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Redskins post-draft depth chart, defense: Starting spots up for grabs

May 6, 2016, 8:35 AM EDT

D-line-vs-Patriots

Here is a look at the Redskins’ depth chart on defense after the draft. Undrafted free agents whose signings have been announced by the team are included. Take a look at the offensive depth chart from a post earlier this week.

Defensive line (11)

Starter: Kedric Golston (NT), Chris Baker, Stephen Paea
Backups: Kendall Reyes, Ricky Jean Francois, Trent Murphy, Matt Ioannidis, Ziggy Hood, Cory Crawford, James Gayle, Jerrell Powe

It seems that everyone is worried about who will play nose tackle except for Scot McCloughan, Jay Gruden, and Joe Barry. Apparently they will scheme around the lack of a Pot Roast-sized presence in the middle. In any case, there will be a strong rotation of ends if Paea bounces back after a rocky first season in Washington, Murphy can successfully transition from linebacker, and Ioannidis has some impact as a rookie.

Outside linebacker (6)

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Junior Galette
Reserves: Preston Smith, Houston Bates, Willie Jefferson, Lyndon Trail

Inside linebacker (8)

Starters: Will Compton, Mason Foster
Reserves: Perry Riley, Adam Hayward, Martrell Spaight, Terrance Garvin, Steven Daniels, Carlos Fields

With the move of Murphy to the line the vital outside linebacker position looks pretty thin all of a sudden. Galette, Kerrigan, and Smith all have the potential to produce double-digit sack totals but health, especially Galette’s, will be critical. Inside linebacker is crowded with Riley in the mix with Compton and Foster for starting jobs and all of the rest of them in legitimate contention for a backup/special teams spot.

Cornerback (8)

Starters: Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland
Reserves: Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Greg Toler, Jeremy Harris, Dashaun Phillips

Safety (7)

Starters: DeAngelo Hall, Duke Ihenacho
Reserves: David Bruton, Will Blackmon, Su’a Cravens, Deshazor Everett, Kyshoen Jarrett

Well, you can’t accuse the organization of recycling old safeties from around the league this year. Ihenacho has one season as a full-time starting safety on his resume; the rest of the players on the depth chart have none. There will be plenty of competition to see who makes it and how the depth chart shapes up. The cornerbacks could be a pretty good group, particularly if Dunbar continues to develop after a promising rookie season.

There currently are 39 defensive players on the roster; the Redskins will want to go into OTAs with about 43. They should look to bring in a defensive lineman, an outside linebacker, and one or two cornerbacks.

Seven of the 11 starting positions currently seem to be up in the air. There are legitimate competitions for two of the defensive line jobs, at inside linebacker, and at one of the safety spots.

  1. abanig - May 6, 2016 at 9:19 AM

    Barry was on the radio yesterday and he said they have 6 or 7 guys who can play the NT position they way they play it in this scheme.

    Golston, Baker, Paea, Hood (played some in Pitt) Reyes (Barry said he played it some in SD), Powe and Ioannidis.

    I think not only does the depth at OLB hinge on the health of Galette, but also the development of Bates. I think Bates is a better fit for the OLB position than Murphy was. Barry also said on the radio that Murphy could still play some OLB, just because he’s transitioning to DE doesn’t mean he can’t do both. They’ve used him at both in the past.

    • wvredskins - May 6, 2016 at 10:20 AM

      Yeah I listened to Barry yesterday myself and the way he made it seem was that a nose tackle and Defensive end do the same thing. They all have to take on a double teams and if its not from the center and guard then its the guard and tackle or the tackle and tight end. Im sure they would prefer a dominate force in the middle but they seem to not be worried about it so I am not worried. I think Trent Murphy might surprise some people playing as a D lineman now. It would be sweet if he turned out like Wolfe from Denver or someone like that. He has the potential and work ethic. I like how this team is shaping up and IMO you can kinda see what Scott M means when he says he likes “football players.” Just take a look at the players who are on this team especially the guys he be drafting. We are on the rise and in my mind we are building the kinda team that will last like the Patriots and Seahawks of the league. HTTR

      • abanig - May 6, 2016 at 12:32 PM

        They do in this defense. Look it up, there’s multiple articles on what the Wade Phillips “under” one-gap defense is and how it is more similar to a 4-3 defense with the down 3 DL than a 3-4 two-gap defense.

        This defense has only one typical 5-technique which is the DL that takes on double teams like in the 3-4 two-gap scheme and that’s really only played on run downs like first down. Last year the players that played that position were Hatcher, RJF & Kearse. This year it will mostly be RJF & Reyes at RDE.

