Washington Redskins: Preview of All of Washington's Current Defensive Linemen

Kris LokosCorrespondent IJuly 4, 2012

Washington Redskins: Preview of All of Washington's Current Defensive Linemen

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    The last two years, the Washington Redskins have been playing in a 3-4 defense. It has taken them a while to get the right personnel for it and to get used to it, but they finally have it down.

    In the 3-4, the players that receive the most love are the outside linebackers, because they often play like defensive ends. The Redskins' defensive line operates with two defensive ends and a nose tackle. Their main job is to stop the run and draw as many offensive linemen as possible, freeing up the outside linebackers.

    The Redskins' defensive line has been okay, but head coach Mike Shanahan would like to see some improvement. The Redskins currently have 11 defensive linemen on the roster, seven defensive ends and four nose tackles.

    Not all those players will make the final roster or make it all the way through training camp, but hopefully they all provide good competition for each other during the preseason. Here is a preview of all 11 defensive linemen.

Adam Carriker, Defensive End

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    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 315 lbs.

    Age: 28

    Experience: Six years

    College: Nebraska

     

    Adam Carriker is the strongest man on the Redskins roster. He is going into his third season with the Redskins and has played in every game and started in all but one of them since he got to the team.

    Last year, Carriker had 34 tackles and 5.5 sacks. The 5.5 sacks were by far the most of his career. Carriker was drafted by the St. Louis Rams with the 13th overall pick in the 2007 draft and was traded to Washington in 2010.

    Carriker is an animal at the left defensive end spot. He doesn't take plays off and always works hard, especially in the weight room. Look for him to continue to increase his level of play this season. Barring injury, Carriker will be the starter come opening day.

Stephen Bowen, Defensive End

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 306 lbs.

    Age: 28

    Experience: Seven years

    College: Hofstra

     

    Stephen Bowen started in all 16 games last year at the right defensive end spot for the Redskins after coming over from the rival Dallas Cowboys. He had 41 tackles and 6.0 sacks last season, both career highs.

    Bowen is a consistent player who can get the job done. He does a good job getting to the quarterback, and is solid against the run.

    The big question for the Redskins and for Bowen is where Jarvis Jenkins is going to fit in to the lineup. Look for them to spend time rotating series and snaps in the preseason, and we'll just have to wait and see who the team puts as the starter on opening day.

Barry Cofield, Nose Tackle

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 306 lbs.

    Age: 28

    Experience: Seven years

    College: Northwestern

     

    Barry Cofield is a very consistent and reliable player. He started every game in his first year in Washington last season, coming over from the New York Giants. He had 25 tackles, the lowest season total of his career, and 3.0 sacks.

    Cofield has only missed one game in his career and has started in every game but two. He does a good job blocking up the holes that runners are looking for, and he draws two linemen on every play.

    Cofield is another guy that could lose playing time as the Redskins try to find a spot for Jarvis Jenkins. However, Cofield will make the most of his time on the field, and the rotation might actually help his play.

    Cofield is sure to be the front man for the starting job come the start of the regular season.

Jarvis Jenkins, Defensive End

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 309 lbs.

    Age: 24

    Experience: One year

    College: Clemson

     

    The Redskins were very excited about Jarvis Jenkins in his rookie season last year, but he tore his ACL in preseason and didn't play a down. Hopefully, Jenkins will use that as motivation for this year.

    Washington liked his size and speed coming out of Clemson, taking him with 41st overall pick last year. He also has the versatility to be able to play at any of the three positions on the defensive line, which will come in handy during the season.

    With the last three guys starting in basically every game last year, it will be interesting to watch them battle it out during preseason for starting spots. The Redskins are still high on Jenkins, and his youth will help them.

    Watch how Jenkins performs during the preseason games. If he plays well, he might find his way into the starting lineup.

Chris Neild, Nose Tackle

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 313 lbs.

    Age: 24

    Experience: One year

    College: West Virginia

     

    In his rookie season with the Redskins, Chris Neild got in all 16 games last year as the backup for Barry Cofield. He had 10 tackles and 2.0 sacks.

