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Way too early Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense

May 10, 2016, 9:29 AM EDT


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. Earlier we did the projections for the offense; today it’s the defense.

Starters in bold.

Defense (25)

Defensive line (7): Chris Baker, Matt Ioannidis, Stephan Paea, Trent Murphy, Ricky Jean Francois, Kendall Reyes, Kedric Golston

With the exception of Baker the starters are up in the air. For right now Kedric Golston and Ziggy Hood are on the bubble.

Outside linebacker (4): Ryan Kerrigan, Junior Galette, Preston Smith, Houston Bates

For such a critical position, this area looks a bit thin past the top three. Bates did a pretty good job on special teams last year but the Redskins may want to bring in a veteran to play the backup role.

Inside linebacker (5): Perry Riley, Will Compton, Mason Foster, Martrell Spaight, Terrance Garvin

Riley and Foster will battle for one of the starting jobs. Right now it’s a coin flip. I have seventh-round pick Steven Daniels on the practice squad at this time but he could easily beat out Spaight or maybe even Garvin. Daniels isn’t that fast or quick so he won’t make an impression until they get into pads in training camp.

Cornerback (4): Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar

There are exactly zero holdovers from the Week 1 roster last year (Breeland was serving a one-game suspension). I don’t see a spot for Greg Toler, who signed before the Redskins signed Norman and drafted Fuller.

Safety (5): DeAngelo Hall, Su’a Cravens, David Bruton, Will Blackmon, Duke Ihenacho

The role for Kyshoen Jarrett is up in the air right now. Nerve injuries are tough to predict. Should he recover he will be on the Week 1 53, probably at Ihenacho’s expense. Otherwise he’s on PUP or IR. It’s no sure thing that Cravens will start but he’ll make a strong push.

Specialists (3): LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way, PK Dustin Hopkins

It doesn’t appear that the Redskins will be bringing in even token competition for any of these three.

The numbers: 25 offense, 25 defense, 3 specialists; 11 new to the Redskins organization in 2016 including six draft picks.

  1. darren mittelstadt - May 10, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    Steven daniels will be starting inside linebacker. Speed can be over ruled by knowing where to be. Hes got great football speed!

    • Trey Gregory - May 10, 2016 at 2:12 PM

      I sincerely doubt that a rookie 6th round pick will start over all the veterans we have. Probably the best he can hope for is a special teams role. Let’s not get carried away with draft hype.

    • Mr.moneylover - May 10, 2016 at 2:43 PM

      Yeah in the future he’s not ready to start right now…for 2 or 3 years we gonna have will Compton and mason foster as starting LBs Steven Daniels will be playing special teams until then just martrell spaight

  2. celeoinc - May 10, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    This is a team on the rise! We don’t have all the pieces yet, but you can clearly see where we are going.

    • renhoekk2 - May 10, 2016 at 10:07 AM

      What’s even better about it is the lack of respect the team gets. Listening to Philly sports talk radio they don’t even take the Redskins into consideration. Like last year never happened. Never mind the fact I think the Skins have beaten them 3 straight times. To hear them talk they are only going against DAL and NYG for the division this coming season. I’m sure DAL and NYG fans feel the same way.

      • ET - May 10, 2016 at 3:05 PM

        Philly fans are the surliest, most delusional in the NFC East, especially when the ink’s barely dry on the Chip Kelly Debacle.

        Let ’em think what they want.

  3. austrianhttrfan - May 10, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Rich I think you are wrong with 4 CBs…after going through last years struggles with injuries and now having Fuller maybe not 100% ready and Dunbar still development…I don´t see this happening…
    Or you imagine Blackmone playing some CB too and Jarrett again…than it´s very much possible…

    • Rich Tandler - May 10, 2016 at 10:42 AM

      Very hard to carry 10 DB’s. With Blackmon able to go to corner if needed I see the odd spot going to safety.

  4. Bobby Light - May 10, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    I’ll say Perry Riley doesn’t make the team but Will Blackmon does

  5. austrianhttrfan - May 10, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    And Rich, I´m sorry to annoy you again…but CSN videos still don´t work for other regions (at least Austria I can say),
    can you either give me maybe an email of a responsible person or tell them again?
    Thank you so much.

    • Mark Alan Glenn - May 10, 2016 at 5:24 PM

      Yeah I’m in Thailand and the videos don’t work for me either. It looks like if your outside of the USA your screwed.

    • lezziemcdykerson - May 11, 2016 at 7:23 PM

      Also the videos on CSN wont mute. If I click to mute it takes me to the video page with other videos. It used to do that when they switched the design but, if I scrolled down to read the article the video would pop out and if I mute or pause, it would work. Now it just opens another page so I have to mute my cpu every time I go on csn.

