-round pick Brandon Jenkins would have been a first-round pick if he was healthy for his senior year but he could barely get on the field last year even on special teams. He could fall victim to being one of “their” draft picks.

Inside linebacker (5): Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Akeem Jordan, Adam Hayward, Darryl Sharpton

—The team would very much like to have Robinson take over London Fletcher’s job in the middle. It might end up being handled by committee and that and special teams are why five inside linebackers should stick.

Cornerback (5): DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tracy Porter, Richard Crawford, Bashaud Breeland

—This would push E. J. Biggers and Chase Minnifield off of the 53. This is dependent on Crawford being healthy and being designated as the punt returner.

Safety (4): Ryan Clark, Phillip Thomas, Brandon Meriweather, Jose Gumbs

—It may be too early to move Thomas into the starting role but if it doesn’t happen by the time the Sept. 7 opener rolls by it should happen at some point during the season. Rambo gets caught in a numbers game with Gumbs staying around because he’ll play special teams.

Specialists (4): LS Nick Sundberg, P Robert Malone, PK Kai Forbath, KO Zach Hocker

—I’m not sure if the punter is on the roster yet but Malone has it by default for now. I think that Hocker sticks around as a kickoff specialist at the outset of the seasons assuming that the team is mostly healthy. If injuries squeeze the 53-man roster as the season goes on they may have to choose between the two.

Counts:

  • Offense—24
  • Defense—25
  • Specialists—4

New to organization since last year: 19 (8 offense, 9 defense, 2 specialists) (7 draft picks, 12 free agents)

  1. David Chandler - May 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Rich,

    I think we’ll stick with Brandon Jenkins over Rob Jackson (youth and upside). If we only keep 4 ILB’s then they both stick.

    If it’s a coin flip between Gettis and Robinson I’d rather have another tall red zone target. Jackson and Roberts already give us the speed that Robinson offers.

    I’d rather have Bacarri Rambo back for another year vs. 2 kickers mainly because if he does have a good camp and shows development Ryan and Brandon are only here for another year or two at most.

    • greed - May 12, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      rambo struggled as a rookie most rooks do the talent still there he was victim of da shannys fsilure to develope any young players that with wrong with older coaches stuck in their ways know it alls who are not willing to go througj growing pains with young players they tried to blame rambo for all defenses faults did he miss tackles early yes but he was adjusting to speed of the game , shannys shouldve figured out why rb’s kept beeing untouched through the line & lb’s to allow rambo to miss to many tackles & then he was being teamed with an undisciplined merriweather & unathletic reed doughty

  2. shermanp79 - May 12, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    I am Ok with most of your selections. I think the OL could be different if LeRebus(sp?) is in shape but I figured 2 of the young unproven guys would make the team. The kicker position is cutting a LB or S from the team. If Rambo has a better attitude and improves I think he makes the team. I don’t know if it’s at expense of Gumbs or a K but I think Rambo is going to have a good camp after learning from last year. He has talent but needs to grow up and develop. I hope last year taught him he needs to step up. I also think OLB Jenkins could be another who shows up with coaching. A new regimen will cut them no matter where drafted but being only one year I think they will want them to make the team and If it’s Gumbs or a K to keep both If they show progression that isn’t that big. What I am hoping is Forbath can get better at KO then the difference may not be that great. I think keeping 2 K is stupid and wastes a spot. The 2 2nd year guys should make this team. It is interesting Jenkins wasn’t used but is than another Shanahan thing with the doghouse? IDK, It wouldn’t be surprising. I’m wondering if his injury set him back and he never caught up. They had Jackson who had a good year in 2012 and reps went to him. If Haslet had trouble doing what he wanted what room was there for him to get on the field. Those are the only couple guys I differ with you. I think Minnifield is on the outside due to his size but he is another. If they sign Skov or S Bailey as UDFA they will compete and could be put on PS since this is so early for this, Ill speculate they are signed and compete. It will be an exciting TC and I look forward to it, so much so I may plan a trip back to an area I used to live. A ride from friends in Annapolis isn’t far. I may have to go down and visit!! HTTR!!

