Washington Redskins: Early Projections for Final 53 Man Roster
With rookie camps taking place last weekend, it's about that time us football fans start getting antsy about who's looking good in our team's colors, and who's not.
For the Redskins, head coach Mike Shanahan has a young and talented group of new guys looking to make their mark and become a part of the final 53-man roster.
Forget if it's early May or not. It's never too early for football.
Here's a (very) early projection of the Redskins' 2013 final roster.
Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman
And just like that, the Pat White extravaganza is over.
The quarterback unit from last season stays in place. The cohesiveness of the group meshes all too well, and Grossman's spot at No. 3 is far more significant than most people are willing to admit.
If Robert Griffin III isn't ready to start the season, Shanahan and the coaches are more than comfortable with second-year man Kirk Cousins running the show.
Alfred Morris, Chris Thompson, Jawan Jamison, Roy Helu, Darrel Young
Maybe it would come as a shock to some, but I think rookie running backs Jawan Jamison and Chris Thompson make the roster over Evan Royster. Both new guys help add different wrinkles to the offense that Royster can't.
It'll be interesting to see how Roy Helu progresses over the course of the summer. After suffering an ugly injury and questionable recovery, Helu may not be healthy enough to be effective, in which we could see a guy like Ike Williams surprise some people.
Tight End (4)
Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul, Jordan Reed
This is easily the most predictable position for the Redskins right now.
Barring an unforeseen injury that puts a guy down for the count, Fred Davis and Logan Paulsen will top the depth chart, while Niles Paul continues to develop at the position and rookie Jordan Reed is slowly worked in strictly as a receiving threat.
Wide Receiver (7)
Pierre Garcon, Joshua Morgan, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Aldrick Robinson, Lance Lewis, Skye Dawson
By only addressing the position by signing free agents following the draft, the Redskins receiving corps continues to lack a threatening reputation.
Pierre Garcon is clearly the No. 1, while Joshua Morgan serves as a good, solid option. Santana Moss is aging, yet he can still be very effective this season.
After that, not much else to go crazy over.
Because they've seen flashes here and there, I think coaches hang on to Leonard Hankerson for one more season to see if he can put it all together, but he's going to need to work his tail off. I don't see this camp as being an easy one for him, by any means.
Same goes for Aldrick Robinson. I don't think it'll be easy, but the Redskins obviously like his speed, and he may be considered an eventual replacement for Moss.
And finally, as my two (somewhat) dark horses, second-year camp body Lance Lewis and UDFA (undrafted free agent) rookie Skye Dawson make the team.
Lewis is an intelligent wide receiver with good hands and an ideal frame at 6'2", 205 pounds. He participated in Redskins camp last summer, but injuries limited his ability.
Lewis may not be the fastest guy on the squad, but he has a great understanding for the game and reliable hands.
As for Dawson, he'd become the Redskins return man after so much inconsistency at the position over the past couple seasons.
Dawson is a small frame receiver with killer speed and has the ability to make guys miss in the open field.
Offensive Line (7)
Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tom Compton, Tyler Polumbus, Josh LeRibeus
The unit from last season likely stays intact but with second-year man Tom Compton taking over at right tackle.
Meanwhile, last year's starting right tackle Tyler Polumbus moves to a more natural swing tackle position, and youngster Josh LeRibeus provides depth with his versatility.
Defensive Line (6)
Stephen Bowen, Barry Cofield, Jarvis Jenkins, Adam Carriker, Chris Baker, Kedric Golston
No real shakeups, here.
Redskins fans all hope that defensive end Adam Carriker can return to form to start the season, but Jarvis Jenkins will hopefully continue to develop his game as well.
For right now, I have Chris Baker and Kedric Golston making the squad, but no one should ink them in as guarantees. Contracts don't necessarily mean set positions on the team.
Brian Orakpo, London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Ryan Kerrigan, Keenan Robinson, Brandon Jenkins, Rob Jackson
The Redskins look to get both starter Brian Orakpo and backup Keenan Robinson back from injury. Both serve as key pieces to the Redskins defense.
Despite being suspended for the first four games of the season, Rob Jackson will make the roster. He showed entirely too much last season in place of the injured Orakpo and his failed drug test seems a bit bogus.
Drafted in the fifth round of last month's draft, Brandon Jenkins is an edge-rusher I believe the Redskins are excited about. I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of him early on, especially in the absence of Jackson.
DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, E.J. Biggers, Richard Crawford, Chase Minnifield, David Amerson
No shock and awe at cornerback, either.
DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson return as starters, while free agent addition E.J. Biggers serves as the No. 3.
Second-year man Richard Crawford made strides near the end of last season, and Redskins fans will have their eyes on him this summer to make sure his development continues.
Last year's undrafted free agent Chase Minnifield is riddled with injuries, but he remains a tremendous football talent when healthy.
Assuming he's good to go (wishful thinking), Minnifield has a spot on the team and the potential to move up the depth chart.
Brandon Meriweather, Reed Doughty, Phillip Thomas, Bacarri Rambo
There are lots of new faces at the safety position and the typical Reed Doughty appearance.
Brandon Meriweather is expected to fully recover from an ACL tear and start the season for the Redskins.
Who will be joining alongside him is the better question.
Because he came with such great value in the sixth round of last month's draft, I think Bacarri Rambo beats out guys like DeJon Gomes and Jordan Bernstine.
I know it's early, but the camp battle amongst the entire secondary would seemingly have the most intrigue leading up to the regular season.
Special Teams (3)
Kai Forbath, Sav Rocca, Nick Sundberg
Forget tight end...the kicker and punter positions are by far the easiest positions to predict this early on.
Kai Forbath was money last season, demonstrating stability and consistency at a position that has lacked such attributes for far too long.
Meanwhile, Sav Rocca continues his crafty work as both an effective punter and a vicious tackler.