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Redskins post-minicamp 53-man roster projection, offense

Jun 20, 2016, 8:42 AM EDT

Cousins-McCoy-minicamp-2016-USAT

The Redskins currently have 89 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. Today we’ll look at the offense and here is the defense.

Starters in bold.

Offense (25)

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

Will the Redskins risk trying to sneak Sudfeld onto the practice squad? Even though he was up and down during offseason workouts the value of the position could prompt another team to claim him if the Redskins try to sneak him through waivers. I’d say there’s an 80 percent chance he’s on the 53.

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

After minicamp I have to put Lauvao squarely on the bubble. His various injuries to his lower extremities that still have him sidelined and/or his $5 million cap number make him. If he doesn’t make it that would put either Josh LeRibeus or Austin Reiter in position to make the team.

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

No matter what some might think, Grant is nowhere near the bubble; he is a lock to make it. Ross probably is too unless they find an alternative at kickoff returner.

Tight end (4): Jordan Reed, Niles Paul, Vernon Davis, Logan Paulsen

Paulsen is on the bubble but the fact that he’s the only true blocking tight end on the roster will keep him on the good side of it.

Running back (3): Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, Keith Marshall

There has to be a name in the third spot so I’ll take Marshall, even though he had trouble staying on the field during OTAs and minicamp and could be headed for the practice squad. Rookie free agent Robert Kelly actually looked better on the field but it’s hard to get too excited about him before seeing him in pads.

  1. chad - Jun 20, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Not bad. I agree 99.9%. The only thing I could possible see that wasn’t mentioned is TE Carrier over Paulsen. Carrier is adequate at blocking although he may not be as good as Paulsen I see Davis filling that blocking TE roll. I was curious when we kicked the tires on anquan boldin if he wasn’t going to be used as a WR/TE type player. since we got Davis I kinda think that’s what the redskins were thinking.
    As always mr. tandler, great article.

    • derekblodgett - Jun 20, 2016 at 9:58 AM

      Carrier won’t be healthy until at least the midway point of the season.

      • chad - Jun 20, 2016 at 1:26 PM

        yup, this I know.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:13 AM

          Well then why would you project him to make the 53 instead of being on IR? Paulson is a reasonable choice as the fourth TE because of his experience but you could pencil in basically anyone but Carrier for that role.

          I like Carrier’s potential too but I sincerely doubt a guy who can’t play (maybe at all this season) will be on the final 53. Jensen is also a dark horse for the 4th TE spot.

          We’re all thinking of Davis as a blocking TE because of his age and veteran status. But reality is he was never a great blocker. Adequate but not great. I see him probably as more of a redzone target, decoy, and occasional blocker. We probably have to limit his reps because of his age. So it makes sense to have another blocking specialists. Especially because of injuries. If Reed is hurt Paul will probably be the primary receiving TE. If Davis is hurt then….. Carrier is the primary blocking TE? Or Paulson? What makes more sense?

  2. skinsdiehard - Jun 20, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    Good projection. I would take LeRibeus or Reiter over Lichtensteiger. He did not improve the run game much when he came back at the end of the season. Time to move on from him. I think there are better WR’s than Rashad Ross. He fell down untouched at least 3 or 4 times last season while running routes. Clumsy. It’s like having offensive linemen that cannot stay on their feet. It hurts the offense.

  3. kenlinkins - Jun 20, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    So, only 4 new names from draft & FA, and 3 more from IR and PC gain the 53 man roster for a total of 7. I wonder if the O-Line at C/LG and RB can fix the ground game and keep Cousins clean. All in all, not a bad place to be if there is a kick returner somewhere in the group? (maybe one of the young DB’s can handle that duty). Would the GM think about going with 24O and 26D on roster?

    • lorcanbonda - Jun 20, 2016 at 3:58 PM

      Ross and Crowder handled most of the returns last year. In a pinch, Thompson, Niles Paul, and (probably) Marshall could handle it.

      Ross did well on kick returns. I would be fine if he did both kicks and punts.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:18 AM

      The OLine wasn’t great at run blocking but they kept Cousins clean. He was one of the least sacked QBs for most of the season. Some of that had to do with Cousins getting the ball out quick but they did well in protection.

      It’s also promising that it’s such a young line. Scherff and Moses should get better in their second year starting. Williams is obviously one of the best in the business and Long got better late in the season. That’s plenty to make up for weak center play. However, Kory gets too much hate. If he can return healthy (big if) he’s plenty adequate to hold that position down.

  4. abanig - Jun 20, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    100% agree with this projection. As for the OL I see it like this:

    LT: TWilliams, Nsekhe
    LG: Lauvao, Long
    C: Kory L, Reitner
    RG: Scherff, Kouandjio
    RT: Moses

    As far as I see it, I don’t see how you go into the season with only one “true center” on the roster unless Spencer Long really takes a huge step forward this summer as a possible option present & future at center.

    • Ian - Jun 20, 2016 at 1:30 PM

      How do you 100% agree, then post a different opinion on the OLine?

      • abanig - Jun 20, 2016 at 3:41 PM

        Good point, I misunderstood what Rich was saying about the OL. I thought he was listing the OL who were in the hunt when he included Takoby Cofield, I didn’t realize he had him making the team.

  5. redskins12thman - Jun 20, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    ESPN did something similar; it had Cofield on the practice squad and RB Kelley making the opening 53 man roster instead.

  6. Raymond Seeds Jr. - Jun 20, 2016 at 3:10 PM

    Go Redskins

  7. bangkokben - Jun 20, 2016 at 3:51 PM

    Fingers crossed that new injuries don’t significantly alter this. As for competition, that seems to be reserved for the defense. I’d be shocked if anyone not on this list makes the team without injury assistance.

    • ET - Jun 20, 2016 at 5:03 PM

      Regrettably, there’s almost always “injury assistance.” Who would’ve thunk our TEs, LBs or DBs would be so decimated last season? We were fortunate to have some good players step into the breach. Positional depth seems better across the board, but I expect one or more small personnel surprises on each side of the ball.

      • Trey Gregory - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:22 AM

        For sure. Injuries are the worst part of this game. Every team deals with them but didn’t it seem like they hit us harder than usual last year? It felt like a ton of injuries came down all at once in the preseason.

        Anyway, if that was worst then hopefully we get a reprieve this year. They’re going to happen but hopefully they key oieces stay healthy. We especially can’t afford any with the RBs and OLine.

      • bangkokben - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:22 AM

        That’s the rub. The thing that can be predictable about injuries is that THEY WILL happen — just no way of knowing where. RB is so thin that if injuries were to hit there, multiple guys off the street would have to be signed. Then again there are plenty of guys off the street willing and available and its not like the stable is chocked full of talent anyway.

  8. kenboy99 - Jun 20, 2016 at 9:22 PM

    RB seems thread bare with only Jones capable of carrying a high work load. Still wish they would resign Pierre Thomas.

    • redskins12thman - Jun 20, 2016 at 11:14 PM

      That still might happen.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:23 AM

      I can’t imagine them not signing a vet eventually. It would be quite the gamble not to. And Thomas is the front runner in that department.

  9. celeoinc - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Here is the problem with Kory L: he can’t stay healthy. I understand that the coaches like his smart and everything else, but the bottom line is he can’t stay healthy. He is not getting any younger and he is small. Plus the line played better without him as far pass protection goes. I don’t think it’s worth to keep him, unless there is a good reason to believe that he can stay healthy for the majority of the games.

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