    • Rich Tandler - May 12, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      Jenkins didn’t play because he had limited enthusiasm for special teams so he was frequently inactive. If you want to call that the “doghouse” fine but most coaches won’t find much use for a reserve linebacker who doesn’t like special teams.

      • samhuff96 - May 12, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        Fans shouldn’t like them either. A real football player plays special teams until the coach tells them not to. We expect kickers to tackle after all.

        • shermanp79 - May 13, 2014 at 9:02 AM

          LOL, I don’t know if they expect them to tackle, think it’s more get in the way. I wouldn’t like a player who doesn’t give effort and why I said Rambo needed to learn and grow up. They are both only entering into their 2nd year. These guys are young and some have less maturity than others. I just think they need a chance to learn and grow. We can’t keep Drafting guys and cutting them a year later. This team will never get anywhere. Look how RG3 has changed after learning from last year, I am willing to give players that same chance. I do get that most won’t but a 2nd isn’t long.

      • shermanp79 - May 13, 2014 at 8:54 AM

        I totally agree young guys should earn their stripes, just like every job in America. I just didn’t know the reason behind it and wondered if the injury set him back and then could never catch up. I said Rambo needs a kick in the a$$, so Jenkins is in that group. I actually think that is a real issue and those guys don’t turn in good careers unless they learn and grow from it. I hope that is what Rambo does and Jenkins since that was an issue. I can see how it happens, guys get pampered and think ST is beneath them. I’m sure in College guy volunteer to play and want to do everything they can but some don’t see it that way. No wonder the Skins took the type of players they did, that would drive me crazy, having several guys who just don’t care. They should be grateful to have a chance to play in the NFL. They weren’t !st round picks or top guys at their position. They should of realized it. I won’t get on Shanahan for that, even though I think he has blame with some choices.

  3. greed - May 12, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    hey rich is maurice hurt still on roster i thought he did a great job at end of 2012& i know he was hurt last yr & why no j.lerebius thought he too did a gd job end of same season seem to me shanny had his favorites i.e kory l & polumbus former broncos who both clearly were overmatched and shouldve been pulled from starting line up

    • Rich Tandler - May 13, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      Hurt is still on the roster. He was not in shape last year, spent the whole year on PUP after a simple knee scope during OTAs. Ever see a May knee scope knock somebody out for the season?

      This wasn’t a matter of Shanny’s doghouse; he simply was not ready to play.

      • shermanp79 - May 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        I can’t believe how many athletes show up out of shape. I know it’s youth and maturity but you are an athlete for a living. He has been around a few years and is fighting to play. I get OL are big guys but take a few wks off and in March at least maintain some sort of shape then you can ramp it up as the offseason stuff increases and be ready for TC, where you can get to peak performance. They have great trainers and should have no issue unless limited by injury but even then they would maintain the highest level possible with injury.

  4. greed - May 12, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    jenkins – t jackson – minnifield a
    robinson all keepers – ryan grant l seastrunk practice squad material & and dont be suprised if couple fa signings soch as m mcglynn doesnt make roster just cause your fa signing doesnt mean you have a spot on roster

    • Rich Tandler - May 12, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      It would be very surprising if the guys who handed McGlynn a $200K signing bonus decided to cut him and eat that money five months later.

      > >

      • shermanp79 - May 13, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        Is 200k really that much money? He didn’t grade very well last year, I get it’s probably some whacky formula but I would hate to keep a guy over 200k if another player had better play. His experience is important and I think he makes the team, I just don’t want contracts to determine who stays or plays.

        • Rich Tandler - May 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM

          If McGlynn completely lays an egg in training camp/preseason the 200K will not stop them from cutting him. But the expectation is that he fits what they are looking for and he’s not here on a “tryout” basis.

