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Brian Orakpo, Brandon Jenkins
Returning after signing his franchise-tag contract, Brian Orakpo enters 2014 with tons of eyeballs on him. Yes, we've seen bright spots, but everyone's waiting to see Orakpo take his next step in becoming an every-down threat. Hopefully, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett's philosophy (now no longer "handcuffed" by Mike Shanahan) helps Orakpo excel.
Brandon Jenkins entered the league as a rookie last season with lots of raw potential as a pass-rusher. His progress and development should be a priority in 2014.
Perry Riley, Darryl Sharpton, Will Compton
Although he's not a sexy name, re-signing Perry Riley was a good move for the Redskins, given his familiarity with the defense. His improved coverage skills toward the end of last season hopefully work in his favor as well.
Darryl Sharpton was signed as an experienced 3-4 inside linebacker who provides depth and strong play against the run.
Will Compton can carve out a spot on this roster with strong special teams play, and the inside linebacker position isn't exactly boiling with a talent. For a workaholic like Compton, he might have a chance to make some waves in camp.
Akeem Jordan, Keenan Robinson, Adam Hayward
The Redskins didn't make headlines when they signed veteran Akeem Jordan a couple of weeks ago, but he looks like the early favorite to start alongside Riley. He has good experience with versatile defenses, and he's not being asked to compete against top talent in order to break the starting lineup.
It'd be great to not only see Keenan Robinson stay healthy but also for him to play up to his fourth-round draft selection from two years ago and break the starting lineup. Regardless of whether he starts inside or not, though, Robinson's a young, athletic backer with potential.
Adam Hayward was added for his special teams contribution, and he can play inside in desperate situations.
Ryan Kerrigan has logged 25 sacks over his first three seasons, and 2014 should be a lot of fun in Haslett's new style, which should include more direct pass rush off the edge.