Over the next few weeks, Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will be taking a close look at the Redskins’ depth chart, dissecting each position.
Some spots are straightforward. Others are more complicated. This much, however, is not up for debate: A player is not on the 53-man roster until the final cuts are made.
So who’s the odds-on favorite to start? And who’s in trouble? Up today …
Position: Offensive tackle
On the roster: Trent Williams, Tyler Polumbus, Morgan Moses, Tom Compton, Maurice Hurt
Likely to make the 53: Williams, Polumbus, Moses
Comment: Williams is the team’s best lineman and one of the best tackles in the league. If he can gain more consistency, he has be ability to step up and make that next leap to becoming a perennial first-team All-Pro.
Although you wouldn’t know it from talking to fans, Polumbus had a solid 2013 season. Per Pro Football Focus he allowed just four sacks all year (Williams allowed eight) and was good in run blocking.
That doesn’t mean that his position as the starter is secure. They tried to land free agent Donald Penn to replace Polumbus. That didn’t happen so they spent their second draft pick, the 66th overall pick, on Morgan Moses. He has the size (6-6, 318 pounds) and athleticism that Jay Gruden prefers. The Virginia product seems destined to be the starter at right tackle; it’s just a matter of when.
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Battling for a job: Compton, Hurt
Comment: A sixth-round pick in 2012, Compton is facing a numbers game. Gruden and Bruce Allen could decide to keep two backup tackles on the 53-man roster. If that’s the case, Compton is probably in as the fourth tackle. He could even be active on game days if Moses needs some more seasoning before he’s ready to be the emergency swing tackle. Or they could decide that Moses will be the one and only backup tackle, leaving Compton on the outside looking in.
It’s hard to see Hurt, a 2011 seventh-round pick, cracking the 53. He was decent in emergency appearances at guard in 2011 and at right tackle in 2012 but he spent all of last year on the PUP list after getting minor knee surgery in the spring. Hurt is the fifth tackle and they are likely to keep four maximum.