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Who are the locks to make the Redskins' 53?

Who are the locks to make the Redskins' 53?

The Redskins will report to training camp on Wednesday with 90 players on the roster. One of the biggest jobs the coaching staff will have is to determine who will be on the 53-man roster when the season starts.

We all know, however, that there are not 53 jobs up for grabs. Some players are locks to be on the roster when the season starts on Sept. 7 in Houston, barring injury or other unforeseen circumstances. How many players are locks and how many roster spots are really at stake? Let’s take a look:

Offense (16): OL Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Kory Lichtensteiger; WR Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts; QB Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins; RB Alfred Morris, Roy Helu, Darrel Young; TE Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul

Some will want to debate a few of these such as Young and Paul. But I’ve heard that Young is a lock despite Gruden’s history of not always keeping a fullback on the roster in Cincinnati and with the team trying to revive the special teams units Paul isn’t going anywhere. I could have put Tyler Polumbus as a lock but he’s more like 95 percent certain to be on the 53; If Moses can come on like gangbusters, the organization could decide that Polumbus’ $2.5 million salary is too much for a backup.

Defense (15): DL Jason Hatcher, Chris Baker, Barry Cofield; LB Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley; CB DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tracy Porter, Bashaud Breeland; S Brandon Meriweather, Ryan Clark, Phillip Thomas

The only possible question mark is Breeland but I don’t see them exposing their fourth-round pick to waivers in an effort to get him on the practice squad. Free agent linebackers Spencer Hayward, Akeem Jordan, and Darryl Sharpton are in the 95 percent category but there is a possibility that there won’t be room for one of the three.

I’m not prepared to call any of the six specialists locks. Long snapper Nick Sundberg is the closest but the organization might look at the fact that he has spent a total of 19 games on injured reserve the past two years and go with Kyle Nelson. While Kai Forbath and Robert Malone are solid favorites at kicker and punter, respectively, neither is a lock.

With a total of 31 roster locks, 22 jobs are legitimately up for grabs between now and when final cuts are made on August 30. The competition will be fierce and it gets underway on Thursday.

Did I miss any players you think are locks? Anyone listed not a lock in your opinion? Let me know in the comments.

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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