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Redskins pre-draft depth chart review: Offense

Redskins pre-draft depth chart review: Offense

The Redskins’ depth chart is beginning to take shape after some free agency gains and losses. Let’s take a look at where they stand on each side of the ball, starting with the offense.

Starters are listed first, reserves roughly in the order they would appear on a depth chart.

Quarterback: Kirk Cousins
Reserve: Colt McCoy

They will look to add one in the draft or perhaps as an undrafted free agent. When it comes down to cutting the roster to the final 53 the decision will be whether they should keep their developmental quarterback on the roster or if they should try to carry him on the practice squad.

Tackle: Morgan Moses, Trent Williams
Reserves: Ty Nsekhe, Takoby Cofield

Nsekhe was the primary backup last year, filling in for both Williams and Moses when dealt with injuries. Tom Compton, who mostly played as an extra tight end last year, has departed to join Kyle Shanahan with the Falcons. That could open the door for Cofield, who was on the practice squad all of last year, to step into a reserve role. They will need to bring in two or three more for OTAs and training camp.

Guard: Brandon Scherff, Spencer Long
Reserves: Arie Kouandjio, Shawn Lauvao

The question mark here is Lauvao, who is recovering from a Week 3 injury to his ankle. He’s almost certainly out for OTAs and his status for training camp and perhaps the start of the regular season are in doubt. They will need someone to fill in for him and a couple of others for the offseason.

Center: Kory Lichtensteiger
Reserves: Josh LeRibeus, Austin Reiter

Lichtensteiger started and finished the season at center with LeRibeus starting 11 games when Lichtensteiger was out with a neck injury. Reiter, a seventh-round pick last year, was on the practice squad most of the season. It would not be shocking to see any of the three starting this year.

Wide receiver: Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder
Reserves: Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross, Andre Roberts, LaRon Byrd

It seems likely that Roberts will get released at some point after he is cleared from the knee injury that landed him on injured reserve for the final six weeks of last season. They likely will to into OTAs with 10-12 receivers so they will probably sign a few more whether or not they draft one.

Tight end: Jordan Reed
Reserves: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen, Derek Carrier, Marcel Jensen

Carrier is likely to be sidelined into training camp after suffering a torn ACL in December. The Redskins could carry four tight ends on the 53-man roster since they are going to go without a fullback. They might add one more before OTAs.

Running back: Matt Jones
Reserves: Chris Thompson, Silas Redd, Mack Brown

The three top backs are coming off of injuries. Jones had a procedure to repair a hip problem, Thompson had shoulder surgery, and Redd tore his ACL in a preseason game last year. They will want to go into OTAs with six or seven running backs, perhaps more. They will almost certainly will either draft one or sign a veteran free agent to team with Jones and add a few more camp bodies.

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

After a poor first preseason showing and some questions about the physicality of Redskins training camp, JP Finlay talks with Patriots Insider Phil Perry from CSN New England to discuss the differences between Washington's camp and how they run things in New England.

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

Few Redskins players draw more heated fan reaction than Ryan Grant. In three seasons with Washington, Grant has never missed a game, but he also hasn't produced much. His career stats: 39 catches for 412 yards and two touchdowns. 

Regardless, Jay Gruden and the Redskins coaching staff appreciates Grant in a way few fans understand. Grant is able to back up both the slot and outside receivers, and knows the roles of all the players.

"He’s really strong, he’s in great shape, and he’s Mr. Consistent," Gruden said of Grant. "Everything we ask him to do he does, and he does it right."

When Jamison Crowder missed time in Richmond with a hamstring strain, Grant stepped into Crowder's slot role. When Josh Doctson hurt his hamstring and missed time, Grant stepped into his role on the outside of the offense.

Throughout camp, Grant has displayed good hands and an adept knowledge of the offense. 

"No matter where he lines up, no matter what we ask him to do, he can come in the core and block the safety, whatever we want him to do, he can run whatever route from whatever positon and he runs at the right depth, perfect angles coming out of them," Gruden said. "He’s just ‘Steady Eddie,’ and that’s why I like him. I like consistent, smart players and that’s what Ryan is."

Against the Ravens in the Redskins first preseason game, Grant hung on to a tough catch over the middle to give the team one of very few offensive sparks. The problem for fans as it relates to Grant has not been preseason play. It's been inconsistent play in regular season games. 

Gruden believes that could change this year.

"I think people may be surprised with how many balls Ryan Grant might catch. Either way, could happen, I don’t know. I can’t foresee the future there, but I would be just fine with Ryan Grant being the target of a lot of balls."

To state the obvious: Grant is definitely making the roster. Behind Terrelle Pyror, Crowder and Doctson, Grant is the Redskins fourth wideout and one of the few players on the roster that is interchangeable among the Washington receiver positions. 

Grant's career best season came in 2015 when he caught 23 balls for 268 yards and two TDs. Based on his preseason, it seems Grant could surpass those totals in 2017. Much of his early season work has been a result of injuries to Doctson and Crowder, but make no mistake, Grant has been impressive in practice. 

Will it translate to the real games? The opprotunity seems only likely to arise if the Redskins deal with injuries at the receiver spot. 

Last year, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 yards, but DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon accounted for more than 2,000 of those yards. Doctson, Crowder and certainly Pryor are likely to be the major recepients of Cousins' aerial prowess. Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Chris Thompson accounted for another 1,618 yards last year.

Keep in mind, this is the last year of Grant's rookie contract. If there was ever a time to show in games what coaches have long seen and loved in practice, this would be the year. It seems only an injury would give him a major opportunity. If the situation came to pass, Gruden would have faith in Grant. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!