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Way too early Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

May 8, 2016, 9:12 AM EDT

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The Redskins currently have 88 players on their roster. Between now and September 3 they will cut that down to 53 players.

Here are my projections of who will end up on the roster on offense when the dust settles and that roster is turned in. Look for the defensive projections here later in the week.

Starters in bold.

Offense (25)

Quarterback (3): Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld

Sudfeld could end up on the practice squad but my guess right now is that he will show enough potential to keep the Redskins from wanting to risk putting him through waivers.

Offensive line (9): Trent Williams, Spencer Long, Kory Lichtensteiger, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Shawn Lauvao, Arie Kouandjio, Takoby Cofield

A year ago Nsekhe wasn’t on anyone’s radar but he was a solid backup tackle. I wouldn’t rule out either Josh LeRibeus or Austin Reiter making the team as a reserve.

Wide receiver (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder (slot), Josh Doctson, Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross

Tight end (3): Jordan Reed, Niles Paul, Vernon Davis

Logan Paulsen is on the bubble. They’d like to keep him for blocking and special teams but they may not have a spot for him. I think that Derek Carrier starts the season on the PUP list.

Running back (4): Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, Keith Marshall, Pierre Thomas

While I generally stick to the rule that only players who currently are on the roster get included here, there is a hole in the RB depth chart that needs to be filled. It may be by Thomas, it may be someone else. Look for a signing before OTAs get started.

  1. abanig - May 8, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    I think Shawn Lauvao will start at Guard. He was better than Spencer Long in the 18 games (I think) he’s started as a skin and the running game is much better when he starts at LG. Paulsen will make it and Takoby Cofield will be on the practice squad another year along with Austin Reitner. They can keep them them there in case of injury, next year they will make the team as back ups when Lauvao is gone.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 8, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    If I had 10 chips to bet on a RB who isn’t on the team right now, I’d place 7 of them on Pierre.
    ~

  3. bangkokben - May 8, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Usually, I agree with your “way to early 53-man rosters” and then of course life happens to the players and about 80% is accurate. While I’ll agree with the unorthodox inclusion of Pierre Thomas, I think you’r hedging your bets on the o-line. Both Lauvao and Lichtensteiger making the final 53? Lauvao making it as a back-up? If Lauvao is a back-up, LeRibeus seems like a more logical choice since he can “play” — I realize I’m using that term loosely — both guard and center. I don’t see a back-up center on the roster and considering how many games Kory missed last year that seems risky. So in the end, I’ve got LeRibeus over Lauvao and Paulsen over Sudfield.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 8, 2016 at 11:35 AM

      Wildcard is Spencer Long: can he play center?

      I guess none of knows yet, save for it’s a possibility.
      ~

      • bangkokben - May 8, 2016 at 1:10 PM

        Yes. I would love for him to play center and move Kuoandjio to LG and the only thing that seems to be holding us back from making this the plan is the state of the running game for TWO lousy games at the beginning of last season. (And when I say lousy, I mean lousy in the sense of sample size — not quality.)

      • thirdistheworrd - May 8, 2016 at 5:29 PM

        When they asked Gruden about playing Long at Center, he replied something along the lines of “We’ve thought about it, but he needs time to develop there…” Considering the excessive optimism of Coach-speak, I’m pretty sure that translates to “Not a chance in hell”.

    • Rich Tandler - May 8, 2016 at 11:53 AM

      I just get the sense that Lauvao is going to stay. But it’s early, you may be right.

      • bangkokben - May 8, 2016 at 1:22 PM

        It certainly is early but what seems to throw this calculation up in the air is the injury, how well he played in TWO games, and how inconsistent (or consistently bad) the rushing attack was without him. Had he not got injured and simply reverted to his 2014 form, I don’t think we’re talking about his return. Then again, the injury seems to be significant and Culliver was released due to the strength of the depth. I’d argue that the depth at guard could be comparable.

        • Trey Gregory - May 9, 2016 at 3:46 AM

          Well, we didn’t cut Culliver until we brought in a first team all pro CB and a third round pick who McCloughan said he would have rated as a first round pick sans the injury. So I see it a little different.

          There’s nobody new on the Oline from last year. Just guys who couldn’t beat out Lauvao before and we’re hoping progress enough to do it this year. And that could happen. The young guys should get better. But Lauvao is an experienced guard who struggled in his first year in a new system. I get the two games thing but he played before 2014. I would bet on him making the team; health permitting.

  4. Joe K - May 8, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    No Anquon Boldin??

    • Sam M. - May 8, 2016 at 3:34 PM

      Why would we need him? Were stacked at the pos.

    • thirdistheworrd - May 8, 2016 at 5:34 PM

      Old Old Old. Besides, I’m pretty sure Rich only includes names on the roster. Ross seems like the WR candidate most likely to be cut, and even then I think Scot would rather go for a young UFA than Anquon. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great player, and I’d hypothetically love to have him on the squad. I just think Scot is more focused on young and cheap– guys who could “replace” Garcon and Jackson when one or both walk after this season.

