A year ago, Tom Compton was a sixth-round draft pick toiling away on the Redskins' practice squad.
When the season begins Monday night against the Eagles, he'll be the team's swing tackle, a position that puts him one injury away from taking the field as the right or left tackle.
“I’m definitely a lot more confident now,” Compton said Wednesday. “Getting those preseason games under my belt ... I felt, at game speed, I’m up to par.”
Compton spent the majority of the offseason working as Trent Williams’ backup at left tackle. But when the team cut veterans Tony Pashos and Jeremy Trueblood, that made Compton the backup on the right side as well.
Compton said the plan is for him to get more reps at right tackle in practice this week. He hasn’t played on the right side since his sophomore season at South Dakota.
“I’m practicing this week primarily at right tackle, so I can get that back,” Compton said. “It might take a couple of days to get fully ready for that, but it’s not that terrible of a transition.”
It does, however, mean more prep work.
“I’m definitely watching [film of opponents] on both sides,” Compton said. “You can’t just pick one. You don’t want to fall into that trap. It’s definitely a lot more film work.”
For Compton, being named the Redskins’ swing tackle is the culmination of a year of hard work. He began last season on the practice squad. He showed significant improvement and, as a reward, was promoted to the 53-man roster late in the season. He was even active for a game. But he never took a snap.
Now, he’s one away from making his NFL debut.
“I’m proud that all that hard work has paid off,” he said. “It’s exciting that I might have an opportunity to play in some games this year.”