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Need to Know: Which Redskins 2015 draft picks have a chance to start this year?

May 8, 2015, 5:19 AM EDT

OL Arie Kouandjio

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 7, 83 days before the Washington Redskins open training camp in Richmond, VA.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question is from the Real Redskins Facebook page:


Let’s look at each of the Redskins’ draft picks that has a realistic chance of earning a starting job this year and see what it would take for that to happen.

To keep it a bit more concise here, it doesn’t appear to me that Austin Reiter, Evan Spencer, or Tevin Mitchell have realistic shots at starting this season barring multiple injuries, so we will leave them out of the discussion here.

OT Brandon Scherff—All he really has to do is show up. Yes, Scot McCloughan said that he would have to compete for the job but if he can’t push out Tom Compton the Redskins made a big mistake.

OLB Preston Smith—This is a tough one to figure out because it’s unclear how Smith and Trent Murphy will be utilized. We could see Murphy at OLB on first and 10 and Smith on the edge in nickel situations. That would mean Murphy is the “starter” even though Smith could play an equal number of snaps, perhaps more. Or maybe the bigger Smith will line up in the regular defense, Murphy will come in on nickel and Smith will put his hand in the dirt and rush from the line. Bottom line is that Smith could play a substantial number of snaps without a start to his credit.

RB Matt Jones—Jay Gruden said that Alfred Morris’ role would be unchanged. Since Morris has started the Redskins’ last 48 games it doesn’t look like Jones will get a shot at starting barring injury.

WR Jamison Crowder—The Redskins do start a slot receiver on occasion; Andre Robert had four starts last year. Can Crowder push past Roberts and become the top slot receiver? It’s possible as Roberts was something of a free-agent disappointment last year but it seems more likely that Crowder’s main role is as a returner.

G Arie Kouandjio—There clearly is opportunity at guard on this team, particularly on the right side. It doesn’t seem that Chris Chester is a fit for the team’s new power-oriented scheme and Spencer Long wasn’t able to push him aside last year. I’m probably a bit more bullish on Kouandjio than most so I won’t rule out him being able to claw his way into the starting lineup at some point later in the year.

ILB Martrell Spaight—How fast can Spaight pick things up? Keenan Robinson missed three games last year and Perry Riley missed two. If he can push ahead of Will Compton to become that injury fill in, he has a shot at getting some starts. He may not be fully ready but it could happen.

SS Kyshoen Jarrett—He has a real good chance to make the 53 because of special teams play so he could be the backup to Jeron Johnson. It’s hard to see him pushing past Johnson to first string, however.


—It’s been 131 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 128 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 39; Redskins training camp starts 83; Redskins @ Giants 139

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. Jim Collins - May 8, 2015 at 6:28 AM

    I see Moses sliding to guard. Schreff starting RT. And either Arie or Long dislodging Lauvao. Either way, Chester is gone. Lauvao moves to backup. I see left to right, Trent, Arie/long, Cory, Moses, Schreff. Nice upgrade!

    • sidepull - May 8, 2015 at 6:36 AM

      That sounds good to me. I would like to see Smith hit the field often, disrupt the offense and make a mockery of the Dallas O line…….

      • celticsforever - May 8, 2015 at 8:03 AM

        Dallas has an awesome line. No one is going to be “making a mockery” out of them. But don’t worry, after another 2 drafts (like this one) the Washington O-line will be just as daunting.

    • captblood3000 - May 8, 2015 at 9:01 AM

      More likely, Williams, Schreff, Lichtensteiger, Long, Moses.

      This assumes that Moses’ recovery from the Lisfranc injury remains on schedule.

  2. skinsgame - May 8, 2015 at 8:07 AM

    It makes me cringe to think that Chester will be on the 53. But I f the Redskins start 2 rookies on the line, it could be a very long season. The caveat with the offensive line is Callahan and the unknown results he will bring.