        Of course it’s true that any DL or OLB can be double teamed on any play, but unlike the traditional 3-4 two-gap scheme that the steelers ran and Haz ran our DL aren’t looking to hold up blockers anymore and take on double teams outside of maybe one. The other two are Definitely shorting the gaps though like a 3-technique would.

        Cooley said that Reyes got bowled over in the run game last year. We’ have to see if we can provide better coaching/technique to get him better in the run game.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 6, 2016 at 7:40 PM

          “They do in this defense. ”

          No they don’t! They only do now because that PR translation for well we have no true NT. Haven’t heard this story before when a 3-4 doesn’t invest in a true NT?

        • abanig - May 6, 2016 at 8:34 PM

          Please read: http://nflbreakdowns.com/stephen-paea-redskins-34-under-defense/

          combines one-gap principles of the base 4-3 defense, it does not require the defensive lineman to be big and as stout against the run. Instead it relies on the defensive lineman to be more athletic to burst through their assigned gaps to get upfield and provide pressure against the opposing quarterback. It’s a much more aggressive defense than your traditional 3-4 Okie defense and requires different player skill-sets to be run successfully.

          Stephen Paea’s Role

          According to Paea, “the Redskins will utilize him as an end in the base 3-4 while moving him inside on pass rushing downs.” Looking at this description, it looks like Stephen Paea is going to play the Corey Liuget-role of the San Diego Chargers. Joe Barry has familiarity with this role and the 3-4 Under scheme due to his tenure as linebackers coach with the Chargers underneath defensive coordinator John Pagano, who learned it from Wade Phillips. Here are some of DE94 Liuget’s plays on various downs to get a feel for his full role:

          Play 1 – Liuget rushes 3-tech from the weakside defensive end position and does a great hump move featured in this article to get sack.

        • hotpicksblog - May 7, 2016 at 9:14 AM

          we got 3 gap and A gap and 5 technique..and we got this and that figured out…….man, this crap gets old when Joe Barry talks like he actually knows something. He is a Pro Bowl defensive Coordinator in the classroom with his Blackboard, chalk, and eraser… but on the field his lack of feel for the game is evident. He is RIGID in his philosophy and all he has done is memorize some fancy football terms and cliches which means nothing when it comes to creating an attacking defense. He will fail…AGAIN.

          For those who don’t know…Joe Barry failed completely in Detroit with the worst defense in the history of football and he failed AGAIN last year in his 2nd go around as a Defensive coordinator. And it will take yet another season of misery and failure but Joe Barry’s D. Coordinator career will finally die and be laid to rest by next January as Scott M takes command and hires us a solid Defensive Mind. In Scott We Trust.

        • abanig - May 7, 2016 at 9:16 AM

          Look at Detroit’s roster when he was there. He and marinelli didn’t even get s chance to rebuild that defense/team.

          Again, the scheme we run was invented by Wade Phillips. Last time I checked he helped the Broncos win the super bowl. Mostly be use of this defensive scheme.

        • bangkokben - May 7, 2016 at 4:20 PM

          The Barry bashers need to get a life. Too bad that defense didn’t suck so bad to keep the team from winning the division — and before the blah, blah, blah about Romo being injured, the only thing keeping Dallas from not losing every single game was Rod Marinelli’s defense WHICH did suck in Detroit. The predictions from fan’s like “snotpicks” of demise for the Redskins NEED TO STOP. WTF?! If you don’t like the guy, fine. If you’ve got REASONS that relate to our team, better than fine. But hoping he stinks at his job so that we can get a new D-coordinator, that’s just plain satanic. I don’t understand it one bit. I rooted for and supported Dieon Sanders and Mike Shanahan despite thinking they’re both garbage. Maybe guys like him have 100 years to live so they can pick and choose when the Redskins can succeed. The rest of us just want to win — win now and win consistently.

          Sorry, Adam. Not for you. I don’t know how to jump in at the end of a conversation and reply directly.

        • abanig - May 9, 2016 at 12:45 PM

          It’s cool. All I have to say is amen to that! Lol

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 6, 2016 at 7:11 PM

      No matter how you want to shake it. Nose tackle is a major weak area and will be an issue next season. The line is both thin and weak in the middle. Those lame makeshift replacements won’t fly on the field and some teams will have huge games exploiting it.

      • hotpicksblog - May 7, 2016 at 9:16 AM

        and what is amazing..folks like us can see this from our living rooms. We watch team win and fail every week for years and year. Football is a SIMPLE game. There isn’t anything new. But somehow…Joe Barry is going to RECREATE and REINVENT the Nose Tackle position and 3-4 defense. LOL He is a joke and I am not laughing.

