Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 18, five days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs on May 23.
It’s been 136 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 116 days.
—Redskins OTAs start (5/23) 5
—Training camp starts (7/27) 70
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 84
Yesterday I gave you some nuggets on the 25 players projected to make the roster on offense. Today, after projecting the defense, that side of the ball is up.
Since there is always a learning curve coming to the NFL, don’t be surprised of DE Jonathan Allen isn’t dominant from the outset.
Despite playing only nine games last year, DL Stacy McGee had career highs in sacks (2.5) and forced fumbles (2).
DE Terrell McClain also is coming off career highs in sacks (2.5) and forced fumbles (2).
DE Anthony Lanier is a project and he might not really catch on and become an asset until late this year or possibly 2018.
DL Ziggy Hood will be much more effective playing 300 or so snaps as a rotational lineman than he was playing 660 as a starter last year.
A lot of fans were disappointed in the performance of DL Matt Ioannidis last year but there should be low expectations for a fifth-round pick.
It will be very interesting to see if the coaches utilize ILB Zach Brown’s speed and athleticism or if they will have him in the same role they always have had at the position.
Last year, ILB Will Compton played 91 percent of the defensive snaps and he missed a game and a half with a knee injury.
ILB Mason Foster may be one of the most underappreciated players on the Redskins.
It will be interesting to see if ILB Martrell Spaight can push for more playing time after getting a start in 2016.
No NFL outside linebacker has a longer streak of consecutive games played than OLB Ryan Kerrigan, who has played in all 96 games the Redskins have played since drafting him.
If OLB Preston Smith always played as well as he has shown in his best games he would be a defensive player of the year candidate.
OLB Ryan Anderson also will have a learning curve so don’t look for double-digit sacks this year.
I’m going to make a bold prediction that OLB Junior Galette sees the field in a regular season game this year.
If CB Josh Norman can hold on to a few more interceptions this year he can regain Pro Bowl status and perhaps be named All-Pro.
I wonder if CB Bashaud Breeland will play too hard in his contract season instead of playing under control.
The Redskins are far from giving up on CB Kendall Fuller after his rough rookie season but he needs to start justifying that faith quickly.
In 2015 I was concerned when then-rookie CB Quinton Dunbar lined up opposite Odell Beckham on some plays but he passed the test just fine.
Rookie CB Josh Holsey will create a lot of fan buzz making plays in training camp.
Like Fuller, CB Fabian Moreau was a third-round pick who may need a redshirt season before becoming an effective player.
I don’t know how well S D.J. Swearinger will adapt to playing free safety but I have a feeling he will hit some people hard trying.
I think that S Su’a Cravens will be able to cover from his relative lack of speed with preparation most of the time but he will get burned from time to time.
It may be going too far to call S DeAngelo Hall a roster lock but both Gruden and Greg Manusky have spoken as though he will be on the team.
S Will Blackmon isn’t necessarily a lock either but his versatility should help him find the right side of the bubble.
Special teams are S Deshazor Everett’s calling card and possibly his job security.
In case you missed it
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- Redskins player one-liners—Offense
- Kirk Cousins knows Redskins need more than passing yards in 2017
- Redskins 2017 roster battles: Who starts opposite Ryan Kerrigan at OLB?
- A bright future? 4 Redskins players land in NFLPA Rising 50 list