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How many players are locks to make the Redskins’ 53?

May 20, 2015, 1:29 PM EDT


The Redskins have the league maximum 90 players on their roster and a lot of what goes on between now and the start of the season will be about finding out who will be on the final 53-man roster. There is plenty of talk from Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan about competition. But how much competition is there really? How many of those coveted 53 jobs are already locked up and how many are up for grabs? As OTA’s start next week let’s take a look with the caveat that injuries and a truly surprising performance could change the picture for a few players.

Right now, it looks like 41 players are locks to make the final roster:

Offense (20)

QB (2): Robert Griffin III, Colt McCoy
RB (3): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Matt Jones
WR (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Jamison Crowder, Evan Spencer
TE (2): Jordan Reed, Niles Paul
OL (7): Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Shawn Lauvao, Morgan Moses, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, Arie Kouandjio

Two of last year’s starters on the line, Chris Chester and Tom Compton are in danger of not making the roster. Kirk Cousins is a lock at QB unless he is traded. There will be plenty of competition for the last one or two spots at running back. Tight end seems to be set but there is a long shot chance for someone surprising and knocking Logan Paulsen off of the 53. It’s not much of a chance but enough so I’m not calling Paulsen a lock.

The Redskins are likely to keep 25 or 26 offensive players so there are five or six jobs up for grabs on that side of the ball.

Defense (18)

DL (5): Jason Hatcher, Stephen Paea, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean Francois, Terrance Knighton
LB (8): Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith, Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight, Adam Hayward
DB (5): Chris Culliver, Bashaud Breeland, David Amerson, Dashon Goldson, Jeron Johnson

On the line there is at least one or possibly two jobs up for grabs. Inside linebacker looks set but there is an opening for a backup outside LB. The defensive backfield probably has four spots to be filled. One of them will go to DeAngelo Hall if his injured Achilles is rehabbed in time for the start of the season.

There are likely to be 24 or 25 defensive players on the roster so that leaves six or seven spots open counting the one that Hall might fill.

The three specialists on the roster, kicker Kai Forbath, punter Tress Way, and long snapper Nick Sundberg, are all locks.

That makes a total of 41 locks so 12 jobs are up for grabs,

Who is in contention for those 12 spots? I count 23 players who right now appear to have a legitimate chance of challenging for those jobs:

Offense (10): OL’s Tom Compton, Chris Chester, Josh LeRibeus, Austin Reiter; TE’s Je’Ron Hamm, Chase Dixon; QB Kirk Cousins; RB’s Silas Redd, Chris Thompson, Trey Williams

Defense (12): DL’s Kedric Golston, Frank Kearse; OLBs Jackson Jeffcoat, Trevardo Williams; DB’s DeAngelo Hall, Tevin Mitchel, Tracy Porter, Phillip Thomas, Trenton Robinson, Duke Ihenacho, Kyshoen Jarrett, Akeem Davis

With 41 locks and 22 bubble players, that leaves 27 who will have work to do and may need a couple of breaks to get into serious contention for a roster spot. But they are in an NFL camp and while their chances of making it are slim, they are better off than those of thousands of others who are on the outside looking in. I would not rule out any of these players making it; in fact, chances are that one or two of them will make it. But, right now, the odds are long.

  1. chris - May 20, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    Morgan moses sucks…. no way he is a lock

    • bob - May 20, 2015 at 2:04 PM

      But he has potential lol

    • bangkokben - May 20, 2015 at 2:21 PM

      Teams don’t like to cut drat picks, especially rounds 1-3. There’s too much investment there.

    • mr.moneylover - May 20, 2015 at 4:09 PM

      He struggle in his first game against Seattle but when he was backing up trent Williams he played really well against the 49ers….if you can contain aldon smith like morgan moses did hes a keeper just hope he can bounce back from that injury

    • captblood3000 - May 20, 2015 at 8:07 PM

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. I watched Moses in the San Francisco game. He gave up two sacks, one of which appeared to be Griffin’s fault for setting up outside of the pocket. This is working against Aldon Smith. That’s your idea of “sucks”? Go watch Brandon Scherff against Maryland last year, especially in the 2nd half. It’s available on YouTube. He got beat like a drum.

