The Redskins currently have 80 signed veterans, first-year players and draft picks on their roster. Of those, 37 of the veterans and four of the draft picks play on the defensive side of the ball. Let’s take a look at the defensive depth chart and see where things stand. Yesterday we looked at the offense.
Defensive line (have 12/likely to keep 7)
Starters: Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen
Competing: Adam Carriker, Jarvis Jenkins, Phillip Merling, Kedric Golston, Doug Worthington, Ron Brace, Chris Baker, Chris Neild
Long shots: Dominique Hamilton, Chigbo Anunoby,
Jenkins and Carriker are in competition for the starting job at left end; the others are fighting for jobs. Carriker’s participation in the competition depends on his health as he suffered a setback in his rehab and his status is unknown. They didn’t draft anyone here but they brought in a couple of relatively young veterans in Brace (26) and Merling (28). The way it looks right now you have six players, all with some degree of NFL playing experience, competing for three roster spots. Last year they took 11 DL into OTA’s
Inside linebacker (4/4)
Starters: London Fletcher, Perry Riley
Reserves: Keenan Robinson, Bryan Kehl
Certainly some more bodies will be brought in here to get through OTA’s and training camp but this could well be the group they go into the season with. Last year they took eight ILB’s into OTA’s.
Outside linebacker (8/5)
Starters: Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan
Reserves: Rob Jackson, Brandon Jenkins, Darryl Tapp
Competing: Roddrick Muckelroy, Vic So’oto
Long shot: Ricky Elmore
Even though there are five players on the top two lines, including Jenkins, there will be an opportunity for one of those competing to play their way onto the roster. Jackson will sit the first four games of the season for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy so the door is open. They could also opt to keep a sixth OLB for special teams purposes. Last year they carried six OLB’s into OTA’s.
Starters: DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson
Reserves: E. J. Biggers, David Amerson
Competing: Richard Crawford, Chase Minnifield
Long shots: Korey Lindsey, Jerome Murphy, Devin Holland
This could be just as simple as it looks, with Hall and Wilson starting, Biggers and Amerson coming in for passing situations and Crawford and Minnifield fighting for the last spot, which generally will be inactive on game days. It is important to note that Minnifield has practice squad eligibility while Crawford does not. Last year they had eight cornerbacks during OTA’s.
Starters: Brandon Meriweather, Reed Doughty
Reserves: Phillip Thomas, Bacarri Rambo
Competing: Jordan Bernstine, DeJon Gomes, Jordan Pugh
Question marks abound here with the health of Meriweather’s ACL and the status of Tanard Jackson, who is on an indefinite drug suspension, topping the list. Throw in the unknown of a couple of rookie draft picks and who knows what will happen here. Even the number of safeties they will take into the season is up in the air. Last year, they kept six on the final roster before Jackson was suspended. Last year they had seven safeties in OTA’s.