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Bubble watch: Projecting the Redskins’ 53-man roster

Jul 27, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

Silas-Redd-vs.-NYG

The Redskins roll into Richmond on Wednesday and get to work on the field on Thursday. Over the course of a few dozen practices and four preseason games, head coach Jay Gruden and GM Scot McCloughan will trim the roster down to the final 53. Here are my projections of who will end up on the roster when the dust settles on September 5 plus a look at who is just hanging on and four who are just on the wrong side of the bubble.

Offense

Quarterback (3): Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy

Offensive line (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, Tom Compton, Morgan Moses, Arie Kouandjio, Josh LeRibeus

Wide receiver (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Jamison Crowder, Evan Spencer.

Tight end (3): Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul

Running back (4): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Matt Jones, Chris Thompson

Defense

Defensive line (7): Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton, Stephan Paea, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean Francois, Kedric Golston, Frank Kearse

Outside linebacker (4): Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith, Trevardo Williams

Inside linebacker (5): Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight, Adam Hayward

Cornerback (5): Chris Culliver, Bashaud Breeland, DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tevin Mitchel

Safety (4): Dashon Goldson, Jeron Johnson, Duke Ihenacho, Kyshoen Jarrett

Specialists (3): LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way, PK Kai Forbath

The numbers: 25 offense, 25 defense, 3 specialists; 15 new to the Redskins organization in 2015 including nine draft picks

Last 4 on

OLB Trevardo Williams—He made a few plays in his stint with the team late last season. But the organization might get nervous about an OLB group that consists of Ryan Kerrigan and three lightly experienced players. If Williams gives them any reason to doubt him, Williams could be replaced by an experienced waiver wire pickup.

RB Chris Thompson—The first thing that Thompson needs to do to stay on the right side of the bubble is stay on the field. Injuries have sidetracked him during the first two years of his NFL career and even a few missed training camp practices might have Gruden and McCloughan wondering about his ability to stand up to 16 games of pounding during the season.

DL Kedric Golston—The longest tenured Redskin will do what he has to do to keep himself on the roster. But outside factors may come into play. If there is an injury situation on either side of the ball or if there is a promising prospect that the organization believes it must keep, the decision may be made to keep six defensive linemen instead of seven. That could endanger the survival of the 32-year-old Golston.

QB Colt McCoy—Just like Golston, a numbers crunch could make the Redskins contemplate going short at McCoy’s position group. It is important to remember that McCloughan has the final say on the composition of the 53 and he might not be as impressed with McCoy as Gruden seems to be.

Four more close to the bubble: OLB Trevardo Williams, OL LeRibeus, CB Mitchel, CB Hall

Last 4 cuts

OT Willie Smith—If Trent Williams looks like he could be limping through another season, the team might want to have Smith, who has played in 30 NFL games, around to play left tackle if Williams can’t go.

RB Silas Redd—If Thompson doesn’t shake his injury bug, Redd is likely to be in. Even of Thompson does stay healthy, Redd could win the job anyway. Right now Thompson has the edge because of his speed but Redd will not give up easily.

S Akeem Davis—If Ben Kotwica is allowed to have a say in some special teams roster spots, Davis could squeak on. Davis had a lot to learn as a safety so it would be difficult to rely on him as a reserve there.

RB Trey Williams—He could be the “must-keep” prospect that bumps off someone like Golston or McCoy. The undrafted free agent has speed to burn but we will need to see if he has what it takes to survive in the NFL at 5-7, 195.

Four more just on the wrong side of the bubble: CB Trey Wolfe, NT Jerrell Powe, TE Devin Mahina, OLB Jackson Jeffcoat

  1. mr.moneylover - Jul 27, 2015 at 11:04 AM

    I herd the coaching staff like TE devin mahina and hes the reason why they didnt go after another TE they like his progress and could make the 53 man roster if he keeps it up in training camp….CB tevin mitchel got some praise from perry farwell cause his progress as well so I dont see him going anywhere neither…havent herd much praise about chris Thompson this off-season like last off-season

  2. jayrock59 - Jul 27, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    John Keim has Trey Williams making it as the third down back

  3. ET - Jul 27, 2015 at 11:28 AM

    Are the coaches more impressed by Travardo than Jeffcoat? Travardo saw a fair amount of action during OTAs, but Jeffcoat had some nice flashes at the end of last season. Will be interesting to see what transpires there.

