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 are the odds-on favorites to start? And who’s in trouble? Up today …
On the roster: DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tracy Porter, Bashaud Breeland, E.J. Biggers, Richard Crawford, Chase Minnifield, Peyton Thompson, Courtney Bridget Jr. and Bryan Shepherd.
Likely to make the 53: Hall, Amerson, Porter, Biggers and Breeland.
Comment: Hall and Amerson are Nos. 1 and 2 on the depth chart, respectively, and Porter will be the slot corner. That doesn’t seem likely to change unless Porter is not sufficiently recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. The team says Porter will be ready for training camp, so until we’re told (or see) otherwise, we’ll assume he’ll be on the field next week in Richmond.
Things get a little more interesting after those three, however.
Biggers was the fourth corner—and a part time safety—in 2013 and figures to return as the No. 4 corner. He also contributes on special teams.
Breeland is feisty but raw. Assuming those ahead of him stay healthy, he would likely see spot duty as a corner this season while contributing (perhaps a lot) on special teams. He could push Biggers for playing time at some point this fall and perhaps replace him in 2015. Eventually, Breeland will be expected to ascend to a No. 3 role—at the very least.
Battling for a job: Crawford, Minnifield, Thompson, Bridget and Sherpherd.
Comment: Last season, the Redskins kept five corners on the roster. And there’s no reason to expect that will change.
The two with the most at stake are Crawford and Minnifield. Crawford is coming off a bad knee injury, did not play at all in 2013 and was unable to participate in any team related drills this offseason. He would seem to be a candidate for the PUP list. Ultimately, Crawford’s fate will be tied to his health. If the Redskins believe he’ll recover fully, I suspect they’ll find a way to keep him around. Before the injury, he showed promise as a corner and punt returner.
Minnifield’s challenge is finding a way to distinguish himself from the crowd. He grabbed everyone’s attention last offseason with his feistiness in training camp. The 24-year-old was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster late last season as a reward for his diligence in practice. But he did not appear in a game.
To make the 53 this summer, it’s possible he’ll have to beat out Crawford and Biggers. Not an impossible task. But not an easy one, either.
At 6-3, 195, Bridget, an undrafted free agent out of Hampton, has something no other corner on the roster possesses: head-turning size. But he’ll need one heck of a camp/preseason to enter the conversation.