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Redskins post-minicamp 53-man roster projection, defense

Jun 21, 2016, 8:43 AM EDT

Golston-minicamp-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 defense when the dust settles and that roster is turned in. Yesterday I did the offensive projection.

Starters in bold.

Defense (25)

Defensive line (6): Chris Baker, Matt Ioannidis, Stephan Paea, Trent Murphy, Ricky Jean Francois, Kendall Reyes

As one would expect during practices without pads, not much was sorted out here during OTAs and minicamp. I can’t rule out Kedric Golston and/or Ziggy Hood making the roster but I’m not sure if there is a spot for either of them.

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

I’m giving Bates the inside track to the fourth spot for now due to his experience but I wouldn’t count out Lyndon Trail, who has size and athletic ability but needs some polish.

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

Riley missed the offseason program with his foot in a boot, still recovering from the broken bone that ended his season early last year. That gives Foster in the inside track on the starting job for now, although Riley still has a shot. It’s possible that if Riley doesn’t start his $5 million cap number will send him to the waiver wire and rookie Steven Daniels will make the 53 and not the practice squad.

Cornerback (5): Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Dashaun Phillips

There will be a numbers crunch here. They may want to keep Greg Toler, and Lloyd Carrington but they just don’t have roster spots for them.

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

I’m not sure if you should count Cravens as a safety but he has to go somewhere as he plays all over the defense. It’s hard to see Kyshoen Jarrett playing this year but he is still visiting specialists and we will find out more when training camp starts.

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.

  1. Dannon - Jun 21, 2016 at 8:56 AM

    If I had To Keep a Corner back / Safety I’m keeping Greg Toler all-day over Will Blackmon!
    Last year he was out of position and burnt repeatedly!
    He wasn’t horrific, but the play’s he gave up were costly and crucial plays that cost us some games we should’ve won. Toler on the other hand can be more used and play multiple secondary positions and I believe is a tad bit Faster then Blackmon. I Really Hope LB. Stephen Daniels makes the 53 man roster. He is a Tackling machine. #HTTR

    • ET - Jun 21, 2016 at 10:58 AM

      Toler wasn’t good at all last year (6th worst CB in PFF’s rankings, if you believe in such things). Will Blackmon may be seeing most of his snaps this season at safety or in subpackages, so it’s not an apples-to-apples anyway, but I’d Blackmon over Toler based on last year’s results plus Blackmon’s scheme flexibility.

    • skinsdiehard - Jun 21, 2016 at 10:58 AM

      I agree. Blackmon gave up almost every TD where a team came back on us. We’re up 20-0 to the Giants. Blackmon gives up both TD’s to Randle (on 4th down no less) and OBJ to cut it to 20-14. Up 21-7 to the Bears, he gave up a TD to cut the deficit in the 3rd qtr. Up 28-3 to the Bills, he gave up a TD to cut it to 28-17 in like 3 minutes. On the opening drive against Philly, he gets PI in the end zone leading to an early TD. Even against Dallas, he let Kellen Moore look like Joe Montana. He just has no speed and can’t cover.

    • redskins12thman - Jun 21, 2016 at 1:34 PM

      Could Everett beat out Blackmon as back-up safety? I believe Everett played safety in college and he was a key contributor on special teams last season for the Redskins.

      • bk70 - Jun 21, 2016 at 1:55 PM

        That’s one I’m watching also. Everett has a good shot at it. Fall back would be the Practice Squad.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 22, 2016 at 7:25 AM

      You’re allowed to have your opinion about Blackmom. But he can play all over the secondary too. As proof of him playing corner last year and safety this year. Probably his biggest strength is his versatility. So, I don’t really understand what Toller could do that Blackmon can’t?

  2. murphsman - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    I hope you’re right about Golston, although I’m not 100% convinced you are. After 8 years of being JAG, it should be time to move on, but that’s what we’ve been saying the past 2 years, yet he’s still here.

    • Mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2016 at 11:03 AM

      But I’ll take Gholston over Trent Murphy any day of the week last year Gholston made plays for us on 4th down can’t really remember when Trent Murphy made a good play at all…Trent Murphy gotta make progress this year to make the roster I don’t think he’s as safe as what some ppl think

      • abanig - Jun 21, 2016 at 11:33 AM

        Put on the Chicago Bears tape and you’ll see Trent Murphy have a great game going against Kyle Long. That’s when Murphy played more LOLB than ROLB and he had a strip sack and fumble recovery of Cutler after he beat Kyle Long.

        • bangkokben - Jun 21, 2016 at 12:05 PM

          Good point. He posted 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. He got the trifecta in the Bears game on one play. Money probably didn’t watch since the Redskins were 0 for whatever it was on the road at that point. Still pulling for “Art Briles for coach” after the Cowboy loss, perhaps.

        • Mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2016 at 2:31 PM

          Naw I seen pot roast destroy the bears O-line the whole game against the bears…you couldn’t tell weather Trent Murphy on the field or not and if he did so good in the bears game why he didn’t get more snaps jay gruden reward players with more snaps if they play well like Preston smith got few snaps in the Beginning of the season but by the end of the season he took all of Trent Murphy snaps and Trent Murphy was on the bench and since no progress was made bein a pass rusher and the depth they have this year they wanna switch him to D-line witch I think is a waste of time

        • abanig - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:17 PM

          Because Trent Murphy was miscast as a rolb. It was always foolish for the team to think Murphy could be a good pass rusher at rolb going up against good to great pass blocking left tackles in our division and the rest of the NFL.

          Murphy was a better fit at LOLB but that’s Kerrigan’s position so he would never be a starter there for his entire career as a skins.

          No doubt Murphy isn’t a great edge rusher at rolb and it’s a definite that Preston Smith is better as an edge pass rusher because he’s quicker and a better athlete but that doesn’t mean that Murphy is a bad football player.

          You can’t just look at stats and see what a player does, murphy is a lunch pale guy. No everything he does will show up in the stat sheet and that’s why I believe he’ll be a better fit at DE.

          OLB is a glamour position for a pass rusher and Murphy is more a dirty workplace, not a flash player.

        • John - Jun 22, 2016 at 1:06 AM

          Between that game and the end of the Philly game here, where in the last 4 plays, he had 2 sacks and an Int. OK, so that 2 games out of 32 possible? He has rushed with his hand in the dirt a lot and not accomplished anything. I realize he’ll no longer have to be in coverage unless they zone blitz and he is assigned to drop but what has he done to say, he’ll be better on the line or good enough to beat out Lionidis, Hood, Gholston, Reyes, etc., to be on the team?

        • abanig - Jun 22, 2016 at 1:21 AM

          Well, I guess I have to disagree that he’s rushed the passer a lot the first two years. He backed up Rak for half a year and barely played in 2014. Last year he split time with Smith. He also dropped into coverage 75-80% of the time like Rak did when he was here and Kerrigan was the primary edge rusher. So that 75-80% of coverage means he’s only rushing 20-25% of the time, that’s hardly rushing the passer a lot especially when you’re splitting time with another OLB.

          Also, his skill set better fits a 3-4 DE if he gets his strength up to where it needs to be to play as more of an interior lineman. Murphy has always been a poor fit as a ROLB going against good to great LTs. He doesn’t have a quick first step, he’s not a quick twitch athlete. He just never fit as a rolb which is more a speed and finesse position. The move to DE makes a lot of sense for him but we’ll have to patient as he grows into the position.

          You are right to say there’s nothing to say he’ll be better than those guys. Most people have Murphy pegged as the last DE making the roster and this being like another rookie season as he learns and develops becoming an interior run defender. Just about everyone thinks most of the time when Murphy plays this year it will be in passing situations as a 5 technique going against guards with either Galette, Kerrigan or Smith flanking him on one side. That should help him be a better pass rusher.

          1. most guards aren’t as good of pass blockers at OT.