  5. sidepull - May 8, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Not a fan of Ryan Grant, but the coaches seem to be. Wouldn’t bother me in the least if he is unseated. Thumbs up on Pierre Thomas.

    • Trey Gregory - May 9, 2016 at 4:04 AM

      I hear you. I’m not crazy about Grant, but I like him a lot better than Ross. I would love to see someone beat out Ross and be done with him. Grant has shown some potential and aptitude for the position. But there’s no way either of them see the field with Garçon, DJax, Crowder, Doctson, Reed, Davis, and Paul in the mix unless there’s injuries or some funky formations. Those good ol 6 WR sets.

      • lorcanbonda - May 9, 2016 at 12:18 PM

        The thing about Ross is that we still need a return man. Assuming Roberts is gone, he’s the only one that we have.

        • Trey Gregory - May 9, 2016 at 6:20 PM

          Yeah but he wasn’t even very good at that. He had the one return for TD and everything else was underwhelming. I feel like we could get a rookie with more potential to do that. Or Crowder. Or even some of the young CBs.

          I’m just obviously not very high on him.h

  6. bk70 - May 8, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    I agree with all of the starters, but I believe Shawn Lauvao, and Derek Carrier will start the season on PUP. On the OL, I think Takoby Cofield stays on the PS for the start of the season and Josh LeRibeus as BU center/G. I’m thinking the season starts with 4 TE’s on the 53 man roster, so I’ll add in Marcel Jensen. Still total of 25 on Offense.

    My 25 on Defense would be:
    DL (7) – Chris Baker, Kedric Golston and Stephen Pae as starters. BU’s Trent Murphy, Kendall Reyes, Matt Ionnidis and Ricky Jean-Francois.
    DB (9) – Duke Ihenacho, DeAngelo Hall, Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland as starters. BUs Su’a Cravens, David Bruton, Kendall Fuller, Will Blackmon, and Greg Toler. (Kyshoen Jarrett on PUP at start of season).
    LB (9) – Ryan Kerrigan, Perry Riley, Will Compton and Junior Gallette as starters. BUs Preston Smith, Mason Foster, Stephen Daniels, Martell Spaight and Houston Bates.

    HTTR

    • bangkokben - May 8, 2016 at 7:54 PM

      Cravens starts the season at SS and Quinton Dunbar makes it over Toler. I also don’t think Bates makes the team. Maybe Hayward stays as a special teamer but I suspect Garvin will be there before Bates. Bates is a poor man’s Trent Murphy. It’s like if a Karmann Ghia is a poor man’s Porsche, what’s a poor man’s Karmann Ghia?They don’t make that. Same for Bates. He belongs in the CFL.

  7. mightyjester - May 8, 2016 at 3:58 PM

    Anyone but me think Chris Thompson is a bust? They need to bring in a viable backup for Jones and let the 7th round pick take Thompson’s job. Lauvao was looking great as a run blocker before he got injured his may displace Long.

    • Trey Gregory - May 9, 2016 at 3:54 AM

      There’s room for Jones, Thompson, and Keith Marshall (the 7th round pick). As well as another veteran. There should be 4 RB spots.

      But no, I don’t think Thompson is a bust and I don’t trust a 7th round pick to come right into the league and play as good as Thompson. I wouldn’t even trust Marshall to make the team if our RB depth wasn’t awful. He was pretty good last year man. He’s mostly a third down back, but that’s okay if he’s good at it; and he was. So you bring in the vet to backup Jones and then draft another RB next year.

      I don’t really know what other better options they have. It’s easy to say they should get someone else. But who? Not a ton of great options left out there. McCloughan didn’t feel the need to draft a RB or bring in a premium FA so that’s where we are for 2016.

    • celeoinc - May 9, 2016 at 10:18 AM

      I am pretty sure you are the only one, and I mean that respectfully.

    • lorcanbonda - May 9, 2016 at 12:24 PM

      Thompson averaged 6.2 yards per carry last year which is almost twice Jones & Morris. He also caught 35 passes.

      His problem has always been injuries, not talent. If he stays healthy — we may see more of him than Jones next year. Especially if Jones doesn’t cure his fumbling issues.

    • renhoekk2 - May 9, 2016 at 12:50 PM

      The famous line about playing in the NFL is “The greatest ability to have is availability.” Thompson doesn’t have that. I for one am disappointed they did not look for his replacement in the draft or in the UDFA pool. I don’t understand why they want to keep a guy who has been injured every season since they drafted him. I don’t see any thing special he brings that can’t be found in someone more durable. They are 10-20 undersized, fast RB that are draftable every year.

      • Rich Tandler - May 9, 2016 at 2:13 PM

        A running back who misses three games does not have an “availability” problem.

        • renhoekk2 - May 10, 2016 at 9:49 AM

          When there is a history of the player being injured and he gets injured again and needs surgery it kind of does. Players don’t start getting healthier and more durable the longer the play. Do you want to do an over/under on how many games he misses or how many games into the season before he misses a game?

