With NFL training camps starting to kick off and just over a week before they close up as the preseason gets into full swing, this is the time where we can start taking legitimate looks at the possible and probable 53-man rosters around the league. Redskins training camp has closed the books on day four so far, and with 11 days left, there are already some roster spots seemingly locked down by surprise guys earlier than expected. Here’s your look into the Redskins 53-man roster prediction.
*Note* Ordering is based on the predicted depth chart.
Quarterback: Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins
One of the hardest positions to infer about right off the bat. Case Keenum is the veteran with over 50 NFL starts and the tools to be able to do for Washington what Alex Smith did for them last year. Despite Haskins cut and dry having the most talent in the QB room, week 1 does not seem to be like a legitimate shot for him as it currently stands.
Runningback: Derrius Guice, Adrian Peterson, Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson (3DRB)
Guice has the admiration and attention of Redskins fans early. His college tape and the small sample size from last years preseason coupled with his smooth recovery shows us that he has no reason not to take RB1 and run with it (no pun intended of course). Peterson is a future HoF RB who can still embarrass defenders and should split some carries with Guice. Perine is a good insurance back and Chris Thompson when healthy is a very dangerous and dynamic weapon in space.
Wide Reciever: Paul Richardson, Josh Doctson, Trey Quinn, Terry McLaurin, Cam Sims, Kelvin Harmon
One of the thinnest and weakest WR corps in the NFL in 2018 resided in Washington. With a few guys returning from injury and a couple of exciting rookies, this group is on route to becoming much improved in 2019. Paul Richardson takes tops off the defenses as WR1, and Doctson gets one last shot in DC on the last year of his contract. Trey Quinn is already a lock to replace Crowder in the slot, athletic freaks Terry McLaurin and Cam Sims look to add some punch and explosiveness, and rookie Kelvin Harmon looks to be an upgraded version of Josh Doctson either this year or next.
Tight End: Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle
Finally, an easy prediction. The tight end group should remain unchanged from last season. It’ll be headed by Jordan Reed in what should be his first legitimately healthy season since his dangerous 2015 campaign. Vernon Davis sits on the wrong side of 30 years old but still burns through defensive backs in their early 20s like it’s nothing, and Jeremy Sprinkle provides them with a more than solid pass blocking TE who can sneak out in some passing packages.
Offensive Tackle: Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Donald Penn, Geron Christian
Despite rumors, most people who are close to the Redskins will almost guarantee you that Trent Williams won’t hold out into the season. The Skins should have their All-Pro left tackle ready by week 1. On the right side is a very solid RT in Moses, and backing them up is veteran Donald Penn and last year’s 3rd-round pick Geron Christian.
Interior Offensive Line: Brandon Scherff, Chase Roullier, Wes Martin, Ross Pierschbacher, Tyler Catalina.
One of the best guards in the NFL Brandon Scherff will head the interior of the line along with 3rd-year center Chase Roullier. The left guard position has been a very weak position for Washington for a few years now, and rookie Wes Martin looks to end that streak. Pierschbacher provides even more depth with the ability to play guard and center. Tyler Catalina gives Washington the last bit of depth for the line on the inside.
Defensive End: Matt Ioannidis, Jonathan Allen, Caleb Brantley, JoJo Wicker
The front seven of the Redskins for the beginning part of the millennia was consistently rather weak. In the last couple of years, it has become one of the best in the NFL. A big reason for this is the brutish philosophy defensive ends Ioannidis and Allen have brought to DC. Caleb Brantley was a name tied to Washington last year and he’ll likely get some real snaps this season as the 3rd DE. JoJo Wicker caps it off in a surprise roster move.
Defensive Tackle: Daron Payne, Tim Settle
Daron Payne played at an elite level in the first half of last season, and despite a dropoff, he will 100% return as DT1 and create nightmares for opposing running backs and quarterbacks. Tim Settle has lost some weight and is now truly ready to take over that backup/sub DT roll.
Outside Linebacker: Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat, Ryan Anderson, Casanova McKinzy, Jordan Brailford
Kerrigan kicks off the season as the Redskins best defensive player once again, and lining up on the other side of the defense this year will be rookie Montez Sweat. Ryan Anderson made a leap in year 2 and was a solid player during his chances last year. McKinzy receives a lot of praise from HC Jay Gruden, and usually, the under the radar guys that get as much praise as McKinzy has from Gruden make the roster. Rookie Jordan Brailford sits at the bottom to seal off the OLB position.
Inside Linebacker: Jon Bostic, Shaun Dion-Hamilton, Cole Holcomb, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Marquis Flowers
The Redskins made the dense decision to cut ties with stud ILB Zach Brown early after the 2018 season and recently released veteran Mason Foster. These moves show their confidence in the young guys. While the loss of Reuben Foster hurts, it opened the door for veteran journeyman Jon Bostic who has turned heads in the building very quickly. Next to Bostic is a renewed and healthy Shaun Dion-Hamilton who was a real anchor for Alabama’s defense for years. The new Tarheels product named Cole Holcomb sits just below the starters and will likely get a good amount of chances to show in-game what he’s shown so far in training camp. Young guns Harvey-Clemons and Flowers bolster the end of the inside linebacking group.
Cornerback: Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jimmy Moreland, Greg Stroman
Veteran Josh Norman holds the CB1 job once again and last years early season star Quinton Dunbar hopes to get his form back after rehabbing his injured shin. Rodgers-Cromartie should get the call first if either Norman or Dunbar go down as he sits at CB3 on the depth chart. The Redskins 7th-round darling Jimmy Moreland has been taking reps with the ones in the slot during camp, and he’s so far done enough to make everyone in the building believe he can do the same in a real regular-season game. Fabian Moreau is poised for a leap in production, but he might be buried behind too much talent to get a lot of reps. The only one lower than him on the depth chart is last years 7th-round darling who had opportunities to prove he belonged last season that should gift him a spot on the 53-man once again this year.
Safety: Landon Collins, Montae Nicholson, Troy Apke, Deshazor Everett
Landon Collins hopes to return to 2016 level in his first year as Washington’s starting SS and Montae Nicholson will look to use his athletic tools to replace the great production of former FS DJ Swearinger. Troy Apke’s athleticism has only gotten freakier since last year, but his lack of game sense will prevent him from taking starting reps. Apke and Everett provide good depth to the safety group that could step up big if called upon.
Special Teams: Nick Sundberg returns for his 3,814th season as Redskins long snapper. A capable kicker with a strong leg that goes by “Dustin Hopkins” remains their kicker, and the biggest snub from last years Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams Tress Way is locked and loaded to become the NFL’s best punter once again.
With all the news that has come out of Redskins park so far, this looks like the best early bet for their 53-man roster. Returning veterans and exciting young guys who are finally ready to get their chance will join forces in attempts to shock the league and legitimately compete for a playoff spot in 2019.