          > >

  5. CavemanCatching - May 12, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    I agree for the most part, Rich. Though, Chester might become a cap casualty if Gettis, Long or LeRebius are able to step into the starting role. And, I think there is a chance that only Hocker or Forbath make the roster and they end up carrying 5 S’s (with Rambo getting another year to grow into a solid contributor – IF he can develop a yen for ST’s).

  6. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 12, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Last year they were saying that fifth-round pick Brandon Jenkins would have been a first-round pick if he was healthy for his senior year but he could barely get on the field last year even on special teams.

    I never knew whether this was because Shanahan wasn’t going to a play a rookie at a position where he had two quality starters and a reliable veteran backup, or because Brandon Jenkins wasn’t any good.
    ~

    • shermanp79 - May 13, 2014 at 9:27 AM

      Rich replied to my post and his attitude and effort towards ST was a factor into his playing time. IDK how many games he was inactive.

  7. toothcoster - May 12, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    No way Moss makes it. If he does they should have been drafting a WR. Moss is slow, can’t block, no special teams and his hands and speed are in steep decline. Thanks and enjoy retirement.

    • thirdistheworrd - May 13, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      I think Moss is the most “on the bubble” player on the list. He’s a good leader and represents the team well, but depending on how the safety or LB competition shakes out, he’s also probably the first to go off this 53. Especially given how talented the receiving corps is (don’t forget Jordan Reed, who is really just a receiver with a different label) it would seem more important to have five safeties or five OLB’s than six receivers.

  8. alextwrs - May 12, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Chris Thompson and Royster seem all but done. Seastrunk is a healthy version of Thompson and Chris did not pan out on ST either. Got a log jam of young undeveloped talent in our Oline. I wouldnt mind if some of the older salary hogs were let go and let competition bring out our best young talent, rookie or not.

    • thirdistheworrd - May 13, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      I think everyone agrees with you on Royster– great guy, but his career seems more or less a wrap. However, I think Thompson is one of the more interesting questions/decisions this offseason. He’s shown next to nothing, but he did spend most of last season being injured, recovering from injury, and adjusting to the NFL game. Say what you want about Shanahan as a cooach or a person, but the guy knew how to draft runningbacks. I really doubt Thompson will come close to making the roster, but Shanny clearly saw something in Thompson, and casting him away as one of the previous coach’s “leftovers” without giving him a decent shot in camp could be a big mistake.

      • Rich Tandler - May 13, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        I would be in full agreement on Thompson here if the current regime hadn’t drafted Seastrunk. I just can’t see both of them on the roster and I can’t see Seastrunk getting cut.

        > >

        • thirdistheworrd - May 13, 2014 at 3:17 PM

          Truth. I had originally written
          “Keeping 5 RB’s (including Young) is just not going to happen, so unless he’s a practice squad candidate (and I don’t think he is) it looks like he’s done too.”
          But it seemed too long and wordy and made my whole paragraph kind of superfluous, so I took it out

  9. skinsdiehard - May 12, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Good projection overall but I disagree on the following:

    RB Chris Thompson > Roy Helu (Helu lacks elusiveness)
    OG Josh LeRibeus > Chris Chester (to provide cap space to sign draft picks)
    WR David Gettis > Santana Moss (Gettis provides some size; Moss was one of the league leaders in drops last yr) T
    TE Ted Bolser > Niles Paul (Paul simply cannot catch; he’s had his chances; Bolser is a bigger target)
    OLB Brandon Jenkins > Rob Jackson (Jenkins is better pash rusher; that matters most)
    DL – keep only six (6) due to flexibility of players and drop Kedric Golston (way past due with him)
    CB EJ Biggers > Bashaud Breeland (Breeland will be a FS)
    S Bashaud Breeland > Jose Gumbs and keep Tanard Jackson

    • Rich Tandler - May 12, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      Just FYI, the Redskins do not need very much cap room to sign draft picks. Haven’t recalculated it with the two third-rounders but it’s still around $500K.

      And Paul isn’t really a TE, he’s special teams. Have to keep him for that unless you hit a gold mine of them and even then you can’t have too many.

