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Bubble watch version 4.0: Predicting the Redskins’ 53-man roster

Aug 15, 2015, 10:32 AM EDT

Running backs training camp

RICHMOND—The Redskins opened their preseason in Cleveland on Thursday and both injuries and performances in that game shuffled the 53-man roster with just three weeks to go until cutdown day on September 5.

Here are my projections of who will end up on the roster when the dust settles and the team heads into Week 1 plus a look at who is just hanging on and four who are just on the wrong side of the bubble. I’ve added some comments as needed.


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

I’ll take the projection here a step further and say that Cousins will be the active No. 2 QB for Week 1.

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

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

Tight end (3): Jordan Reed, Je’Ron Hamm, Chase Dixon

I’m going with players who are on the roster as of right now; obviously this could change at any time.

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

This firmed up after Silas Redd was lost for the season with a knee injury.


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

Outside linebacker (4): Ryan Kerrigan, Junior Galette, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith

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

Cornerback (4): Chris Culliver, DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Justin Rogers

Bashaud Breeland will not be on Week 1 roster due to NFL suspension so he is not listed here.

Safety (5): Dashon Goldson, Duke Ihenacho, Jeron Johnson, Kyshoen Jarrett, Trenton Robinson

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

The numbers: 25 offense, 25 defense, 3 specialists; 16 new to the Redskins organization in 2015 including eight draft picks (both Hamm and Dixon spent time on the Redskins’ practice squad last year so they do not count as new to the organization.

Last 4 on

CB Justin Rogers—Breeland’s one-game suspension opens the door for Rogers to get another NFL game check and perhaps get a chance to establish himself as a legitimate slot corner. But unless he improves his play he will be the 53rd player on the roster in Week 1 and gone in Week 2.

TE Je’Ron Hamm—With Paul and Paulsen both out he has a job for now. But he easily could be knocked off if the team sees another possible solution on the waiver wire.

TE Chase Dixon—See Hamm from above.

S Trenton Robinson—If Rogers performs well for the rest of camp and preseason games, Robinson could be the odd man out when Breeland returns. He is solid on special teams so that helps.

Four more close to the bubble: OL Willie Smith, OL Tom Compton, DL Kedric Golston, RB Chris Thompson

Last 4 cuts

OL Josh LeRibeus—He has been working as the backup center but against the Texans in the joint practices and in the preseason opener against the Browns he showed that he has a long way to go. The team won’t take long to seek another solution if he doesn’t catch on soon.

WR Rashad Ross—He can play some as he showed Thursday in Cleveland. But the numbers at wide receiver just don’t work for him. They are unlikely to keep more than six and I can’t see Ross beating out any of the guys who are in.

OT Takoby Cofield—The team paid him the maximum signing bonus for an undrafted free agent so they thought highly of him coming out of Duke. He has had a good camp and if he has a good preseason Cofield could make a case for a spot on the 53. For now, he appears to be practice squad material.

RB Trey Williams—The diminutive back had some problems navigating against the big bodies in live action in Cleveland. If he can get it figured out in a hurry some long runs in the next few preseason games could make the team have to think real hard about keeping him around.

Four more just on the wrong side of the bubble: OL Austin Reiter, NT Jerrell Powe, TE Devin Mahina, OL Ty Larsen

  1. Brandon Shultz - Aug 15, 2015 at 10:40 AM

    Rich why does Spencer have preference over Ross?

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 15, 2015 at 10:43 AM

      Spencer was drafted and can contribute on coverage in special teams. Ross can return on teams but team has plenty of those.

      • Brandon Shultz - Aug 15, 2015 at 10:48 AM

        OK. I hope he is skilled enough if someone goes down.

  2. wonderfulfaison - Aug 15, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    Rich, you mentioned how poorly Lereibus is doing at C. What about Tyler Larsen? Is he still with the team and if so, do you believe he has a realistic shot to make the squad, as you seem to be relegating Reiter to the practice squad.

  3. berniebernard666 - Aug 15, 2015 at 12:11 PM

    Justin Rogers stood out in the Cleveland game. Unfortunately he stood out because he couldn’t cover and couldn’t tackle. Justin Rogers is going to be cut after the last preseason game. He is a warm body.

    Quinton Dunbar had a better game and has FAR more upside. Dunbar will be the 4th cornerback.

    • bangkokben - Aug 15, 2015 at 12:31 PM

      Dunbar didn’t even get in until the 4th quarter. Good luck to him.

  4. bangkokben - Aug 15, 2015 at 12:34 PM

    Rich, thanks for the update. Any chance you give us one of your snap counts? Preseason game 1 might be too tedious but thanks in advance anyway.

