The Redskins are now more than two weeks into training camp, the first depth chart has been released and the preseason opener is in the rearview. So you know what that means? It’s time for Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler to take another stab at predicting the 53-man roster. Things remain fluid, of course, but there is significantly more clarity at many positions.
Yesterday, we predicted the defensive. Today, we’re prognosticating the offense.
Tandler (3): Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
I’ve been going back and forth on this. I had two QB’s in my first projection, then at the end of minicamp I had three. I’ll stick with three. Even though he was competing against many guys who will be delivering for UPS in the fall, he looked good enough to justify keeping and to give some hope that he could hold down the fort for a game or two if necessary.
El-Bashir (2): Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins.
If the coaching staff is confident Griffin won’t get hurt again, I’m not sure it makes much sense to keep Colt McCoy. The past two seasons, the Redskins kept Rex Grossman because he was a good mentor to the inexperienced signal callers. Griffin and Cousins are vets now as they enter season No. 3.
Tandler (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Morgan Moses, Mike McGlynn, Tom Compton, Spencer Long
The popular thinking was that Chester and Polumbus would be pushed by younger and cheaper options but they are getting more entrenched in their starting spots as the season goes on. It wouldn’t surprise me if they added a 10th O-lineman by keeping either Adam Gettis or Josh LeRibeus.
El-Bashir (10): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Tom Compton, Morgan Moses, Spencer Long, Josh LeRibeus and Mike McGlynn.
The first five will be your opening day starters. Compton makes the team because he can back up both tackle spots and Moses isn’t ready yet. LeRibeus’ solid offseason could earn him a second chance. McGlynn’s versatility—he plays center and guard—probably makes him too valuable to cut. But I could see Gruden sacrificing a backup guard for an extra running back or wide receiver.
Tandler (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson,Andre Roberts, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Ryan Grant
This is getting to be more set in stone as camp goes on. The only question is if Hankerson will be off of the PUP list before the season starts. I’ve seen him running patters and cutting pretty well so he could be close. If Hankerson is out, Aldrick Robinson gets the spot.
El-Bashir (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Aldrick Robinson, Santana Moss and Ryan Grant.
Once again, Robinson survives the roster bubble with an eye-opening offseason. At 35, Moss looks a few years younger and his leadership punches his ticket. Grant plays like a more experienced player and, I suspect, could be one of the big surprises this season.
Tandler (3): Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul
It wouldn’t stun me if seventh-round pick Ted Bolser made it but I don’t think there’s room for him.
El-Bashir (3): Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul.
El-Bashir: Reed and Paulsen are your top two tight ends. Paul’s value on special teams makes him a lock. Rookie Ted Bolser’s career figures to begin on the practice squad.
Tandler (5): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Roy Helu, Chris Thompson, Lache Seastrunk
You can’t have enough speed and so they will figure out a way to keep both of their young, fast running backs, Thompson and Seastrunk, in the fold. It’s a pretty good bet that Silas Redd, who they also would like to keep but can’t, will slide to the practice squad.
El-Bashir (4): Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr., Darrel Young and Chris Thompson.
This is a tough one. Morris is a lock. Young is a lock. Helu is all but a lock. I suspect the next spot will come down to Thompson and Seastrunk. Seastrunk had a team-leading 63 yards on 12 attempts Thursday but the rookie didn’t play any special teams and did not catch a pass. Thompson had only five yards on four carries but hauled in two passes for 12 yards and played three snaps on special teams. Both are practice squad eligible. It’s going to be tight.