      • Stephfan - May 20, 2015 at 8:56 PM

        Mosses it’s all that great

  2. Stephfan - May 20, 2015 at 2:21 PM

    I don’t mosses is a lock only if heathy but I agree with ya rich

  3. alextwrs - May 20, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    Moses fits what our GM is looking for, big young guys that are nasty. We will see how nasty he is when he is tried at RG. Love to see him succeed at that position. I think he needs lighter feet, being as though he gets beat on the first step at the NFL level. That can be improved though and is easier to pick up at Guard rather than at Tackle.

  4. bangkokben - May 20, 2015 at 2:35 PM

    Super solid job by Rich. This is the football equivalent of when your math teacher wanted you to show your work. There are some fans that have done this exact same exercise to predict who will make the team and then there are the guys that just post the answers devoid of any reasoning.

    If Paulsen and Cousins are on the team, then there really is just room for one or two backs and two o-linemen. This lack of turnover will incense the fans that think that the only way to improve is massive change in personnel.

    On the defense, I’m surprised to Compton as a lock but then again maybe there isn’t enough competition there. I know there’s a vocal group that sees him as a starter but with a new system and new coaches, I’d think that he’d working his way from the bottom again.

    • skinsgame - May 22, 2015 at 1:34 AM

      I’m more surprised he has Spaight as a lock. I think Paulsen is a cut at end of preseason if Paul and Reed remain healthy. That’s a pretty big “if” though.

      • bangkokben - May 22, 2015 at 9:42 AM

        Spaight is a lock because where he was drafted (5th round; $238K signing bonus) and that he is expected to play on teams. He’s H.B. Blades 2.0. Solid special teamer (at this level) who may develop into a inside linebacker. Especially when you consider how few are locks on defense. Now if he shows up slower than expected he may be shown the door but I’d expect that even then he’d make it the 1st year.

  5. troylok - May 20, 2015 at 2:49 PM

    Chester and Porter are guys that are highly paid and on the bubble. It wouldn’t be hard for someone to take their jobs away from them. My bet is Leribeus will respond to Callahan’s coaching style and will leap over Chester on the depth chart. There is an unknown factor of whether Callahan might experiment with another play at center. Leribeus is probably not the guy, but maybe Long could be and if Moses anchors at right guard, Lichtensteiger rides the pine and the Redskins have a very large offensive line.

    If Porter is healthy they should let him go before he gets hurt walking into the building or something.

    • captblood3000 - May 20, 2015 at 8:16 PM

      Wow, I’ll take your bet. LeRibeus appears able to play left guard only, and Chester has been the starting right guard. LeRibeus has to jump Lauvao on the depth chart and hold off Kouandijo, since Kouandijo played left guard at Alabama. My bet is that LeRibeus doesn’t make the roster. Remember, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

  6. mr.moneylover - May 20, 2015 at 4:03 PM

    Nacho will be the third saftey on the depth chart…I think trey Williams get the third RB job…tevin mitchel will play some this season according to jay gruden specially in the nickle packages…jay gruden really like DE frank kearse so that means DE kedric golston will likely be cut unless he do some good things in training camp….I dont think andre roberts a lock I think he will be trade bait if ryan grant and Jamison Crowder play at a high level…remember scot m. Said he dont care about contracts he care about putting the best players out on the field

  7. captblood3000 - May 20, 2015 at 8:20 PM

    Rich, shouldn’t the offensive bubble players include Logan Paulsen and Tyler Larsen?

    • Rich Tandler - May 20, 2015 at 8:59 PM

      Paulsen should be; I included him in the comments up top but I should have put him with the bubble players. I thought about Larsen, I just don’t see how he can do it. I see him ticketed for the practice squad this year and back to try again next year.

  8. kenlinkins - May 20, 2015 at 8:39 PM

    Rich: I would like to see 3 of your locks (Kory L 30, Roberts 28, and Hayward 30) and 5 of your bubble (Chester 32, Porter 28, Paulsen 28, Golston 31, Hall 31) beaten out for jobs this year without injury playing a part. It would place $15.5 million back into the Cap for next year and place only two guys over 30 on the 53 man roster. Other than Hall I do not see anyone who is a major / key part of the rebuilding that is required. IMO any one of the back- ups to the players I have listed, could push win the job without costing the Redskins any games ( I also do not see any one on my list that had a better 2014 then 2013).

  9. Username - May 21, 2015 at 12:28 AM

    Way too many locks here. Spencer? A sixth rounder who hasn’t shown anything and won’t play on offense is a lock? I only count 2 WR locks if we are literal. Likewise 4 LB. And RJF didn’t get so much money he couldn’t be cut. He didn’t impress in his last stop. Archives

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