    The Redskins didn't know what to expect from Chris Neild, a seventh-round draft pick. Jenkins getting hurt plus his good play during the preseason led Washington to keep him, and he performed well this year. Now with Jenkins back, it will be interesting to see how many roster spots the Redskins plan on giving the defensive line.

    Well, the preseason is done, and Neild will be on the team. He earned that with his solid play as a backup his rookie year. The question will be how much he improves in year two, and how much playing time he gets.

Kedric Golston, Defensive End

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 310 lbs.

    Age: 29

    Experience: Six years

    College: Georgia

     

    Kedric Golston has become a favorite of the Redskins. He is an experienced defensive linemen that Washington drafted.

    However, last year Golston saw the least amount of playing time in his career. He played in just nine games with no starts. Still, he managed to get 16 tackles and 1.5 sacks in his limited minutes.

    You get the feeling that sooner or later the Redskins are going to let one of their older linemen go, simply to free up a roster spot. I would be a little surprised, though, if it were Golston. He has shown good heart and determination for the team, and I think the Redskins will reward him for that.

    Golston will be an interesting guy to watch during training camp and the preseason games. If he plays well, he'll keep his roster spot. But if he struggles a little bit, it could be time for Washington to let him go.

Darrion Scott, Defensive End

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 310 lbs.

    Age: 30

    Experience: Six years

    College: Ohio State

     

    Last year, Scott saw more playing time than he had since he started with the Minnesota Vikings in 2006. He played in seven games and had four tackles last year. 

    Scott is the oldest defensive linemen on the Washington roster, and I don't expect him to be on it long. Scott has spent the majority of his time on practice squads since that 2006 season. He was called into action purely out of necessity last year, and I doubt that the Redskins will have to use him this year.

    With younger players ahead of him, and younger players behind him with more upside, the Redskins will most likely release Scott during one of the cuts in training camp.

Kentwan Balmer, Defensive End

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 315 lbs.

    Age: 25

    Experience: Five years

    College: North Carolina

     

    Kentwan Balmer was picked up by the Redskins in November last year to help fill in for injuries. He played in just three games and didn't record a tackle.

    The previous year, Balmer played in all 16 games for Seattle, recording 43 tackles. He is still young, and he wouldn't cost a lot to keep. Still, he would take up a roster spot, and there has to be some reason why Seattle released him and why he wasn't picked up until November.

    It would seem that Balmer is not going to make the final roster unless he can really show something during training camp.

Chris Baker, Nose Tackle

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 329 lbs.

    Age: 24

    Experience: Three years

    College: Hampton

     

    Chris Baker was on the Redskins' practice squad for most of the year but was put on the main roster in December. He didn't get into any games.

    Baker was signed as a free agent to the Denver Broncos in 2009. He got into just one game, and they released him the next year. The Miami Dolphins picked him up, but he again just got into one game. He was released and then signed by the Redskins.

    Baker hasn't done much in his career, so the likelihood that he is going to start now is highly unlikely. The most he would do would be signed to the practice squad again. It all depends on how he does during training camp.

Doug Worthington, Defensive End

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 292

    Age: 24

    Experience: Two years

    College: Ohio State

     

    Doug Worthington was drafted in the seventh round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010, but he was cut during the preseason. He was then signed by Tampa Bay in December 2010 and put on waivers.

    The Redskins claimed him off waivers in August but didn't sign him to the active roster until December. He has never played in a game.

    Worthington is lighter and a little faster than some of the other guys, but he struggles in the strength category. There is a chance Worthington could get signed to the practice squad, as he is still young and has some potential.

    In order for that to happen, though, he is going to have to perform well in training camp and preseason. Don't be surprised if the Redskins release him. 

Delvin Johnson, Nose Tackle

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 321 lbs.

    Age: 22

    Experience: Rookie

    College: Marshall

     

    Delvin Johnson is an undrafted rookie out of Marshall that the Redskins picked up in May after the draft. 

    It is unclear right now if the Redskins expect him to make the roster or whether or not they just brought him in to fill a training-camp spot.

    Whatever the case may be, his future with the team is going to depend on how well he performs with the chances that he gets in the preseason. The team has been trending towards getting younger players, so he may have that in his favor.