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Redskins depth chart will undergo some shuffling in the next month

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Redskins depth chart will undergo some shuffling in the next month

In the last couple of days we looked at the current state of the Redskins’ depth chart on offense and on defense. Now let’s look at some aspects of the whole roster and some things that are likely to change between now and the start of OTAs in late May.

—They have three specialists on the roster—K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way, and LS Nick Sundberg. Barring something completely unexpected those are the three who will be on the 53-man roster Week 1. If they do choose to bring in another specialist it will be just to take the practice workload off of one of the three.

—There are currently 30 offensive players and 41 on defense in addition to the specialist. With 74 players under contract, the Redskins will add 16 more to the roster to get to the 90-man offseason limit.

—It should be noted that draft picks count against the roster limit as soon as they are drafted. Up until a few years ago they didn’t count until they signed a contract. With Scot McCloughan saying that he wants to turn the Redskins’ current stock of eight picks into 12 the Redskins will leave plenty of room to add players when the draft commences in about two and a half weeks.

—If they do add a dozen draftees that will bring them up to 86 on the roster. That means that soon after they start signing undrafted free agents—they probably will bring in eight to 12 of them—players will start getting cut to make room for them.

—The Redskins will bring a certain mix of players into OTAs and training camp and that mix is pretty consistent from year to year. They will want to end up with 43-44 on each side of the ball with the three specialists rounding out the 90-man roster. Here is what they need to add on each side of the ball to get up to their normal levels.

—Offense: a total of 13-14 players including 3 tackles, 2 interior linemen, 5 receivers, a quarterback, and three running backs. With the line and receivers fairly healthy they could add fewer players at those spots and bring in a couple of additional players at running back, where Matt Jones, Chris Thompson and Silas Redd are all recovering from injuries.

—Defense: None on line and at linebacker, 1 cornerback, 1-2 safeties. Since there are already at 44 defensive players they likely will cut one for every one they sign or draft.

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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 25, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 175 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 77 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 22
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 46
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 69

The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here are the five running backs on the Redskins’ schedule who gained the most yards in 2017. We looked at the top QBs last week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 1,631 yards in 2016—The NFL’s leading rusher didn’t pop for a big day against the Redskins as a rookie last year. He still did plenty of damage in two games with a combined 180 yards and three touchdowns. We’ll find out in Week 8 just how much the Redskins’ rushing defense has improved.

David Johnson, Cardinals, 1,239 yards—Yeah, him again. He chewed up the Redskins in Arizona last year, picking up 84 yards rushing and another 91 yards receiving. I think I might pick Johnson over Elliott in a draft simply due to Johnson’s versatility.

LeGarrette Blount, Eagles, 1,161 yards—Blount picked up those yards with the Patriots last year and rushed for 18 touchdowns for good measure. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, 27th among qualifying running backs. It should be noted that the Eagles probably have a better offensive line than the Patriots do. It’s safe to say Blount is one dimensional; none of the top 50 in rushing yards had fewer than his seven receptions.

Mark Ingram, Saints, 1,043 yards—While Ingram had a good year, the Saints apparently weren’t overly impressed. They signed Adrian Peterson as a free agent and they drafted RB Alvin Kamara in the third round. We’ll have to see who is healthy and on the field in Week 11

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, 997 yards—The 2015 first-round pick missed the last three games and most of another one with an injury. When healthy, he was very effective. His stats projected over 16 games come to over 1,300 yards.

Best of the rest: Carlos Hyde of the 49ers just missed the top five with 988 rushing yards last year Besides Kamara, the only running backs drafted in the first three rounds the Redskins will face are Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs). It will be interesting to see if new Rams coach Sean McVay can revive Todd Gurley, who followed a 1,100-yard rookie season with a 4.8 per carry average by gaining 885 yards with a paltry 3.2 average in 2016. Marshawn Lynch comes to town with the Raiders after spending a year in retirement; with the Seahawks, he picked up 111, 72, and 132 on the ground against 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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In case you missed it

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Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

After NFL minicamps end in mid-June, and before the grind of training camps start in late July, players are free to have a little bit of fun and try to relax. For Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins that evidently means a game of Jenga.

Fun at Kirk's 10 year high school reunion!!!

A post shared by Julie Cousins (@juliehcousins) on

The video comes from Cousins' wife Julie, and the caption explains that the couple were attending the quarterback's 10-year high school reunion. Looks like a fun scene, and the Michigan waterfront looks even better.

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

For anybody that has watched Cousins on the practice field or listened to him mic'd up during a Redskins game, the competitive outburst is no surprise. Cousins likes to win, period. Even at life-size Jenga during his 10-year high school reunion. 

Obviously, contract talks between Cousins' representatives and the Redskins continue, and likely will until the July 17th franchise tag deadline. Last season, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 passing yards, completing 67 percent of his passes to go with 25 TDs and 12 INTs. He's allowed to have a little fun here and there.

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