      > >

    • alextwrs - May 12, 2014 at 8:26 PM

      Diehard nice line up but I think helu is coming into his own. Tanard is a ? I like gumbs st talent. I agree w the six dline and I think we keep 5 olb. It’s the most talented and deepest pos on the team why not mix it up w diff packages. ESP since r jax can cover. Ok maybe wr is the deepest pos.

    • Brandon - May 12, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      Helu may lack explosiveness, but has Thompson done to warrant a spot over Helu?

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 13, 2014 at 6:32 AM

      A huge reach to suggest Thompson beats out Helu. Helu has more experience, size, and is a proven player catching out of the back field. Helu does not lack elusiveness. Heck, he is the speedier more elusive version of AM. Helu is a clear backup to AM and Seastrunk is the change of pace back that is a clear threat to Thompson especially with his durability issues.

      • thirdistheworrd - May 13, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        More than a reach– just goofy. Shanahan clearly saw something in Thompson, and he should definitely be given decent shot in camp. Still, Helu really is a starting caliber runningback– not a good starter, definitely not a pro bowler, but if A Mo hadn’t panned out, I think Helu would have been our no. 1 RB over the last two years. With Andre Roberts, Desean Jackson, and a healthy Crawford, I don’t think Thompson will have much of a chance as a special teamer, which makes it seem like his fate is pretty much sealed, but he could definitely turn into a major training camp surprise.

  10. kenlinkins - May 12, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    It seems that GM Allen and Coach Gruden will have a “No Play, No Pay rule” for the 53 man roster (you have an assignement or you do not have a spot). The Free Agents they signed who received a nice signing bonus seem to have a role as major back up (insurance policy), or special team assignment they have handled in the past (i.e. they are being account on because they have done this before and are good at their job). There will be No spots taken by guys who have only flashed but failed to develop, where drafted and talked up but failed to show up! This GM and Head Coach will cut guys to make a point early about getting better every day and it will be up to each player to find his way onto this team. This should make for a fun preseason as even some of the lower drafted guys and undrafted Free Agents could make a run at guys who believe they are untouchable.(happens every year on good NFL teams) IMO Half hearted work will be meet with disappointment, true effort could land you in the NFL, even if it is on the Practice Squad or IR if you really show something in Camp / Preseason games. Not sure I agree will Rich on the roster lay out (I would like more CB’s) but it sure does look close to what I have at this point.

  11. internetcareer - May 13, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    Nostradamus here again Rich. Since I did so well on the other call I need to alert you about Spencer Long. He will be put on IR before the season begins, protecting him, giving him healing time, and giving him an opportunity next year. Will not be on the 53 man roster.

    Ted “WARDADDY” Bolser will indeed make the squad. Ya missed on that one Rich. Gruden is in love with him, but not the Michael Sam way.

    I would not count out Brandon Jenkins but I like your insightful comment about “ONE OF THEIR DRAFT PICKS”. That is true, a new manager in ANY business comes in and wants to clean house as much as possible and bring in his guy. This new attitude COULD certainly affect the following people: Jenkins, Leribeus. Forbath, Rambo, Aldrick Robinson, Leonard Hankerson, Minnifield, Chris Thompson and Evan Royster. I do think that Thompson and Lache are the same guy, so it presents an interesting problem if Thompson looks better than Lache and Helu and Chris suddenly explodes now that he is healthy.

    Now here is where it gets interesting. Gruden would have loved to trade Cousins. That was the plan and why Colt is here. Didn’t happen but I believe that Gruden may carry Colt simply because they have a long term plan here in D.C. Colt can be the backup for a long time, but not until next year. Sometimes ya have to bite the bullet, especially when your gun is a Colt. Remember…”one of THEIR draft picks”.

    ps. keep your eye on Chris Davenport. Huge Def. Tackle from Tulane.**** Amazing individual and the kind of character that Allen is looking for. No shock for me if he ends up replacing “one of THEIR picks”.