        • Rich Tandler - May 10, 2016 at 9:55 AM

          Players learn how to stay healthy all the time. They figure out offseason regimes (Jordan Reed), how to take better care of their bodies during the season (Thompson) and to avoid unnecessary contact.

          Two of the three games Thompson missed this year were because of an ugly bruise he got after falling flat on his back in the Meadowlands. He learned, got some new pads that protected further down his back, and now that injury won’t happen again.

          Sure, any player can get injured at any time. But players can and do learn how to set the odds of staying healthy more in their favor.

    • John - May 10, 2016 at 1:18 AM

      Yes, you are the only one. Thompson has had his share of injuries. Last year he was healthy and contributed. He had some good runs, like the long draw in the Eagles game at FedEx. He also was a damn good receiver. As long as he does not have to run inside, he’ll be fine.

  8. kenlinkins - May 8, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    I am not buying the Shawbn Lauvao roster spot yet. He had 5 surgeries since the last time he played. While only 28 he has 3 guys who want his spot (Long, Kouanpjio, Leribeus) and maybe another if the Redskins find a starting center to replace Kory L. He has a $3 million Cap saving working against him. If he can win a roster spot with all that stacked against him the Redskins have bigger problems (i.e. Long, Kouanpjio not yet ready to start) to address. Long is going into his 3rd year, so maybe the Redskins Cut him if he can not beat out Lauvao, so I will wait until a preseason game or two before giving Lauvao a spot.(i.e. at some point Long must show he is more than just depth a one position on the OL). I do not a $5 million back up at LG this year.

    I could also see a 4th TE making the roster and also think that the Redskins will carry 3 QB’s on the roster.
    The call on RB P. Thomas IMO is a good one, but I would be shocked if the Redskins do not pick up a few vet RB’s before training camp. While most will be the “preseason hero” type, maybe the Redskins get lucky and find one who has that one good year left in him and makes some noise.

    • chad - May 9, 2016 at 2:45 AM

      I Remember a certain redskins offensive lineman had 13 surgeries on his knees and was a beast. surgeries make you better most of the time, that’s the reason they are performed. byw, the player I’m referring to was mark slereth

    • Trey Gregory - May 9, 2016 at 3:57 AM

      I don’t understand why they would cut a rookie guard who has at least performed good enough to be a backup and start in a pinch. What would the benefit be? He’s on his rookie contract, as a third round pick, he doesn’t cost anything. What’s the benefit to cutting Long unless someone clearly outplays him? And in this case, multiple guys would have to clearly outplay him.

  9. bangkokben - May 8, 2016 at 5:07 PM

    “at some point Long must show he is more than just depth…”Long is going into his 3rd year, so maybe the Redskins Cut him if he can not beat out Lauvao” Long ISN’T getting cut if he can’t win a starting job. Not until you’re paid like a starter does that become criteria. As long as he’s experienced depth and paid as such that will keep him on the roster. Cutting Lauvao saves the team $3,000,000; cutting LeRibeus saves the team $600,000; while cutting Long saves the team JUST $456,550. Long has to suck to a new level of suckitude to get cut or there has to be a multitude of guards that unexpectedly play better.

    • Trey Gregory - May 9, 2016 at 3:58 AM

      Ah, didn’t see this until after I commented but, obviously, I completely agree.

  10. darren mittelstadt - May 8, 2016 at 6:59 PM

    Maurice harris is taking rocket ross’s spot or grants. This kid looks pretty good. How he not got drafted is crazy compared to ones that did.

    • Trey Gregory - May 9, 2016 at 3:59 AM

      Compared to which?

  11. chad - May 9, 2016 at 2:48 AM

    We still have 2nd round of FA happening after June 1st. Some UDFA and overpriced vets will be cut for someone being released after June 1st.

  12. Les L. - May 9, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    What happened to Silas Redd?

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

      Suspended for at least a year, substance abuse policy.

  13. celeoinc - May 9, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Maurice Harris could be a sleeper. The reason that he did not get drafted it was because there were two or three receivers ahead of him at Cal. I’m not saying he will make the team, all what I’m saying is that basied in what I read, he has a lot room to grow as a receiver and he has most of the tools you look in a receiver. My bet is that he makes the practice squad..

  14. vtsquirm - May 10, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    I don’t see a future for Ross or Grant (or both) in burgundy and gold. I think at least one of them is cut and maybe both of them if we can find a good rookie with some potential.

  15. Willie hudson - May 10, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    My Washington redskins are the one to beat personally I think we are going to win the super bowl this year

    • Trey Gregory - May 11, 2016 at 5:24 AM

      That’s ambitious

  16. R. Pinckney - May 10, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    Anyone thinks one of the 2 UDFA WR’s M. Harris from Cal & R. Diggs from Richmond both 6’3 & 6’4 and 200lbs can unseat R. Grant &/or R. Ross? They would give Kirk a big target in the red zone.

  17. navydave12 - May 12, 2016 at 6:20 AM

    I think Diggs from Richmond 6’4 4.5 40 will push rant for a Roster spot. Dunbar has the size, speed and length to be the final corner.

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