      And since I just came from CSN and saw this I wanted to ask is just arbitrary when rookies decide to sign? I know the new CBA essentially put an end to rookie hold outs but what takes them so long to sign? Is it at their discretion, ie previous family obligations, training elsewhere etc, or are they negotiating their contracts? How much room does the current CBA allow for rookie negotiations? Sorry for the onslaught but I’m just wondering why it isn’t more uniform because I thought that was apart of the reason the new CBA addressed rookie contracts.

  6. Brian Peterson - May 10, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    Trent Murphy will be a starter before all is said and done! Expecting a BIG year

    • Mr.moneylover - May 10, 2016 at 6:31 PM

      I think he will struggle and end up getting cut by the redskins…I think redskins got to much undrafted talent that’s getting unnoticed to keep giving a guy like Trent Murphy chance after chance after chance…I know jay gruden don’t wanna admit he was wrong on his draft pick choice but it happens sometimes you hit sometimes you miss…I believe scot m. And jay gruden probably got into it over a guy like Trent Murphy I believe scot m. Would’ve been release a guy like Trent Murphy no pass success game tape and he struggle and ended up getting benched for a rookie who had more success Scot m. Don’t hesitate on those kinda guys you either got it or not he likes to keep the train running at a high level…jay gruden is well known for fighting for the guys he like to keep on the roster but I bet this is the last chance Trent Murphy get I hope he makes the best of it…he’s good against the run but gotta work on his pass rush to make it far in this league… Chris Baker was on the edge of getting cut but he showed to much promise and got a three year deal and now depending on this season might get a big contract after the season… I just noticed something if Chris baker had a career year in Joe Barry scheme it should make sense that Kendall Reyes should get back on track in Joe Barry scheme …Kendall Reyes showed a lot of promise one year if he can get back on track that will be huge for the D-line… Kendrick gholston most likely will be competing with Ziggy hood or practice squad player from last year

      • Trey Gregory - May 11, 2016 at 4:38 AM

        Wow. Ok. Where to start…

        Let’s start with Jay Gruden didn’t draft Trent Murphy. In fact, Jay Gruden didn’t draft any player on this team. The GM drafts on this team. Gruden doesn’t have an arrangement like some coaches, Bill Bellichick for example, where they’re the GM too. Bruce Allen drafted Trent Murphy.

        Also. Apparently Allen hired Scot McCloughan as a consultant for the 2014 draft; or so I’ve been told by people who want to credit the success of players like Morgan Moses to McCloughan. So, if that’s true, then there’s a good chance McCloughan had something to do with drafting Murphy.

        Also. Trent Murphy is not as bad as you’re making him out to be. No, he has not lived up to his draft status. But that doesn’t mean he sucks. He’s a very solid depth/rotational player. He has been very good setting the edge and against the run. Maybe even better against the run than some of our starters. He’s also slightly improved his pass rushing skills every season; just not enough.

        So he’s not going to be a starting OLB but he’s better than the undrafted players we have. I know the college tape of these guys and their stories are very intreating but that doesn’t mean anything in the NFL. Murphy was an elite edge rusher in college. Means nothing now. So as bad as you think he is, none of those other guys could beat him out last year. Having a guy like Murphy, on his rookie contract, as a depth player is a great luxury. We’re so fortunate to have Kerrigan, Smith, and Galette but we need solid depth if one gets hurt.

        Also. People have always thought Murphy was better suited as a DE. That’s what he’s going to do this year. The guy could break out. Or he could still just be mediocre. He’s on a rookie contract, and costs us nothing, either way. He’s going to stay around, for the duration of his rookie contract, until someone clearly beats him out.

  7. kenlinkins - May 10, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    We are pretty close on the “way too early 53 man” roster, but I must admit I just do not see more than 7 or 8 wins. The Redskins will need to find a way to generate a pass rush without giving up 5 yards a shot on the ground on first down and forcing turn overs. On offense the Redskins are weak in the middle C, LG, RB for pass blocking and the running game is still a big question mark. I have read that “Hope is not a plan”, and there is still a lot of “Hope” on the early 53 man roster. Preseason will interesting to see which “Hope” turns into “Solid” production.

    • Skulb - May 10, 2016 at 11:25 PM

      I don’t know about this. I think most people who studied the D last year agreed that the problem was the tackling. Looking back at some of the big runs we sustained you usually find someone not finishing a tackle at the start of the play. Ingram for instance ran a 70 yarder on us that should have been a five yard run. But Perry didn’t wrap up his tackle and Ingram escaped. To me this is a coaching issue more than it is a player issue. If people can just grab on to the guy they’re trying to tackle we should look better.
      And assuming that the quite heavily reinforced defense can do this, the offense should be improved with Doctson and stability at QB, coaching and WR. In what is a bit of a simplification I think the Skins offense scored enough points and produced enough yards etc to win maybe 11 or 12 games last year. They only had one real stinker against Carolina as well as three or four mediocre outings. If we pretend the offense played at a 12-4 level then logically the defense played at a 6-10 level. And that is probably generous when you consider their overall stats from last season. Consequently though any improvements on defense should reap more dividends than any offensive improvements. We were already pretty good there in 15.

