May 15, 2015, 11:20 AM EDT
The Redskins will hold their first major on-field activity of their preseason program today when they start their rookie camp in Ashburn. That’s too early to predict who will make the 53-man roster when all of the preseason activity is done and the final cuts are made on September 5. But that won’t stop me. Here is who I think ends up making the defensive portion of the final 53; I took my shot at the offense yesterday.
Starters in bold
Defensive line (7): Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton, Stephan Paea, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean Francois, Kedric Golston, Frank Kearse
This seems to be pretty well set barring injury. There were three arrivals via free agency in Knighton, Paea, and Jean Francois but three who had been around for the last few seasons, Jarvis Jenkins, Barry Cofield, and Stephen Bowen, are gone. That means that Kearse, a pleasant surprise with three sacks last year, and the veteran Golston are likely to stay around.
Outside linebacker (4): Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith, Jackson Jeffcoat
It probably won’t really matter much if Murphy or Smith starts; both will have substantial roles in the defense. I’m not sure how comfortable they are with Jeffcoat as their depth option; the Redskins may aggressively check the waiver wire for a more experienced backup.
Inside linebacker (5): Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight, Adam Hayward
There doesn’t seem to be much drama here in terms of making the 53 as long as they stick with five at this position. Things could get interesting as Compton and perhaps even the rookie Spaight push to take snaps and perhaps even the starting job away from Riley.
Cornerback (5): Chris Culliver, Bashaud Breeland, DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tevin Mitchel
This is dependent on Hall being ready for the start of the season after twice tearing his Achilles last fall. Although reports on his recovery are positive at this point, Hall being ready for Week 1 is not a given at this point. If Hall is healthy and if Mitchel shows some ability in training camp it could mean the end for Tracy Porter.
Safety (4): Dashon Goldson, Jeron Johnson, Phillip Thomas, Kyshoen Jarrett
I’d be less than truthful if I said that the two behind Goldson and Jonson are any more than an educated guess. Certainly Akeem Davis, Trenton Robinson, and Duke Ihenacho have legitimate shots at making it. And there is no free safety to back up Goldson; that duty could fall to a cornerback already on the roster or perhaps one could be found on the waiver wire.
LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way, PK Kai Forbath
Forbath could be pushed by some competition, although rookie Ty Long out of Alabama-Birmingham, the only other kicker on the roster, is probably not the guy to do it.
New to organization since last year: 16 (6 offense, 10 defense) (9 draft picks, one rookie free agent, six free agents)
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