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: Left tackle
On the roster: Trent Williams, Tyler Polumbus, Tom Compton, Jacolby Ashworth, Xavier Nixon
Likely to make the 53: Williams, Polumbus
Comment: Williams should be going to Pro Bowls into the 2020’s and he is not only the cornerstone of the line but one of the critical parts of the entire offense.
Who is his backup? That remains to be seen. Polumbus might be the starting right tackle but if he gets beaten out there he could end up as the swing tackle and back up both tackle spots. Second-year player Compton played the right side last year but offensive line coach Chris Foerster said last week that he was working on the left side this year.
Battling for a job: Compton, Ashworth, Nixon
Comment: Compton will have to compete for a job but the odds that he will make it seem pretty good. The team was so concerned about losing him off of the practice squad that they first paid him over the minimum salary and then finally moved him up to the 53-man roster with four games left in the season. He could go back on the practice squad but he would have to clear waivers and the Redskins could be nervous about exposing him. But he is far from established and he will have to show progress from last year when the scouting report on him was that he had the athletic ability to play but was very much a raw product. Compton will have to show some refinement to his game in order to stick.
Nixon and Ashworth might see time at both tackle spots during training camp and in preseason games. At one point Nixon looked like he could be a mid-round pick but his play was too inconsistent for teams to want to take a chance on him. When he was good at Florida he was very solid and he could be a project worth a practice squad spot.