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

Jul 25, 2015, 4:08 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 25, five days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

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Hey, I’m taking off a couple of days prior to the start of training camp. I’m going to repost a few of the more popular posts from the last few months. This one is from May 20, before the start of OTAs. There are a few tweaks I might make to it but it largely stands intact. 

I’ll be back on Monday morning, bright and early a always. 

Who are the locks to make the roster?

(originally posted 5/20/15)

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.


—It’s been 209 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 50 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 5; Preseason opener @ Browns 10; final cuts 42

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  1. hk2000 - Jul 25, 2015 at 8:05 AM

    Cousins is not a lock? I’m not saying you’re wrong, I kind of agree, but based on comments on this blog, many of your readers believe Cousins should be the starter.

    • Bcoo - Jul 25, 2015 at 8:25 AM

      Chris Chester, He gone

      • Rich Tandler - Jul 25, 2015 at 9:33 AM

        Yes, please read the entire thing. Says it is a repost.

        • kenlinkins - Jul 25, 2015 at 5:17 PM

          Rich: I was looking at the roster on Friday and came up with 42 locks to your 40 (with Chester gone). I had Cousins and Paulsen also as locks. My problem came when I saw that I had 17 guys looking at the Practice Squad (is the new limit 10 in 2015?) which is way too many. Does anyone still have the 90 man roster from the start of Training Camp in 2014 or know the Avg Age of it? I get the feeling this years training Camp team is younger and the talent level is much higher with less “stop gap” types (but do not know for sure). Rich: IYO What are the odds of only have 2 guys over 29 on the 53 man roster in 2015.

    • me4gm - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:26 AM

      Being able to come off the bench during a game is an important quality for backup QB. People seem to focus on the backup as a starter. Cousins’ has been excellent coming into the game and you have to wonder about McCoy’s durability. He should be a lock. He is young and will only get better…don’t see that in McCoy

    • voice4thefans - Jul 25, 2015 at 12:06 PM

      Cousins should be the starter.and will be the Starter before the regular season start, for him to leave Cousins off the locked list just goes to should you how much R. Tandler knows about football, and that’s not much, this Sports site leaves a lot to be desired with Reporters like Tandler and J. Michael

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:25 PM

        You thinking a Turnover Machine is a Lock and should be the Starter shows how little you know. Rich has more access than anyone on here to see how these guys Play and Practiced since they’ve bin Redskins. It has bin Constantly reported how Bad Cousins is doing in the Off season and how he Threw interceptions all of last year in the Off Season, Practice, and Games. What makes you a better evaluator?

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:57 PM

        BTW You shooting your mouth off to the guy that runs this page shows how smart you are.

        It’s not called
        Rich Tandler’s Real Redskins
        For nothing

      • kenlinkins - Jul 25, 2015 at 5:30 PM

        While I am not 100% sure about Cousins being the Starter on Opening day I would not dismiss it out of hand like so many others. A good friend of mine (a ex NFL QB) believes that 100% (the same guy who told me the day Brett Favre was traded to Green Bay that he would “light up the NFL”). But I do not agree with the rest of your comment about R. Tandler, he has made a pretty nice living covering the NFL and while I do not always agree with him, I find it hard to dismiss his statements as he is right much more than wrong.

  2. troylok - Jul 25, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    I saw this was a recycled article and hence won’t mention the fact that Chester is gone. What is interesting is how quickly another team pounced on him – specifically the Falcons who are basically shifting to the zone blocking scheme that the Redskins are moving away from. This is my point. I have no doubt that they would sign Tom Compton in a New York minute if we cut him, so why not approach them for a trade before Compton gets cut?

    • berniebernard666 - Jul 25, 2015 at 8:43 AM

      somebody giving up draft picks for Tom Compton? Not unless Vinnie Cerrato has been hired as a GM.

    • hk2000 - Jul 25, 2015 at 8:56 AM

      Thanks, didn’t even notice the date. I should start checking the date, I just assumed Rich forgot about Chester release.

  3. berniebernard666 - Jul 25, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    Duke Ihenacho is a lock on my chart. He already has been receiving 1st team reps and he is well experienced yet still young with little cap hit. He is a lock. Plus you listed Tracy Porter has a chance to make the team….not unless we trade for him.

    • Rich Tandler - Jul 25, 2015 at 9:38 AM

      Please note the date of the reposted article.

  4. Scott talbert - Jul 25, 2015 at 10:39 AM

    Rich,people can’t read Lmfao!

  5. mr.moneylover - Jul 25, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    I think redskins will be the youngest team in the NFL next year….I think jordan reed,p.garcon,perry Riley,chris baker,andre roberts,logan paulsen, chris Thompson and alfred morris will all be gone by next year because I dont think they will impress scot m. enough to get scot m. To pay them a nice deal its hard to get money from scot m. and you first witness that in free agency now he do take care of his own players who do they job at a very high level every week…he took care of niles paul his contract wasnt that big but niles paul making more then what he was because he step his game up he just not a special teams player nomore he improve every week to be a legit TE…if rg3 play better this year I think scot will just give rg3 a one year deal before he throw a multi year deal at him…I think rg3 will player better behind a improve O-line I have 40% doubt that he wont play well 60% he will play better and surprise the world and shut up the analysis who doubt him

    • CW THOMAS - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:48 AM

      I don’t agree with u about Chris Baker I think he is going to be here for a long time but I do agree about everyone else u named

  6. skip36 - Jul 25, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    Hello, did you miss the cut Rich of Chrs Chester,he’s been gone for awhile, when did you make this list, it seems you had a senior moment Or maybe a brain furt

  7. skip36 - Jul 25, 2015 at 12:07 PM

    That’s even worst to repost something that should be updated

  8. voice4thefans - Jul 25, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    If Andre Roberts,makes this team that will mean we have nobody else to return punts and kick offs but he is a bum as a receiver and a big mouth poor team mate

    • CW THOMAS - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:50 AM

      We have a few ppl that can do PR AN KR

  9. voice4thefans - Jul 25, 2015 at 12:18 PM

    after the exact same many starts as Payton Manning at the beginning of his career Cousins numbers are way better and Cousins is the only QB on the team to have more TD than INT’s last year, he is by far the QB with the most upside on this team

  10. ET - Jul 25, 2015 at 3:38 PM

    I’m not sure Adam Hayward is still a lock. If some of the rookies and role players are coming along on special teams, Hayward may be expendable. He does have much upside at his “real” position.

    • kenlinkins - Jul 25, 2015 at 5:33 PM

      He was my hardest pick to include, maybe I should have had 41 1/2 on my list! Glad to see I was not the only one to think he could be gone.

  11. berniebernard666 - Jul 25, 2015 at 6:24 PM

    so tired of reading all the experts commenting on the same old things. These comments are worthless because they are just words. Nobody is practicing, there are no games, its just Joe Average Guy saying “Here’s what I think”.

    Well, here is what I think. I think I can’t wait until the Redskins report to camp this week so I can read about FACTS and REAL Reporters can report observations and not possibilities or rumors or etc, etc. Archives

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