    • Rich Tandler - May 13, 2014 at 5:22 AM

      You never know about knee injuries but there is not reason to believe that there are any issues with Long. It was a PCL/MCL last October, not an ACL. He said he’d be a full go this weekend and Jay said he thought the same. Barring a setback, thee’s no reason to think that he is headed to IR.

  12. redskinsnameisheretostay - May 13, 2014 at 6:44 AM

    “Offensive line (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Morgan Moses, Tom Compton, Mike McGlynn, Adam Gettis, Spencer Long

    —Moses may not be able to beat out Tyler Polumbus by the time the season starts; if he can’t, Compton is probably gone.”

    Rich, I see your Tom Compton/Adam Gettis and raise you Tyler Polumbus/Josh Leribeus. Polumbus actually played well last season. He’s not a long term solution but I feel is recent improvement in the pass rush and his experience makes him a suitable backup. Leribeus actually came in shape for the initial workouts and it seemed to please the coaching staff. Josh’s combination of size and athleticism makes him hard to pass over Gettis who may have better technic but is very much undersized. I guess its a matter of trusting Josh to stay in shape and work hard enough to earn the spot. The one surpise out of the bunch for me would be Gettis beating out Chester for the final spot. I think Chester is the most vulnerable of the starters from last season.

    • Rich Tandler - May 13, 2014 at 6:51 AM

      I don’t entirely disagree on Polumbus but it seems to me that Jay Gruden does disagree. They tried like hell to get Donald Penn to play right tackle and now they spend a high third-round pick, their second pick in the draft, to play right tackle. Doesn’t seem to me that Jay was that impressed with Polumbus’ “improvement” last year.

      As for LeRibeus, do they give him a clean slate? If they do he has a shot. But remember that the same OL coach who was burned by LeRibeus showing up overweight last year is still in place. Gettis has been putting on weight, I have heard they like him more than LeRibeus.

      > >

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 13, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        I certainly see your point about Polumbus. I’m just not sure if finding a replacement means cutting him or moving him to a backup role. No doubt there is room for improvement at his position. I just think he has performed adequately to fulfill a backup position. Also, Tyler doesn’t have a pricey contract so the only deciding factor would be if the new coach prefers the younger yet raw Compton over Polumbus. Maybe Compton will come around in traning camp proving to be up to the task of filling a backup role, and maybe Moses will be a legitimate starter week one. I’d prefer both those scenarios to pan out. However, once the season starts; I’m just not sure if the staff would be willing to gamble on two inexperienced right tackles. This is one worth following. One last plus for me is cutting Polumbus will at least spare me having to read the neverending complaints about how bad he is from fans even when there has been no merit for it.

        It would also be great to see Gettis gain weight and avoid getting pushed off the line. I read he has great footwork and a solid base. I’d personally like to see use retain both if they play to their potential. I wasn’t aware the new staff was impressed with Gettis.

  13. magilagorilla - May 13, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    So nobody traded for Cousins during the draft, and now the story is sombody is going to be stupid enough to trade for him during Camp. Next you will predict somebody will trade for him early in the season if their starter gets hurt, and finally you will tell us that if the coach would let him start the last three meaningless games of the season somebody would pick him up next offseason. Washington is going to cut Cousins, or keep him forever. Nobody is going to give even a 7th round pick for him.

  14. kenlinkins - May 13, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    I am still not sold on Kory L at center or Chester at RG in pass protection or drive blocking. I want to see Mike McGlynn work at center with LeRbeus and Gettis at RG in preseason games. He has 45 lbs. on Kory L and would be harder to push around. If Long could be a back up center and RG/LG in 2014 the Redskins would add beef up front in the middle where most of the problems started in 2013. If McGlynn, LeRibus, Gettis, Long and Lauvao can handle the LG, RG and C positions (and back up on game day) and Williams, Polumbus, Moses and Compton can handle LT, RT and back up. I am not sure of the Cap number if we release both Kory L and Chester, but it wouldn’t break my heart to see them both follow Monty out the door.

  15. Phillip J. - May 14, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Lose the kicker and keep depth at D-Backs

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