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Who are the locks to make the Redskins’ 53?

Jul 21, 2014, 11:55 AM EST

Redskins-group-camp

The Redskins will report to training camp on Wednesday with 90 players on the roster. One of the biggest jobs the coaching staff will have is to determine who will be on the 53-man roster when the season starts.

We all know, however, that there are not 53 jobs up for grabs. Some players are locks to be on the roster when the season starts on Sept. 7 in Houston, barring injury or other unforeseen circumstances. How many players are locks and how many roster spots are really at stake? Let’s take a look:

Offense (16): OL Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Kory Lichtensteiger; WR Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts; QB Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins; RB Alfred Morris, Roy Helu, Darrel Young; TE Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul

Some will want to debate a few of these such as Young and Paul. But I’ve heard that Young is a lock despite Gruden’s history of not always keeping a fullback on the roster in Cincinnati and with the team trying to revive the special teams units Paul isn’t going anywhere. I could have put Tyler Polumbus as a lock but he’s more like 95 percent certain to be on the 53; If Moses can come on like gangbusters, the organization could decide that Polumbus’ $2.5 million salary is too much for a backup.

Defense (15): DL Jason Hatcher, Chris Baker, Barry Cofield; LB Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley; CB DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tracy Porter, Bashaud Breeland; S Brandon Meriweather, Ryan Clark, Phillip Thomas

The only possible question mark is Breeland but I don’t see them exposing their fourth-round pick to waivers in an effort to get him on the practice squad. Free agent linebackers Spencer Hayward, Akeem Jordan, and Darryl Sharpton are in the 95 percent category but there is a possibility that there won’t be room for one of the three.

I’m not prepared to call any of the six specialists locks. Long snapper Nick Sundberg is the closest but the organization might look at the fact that he has spent a total of 19 games on injured reserve the past two years and go with Kyle Nelson. While Kai Forbath and Robert Malone are solid favorites at kicker and punter, respectively, neither is a lock.

With a total of 31 roster locks, 22 jobs are legitimately up for grabs between now and when final cuts are made on August 30. The competition will be fierce and it gets underway on Thursday.

Did I miss any players you think are locks? Anyone listed not a lock in your opinion? Let me know in the comments.

  1. goskins44 - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    I agree with the list except for the following:

    I think Ryan Grant is a lock. Gruden likes WRs. He drafted him and IMO his game translates to the NFL better than his draft level. Of the other WRs only Moss even has a chance of finishing ahead of him. Even if Moss does he still makes it no problem. I know a lot of people like Hanerson, but he cannot stay healthy. Also, if you look at the very limited success he has had, it’s mostly been with Kurt Cousins. He may make PUP. But he could also be released with an injury settlement.

    No way Paul is a lock. He may make it if he can show he can actually play TE. I know he plays STs and loosing him and Reed may be big, but they have to turn a corner. Paul is a horrible TE. Not sure we can afford to keeep a STs specialist.

    An argument could be made for Akeem Jordan, but I think like you it’s more a 95%, not an absolute lock.

    There are few others that I strongly believe will be on the 53, but I can’t call them locks – Lache Seastrunk and Cody Hoffman, especially Hoffman.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      I could see Grant going to the practice squad this year. There are many talented WRs out there that I feel have similar potential. So he should be able to make it to our practice squad. Of course, if he shines in preseason enough then I’d have to agree with you he makes the 53 man squad.

      The one player a actually hate to see as a lock is Shawn Lauvao. He was one of the worst rated guards all around last season so I’m stumped how he can be a sure bet. I really hope to see the young guards step up and especially LeRibeus. We’ll be severely vulnerable at the interior of the line if he is our best option as a starter and that especially rains true if Chester is on the other side.

      Our interior linemen could become the breaking point for our team’s success this season. It looks worst than safety IMO if we are stuck with Lauvao and Chester.

      • goskins44 - Jul 21, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        I thought about Grant to the PS but I really think he that much better than the others we have save maybe Moss. But you very well could be right.

        Shawn is a lock $17M reasons. They did not sign him to 4 yrs/17M to cut him. Also, he is an immediate upgrade in pass blocking. He does struggle in run blocking but honestly that much easier to coach and correct. I have to trust that Gruden knows something. The guy played for him the last few yrs so if there were problems I think Jay would have stayed away.

        Here is one of the better breakdowns of Shawns strengths and weaknesses: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/football-insider/wp/2014/03/12/a-closer-look-at-new-redskins-guard-shawn-lauvao/

        It’s from the Post but unlike them it’s a very fair and honest evaluation, not typically their strong suit.

        • ceetown22 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:50 PM

          Actually Lauvao played for Cleveland, Gruden coached Cincy last year…

    • ceetown22 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      Hoffman? def going to the practice squad

  2. Avery Willner - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Based on Grudens comments, I believe Jarvis Jenkins is a lock. Also, Akeem Jordan. Nice contract, capable starter, brings a lot on special teams.

    • ceetown22 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      agreed – esp about Jenkins

  3. kenlinkins - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    OK Rich, I admit it, I am one of the guys who would want to debate a few names on the list, but I will pick only one, Kory Lichtensteiger! I can not see him as a lock at starting center or back up for that matter. With Gettis, Long, and LeRibues, as back ups at center and OG to McGlynn if he wins the job at center. We all know Kory L can handle the calls and knows what to do, the concern is that he can not pass protect. The quickest way to the QB is going over center and if Kory L can not improve 100% in pass protection he will not make this team. Until we see him in pads and pass blocking for all he is worth AND forming the head of the pocket that RG3 steps into without getting nailed every other play, Kory L can not be called a lock IMO. Add to that a Cap Savings of $1.1 million dollars and you can see why I feel Kory L has a ton to prove.

  4. kenlinkins - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    I really am interested in seeing how GM Allen and Coach Gruden build the 53 man roster and Practice Squad. With so many new faces on the 90 man roster and only about 30 locks to make the team, I want to see if they go Youth Movement, Win Now, a Mix of both, how many Stop Gaps guys must make the team in order field a team that doesn’t have major weakness in key areas (Special Teams, O-Line, D-Line , DB’s) and if guys like Clark, Moss Bowen, Chester, Kory L, Meriweather make the 53 man roster in Sept but get cut later as younger Back Ups over take them sometime in the season (and how many young talents miss making the team due to aging vets being just a bit better today, but maybe not in the long run). In short, what is the transition plan? It is Coach G.Allen style (use Vets to win now) or Coach Gibbs style (play young talent until they learn or prove they do not belong on an NFL team).

  5. mremeet - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Kyle Nelson was waived. I think Sundberg is a lock.

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