      It’s much too early to predict the record for me, but if I did I would say 10-6. I expect marked improvement on defense (Norman, lots of depth all over the secondary and Ioannidis should help) and ST (We were kicking OOB deliberately all year in 15, basically playing keepaway to prevent other STs destroying us) and more fine tuning on offense. Tougher schedule drops them from 12-4 to 10-6.

  8. Mr.moneylover - May 10, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    I don’t think Stephen paea will be given a starting job like last year regardless of what his contract look like…it could be a undrafted guy who STEPUP…

  9. Mr.moneylover - May 10, 2016 at 2:48 PM

    I agree with the starting safety…I think they gonna do everything they can to get su’a Cravens ready to start because they can’t trust nacho and Burton coming off a ACL injury

    • austrianhttrfan - May 11, 2016 at 7:04 AM

      Burton didn´t have an ACL injury..he had a broken leg…

  10. Mr.moneylover - May 10, 2016 at 6:34 PM

    Pot roast stopped a lot of goal line and 4&1 situations as of right now non of those guys are big enough to stop short yardage situations unless they use jarrell Powell

  11. skinsgame - May 10, 2016 at 7:36 PM

    We haven’t seen any practice yet but I still have a hard time believing Hall will make the team, let alone be a starting safety.

    • Trey Gregory - May 11, 2016 at 4:23 AM

      Wow. Really? Based on what? The guy is the most experienced defensive back we have. Age also shouldn’t be as big of a factor at safety. We’ve seen multiple older CBs transition to safety and extend their careers. He seemed to recover from the Achillies just fine. Keep in mind that it’s usually the second year after serious injuries where players really bounce back.

      I just don’t see him not making the team. If we had a solid group of safties then maybe, but we don’t. You think Ihenacho is going to get a spot over him? The guy can’t stay healthy and can’t cover when he is. Cravens is an obvious lock. I would call Blackmon a lock because of his versitility. I know they want to keep Jareett but his health may land him on the PUP. So then there’s Bruton and Ihenacho. You don’t think Hall can beat out at least one of them? If he can’t, we’re in bad shape.

      • skinsgame - May 11, 2016 at 3:04 PM

        My reasoning is that he’s out of position. There’s no evidence that show successful position changes late in a players career and Hall didn’t look good at safety last year when he was out there. I like the guy, I just like him as a backup CB.

        • Trey Gregory - May 11, 2016 at 3:29 PM

          Okay. That’s fair. There have been a few players, like Charles Woodson and Ronde Barber, who successfully made that transition and extended their careers. But Woodson is obviously a HOF player and I think Barber only played safety for a year. So I get it.

          But also remember that Hall was thrown right into the fire. He didn’t have OTAs and camp as a safety. He swapped positions with no time to prepare. So that could have something to do with it. All things considered, I didn’t think he looked half bad toward the end of the season. It should be interesting to see how this plays out

        • skinsgame - May 12, 2016 at 2:09 AM

          Woodson! Good call. I can’t think of any others. Hopefully Hall is the next Woodson.

      • lezziemcdykerson - May 11, 2016 at 7:57 PM

        Hall will make the team really because of Trey’s entire second paragraph. We don’t have depth. The depth we do have is either coming off injury or a new face in town. Hall should be “bouncing back” to 100%. I have to say I HAAATTTED D Hall at CB. Even when he got those 95 picks against the Lions he was too much of a liability because he was always either getting torched, flagged for PI or flagged for talking/personal fouls. To me a CB shouldn’t be talking during a game (trivial I know, look at Sherman) because they have so much responsibility. Especially if you’re not winning your battles and he was average at best. Qb’s tried Hall and they tried him often, with success at that. Now at S I kinda like the guy. I like vocal safeties with nasty to them, granted he’s 45 years old now but it’s not like we’re asking him to jam, back pedal, turn and keep up with elite receivers anymore, just hang back and cover your side of the field, crash if it’s a run.

        • skinsgame - May 12, 2016 at 2:11 AM

          Hopefully he’s up to it.

  12. Jonathan - May 10, 2016 at 10:52 PM

    I think all of yall are right we dnt have all the pieces that we need on offense or defense but it’s not that bad. We need a center and a better lg and lt. Finally got a bigger receiver. Need to run the ball better. On defense no big defensive tackle to stop the run. Corner is a big upgrade but really no good depth on safety. Need to get a little bit younger there with speed and better coverage skills. Like my boy sean taylor. Rip. Im glad no teams are not worried about us. Just like last yr but we need to start out better than what we did. I think 10 wins maybe 11 depending on injuries and Kurt cousins play. And secondary play. Too all my fellow redskins httr!!!!! Archives

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