Depth chart preview: Running back

Depth chart preview: Running back
July 8, 2013, 11:15 am
Share This Post

RG3 ties the knot in Denver

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 …

Position: Running back

On the roster: Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr., Evan Royster, Chris Thompson, Jawan Jamison, Keiland Williams, Tristan Davis

Likely to make the 53: Morris

Comment: The fact that only one back who is a lock to even make the roster says that there is a lot of competition but there may not be much strength. But they are fine at the top of the depth chart.

Morris was second in the NFL in rushing last year and there is no reason to believe that he won’t be right up there in 2013. The Redskins will keep feeding him the ball and the threat that Robert Griffin III will fake to him and then pull it out and run or pass should give him loads of running room. Another year working with the offensive line will help him further hone his ability to plant his foot and cut at the perfect time to take advantage of the Redskins’ zone blocking.

Battling for a job: Helu, Royster, Thompson, Jamison, Williams, Davis

Comment: The battle here will be one of the highlights of training camp and it could carry on into the regular season.

A year ago it looked like fellow 2011 draft picks Royster and Helu could be the Redskins’ 1-2 punch at running back for the next few years. Now, neither is assured of even being on the roster following Morris’ breakout  and the Redskins drafting Thompson (5th round) and Jamison (7th) in April.

It would be a mistake to write off either one of them. Royster has shown that he can run well behind zone blocking although he lacks breakaway speed—or even pedestrian speed. Helu has that speed and can make the jaw-dropping move on a defender but has to show that he’s durable enough to be counted on.

Rookies can contribute at running back so Thompson, a speed back like Helu, and Jamison, who is more of an every down back like Royster, have a shot at making it. They should get plenty of carries in the preseason as the coaches know what Morris, Helu, and Royster can do.

Williams returned to the team last year; he started a few games for the Redskins as an undrafted rookie in 2010. Davis also has seen some game action for the Redskins but he and Williams are both likely hoping to get some preseason carries to draw interest from other teams.

Go here to see our other Depth chart preview posts.