Over the next few weeks, Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ depth chart.
Some battles are straightforward. Others could get complicated. This much, however, cannot be debated: A player is not on the 53-man roster until its finalized Aug 31.
So who’s in? And who’s in jeopardy? Up today …
On the roster: Will Montgomery, Kevin Matthews, Tevita Stevens
Likely to make the 53: Montgomery
Comment: If you are making up a list of the Redskins most underrated by fans, Montgomery’s name should be near the top. He has missed just six snaps in the last two years and last year he was a key part of the line that paved the way for the Redskins to lead the league in rushing yards and in yards per play.
He is a notch below the level of player who should automatically get Pro Bowl consideration every year but he is plenty good enough for the Redskins. The seventh-year player out of Virginia Tech was solid in pass protection but he was among the best when it came to clearing lanes in the Redskins’ zone blocking run game.
Montgomery turned 30 earlier this year but that is hardly old age for a center; he should be able to play at a high level for a few more years.
Battling for a job: Matthews, Stevens
Comment: The Redskins did not carry a backup center last year. Had they needed someone to fill in for Montgomery they would have called on left guard Kory Lichtensteiger to move over into the middle. Matthews will have to make the case that he is a better Plan B than that. He does meet one of the requirements for being a backup offensive lineman on this team—versatility. Last year in Tennessee Matthews filled in at both guard spots in addition to starting two games at center.
Stevens was on the all-conference academic team all four of his seasons at Utah (2009-2010 Mountain West, 2011-2012 Pac 12). He is smart enough to know that he’s a long shot to make the roster but a practice squad spot is certainly a possibility.