          2. Murphy is going to be quicker than the guards, he was never able to shake free vs LTs, they were too skilled for him to get past them.

          So basically the way I see it is that Murphy is kept as the 5th DE and he really only plays as a 5 technique pass rusher in definite passing situations like he did as a rookie on third downs when he came in and rushed next to Rak.

          I don’t see Murphy playing much on run downs this year.

          My projection for Murphy is to eventually be an Adam Cariker type player for the skins in the 2017 season. A solid starting DE that has some pass rushing ability but not a great player at any one thing. A good all around football player but not near a pro bowl type talent.

  3. redskins12thman - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    The ESPN cut on the defensive side of the ball differed in the following two ways — taking DL Golston in lieu of ILB Riley and Jefferson in lieu of Bates (or Trail) at OLB. I agree with you that if Riley is healthy, he remains on the team even if he backs up Foster. If Bates is not healthy, perhaps Hood beats out Golston for an extra man on the d-line where the other 1 / 2 other starters after Baker are less clear cut. I have always liked Golston but can the Redskins upgrade at this point?

    • redskins12thman - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:24 AM

      Second reference to Bates, I meant Riley.

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:41 AM

      I have to question the wisdom of carrying seven players at a position where three take the field at a time, as they did last year.

      I should add that when they are in a 4-3 that at least one end, maybe two, will be Kerrigan/Smith/Galette.

      • bangkokben - Jun 21, 2016 at 11:33 AM

        That’s right, when they’re running nickel the ends are usually the outside backers. As for seven DL, one is almost always inactive and Murphy could play OLB in a pinch over the winner of Bates, Trail, & Jefferson. It’s not like they didn’t carry seven for most of the time over the past two seasons.

      • abanig - Jun 21, 2016 at 12:06 PM

        I’d say the wisdom in carry a 7th DL and making sure that DL is an experienced player in the 3-4 scheme and can play NT like Golston, Hood or Powe is that we have a 5th round rookie who we don’t know if we can depend on yet and this will be Trent Murphy’s first time playing strictly as a 3-4 DE/DL in his entire college or pro career.

        In fact you can make the argument and it seems some on here have that, you can trust Ionaiddis more as a 3-4 DL than you can trust Murphy as a 3-4 DE at this point and that point is valid.

        Also, when looking at the breakdown of the DL you have making the team you only have one reliable/known entity on the roster who is a NT. Yes, I know the one-gap scheme differs from the two-gap scheme in many ways, especially with the requirements of the NT in each scheme but, we still need some beef for short yardage situations. With the players you have the skins projected keeping along their DL, all of the players except for one – Baker, who doesn’t want to play NT – weigh 310 or less. That will not be good for stoping the interior run.

        Because of these two points, I think they keep 7 DL and only 4 ILBs.

        Keep in mind that we do have Murphy who can now play two positions if need be – DE & OLB – and we also have the versatile Sua Cravens who can play both SS & ILB.

        • bangkokben - Jun 21, 2016 at 12:12 PM

          By that logic, Riley has a place as a back-up ILB since none of the other back-ups have any experience. Cravens may be too small to play the position full time. Same for Garvin who was an OLB in Ptittsburgh. It’s that salary and foot that make Riley seem more expendable.

        • abanig - Jun 21, 2016 at 12:37 PM

          Well for one, Garvin has plenty of experience as an ILb in the NFL. The Steelers used him some as a coverage specialist the past few years which is important in today’s NFL.

          Two, it’s not only the lack of experience of the bank ups on the DL and the tots uncertainty of Murphy playing DE but also as I said other than Baker – who has made it clear he doesn’t want to play NT – we don’t have any real beef along the DL with Rich’s projected depth chart.

          We need a player with experience at NT to be kept on the roster other than Baker.

        • bangkokben - Jun 21, 2016 at 12:55 PM

          The DL does a rotation so starting and backing up isn’t much of issue there — even at the limited spot of NT. ILB depth stays on the bench until called upon. I’m more in line with seven DL without Riley than Riley and six DL but trying to show the logic of keeping Riley even as a back-up. Turns out Garvin has plenty of experience to be a back-up. So ignore what I said before.