    • hotpicksblog - May 7, 2016 at 9:04 AM

      the thing you have to do when listening to Joe Barry is remember this: He’s an idiot. He’s clueless. He’s got a German Shepard bark but he’s a chiwawa little dog of Defensive Minds.

      Joe Barry has a mindset that he has it all figured out with “his system”. rush 4 and drop 7. THAT is his system. THAT is all he has. He memorized some numbers along the defensive line and loves to spit them out as though they mean something. But on game day, his defense does not attack, his players are out of position, and his schemes don’t match the other team from week to week. Joe Barry will be fired after this year and Scott M will hire a real D. Coordinator. Book it.

      • abanig - May 7, 2016 at 9:06 AM

        Couldn’t disagree more. Just because Barry understands Wade Phillips’ system and you don’t doesn’t mean he’s an idiot. It probably means he’s the opposite of an idiot.

        • hotpicksblog - May 7, 2016 at 9:22 AM

          which of course doesn’t explain why he failed in Detroit and failed AGAIN last year in Washington. Just because you are a HOMER and sign on to workship at the Joe Barry alter……that doesn’t translate into success. HOPE is not a plan and I personally have analyzed Joe Barry’s defenses on a week to week basis and have not yet seen an ability of the man to adapt. Let me know when Joe Barry commands a top 10 defense. Heck…let me know when his pass defense breaks the top 20.

        • abanig - May 7, 2016 at 9:22 AM

          Yes it does no coach ever won anything with bad talent

        • hotpicksblog - May 7, 2016 at 9:44 AM

          Josh Norman, Junior Gallete. Ryan Kerrigan. Breeland, Preston Smith…and some good drafted players as well. If Barry can’t produce with these players, then he deserves to be fired and you have to admit that. If he changes his philosophy and ends up with a top defense….then I’ll be happy for him.

        • abanig - May 7, 2016 at 9:51 AM

          Yeah… “If.” The philosophy/scheme isn’t changing. The scheme just provided us with the best defensive performance in a season since the 01 Ravens.

          We have the talent, I agree. Hopefully it all comes together. Well know this fall.

      • bangkokben - May 7, 2016 at 4:53 PM

        Man, what’s your problem? Barry was in his first year as 34 d-coordinator on a 4-12 team that lost most of its defensive starters for HUGE chunks of the season.

        Junior Galette IR before the season
        Duke Ihenacho IR game two on
        Chis Culliver missed 10 games and played injured in 4
        Perry Riley missed 8 games and played injured in 1
        DeAngelo Hall missed 5 games and played injured in 4
        Keenan Robinson missed 4 games and played injured in 4
        And that is just the beginning.

        Now, 7 new starters.

        So the EFF what about Detroit? Who gives a snot about what happened in Detroit eight years ago? Apparently you do. So let’s state some facts for the masses. That was Rod Marinelli’s 43 they used on defense and had they had a semblance of an offensive, statistically it wouldn’t have been as bad as it was.

        http://www.freep.com/story/sports/nfl/lions/2015/01/28/detroit-lions-seattle-seahawks/22455587/

        Maybe, you should try judging folks — at least folks on the team you root for — on their present rather than their past.

  2. sidepull - May 6, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    I give on the NT/C positions. I was always hollering about building inside out on the lines..Big nasty NT and C. Ever since they went to a 3-4 no real NT until Knighton. One year. Now its a new scheme, at least a year two experiment of implementing a new 1 gap scheme. They have given Barry more talent than he has ever had to work with and plugging them into his scheme. I think it is Barry that now needs to make this work by making adjustments, so that they can stop the freaking run and pressure the QB. Barry needs to show some wizardry this season. Is that asking too much?

    • Skulb - May 6, 2016 at 9:57 AM

      I have thought all along that the weakness was not tackling properly behind the line, and not just the line itself. Hopefully Cravens and Daniels will help with that so the line can do what it does best: go forward and disrupt.

      • darren mittelstadt - May 6, 2016 at 10:03 AM

        Yes exactley. Media has people wired to think d line. Linebackers,safety also help in run game. That’s where we improved.

        • Preston - May 6, 2016 at 6:45 PM

          ILB and safties won’t push the pocket back on opposing QB’S. And neither will all the DE’s on this team.Golston and Reyes are weak against the run and are NOT NT’S. They need a NT. Or that edge pass rush won’t matter when every team Lines up and runs over you all game every game!!

