A Prediction of the 53-Man Roster

Posted on July 14, 2014 by Sameer Malla

With the World Cup now come and gone, the focus now turns to futbol football. Training camp for the Washington Redskins starts a week from Thursday, with preseason games right around the corner. Since the NFL is on its Summer Break (NFL Network host Rich Eisen, who replaced Monday Morning Quarterback’s Peter King this week for MMQBs weekly post, said: this is the rare time of year when absolutely nothing is going on. It is when everyone in an NFL office takes vacation. It is why most weddings get planned this time of year. And it is why your humble NFL Network narrator writes MMQB on my way to shoot this year’s round of Courtyard commercials you will probably be seeing every three seconds during the season.), I want to take a crack at predicting the 53-man roster that will be revealed come September.

So, without further ado:

Quarterback (3): Robert Griffin III (Starter); Kirk Cousins; Colt McCoy

RGIII's 76-Yard TD Run Against the Vikings

RGIII's 76-Yard TD Run Against the Vikings

Photo Credit: Big Lead Sports

No question here, other than the fact that with how frail RGIII is, we might need a third QB on the roster.

Running Back (3): Alfred Morris (Starter); Roy Helu; Lache Seastrunk (Rookie)

Lache Seastruk Runs for a TD on an Injured Hamstring

Lache Seastruk Runs for a TD on an Injured Hamstring

I feel like Evan Royster will be an early cut, with the addition of Baylor RB Seastrunk and University of Southern California RB Silas Redd during and after the 2014 NFL Draft. Depending on the health of Chris Thompson, he may or may not make the team. Redd/Thompson may be designated for the practice squad. Seastrunk never was a teammate of RGIII in college, but RGIII wanted the running back to be drafted by the Redskins. He may be the backup to Morris. We shall see.

Fullback (1): Darrel Young (Starter)

Young will be back as a multidimensional threat as a pass/run blocker for RGIII and AlMo (Alfred Morris) and can catch passes in the backfield.

Wide Receiver (6): Pierre Garcon (Starter); DeSean Jackson (Starter); Andre Roberts; Santana Moss; Ryan Grant (R); Leonard Hankerson (PUP)

Pierre Garcon One-Handed Catch

Pierre Garcon One-Handed Catch Against Broncos

The Redskins made a splash this offseason at this position, signing Jackson away from the Eagles, re-signing Moss for a one-year deal, signing Arizona Cardinals receiver Andre Roberts, and getting rookies Ryan Grant (Tulane), Lee Doss (Southern), Rashad Lawrence (Northwestern) and Cody Hoffman (BYU). The first three players are a given to make the team; Moss may join due to his veteran leadership capabilities. The surprise will be that fifth/sixth receiver. Coach Jay Gruden raves about rookie Ryan Grant, and he may make the roster. Hankerson may be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, as he is recovering from a torn ACL suffered late last season. The other rookie receivers are just camp bodies and thus have a small chance of not being cut.

Tight End (3): Jordan Reed (Starter); Logan Paulsen; Ted Bolser (R)

Here is where it gets interesting. Reed is the starter, and Paulsen is the blocking TE for the team. I would not be surprised if Bolster, the rookie drafted out of Indiana, outshines incumbent backup Niles Paul. We will need a maximum of 3 TEs with the number of wide receivers on the roster, which is why the backup pass catching TE spot will be up for grabs.

Left Tackle (1): Trent Williams (Starter)

No questions here.

Left Guard (2): Shawn Lauvao (Starter); Spencer Long (R);

Lauvao was signed from the Cleveland Browns during the free-agency period for a four-year, $17 million deal during free-agency; starter money for the Redskins. Long, a rookie from Nebraska, will be the replacement LG.

Center (1): Kory Lichtensteiger (Starter)

Like the LT position, there is only one slot, and no backup on the roster, other than Camp body Tevita Stevens, a second-year player from Utah.

Right Guard (2): Mike McGlynn (Starter); Adam Gettis

The previous starter last season at the Right Guard position, Chris Chester, could be a salary cap casualty, as the team can save $2.6 million by releasing Chester. In comes ex-Indianapolis Colt, Mike McGlynn, who started 14 games for the Colts last season.