        • abanig - Jun 21, 2016 at 12:56 PM

          I mean even most 4-3 defenses keep two players that weigh around or over 320 pounds on their roster for being stout against the interior running game.

          The skins need to keep one of the vet NTs on their roster. My hope would be that it’s Hood because he is like Golston in that he can play every position along the DL in both the 3-4 & 4-3 schemes but he doesn’t have the beef of Golston or Powe either.

          They’ll probably end up keeping Golston and he’ll be the skins’ starting/1st down and short yardage NT but he won’t play much on 2nd or 3rd & long and when teams are predominantly passing.

          Basically, Golston’s role would replace Knighton’s from last year and Golston would play about 25 to 30% of the plays on defense each game.

        • bangkokben - Jun 21, 2016 at 1:03 PM

          According to recently updated roster info on the team’s webpage, Kedric is 330 and Ziggy is 305. I know you somehow see Hood as an upgrade. I suspect Kedric stays because of the intangibles he brings in addition to the 25 lbs.

        • abanig - Jun 21, 2016 at 1:13 PM

          Yeah, I agree that’s what will probably happen.

          I just have wishful thinking the younger and more talented DL will beat out Golston.

        • lorcanbonda - Jun 21, 2016 at 4:36 PM

          “Because of these two points, I think they keep 7 DL and only 4 ILBs. ”

          — I agree. Cravens is going to be placed on the roster as an ILB, so it will be five ILBs, but four Safeties. I think they’ll keep Golston. Plus someone needs to be the sacrificial player to rotate into the Practice Squad each week. We call that the “Frank Kearse” position. Based on those figures, it would be Houston Bates or Terrence Garvin, but I don’t see Garvin making it unless it’s for special teams.

          It would be exciting to see King Ioannidis (“We are Sparta”) play well enough to start, but I don’t know how you get there after a few days of spring practice. I am hopeful that Mason Foster and Matrell Spaight shore up the linebackers — we’ll see. Foster was a great find last year.

          Go Lynden Trail!

        • abanig - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:09 PM

          Garvin has been a good special teams player and nickel/ILB since he entered the league as an UDFA out of Wvu for the Steelers in 2013. Since he entered the league as a back up/nickel ILB for the steelers in 2013 Garvin has 33 special teams tackles (26 solo) this led all members of the Steelers in those 3 years.

          I think Garvin is a near lock to make the team because of those unique skills that teams in the NFL need so badly with how much teams pass the ball today, go 4 and 5 wide and line up tight ends as slot receivers.

          In some ways he’s an older/veteran version of Su’a Cravens.

      • lorcanbonda - Jun 21, 2016 at 4:23 PM

        Every time I think about the rotation, Murphy is the odd man out no matter which way we run the defense. Those arguments that we’re in the nickel more than half of the time rang hollow for the reasons you give — Smith, Kerrigan, and Galette will be playing the positions.

    • Mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2016 at 2:56 PM

      I like Houston Bates and Will Jefferson they both explosive off the line and will just make the redskins pass rush that much better

  4. kenlinkins - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Interesting break out of DL6, OLB, 4, ILB5, CB5, S5. (and I assume Jarrett on PUP or IR). Having Murphy, Craven, Hall and Blackmon who are able to play more than one position helps. My guess it that the odds would be good Golston would be sitting at home if the Redskins required a DL injury replacement and Everett would make it onto the PS. While I am not crazy about having 3 Safeties age 28,31, and 32, I have yet to see anything other then young talent from the young guns and need to see some real progress in preseason games, but unlike some, I do not count these guys out. Both Hall and Blackmon will have to protect their roster spots if any of these young guys can show they are play makers IMO. This team needs play makers of the first order more then a few 30 something semi solid players.