    • hotpicksblog - May 7, 2016 at 9:24 AM

      Pot Roast was effective in Denver and Bill Bellicheck signed Pot Roast….but Joe Barry couldn’t find a way to make Pot Roast effective in his defense. That is very telling.

  3. Tyrone Y - May 6, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    Gallete’s Health will be big on the success of pass rush ..Kerrigan is solid a sleeper for one of the best at that position you ask me and Smith in my opinion will build off his rookie campaign and that will create a 3 headed monster by that i mean Barry needs to create some boom ..in that case i would try Smith on the inside in some blitz packages. We lost Pot Roast but the line is fine apparently and Hood And Reyes are good additions to play nose and they have rotation already in place thats fine.. Corners are solid ..and Su’a Cravens is a a hybrid ..I think he can handle FS and be the Next Troy with Sean Taylor Hitting power ..Fuller is a VT sleeper due to injury and will regain form ..Matt is a Nasty Temple NT who needs pounds ..
    I LOVE MY SKINS
    #HTTR
    #InScottWeTrust

    • hotpicksblog - May 7, 2016 at 9:37 AM

      Tyrone…I love ya man…and I wish I could live in that la la land where you are. Yes the Redskins Defense has potential…..just like it always does…every single year. If only this guy or that guy makes the pro bowl, if only this guy or that guy is a beast…if only this guy or that guy becomes Sean Taylor….if only this guy or that guy becomes the next J.J Watt…..Tyrone I love it. Its call eternal optimism. But we never call it what it is: an illusion

      Joe Barry is what is REAL…and he is a nightmare for fans like us.

  4. skinsdiehard - May 6, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    The D-Line will be the downfall of the defense. There is no special talent there or at ILB. The defense has a long way to go. If Kedric Golston is the starting NT, then they are in extreme trouble. Hopefully, Ioannidis is named the starter. ILB Compton and Foster are not an imposing tandem. Compton is not good enough against the run. Hopefully, Steven Daniesl or Martrell Spaight show that they are better.

    • ET - May 6, 2016 at 1:57 PM

      While I agree that our ILBs aren’t “imposing,” Compton and Foster played well together last year. If Riley can maintain some consistency and/or one of the younger players shows some growth, this is a solid unit. Electrifying? No. But not every defensive position group needs to wow us for the unit to improve. If the ILBs and DL can be average, with above average OLBs and a somewhat above average secondary, this defense will be markedly better overall.

    • hotpicksblog - May 7, 2016 at 9:28 AM

      You have made good points skindiehard….but let me say this a little different than you have stated and let me make this easier to understand for folks. Here it is and her is the only think which needs be said.

      Last year nobody on the Skins Defense made the Pro Bowl……..and nobody could stop the run……so the Redskins took care of that by hiring a cornerback??? a Great cornerback, yes….but he isn’t going to lead the league in tackles…so what if teams don’t throw his way and they just decide to RUN on the Redskins????

  5. renhoekk2 - May 6, 2016 at 3:40 PM

    They had the 28th ranked defense last season. There should be 7 starting jobs up for grabs. If there wasn’t that would be depressing.

    • hotpicksblog - May 7, 2016 at 9:31 AM

      AGREE….Both safety spots should be up for grabs…..and BOTH inside linebacker spots should be open for business…….and ALL DEFENSIVE LINE spots should be open for business because I watched teams run at and around Baker last year. He had 6 sacks but he couldn’t consistently find the running back.

  6. kenlinkins - May 6, 2016 at 9:51 PM

    Rich, Would you rule out a “one year rental” at NT or DT if one hit the market as a Cap Hit guy?

  7. Jason - May 9, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Forgot about Will Blackmon who is probably there #3 corner.

    • Rich Tandler - May 9, 2016 at 12:47 PM

      No, I didn’t forget Blackmon. Look under safeties, where he is playing for the time being.

  8. wncskinsfan - May 9, 2016 at 4:27 PM

    I think we will be ok in the defensive trenches . . . another season for things to gel . . . some competition for all of those slots. We still have guys who will be cut, and some spare picks that could be traded . . . I believe that if we get into summer and see a glaring hole in the run defense . . . Scot will act on it. They have files on every player in the NFL. They seemed to be stirring the pot for the entire season, mostly due to injuries, but need will keep it stirring, and it seems to be a smart way to improve a roster. They are always looking. The season is young. It is year two of a re-build. Things are improving, people are getting coached up. Faces showed last year who we had not heard of. I’m going to give this a minute. See what happens, And cheer for my fav. team.

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