Sunday, September 4, 2011

A look at the Redskins not-at-all final 53 man roster

This post will probably need updating rather quickly, as the receiver and offensive line depth charts just don't make sense as they currently stand.  Also, not all the practice squads have been filled, and there is always likely to be turnover at the bottom of the roster. Nonetheless, here's a look at the 53 man roster as it stands at 5pm Sunday. Let me know if I missed anyone.

Starter: John Beck
Backup: Rex Grossman

This is, of course, an educated guess as to the starter. But I think it's where most people would put their money. Neither of these guys has shown enough in the NFL to be entitled to a job of course, so it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest some back and forth here.

It is not altogether shocking that Mike Shanahan would go with only two QBs; he did it all the time in Denver. It was not a foregone conclusion, however. He kept three last year even when he knew who his starter was going to be. And if either Beck or Rex gets hurt it would be nice to have an experienced backup rather than some kid off the street or the practice squad.

Running Back
Starter: Tim Hightower
Fullback: Darrel Young
Backups: Roy Helu, Ryan Torain
Practice Squad: Evan Royster

Hard not to feel good about this position. We were all worried about Torain's durability, but as the third running back its much less of a concern. Of course having Mike Sellers make the team as a tight end means that he can function as a backup fullback, so Keiland Williams was superfluous. I was not at all surprised that Evan Royster didn't make the roster, as he reminds me a lot of Keiland - a well rounded back who does the little things but offers little upside as a ballcarrier.

Starters: Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney
3rd WR: Anthony Armstrong
Backups: Niles Paul, Leonard Hankerson, Terrence Austin, Donte Stallworth, Brandon Banks
Practice squad: Aldrick Robinson

OK, I'd be really surprised if all eight of these guys are on the roster come next Sunday. But it's what we have to work with for now. What the lack of cuts means is that there is little clarity as to the Redskins plans. My thinking had been that Stallworth getting cut would be great news - and that is no criticism of Stallworth. It would mean they have sufficient confidence that Hankerson, Paul, or Austin could step in and play meaningful snaps if one of the top three receivers goes down. If he was kept, they needed the veteran insurance because the kids weren't ready. As it is, we still don't know.

Given all this newfound depth at receiver, I hope that Brandon Banks never sets foot on the field for a single offensive down. We know where his contribution come from, and we know he is fragile. Let him stick to his strength.

Tight Ends
Starter: Chris Cooley
Backups: Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen, Mike Sellers

Keeping four tight ends would usually be silly, especially since Logan Paulsen is probably already a better tight end than Sellers. But they truly are worried about Chris Cooley's knee, and that means so am I. If Cooley is able to play, I am curious to see who is activated on gameday. Probably Sellers due to his special teams role, but the whole situation is odd.

Offensive Line
Starting tackles: Trent Williams, Jammal Brown
Starting interior line: Kory Lichtensteiger, Wil Montgomery, Chris Chester
Backup tackles: Sean Locklear, Willie Smith
Backup interior: Eric Cook
Practice squad: Maurice Hurt

This is the other position, along with wide receiver, where I'd be stunned if the roster looks the same next Sunday. The depth here is a real problem. Locklear is a decent enough swing tackle, but there is nothing under him. By all accounts Willie Smith, while talented, is not yet ready to play. I assume they feared he would not make it through waivers to the practice squad, so they protected him while letting Maurice Hurt (who had gotten time at both G and OT) get exposed. Right now Eric Cook is the only backup interior lineman and that, of course, is untenable. I eagerly await this section of the post becoming obsolete. Any time now...

Defensive line
Starting ends: Adam Carriker, Stephen Bowen
Starting tackle: Barry Cofield
Backup ends: Kedric Golston, Darrion Scott
Backup tackle: Chris Nield
Practice squad: Doug Worthington

Chris Nield beating out Anthony Bryant was the one real surprise of cut day. There had been questions about Bryant's work ethic, especially according to Vonnie Holliday in a very good podcast interview he did with Pickled Hogs over the offseason. I'm hoping that this move happend because Nield won the job, rather than the coaches just giving up on Bryant.

At end some people expected Worthington to make it because he seemed to have some potential, but he's made it to the practice squad. I am scarred from watching Kedric Golston last season so I hope that Darrion Scott, who showed something in preseason, is the third man in the rotation. If he's not effective, then we will end up really missing Jarvis Jenkins.

Starting outside linebackers: Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan
Starting inside linebackers: London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh
Backup OLBs: Rob Jackson, Markus White
Backup ILBs: Perry Riley, Keyaron Fox, Lorenzo Alexander

No surprises here. Gotta love the depth at OLB. We know Rob Jackson can make plays, so we have a good top three and a developmental rookie, Markus White, who has shown real potential. On the inside you know I'm not thrilled with Rocky as a starter, but Riley's development was slowed by the lockout and the coaches pointedly did not share my admiration for ex-Redskin Horatio Blades. Alexander, of course, can fill in at either position. I hope he gets some real snaps at ILB, because that's where we don't already have a surplus of talent and we need to eventually replace boths starters - Rocky because he's not very good and Fletcher because he's old and his contract is about to run out.

Starting corners: DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson
Nickel corner: Kevin Barnes
Safeties: LaRon Landry, Oshiomogho Atogwe
Backup corners: Byron Westbrook, Brandyn Thompson, Philip Buchanon (suspended)
Backup safeties: Reed Doughty, DeJon Gomes, Kareem Moore (PUP)
Practice squad: Reggie Jones

For the first four weeks, until Philip Buchanon comes back, I am rather worried about cornerback depth. I think Kevin Barnes is fine as a nickel corner, but one injury and we're down into the very deep depth. With Buchanon, I think we're in pretty good shape. This creates an interesting dynamic because Westbrook and Thompson are in a month-long competition to show which one deserves the final corner spot come week 5.

Safety is a little scary. LaRon Landry's knee is almost as worrisome as Cooley's. Now Doughty is a good in-the-box run support safety so he should be able to fill in well enough, though not at a Landry level. If Atogwe goes down we've got issues. Doughty isn't that good in coverage, and Gomes has a reputation as talented but undeveloped - meaning I don't trust him downfield either.

Kicker: Graham Gano
Punter: Sav Rocca
Long snapper: Nick Sundberg

There was never any real competition here; not since Shayne Graham kicked his way off the team int he first week.

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