    • bangkokben - Jun 21, 2016 at 11:57 AM

      The whole reason Hall is given a chance at safety is because he has been just about the only playmaker this defense has had since the death of Sean Taylor. Kerrigan looked like a playmaker his first couple of seasons and may be one. But the “young talent” you speak of, what the HECK have they done on ANY level that suggests they have a chance to compete? Surely, you have reasons for stating this. Hall in his last 14 games (2014 & 2015) has two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. The year before in 16 games he had 4 interceptions (two of which were pick sixes), three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery which was a 75-yard TD as well. Sure, if any of the “young talent” looks like they can take away the ball and score three times in a season, sign them up!

      • ET - Jun 21, 2016 at 12:17 PM

        Once Dunbar becomes more acclimated to his new position, I have high hopes he’ll be a corner that can, you know, hang onto an errant ball instead of swatting it away.

        Regardless, count me as a DHall fan. If he can stay healthy this season, I expect he’ll do well in the safety spot. I’m hoping the subpar safety roundabout is a thing of the past for this team!

      • kenlinkins - Jun 21, 2016 at 4:30 PM

        I admit Hall has been a play maker at CB for many years but you must admit missing 19 games in two years is a concern. Let’s wait for the preseason and see if any of these young guys can that they belong in the NFL. Would I cut Hall and Blackmon today, NO, but I would let them know the foot steps they hear behind them is not the water boy. Besides, it makes the preseason games worth watch in the 2 half.

        • bangkokben - Jun 22, 2016 at 10:16 AM

          Fair enough. As for the 2nd half of preseason games, I love to watch them to see who shines but I put very little credence in the results. For instance, Houston Bates looked like a edge rusher but put him with the ones and he looked slower than Murphy.

  5. John - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    This is assuming Murphy will stick after switching to Dline. The rest of the line is not all that but I don’t see him making an impact there. I’d take Hood or Golston over Murphy any day.

    • Mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2016 at 10:56 AM

      I agree …I don’t see Trent Murphy making the team this year he gotta show he’s making progress in training camp for him to make the roster this year and jay gruden wasnt so high on Trent Murphy when he talked about him on redskins nation

      • skinsdiehard - Jun 21, 2016 at 11:19 AM

        Sorry, they’re not cutting a 2014 2nd round pick yet. He can play the run. It’s not a David Amerson situation yet.

        • Mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2016 at 2:52 PM

          Most of the guys on defense after either undrafted or late round draft picks I don’t think they care about what round Trent Murphy was drafted in they care about development and last year he struggle to the point were he was benched for Preston Smith ….this is boom or bust year for him he gotta come to training camp knowing his assignments as a D-linemen because its been told he struggle in OTAs and Mini Camp with missed assignment jay gruden want to see him progress over the break if he don’t I don’t think hes gonna make the roster …jay gruden likes what he’s seeing from Ziggy Hood and Jarrell powe so far

        • John - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:17 PM

          Regardless his being a 2nd round pick going into his 3rd season, hes not shown much to date. There are better players at his position. He’ll be getting his walking papers soon enough.

      • bangkokben - Jun 21, 2016 at 11:58 AM

        Larry Michael makes Redskin Nation utterly unwatchable.

  6. mtskins - Jun 21, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Happy to see Ioannidis penciled in as a starter even if it might only be for the base defense. From the early comments from Gruden thought they might keep and use Golston instead until Ioannidis bulked up some and got up to speed. Will certainly be interesting to see how the Dline shakes out. Like the looks of the CB lineup this year. Would be great to hear some positive news on Jarrett.

  7. Mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Jay gruden said this training camp is big for Trent Murphy says he gotta come back improved he said he know he’s gonna make some mistakes but he gotta make progress…I think the coaches like Ziggy Hood and I think they like jarrell powe…pre-season gonna get guys roster spots this year because its to much talent on the team this year

  8. abanig - Jun 21, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    I think the skins keep 7 DL. The way you have your DL built there’s only one guy in it who’s played NT in the past and that’s Baker. I know how the scheme is different than the two gap scheme, but I just can’t imagine a scenario is where one of our veteran DE/NT types (Golston or Hood) don’t make the roster.

