The Redskins roll into Richmond on Wednesday and get to work on the field on Thursday. Over the course of a few dozen practices and four preseason games, head coach Jay Gruden and GM Scot McCloughan will trim the roster down to the final 53. Here are my projections of who will end up on the roster when the dust settles on September 5 plus a look at who is just hanging on and four who are just on the wrong side of the bubble.
Quarterback (3): Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
Offensive line (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, Tom Compton, Morgan Moses, Arie Kouandjio, Josh LeRibeus
Wide receiver (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Jamison Crowder, Evan Spencer.
Tight end (3): Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul
Running back (4): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Matt Jones, Chris Thompson
Defensive line (7): Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton, Stephan Paea, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean Francois, Kedric Golston, Frank Kearse
Outside linebacker (4): Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith, Trevardo Williams
Inside linebacker (5): Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight, Adam Hayward
Cornerback (5): Chris Culliver, Bashaud Breeland, DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tevin Mitchel
Safety (4): Dashon Goldson, Jeron Johnson, Duke Ihenacho, Kyshoen Jarrett
Specialists (3): LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way, PK Kai Forbath
The numbers: 25 offense, 25 defense, 3 specialists; 15 new to the Redskins organization in 2015 including nine draft picks
Last 4 on
OLB Trevardo Williams—He made a few plays in his stint with the team late last season. But the organization might get nervous about an OLB group that consists of Ryan Kerrigan and three lightly experienced players. If Williams gives them any reason to doubt him, Williams could be replaced by an experienced waiver wire pickup.
RB Chris Thompson—The first thing that Thompson needs to do to stay on the right side of the bubble is stay on the field. Injuries have sidetracked him during the first two years of his NFL career and even a few missed training camp practices might have Gruden and McCloughan wondering about his ability to stand up to 16 games of pounding during the season.
DL Kedric Golston—The longest tenured Redskin will do what he has to do to keep himself on the roster. But outside factors may come into play. If there is an injury situation on either side of the ball or if there is a promising prospect that the organization believes it must keep, the decision may be made to keep six defensive linemen instead of seven. That could endanger the survival of the 32-year-old Golston.
QB Colt McCoy—Just like Golston, a numbers crunch could make the Redskins contemplate going short at McCoy’s position group. It is important to remember that McCloughan has the final say on the composition of the 53 and he might not be as impressed with McCoy as Gruden seems to be.
Four more close to the bubble: OLB Trevardo Williams, OL LeRibeus, CB Mitchel, CB Hall
Last 4 cuts
OT Willie Smith—If Trent Williams looks like he could be limping through another season, the team might want to have Smith, who has played in 30 NFL games, around to play left tackle if Williams can’t go.
RB Silas Redd—If Thompson doesn’t shake his injury bug, Redd is likely to be in. Even of Thompson does stay healthy, Redd could win the job anyway. Right now Thompson has the edge because of his speed but Redd will not give up easily.
S Akeem Davis—If Ben Kotwica is allowed to have a say in some special teams roster spots, Davis could squeak on. Davis had a lot to learn as a safety so it would be difficult to rely on him as a reserve there.
RB Trey Williams—He could be the “must-keep” prospect that bumps off someone like Golston or McCoy. The undrafted free agent has speed to burn but we will need to see if he has what it takes to survive in the NFL at 5-7, 195.
Four more just on the wrong side of the bubble: CB Trey Wolfe, NT Jerrell Powe, TE Devin Mahina, OLB Jackson Jeffcoat