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Bubble watch final version: Predicting the Redskins’ 53-man roster

Bubble watch final version: Predicting the Redskins’ 53-man roster

The Redskins roster will be finalized by 4 p.m. tomorrow. Some players helped and hurt themselves in last night’s backups-only fourth preseason game. But most of the cake was already baked.

Here are my projections of who will end up on the roster when the dust settles and that roster is turned in plus a look at who is just hanging on and four who are just on the wrong side of the bubble. I’ve added some comments as needed.

Related: Bubble watch version 6.0

Offense

Quarterback (3): Kirk Cousins, Robert Griffin III, Colt McCoy

I think that Griffin sticks through tomorrow. Whether he is still on the roster on opening day is up in the air.

Offensive line (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger,  Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Tom Compton, Spencer Long, Arie Kouandjio, Josh LeRibeus

LeRibeus hangs on as the only viable option to backup at center.

Wide receiver (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Jamison Crowder, Evan Spencer

Tight end (3): Jordan Reed, Derek Carrier, Je’Ron Hamm

Hamm could be just a temporary addition as the team could scan the waiver wire to add a tight end who can block.

Running back (4): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Matt Jones, Chris Thompson

Defense

Defensive line (6): Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton, Stephan Paea, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean Francois, Kedric Golston

They have gone with seven on the DL in most years but I think they need an extra linebacker to help on special teams.

Outside linebacker (5): Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith, Houston Bates, Jackson Jeffcoat

Inside linebacker (5): Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight, Terrance Plummer

Cornerback (4): Chris Culliver, DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Justin Rogers

Bashaud Breeland will not be on Week 1 roster due to NFL suspension so he is not listed here.

Safety (5): Dashon Goldson, Duke Ihenacho, Jeron Johnson, Kyshoen Jarrett, Trenton Robinson

Specialists (3): LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way, PK Kai Forbath

The numbers: 25 offense, 25 defense, 3 specialists; 18 new to the Redskins organization in 2015 including eight draft picks

Last 6 on

OL Josh LeRibeus —He should hang on for a fourth season due to a lack of backup options in the interior line. To his credit, he went from being not an option at center to a layer who could make it based on his ability to be the emergency backup there.

TE Je’Ron Hamm—As noted, easily could be knocked off if the team sees another possible solution on the waiver wire.

CB Justin Rogers—He helped himself a lot last week against the Ravens by chasing down Asa Jackson on a kickoff return, preventing a touchdown. This team needs special teams help. But there are big question marks about his ability to stay on the roster once Breeland returns from his one-game suspension.

LB Houston Bates—Having a couple of solid preseason games is one thing. Consistently doing what you need to do to make an NFL team is another. He can’t relax for a second and even if he manages not to someone could still bypass him.

LB Terrance Plummer—He’s undersized (5-11, 231) but he works sideline to sideline and just seems like a good, hard-working player to have around.

LB Jackson Jeffcoat—The injury to Junior Galette opened the door for him and he took advantage with an interception and a sack/strip against the Ravens. If the coaches like his work on special teams he should make it.

Last 5 cuts

DL Frank Kearse—Last year’s surprise inclusion on the roster may end up as a surprise cut. The team needs bodies to contribute on special teams and that means an extra linebacker. They may try to get by with six D-linemen. Kearse has missed time with a shoulder injury, dropping him behind Kedric Golston for the last spot.

WR Rashad Ross—He can play some as he showed in the preseason games. Ross leads the team in all three major receiving categories with 25 catches for 266 yards and four touchdowns. But the numbers at wide receiver just don’t work for him. They are unlikely to keep more than six and I can’t see Ross beating out any of the guys who are in.

OT Takoby Cofield—The team paid him the maximum signing bonus for an undrafted free agent so they thought highly of him coming out of Duke. He has had a good camp and may have made a case to make the 53.

OT Ty Nsekhe—If they want a second backup tackle it will be between the rookie Cofield and the lightly-experienced 29-year-old Nsekhe.

RB Trey Williams—He could develop into a true home run threat but for right now there isn’t any room for him at running back. It’s likely the will try to get him onto the practice squad.

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Five takeaways: A lot to like about the Redskins' dominant primetime win.

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Five takeaways: A lot to like about the Redskins' dominant primetime win.