    I think Hayward is on the bubble. Yeah, they like him on special teams, but he doesn’t seem to add much of anything to the ILB crew. If some of the youngsters look sharp on ST, Hayward could be toast.

    Finally—and I can’t believe I’m typing this—I think LeRibster makes the final 53 because of his utility.

  4. bangkokben - Jul 27, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    Nice work! I don’t have any disagreement s on offense and think that maybe the last outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and safety may be different but who knows until training camp starts. I’d be surprised if this roster isn’t 90% accurate but camp injuries always play a part with the bubble. One observation is that the line between on and off the team seems so defined this year. With Shanahan ‘competition’ at every position actually seemed to be more than lip service. This team appears as if it was built with the active 45 in mind with 10-15 guys fighting for whether they’re on the roster or practice squad and 30 guys whose best chance is if there are injuries during the season they may get called back.

  5. bk70 - Jul 27, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    I can’t believe 9 out of 10 draft picks make the 53. With that said, I think Kyshoen Jarrett will loose out to Trenton Robinson or Akem Davis, but Jarrett should end up on the practice squad with one of the BU centers, Tyler Larsen or Austin Reiter.

    Colt McCoy will be cut unless some training camp trade develops due to another teams QB injury.

    Justin Rogers or Trey Wolfe stay around until Hall is healthy. I’m guessing he’s going to the PUP during camp.

    Yes, Willie Smith stays around until Trent Williams is healthy.

    • Rich Tandler - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:26 PM

      I’m not sure why you find it difficult that a rebuilding team with a new GM would keep nine draft picks.

      • bk70 - Jul 27, 2015 at 5:53 PM

        Rich, Trenton Robinson and Akem Davis will perform better than the late round draft pick, Kyshoen Jarrett. I’m confident in our GM, but even he selects some players for the practice squad.

    • berniebernard666 - Jul 27, 2015 at 4:13 PM

      AKEEM DAVIS is an excellent special teams player. He is a wild man and hits hard. Also provides backup safety help. Kyshoen Jarrett is eligible for the practice squad as a rookie but Davis is not eligible. Barring injury I expect Akeem Davis makes this team. But then again…Scott M is in charge and he drafted Jarrett.

    • skinsgame - Jul 27, 2015 at 9:11 PM

      You have enormous faith in the QB’s, obviously, if you have them starting the season with only 2. Griffin has not played a full season yet and has been benched for awful play in each of the last 2. Cousins was benched as well. I can’t see this team starting out with only 2 QB’s with that track record.

    • Skulb - Jul 27, 2015 at 10:12 PM

      I think this team more than any other in the NFL needs to have three QBs around on the 53. I mean who´s gonna bank on an injury free season for RGIII?

  6. david - Jul 27, 2015 at 1:38 PM

    We need the whole 53

  7. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 27, 2015 at 2:15 PM

    Finally! It’s been a long wait for pads on.
    ~

  8. berniebernard666 - Jul 27, 2015 at 4:08 PM

    Finally…the missing piece of the puzzle has been signed by the Redskins. MACK BROWN…running back….was just signed. I can finally make my trip arrangements to the Superbowl.

  9. hk2000 - Jul 27, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    I’m not sure it was you or Tarik- I think it was you- but I distinctly remember seeing Colt over Kirk on several occasions on this blog- Training camp hasn’t started yet, so why the change?

  10. skip36 - Jul 27, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    I believe that safety Phillip Thomas has had his fair chances to make the team at 6’0″ 223lbs. he has the built but can’t stay healthy, so let’s give Dyshawn Davis a shot at the position since he’s 6’2″ 227lbs. and has played safety in college, plus he’s young and hungry, and Devin Mahina who 6’6″ 250lbs. would be a nice RED ZONE addition when we get in side the 20yard line, since we don’t have a player with that height.HTTR

  11. coolestfrood - Jul 27, 2015 at 9:33 PM

    Love these roster projection articles, but I wish you would put an asterisk* by the guys that are new to the team this year, and perhaps a way to denote draft picks from veteran pickups. (Some fans like myself are not as familiar with the names of the backup players, so it helps to see where new blood is being brought in.)

  12. Bryan - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:42 PM

    I don’t see golston making it due added free agents. I also may be the only person but I’d like them to keep Jackson jeffcoat seemed to play well when given a chance and would be worth trying to develop. I’d say can Hayward. Didn’t show anything last year and no shot at hitting field when d on field, and prior to him being hurt special teams stunk. But oh well just my two cents

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