    We all know Baker doesn’t want to play NT, but he will if asked and we can’t rely on a 5th round rookie to be our staring NT in year one. Ioannidis may end up starting at NT this year and I’ll be excited if he beats out Golston, Hood and Powe for that starting job, but even if he does I don’t know how you don’t have a vet on the roster as a back up at NT to Ioannidis.

    Also, with Trent Murphy in his first year transitioning to 3-4 DE, this year we should view him differently than even a rookie coming in like Ionaiddis who’s played interior DL his entire college career. I believe Murphy will make the transition to 3-4 DE well and will actually be a better 3-4 DE than he was 3-4 OLB because he won’t have to rush the QB against the opposing teams best blockers – their OTs – instead he’ll get go rush the passer against mostly guards and he won’t have to play in space anymore, set the edge in the run game and drop in coverage. Basically now Murphy can hair go forward and try to beat his man one on one, tackle ball carriers and try to get to the QB, but he won’t have to cover anymore or play the edge in the run game which will be huge for his development moving forward IMO.

    I saw a quite where Murphy said he dropped into coverage like 80% of the time last year – which is what they used to do with Orakpo in the past also – well it’s hard to get to the QB as a pass rusher when you’re constantly in coverage… Smdh!

    Anyways, with Hood or Golston being kept as the 7th DL, that means someone else must be cut. I’m thinking we only keep 4 ILBs. I agree with Rich that Riley could see himself on the outside looking in if Mason Foster does beat him out for the starting job next to Compton. Riley is definitely on the bubble, and if he’s not starting the only way I see him making it is if he takes a straight up pay cut.

    If Riley does make it, my opinion right now is that both Martrell Spaight and Steven Daniels will be put on the practice squad – hopefully- and we will go with Comtpon, Foster, Garvin & Riley as our 4 ILBs.

    I know Dashaun Phillips looked good at the end of last season and I trust beat reporters when they say he’s looked good this spring and the coaches like him a lot. I still see Greg Toler making the team over him at this post though as our 3rd/4th/5th corner in a battle with Dunbar & Fuller for those 3 back up cornerback jobs.

    I would not count Toler out as many seem to have done.

    • ET - Jun 21, 2016 at 12:58 PM

      “Basically now Murphy can hair go forward and try to beat his man one on one, tackle ball carriers and try to get to the QB, but he won’t have to cover anymore or play the edge in the run game which will be huge for his development moving forward IMO.”

      I agree. It’s great that he’s getting a shot at a new position, one that seems to play to Murphy’s strengths.

      It’s a move that could pay huge dividends for the team, too.

  9. sidepull - Jun 21, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    I am pulling for Kyshoen Jarrett. Come on KJ. Can he get a little help from above?

    • Mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2016 at 3:00 PM

      Me 2 but I hear its not looking to good for him right now…I guess the only hope is if they hold him out for the year to see if that nerve wake up

  10. baugh33 - Jun 21, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    Everyone brags about coaching consistency and while that is important – it is also super important to have the Specialist consistency that we do! This has really helped! Just my two cents.

  11. wncskinsfan - Jun 21, 2016 at 3:06 PM

    Daniels, gonna be curious how he does in camp with pads on. I suspect there might be a wild card there. And I agree that some solid camp competition could be trouble for Blackmon. I, like the rest of us I’m sure, would love to see a younger player take his job. HTTR

  12. John - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:54 PM

    On the DLine there are no starters other than Baker and even he is inconsistent. Murphy will not be a beast. He will be on the waiver wire.

    At linebacker the starters will be Kerrigan, Compton, Foster and Galette. The reserves will be Spaight and Garvin with Smith and Cravens on the outside. Daniels to the practice squad.

    In terms of the secondary, Breeland, Morgan and Hall all start. Flip a coin on Inacho and Burton. The others who stick will be Fuller, Dunbar and Blackmon.

    The rest of the secondary spots are up for grabs.

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