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A look at the Redskins 53-man roster changes from 2014 to 2015

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A look at the Redskins 53-man roster changes from 2014 to 2015

Since the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster a year ago they have been through a 4-12 season and they hired a new general manager. As one might expect there have been some changes to the makeup of the roster. Here are the changes the team has made since the 53-man roster they took into the 2014 season.

Offensive line

Out: Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus
In: Brandon Scherff, Arie Kouandjio, Ty Nsekhe

Chester was serviceable at right guard but he was on the wrong side of 30 and had a cap hit that demanded a higher level of play. Scherff steps into his starting job. Polumbus started part of the season at right tackle before Tom Compton took over for him. Now that job belongs to Morgan Moses who has some learning to do but could be at least a slight upgrade immediately.

Offensive skill positions

Out: Roy Helu, Silas Redd, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul, Aldrick Robinson, Santana Moss
In: Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, Derek Carrier, Rashad Ross, Jamison Crowder

Jones is the power back the offense has been missing for a number of years. Thompson has the potential to be an upgrade over Helu but has to show it on the field. Robinson was fast but never polished his route running and Moss was at the tail end of a great career. Crowder and Ross bring youth and speed but neither has taken an NFL snap. Paul and Paulsen would have been on the 53 had the not been injured.

Defensive front seven

Out: Jarvis Jenkins, Clifton Geathers, Barry Cofield, Brian Orakpo, Gabe Miller, Adam Hayward, Akeem Jordan
In: Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea, Ricky Jean Francois, Preston Smith, Jackson Jeffcoat

Perhaps the biggest upgrade on the team from year to year is Knighton at nose tackle. Cofield did well for an undersized nose tackle but Knighton brings a combination of size and athletic ability few can match. It turned out to be a bad year for Orakpo, who had a half sack in seven games before a season-ending injury. The combination of Smith and Trent Murphy could be an improvement over the 2014 Orakpo. The addition of Paea lets Chris Baker come off of the bench where he can be most effective.

Defensive backs

Out: Tracy Porter, E.J. Biggers, Ryan Clark, Brandon Meriweather (opened season on suspended list), Bacarri Rambo, Akeem Davis
In: Chris Culliver, Justin Rogers, Deshazor Everett, Dashon Goldson, Duke Ihenacho, Jeron Johnson, Kyshoen Jerrett

The cornerbacks are better with the addition of Culliver, who may go from side to side to cover the top receiver. The safety group may be better but perhaps only by default. Goldson will have to play better than he did the last two season in Tampa Bay and Ihenacho will need to improve in coverage. But they have a low bar to clear following Clark, who provided leadership but had clearly lost multiple steps, and Meriweather, who was unreliable due to his penchant for injuries and drawing suspensions.

The specialists, K Kai Forbath, P Tress Way, and LS Nick Sundberg, all remain the same.

 

Total: 20 players who were not on the initial 2014 roster, 12 on defense, 8 on offense

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Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

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Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

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Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

Rich Tandler and JP Finlay wrap up the Redskins offseason and prepare for what will be the most intriguing and the most overplayed storylines at training camp in Richmond.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back