  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 15, 2015 at 12:42 PM

    We’re deep in reserves at WR and hurting at TE. I wonder if McGlue might find a team with the opposite problem.

  6. troylok - Aug 15, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    I’m for the team cutting Andre Roberts loose in lieu of keeping a young receiver like Ross. I fell off his bandwagon many drops ago – including the one he had on that return in the preseason game.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 15, 2015 at 1:21 PM

      Cutting him this year doesn’t make sense from a cap hit standpoint. Here’s the contract:

    • bangkokben - Aug 15, 2015 at 7:33 PM

      Without Roberts, Cousins doesn’t play the same game he did Thursday. The first pass was high and behind him and he made several nice catches. Ross? Come on. He didn’t even play as good as Roberts. The only reason to keep Ross over Roberts is because he’s your personal friend.

  7. celeoinc - Aug 15, 2015 at 1:53 PM

    I believe Jeffcoat can make this team if continues to play the way he is. I believe we will keep 10 linebackers and 6 defense linemen. Preston Smith will see action as Defensive End as well.

    • ET - Aug 15, 2015 at 2:11 PM

      I really hope Jeffcoat makes the final cut. I don’t think he can sneak through to the practice squad this season.

    • thankslittlebrandonbanks - Aug 15, 2015 at 11:29 PM

      I think that is a possibility too. He looks good, and six pretty versatile d linemen plus Preston Smith opens up an opportunity for him.

  8. kenlinkins - Aug 15, 2015 at 2:55 PM

    Will Smith, Golston and Hayward are guys I think might not make the team if the new GM believes that guys like Plummer, Cofield, Nsekhe, Dunbar, and Ross have more long term value (i.e. Up side) and will not clear the wire or will not last on the Practice Squad. I would not bet any of my chips that all 3 make the team, 75 chips on one being cut, 25 on 2 of the 3 listed not making it. Maybe a little youth movement is in order. The 3 listed have all topped out and IMO would not be signed by other teams while some of the younger guys might find homes pretty fast.

    • bangkokben - Aug 15, 2015 at 7:45 PM

      At this point none of the guys you mentioned are making the team and maybe two or three make the practice squad. I didn’t see Dunbar on the field until the 4th quarter – maybe he was earlier but that tells me he’s got a lot of guys in front of him. I doubt they keep two o-linemen on the practice squad – or two tackles. I can see them keep a center but neither of the guys you mention can play center. You are completely over valuing these young guys. You keep the other guys because they provide depth. You don’t use the 53 for projects. That’s what the practice squad is for and if other teams poach them then you’re eye for talent is improving.

      • kenlinkins - Aug 15, 2015 at 9:36 PM

        Time will tell,

  9. wncskinsfan - Aug 15, 2015 at 3:24 PM

    based on the other nite, bye bye Le Ribs. and perhaps Rogers, too. I would be worried about cutting Reiter and Ross, they could very well get poached . . . but these things happen.

    • bangkokben - Aug 15, 2015 at 7:48 PM

      Every team has a guy like Ross on it. You could probably find 500 guys like Ross throughout the country. Remember Anthony Armstrong? Aldrick Robinson? The guy and guys like him need an opportunity. Then they need to make the most of that opportunity. Good luck to them all.

  10. Skulb - Aug 15, 2015 at 9:46 PM

    All I can say is that Matt Jones looked very impressive. Twice I was sure he had been stuffed, yet out he came on a roll and gained yards. Exactly the sort of guy you need backing up Morris by the looks of things.

  11. skins26portis - Aug 15, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    On players on the bubble. I say Trey Williams has a chance at RB since Silas Redd went down for the season. Chris Thompson has to show more these next 2 preseason games. I don’t think Kendrick will make the team this season he had a nice career but we can keep another younger player. I like our OLB but I think Jackson Jeffcoat has rush ability and can play special teams so he could make it. WR position we are deep but I’m not sure Evan Spencer makes it. If Ross keeps showing in the preseason I think you keep him and put Spencer on the practice squad. O-Line Josh LiRebus is gone he was getting ran over at the point of attack. Willie Smith I like over Tom Compton. Maybe they try Spencer Long at Center. I think he played Center at Nebraska a season. TE I think we look at the waiver wire over the next few weeks when teams make cuts.

  12. Alisa the Doula - Aug 16, 2015 at 7:35 AM

    Why is Akeem Davis so far off the roster? He’s not even one of the first 8 out. With his ST ability I feel like he can contribute more on a weekly basis than a 9th olinemen.

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 16, 2015 at 9:26 AM

      They brought in 3 safeties, 4 if you count Ihenacho. No room unless someone gets hurt. Archives

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