Right Tackle (3): Tyler Polumbus (Starter); Morgan Moses (R); Tom Compton

This may be the one position where there is no guaranteed starting position slot. Highly touted Morgan Moses, out of Virginia, could beat incumbent Tyler Polumbus. Both, especially Moses, are going to make the roster. The question is, who will win the job after Training Camp and the preseason games?

Defensive End (5): Jason Hatcher (Starter); Jarvis Jenkins (Starter); Kedric Golston; Stephen Bowen; Clifton Geathers

The Redskins signed former Cowboy Jason Hatcher in the offseason, and he will line up at one end; the other end will be Redskins fan-favorite, Jarvis Jenkins. Veterans Golston, Geathers and Bowen will back-up both players.

Defensive Tackle (3): Barry Cofield (Starter); Chris Baker; Chris Neild

This position remains unchanged from last season, and I do not expect any change soon.

Left Outside Linebacker (3): Ryan Kerrigan (Starter); Trent Murphy (R); Adam Hayward

Ryan Kerrigan Sack on Alex Smith

Ryan Kerrigan Sack on Alex Smith

Kerrigan looks to remain that dominant left pass-rushing force for the Redskins, and the team drafted standout Stanford LB Trent Murphy. Hayward will be used primarily on special teams and as an emergency backup and starter.

Middle Linebacker (4): Perry Riley (Starter); Keenan Robinson (Starter); Darryl Sharpton; Akeem Jordan

After an injury-filled two seasons with the Redskins, Keenan Robinson will look to fill the void of the great London Fletcher, who retired after last season. Darryl Sharpton, a free-agent signee from the Houston Texans, as well as former Kansas City Chief Akeem Jordan, will be the veteran backups and special teams players for a team that desperately needs ST help after a disastrous last season.

Right Outside Linebacker (3): Brian Orakpo (Starter); Rob Jackson; Brandon Jenkins

Orakpo Strip of Peyton Manning

Orakpo Strip of Peyton Manning

Like the DT position, the depth here is identical to that of a season ago. Look for it to remain the same in September.

Cornerback (4): DeAngelo Hall (Starter); David Amerson (Starter); Tracy Porter; Bashaud Breeland (R)

DeAngelo Hall Rip-and-Pick

DeAngelo Hall Rip-and-Pick was one of the highlights of the season

Second-year player David Amerson will look to fill the position current Atlanta Falcon and former Maryland Terrapin Josh Wilson was at last season - the second cornerback spot. Porter brings that veteran backup presence that was needed last season, and Breeland will need a year or so of grooming, as he is only a rookie.

Strong Safety (2): Brandon Meriweather (starter); Bacarri Rambo

After a rough rookie year, Rambo will try to bounce-back and be the franchise SS for seasons to come for the Redskins.

Free Safety (2): Ryan Clark (Starter); Phillip Thomas

Phillip Thomas did not see the field last season during his rookie year, as he suffered a left foot injury that sidelined him for the entire season. Former Redskin Ryan Clark returns to the team (another defensive veteran presence), and will hold the fort until Thomas is fully healthy.

Punter (1): Robert Malone (R)

After a terrible season for Sav Rocca, he was cut and in comes rookie Robert Malone (No pressure!). This spot is up for grabs - if Malone plays poorly in Training Camp and/or during preseason games, look for the Redskins to sign a Free Agent punter, like former New England Patriot, Zoltan Mesko.

Kicker (1): Zach Hocker (R)

The knack against incumbent Kai Forbath was his short kickoffs, which allowed opposing teams to have better field position than average. In comes rookie Arkansas Razorback Zach Hocker. He has a bigger leg (figuratively, not literally), so look for him to beat out Forbath over the next two months.


So, those are my predictions at the 53-man roster. I'll re-visit this list once the final cut-down list is announced sometime in late August/early September.

You can follow me on Twitter at @Skinsballr

next up:

Redskins Player Profile: Santana Moss

July 10, 2014

One of the franchise greats facing an uphill battle to crack the 53-man roster.


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