    • celticsforever - May 8, 2015 at 8:14 AM

      Just think of this season as Year 1. The verdict is still out on Moses. But let’s look at Long. As bad as Chester is, Long cannot overtake him on the depth chart. So that means either one of two things. Long is not very good (aka terrible draft pick by the former GM Bruce Allen). Or – Long is good but has received bad coaching from his position coach (since replaced) and therefore bad evaluations from Pos. Coach/Head Coach. Both those situations have been corrected, but this is basically a reset year. If young guys cannot push average (at best) aging veterans, then cut them and get in better young talent. If Long really cannot overtake Chester, then cut him. If LeRebius cannot overtake Chester, cut him. Dead weight if they can’t push a guy like Chester out of the way.

      • captblood3000 - May 8, 2015 at 9:30 AM

        Long’s failure to overtake Chester means neither of those things. Long tore his ACL in October 2013. The recovery time was expected to be one year, and that came to pass. Before the injury, Long was generally considered to be a 2nd round prospect. He dropped to the 3rd round because the team that drafted him would have to redshirt him for a year. In the interim, the Redskins hoped that Chester would revert to his 2012 form. I think it more than likely that Long will start at right guard in 2015.

        Chester was the Redskins’ backup center last year. Since then, the Redskins have added centers Tyler Larsen in free agency and Austin Reiter at center. Assuming that the Redskins carry 9 offensive linemen, one of those backup centers has to show that (1) he can play guard if needed, (2) that he’s worth keeping as the backup center and Lichtensteiger’s eventual replacement. If so, the backup center makes the 53 man roster and Redskins could cut Chester.

        On the basis of his Monday presser, McCloughan appears to think that Moses is among the Redskins 5 best offensive linemen. I’m sure that Moses’ performance in the San Francisco game has been throughly dissected by the Redskins front office and coaching staff, and they came away with reason to be optimistic about Moses.

  3. celticsforever - May 8, 2015 at 8:08 AM

    Besides Scherff & Smith… what I would just LOVE to see is the draft picks make any sort of contribution. The days of “keeping our picks but not having them active on gameday” must end. That is a sign of bad drafting and bad coaching. If your 3rd, 4th & 5th rounders cant at least be active on gameday (esp. on a bad team), make some special teams plays and fil in for a snap or two, then there are MAJOR issues with the entire organization. We must draft well, and have those draft picks contribute. It’s how the good teams do it. Washington is not a good team.

  4. Stephfan - May 8, 2015 at 9:12 AM

    I think all of those guys you picked rich have a chance to start this year or next. Especially the saftey next year, I think arie maybe better than long is but we shall see.

  5. mr.moneylover - May 8, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    Im high on arie kouandjio playing guard …I think its likely arie kouandjio get the start at guard here’s two reason 1. Hes scot draft pick so theres a trust there 2.I think scot m. And jay gruden would want them to grow up playing nex to each other getting to know how each other play the game…WR.Jamison crowder has a legit chance to start as well….dont think perry Riley will be starting next season either…when ask jay gruden why perry Riley started when will compton was playing good so I wouldnt be surprise if they plug in martrell maights slowly but surely his college coach says hes like a sponge if you keep feeding him with knowledge of the postion you want him to play he will play that postion at a high level

    • jonevans511 - May 8, 2015 at 9:57 PM

      I’m high on Arie period, I think we found ourselves a later round gem to be honest. Of course he has to earn it, but Saban coached him up and he looked pretty stout most of the time. I’m just hoping he’s a worst-case serviceable guard and a best-case Trent Williams-guard-equivalent (a man can dream).

  6. murphsman - May 8, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    Maybe we lucked out by Fowler being off the board by #5, huh?

    • jonevans511 - May 8, 2015 at 9:59 PM

      Can’t say anything for sure, that injury was the very definition of a freak accident. I wish Fowler a quick & full recovery because I a) wanted him on the Skins and b) love the kid from everything I’ve seen both on and off the field. Best wishes, Dante, you’re a physical freak and if anyone can rebound fully it’s you. Archives

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