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Projecting the Redskins' 53-man roster—Defense

Projecting the Redskins' 53-man roster—Defense

The Redskins are heading into the final phases of their offseason program. OTAs get underway next week, minicamp unfolds in the middle of next month and it’s off to training camp. While there is a long way to go, it’s not too early to project what the 53-man roster will look like when the final cuts are made on September 2.

I projected the offense yesterday; here’s the defense:

RELATED: How will the Redskins' back split carries?

Players new to the organization in 2017 are in italics. Rookies are also underlined.

Defensive line (6)

Starters: Jonathan Allen, Terrell McClain, Stacy McGee (NT)
Backups: Anthony Lanier, Ziggy Hood, Matt Ioannidis

McGee isn’t an ideal nose tackle but I don’t see room on the roster for Phil Taylor. Hood and Ioannidis both can back up at NT. This looks like an improved group but it could use another player with Allen’s impact.

Inside linebacker (4)

Starters: Will Compton, Zach Brown
Backups: Mason Foster, Martrell Spaight

Compton calls the defenses, although he may come off the field in favor of Foster in nickel situations. They carried a fifth ILB last year for special teams so someone will have to pick up the slack from another position.  

Outside linebackers (4)

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Backups: Ryan Anderson, Junior Galette

Trent Murphy is suspended for the first four games so a tough numbers decision is put off until Week 5.

Cornerbacks (6)

Starters: Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland
Backups: Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Josh Holsey, Fabian Moreau

Moreau is not a sure bet to be on the opening 53; if there is any setback in his rehab from a torn pectoral muscle he suffered during his pro day he could start the season on the PUP list. Holsey had his share of injury problems during his career at Auburn (tore his left ACL twice) and he has a lot to prove.

MORE REDSKINS: Tandler's rookie camp practice observations

Safety (5)

Starters: D.J. Swearinger, Su’a Cravens

Backups: DeAngelo Hall, Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett

The starters are set while the reserves are very tentative. The coaches talked up Hall in March but they drafted Montae Nicholson in April. There have to be concerns about Hall’s ability to stay on the field. Everett is more of a special teams player; Josh Evans is a better safety and he could get the nod. Perhaps they could go with one fewer cornerback and keep a sixth safety since Blackmon can fill in at corner if needed.


LS Nick Sundberg, K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way

Some want a challenger for Hopkins to be brought in but it’s hard to see him not being the kicker Week 1 even if they sign competition.

Last three on: Everett, Holsey, Ioannidis

Last three cut: Evans, Nicholson, Taylor

Defensive breakdown: 25 players, four rookies, total of eight new to the organization.

Full roster breakdown: 25 offense, 25 defense, three specialists. Eight rookies, total of 14 new to the Redskins. Six new starters (five on defense, one on offense).

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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Redskins veteran DeAngelo Hall will begin training camp on PUP list, per report

Redskins veteran DeAngelo Hall will begin training camp on PUP list, per report

With Redskins training camp less than a week away, a new report indicates veteran safety DeAngelo Hall won't be on hand for the start.

Instead, he will enter camp on the physically unable to perform list, according to ESPN's John Keim. The same is true of linebacker Houston Bates. 

Both Bates and Hall are working their way back from torn ACLs. Hall suffered his ACL tear in September, while Bates was injured in December.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins pre-camp 53-man roster projection, offense

It's possible other players will be added to the PUP list following team physicals scheduled for Wednesday. 

Hall, who will be 34 years old in November, restructured his contract to take a pay cut this offseason. He's valuable as a veteran leader on defense, especially in the secondary where neither of the projected starting safeties – Su'a Cravens and D.J. Swearinger – played the position for the Redskins last season. 

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Need to Know: Redskins pre-camp 53-man roster projection, offense

Need to Know: Redskins pre-camp 53-man roster projection, offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, July 24, three days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.


The Redskins last played a game 204 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 48 days.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 17
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 26
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 41

Redskins roster projection—offense

The Redskins strap it up and start the battle for roster spots in earnest in just three days. Some are locks, others are hoping to hang on. Here is my prediction of the roster will shake out along with players who are on the bubble. The offense is up today, the defense tomorrow.

Players I have making the roster who are new to the organization in 2017 are in italics. Rookies are also underlined.

Quarterback (3)

Starter: Kirk Cousins
Backups: Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld

Cousins and the team didn’t agree on the contract but that changes nothing for 2017. The elimination of two-a-day practices makes a fourth “camp arm” QB unnecessary so these three will handle all the snaps from now until when the season ends.   

Running backs (3)

Starter: Rob Kelley
Backups: Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson

Bubble: Mack Brown, Keith Marshall

Kelley skipped the drive-through window meals during the offseason, switching to a healthier diet to get himself in better shape. He will need to be strong to hold off Perine, who will make a push for playing time. Brown could be on or off depending on numbers elsewhere on the roster. If Marshall can stay healthy, he could force his way into the picture but the health is a big “if”.

Wide receivers (6)

Starters: Josh Doctson, Terrelle Pryor, Jamison Crowder (slot)
Backups: Maurice Harris, Ryan Grant, Robert Davis

Bubble: Brian Quick

I’m not sure if Grant, who caught nine passes while playing in all 16 games last year, should be a lock but it appears that he is. Davis is a projection; he has a lot to learn but if he is showing significant progress he could push out the veteran Quick, who was not impressive during the offseason practices.    

Tight ends (4)

Starter: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Jeremy Sprinkle

Bubble: Derek Carrier

Paul and Sprinkle could be considered on the bubble as well. The normal allowance is for three tight ends on the 53-man roster. Reed and Davis are locks, they need Paul for special teams, and Sprinkle is slated to be the blocking tight end. But Sprinkle needs to add a lot of polish to his game and Paul has the injury bug to fight. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Offensive line (9)

Starters (left to right): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses
Backups: Ty Nsekhe, Arie Kouandjio, Vinston Painter, Chase Roullier

Bubble: John Kling

The starters are locked in unless Kouandjio can come up with a huge camp and push Lauvao out of the starting job. Roullier could be the backup center but if he’s not ready the Redskins could look for a veteran off the waiver wire for that spot.

Offensive breakdown: 25 players, four rookies, a total of five new to the Redskins.

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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