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 27-10 win over the Raiders:

This was the Redskins best defensive performance since 1991. That was the last time they held an opponent to under 128 total yards. They were physical, smart, determined and they made plays. If not for two turnovers they would have had a shutout. Oakland did not cross the Washington 48 without the benefit of a gift. Just dominant. 

With a strong defense, you can do what you want to on offense. I asked Kirk Cousins how much running for a couple of yards a pop as Samaje Perine was doing early in the game helped the offense. He answered in part by saying that the offense can afford to run for a low average per carry when the defense is playing so well. That's true. A punt isn't a bad play when you are confident that you are likely to get the ball back three plays later. 

Chris Thompson just keeps getting better every week. His patience when he has the ball in his hands and his ability to burst into the opening when it's there are textbook excellent. Oh yeah, his open field speed, which he gets to show off after being patient and cutting is amazing. Even the smaller plays, like two near the end of the half, when he wove his way through the cracks in the defense and then got out of bounds after gaining everything he could, are fun to watch. He is the Redskins' offensive MVP so far. 

Doctson showed why the Redskins drafted him on one flash. Nobody is going to give Josh Doctson an MVP award but we did see his potential when he went up and took that deep pass away from David Amerson for the touchdown. Plays like that make you see why the Redskins drafted him in the first round and why they have been patient with him. He will need to develop consistency but in the meantime, splash plays like that help a lot.

It’s hard to find fault in this one. Normally in these posts, I try to find a positive in a loss and something to be critical of in a win. But it’s really hard to find much to be critical about in the immediate aftermath of this one. Jamison Crowder’s muff of a punt certainly was an issue and perhaps Samaje Perine could have made more out of the line’s blocking for him. But from the defense to Cousins to Thompson to Zach Brown to D.J. Swearinger and many more, it was as dominant a game as we’ve seen from this team in a while. Can they keep it up? Tune in next Monday from Arrowhead Stadium and we’ll find out.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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With one catch, Josh Doctson proved just how dangerous he can be for the Redskins

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USA TODAY Sports

With one catch, Josh Doctson proved just how dangerous he can be for the Redskins

LANDOVER, Md. — It took a while, longer than likely anyone expected, but Josh Doctson's first career touchdown catch may just have been worth the wait.

In the third quarter of the Redskins' 27-10 win over the Raiders on Sunday night, Kirk Cousins lofted a deep ball from a bit beyond midfield toward Doctson, who was being boxed out by David Amerson. And as the pass made its descent, Amerson went up to go snag it.

There was just one problem for the corner: Doctson went up and got to it first.

The result? A 52-yard touchdown that made the score 21-0 in favor of the hosts but, far more importantly, opened — quite forcefully, too — everyone's eyes to the sheer talent No. 18 possesses.

MORE: WHY THE DEFENSE'S EFFORT WAS SO ENCOURAGING

"I just made the play," the second-year wideout said afterward, about as nonchalantly as he made the TD look even though it absolutely wasn't. "It was pretty simple to be honest."

Against the Eagles and Rams in Weeks 1 and 2, Doctson suited up for Washington's offense but wasn't involved at all. And in the early going vs. Oakland, it again looked like he'd walk off the field with the same statline as an inactive player, on the verge of facing more questions about why he isn't producing. 

But that all changed on one jump-ball, which is exactly what his head coach has been anxiously waiting for.

"I think it was some relief for him," Jay Gruden answered when asked about the highlight. "I think the players have seen him do that in practice quite often but nobody else has... It wasn't a perfectly thrown ball, but to give him a chance where he can go up and make a big time catch, hopefully we'll get more of that."

RELATED: REDSKINS PLAYERS SIT AND KNEEL DURING ANTHEM

Doctson's QB, who gestured toward him during the post-score celebration as if to say There's the dude you've all been hearing about for months, certainly appreciated it.

"I do like Josh's ball skills and his ability to catch the ball up in the air and I thought, 'You know what, I'm going to give him a chance, they have been asking me to give him that chance and let's give it to him," Cousins said.

As fans of the team know all too well by now, Doctson isn't someone that can be counted on yet. He's oft-injured, and the grab he made over Amerson, while spectacular, was just the third of his career. 

But that sequence provides hope that many more similar to it will follow if he continues to stay healthy and gains more of Gruden's and Cousins' trust this year. He's still far from validating his 2016 first-round selection, but it's now obvious he has the skills to distance himself from those who so badly want to label him a bust.