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Need to Know: 5 ‘on the bubble’ Redskins whose jobs are safe

Jun 13, 2014, 4:53 AM EDT

Darrel-Young-TD-celebrate

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 13, four days before the start of Redskins minicamp.

Nickel coverage

Here are five Redskins who many fans think are in danger of not making the 53-man roster whose jobs are, in reality, safe.

Niles Paul—Many complain because he doesn’t produce much as a tight end. But he’s a core special teams guy and the focus on that area will keep him on the roster.

Ryan Grant—Sure, the rookie fifth-round pick is not very fast. But he has a knack for getting open and holding on to the ball when it gets thrown in his direction. During OTAs he did line up with RG3 and the other starters for some series. That’s not a sure sign he’s in the plans but a good indicator.

Tyler Polumbus—I guess this constitutes a flip-flop since when I did my “way too early” 53-man roster projection a month ago, Polumbus wasn’t on it. But I don’t think they’re going to force Morgan Moses to start before he’s ready and I think the chances are good that he won’t be ready by September.

Darrel Young—Jay Gruden’s Bengals ran with just one running back on 83 percent of their snaps last year, leading many to wonder if the team would even keep a fullback on the roster. Like Paul, Young is a core special teams player and it’s hard for me to picture him not being one of the 53 best players, regardless of how underutilized his primary position might be.

Stephen Bowen—Many think that Bowen will fall victim to his injury, age, salary cap number, or some combination of all three. I do think a contract redo might be coming but I’m hearing he’s in the plans.

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Timeline

—Redskins defensive back E. J. Biggers was born on this date in 1987.

—It’s been 166 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 86 days until they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 4; Training camp 41; Preseason opener vs. Patriots 55

In case you missed it

  1. vtsquirm - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Ryan Grant, seriously? With all the WRs we have?

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:00 AM

      Yes, seriously.

      > >

  2. clayton268921 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    I don’t think keeping this many solid receivers is healthy for the cap. Any chance we flip one of them for picks down the road in a year maybe?

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      Who do you trade? Garçon is going nowhere. Too big a cap hit to deal Jackson or Roberts. The others cost virtually nothing against the cap but in any case I don’t see anyone giving up a pick for Moss, Hank, or Aldrick.

      The WR pay structure is a bit top heavy at the moment but they can get away with it since they are paying their QB and RB relatively little. They’ll have to adjust and get some starting WR’s in the draft.

  3. mauriceatwood - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Rich, do you foresee the Redskins continuing to keep three quarterbacks? I hope they do.

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      I’d say right now I’m leaning towards them keeping three. If you only keep 2 on the 53 you almost have to have a third one on the practice squad. Since they haven’t brought a PS-eligible QB on board, I think the plan is to keep McCoy. Could change but that’s how I see it now.

  4. deshackle - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Niles Paul lacks athleticism.

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      So I guess they should go out and recruit the US decathlon team to cover kicks for them?

      • deshackle - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        Maybe not the US decathlon team but fast, open field athletic guys in the mold of Lorenzo Alenander or Devin Thomas.

  5. renhoekk2 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Should 3rd round OL have this much trouble adjusting to the NFL? Or does this front office just lack the ability to scout and find players for the position? Obviously TWILL was a no-brainer layup 1st rd pick so they get no credit for him. No other starting OL is a draft pick of the organization. They had to go out and sign a starting and reserve OL in FA. LeRibeus looks like a bust and everything I hear about Moses is he’s not close to competing for starting time. OL is not like QB, DB, WR where there is a huge adjustment from a schematic and playbook perspective. The learning curve for a 3rd round OL should not be that big where they can not even be considered for the starting lineup. If that is the case then you obviously over drafted the player.

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      Why don’t we take a look at some actual facts here. From 2009-2013, 25 offensive linemen were drafted in the third round. Out of them, 10 were their team’s primary starters as rookies (that’s a quick count, I might be off one or two). So you have a 40 percent chance of getting a guy who can start for you in his first season. Note that I did not look at individual game logs, it’s possible that some of them didn’t start Week 1 but came into the lineup later due to injury or due to beating out the guy in front of them later in the season.

      Nine of those third rounders have not been their teams’ primary starter for even one season. So in the third round you have almost as good a chance of getting a guy who can’t start for you as you do of getting a rookie starter.

      The learning curve is huge. As Allen and Gruden (and I) have explained over and over again, this draft (and the drafts of most teams) are not about getting immediate starters, especially when you don’t have a first-round pick. If you choose not to listen, that’s your option but it’s the truth.

      • renhoekk2 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        I think it has more to do with the fact that they have had very few OL start for them that they actually drafted in recent years. In any round. It has to be below the league average. They are not even finding guys who eventually become starters. It seems they are always signing FA lineman. To me that is a glaring scouting weakness. From most reports Tyler Polumbus is a below average starting OL. It’s not like the bar was set that high for some rookie to come in and play.

        • Rich Tandler - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:54 AM

          Is it scouting or is it development? The team has produced very few starters, or even solid contributors, at any position from Days 2 and 3 of the draft. Bruce Allen said that they have recognized that and have a plan to do something about it. It may or may not work but they are attempting to address it rather than just doing what they’ve always done.

          > >

        • kenlinkins - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:47 PM

          Development is the key to any draft pick after day one no matter the position. IMO the lack of development of the draft picks of the Redskins has been the single biggest disappointment and the error with the most cost made over the pass 10 years. Moving forward the Redskins must fix the issue to find success!

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