On the latest Redskins Talk Podcast, they ranked each position from best to worst, excluding specialists (kicker, punter, long snapper). This is ONLY the previous production over projected rankings for the upcoming season. (I am not counting rookies as potential breakout candidates).
Here is my list from 1-10:
1. Interior Defensive Line: You can flip flop 1 and 2, but I think the combination of Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, and Tim Settle is one of the best combinations in the NFL. This group has had its ups and its downs, but this was under ex-Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky. This group’s best stretch was weeks 6 through 8 when they held Christian McCaffery, Ezekiel Elliott, and Saquon Barkley to under 100 yards combined. I fully expect this group to be a top 10, maybe even top 5 in the NFL.
Potential Breakout: Da’Ron Payne
2. Defensive End: I fully expect the DE group to be better than the IDL, but they haven’t played any games this season yet. With the addition of Chase Young to go along with Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat, this group has the potential to have anywhere from 30 to 35 sacks this season. Chase Young is projected to be this season’s DROY, possibly the best player on this year’s team.
Potential Breakout: Montez Sweat
ESPN’s Jim Nagy on Chase Young : “Double-digit sacks as a rookie I think is realistic.” pic.twitter.com/JM4uK6A2XY
— Jordan Asri (@wfteamjordan) June 8, 2020
3. Running Back: This year’s running back room is absolutely LOADED. With Adrian Peterson coming back this year as the team’s workhorse back, JD Mckissic and rookie Antonio Gibson as the swingbacks, and Derrius Guice and Bryce Love on the outside looking in due to health questions. Furthermore, with the addition of Peyton Barber, this running back room has room to be very, very good. I fully expect Adrian Peterson to lead the team in rushing attempts, and the combo between JD and Gibson will combine for about 1100 yards in both the passing in receiving game.
The biggest question is clearly Derrius Guice. Coming off another injury-prone year, Guice on the verge of being left out the rotation, possibly completely off the roster this time next year in case his health is up to par. He has the most ability of the bunch, but your best ability has to be your availability in the NFL.
Potential Breakout: JD Mckissic
4. Linebacker: The addition of Thomas Davis from the Chargers adds a veteran’s presence that the Redskins have lacked since the London Fletcher days. Cole Holcomb coming into Year Two is looking to build off a very good rookie year and has room to learn from one of the best ILB of this generation. Signing Kevin Pierre-Louis adds a very good special teams addition, and with Shaun Dion-Hamilton and Josh Harvey-Clemons, I think this group has a very good mixture of skillsets.
Potential Breakout: Cole Holcomb
5. Safety: Landon Collins is obviously the best safety on the team. Even though he’s the best, he still has a lot of room to improve, but you can also say the previous scheme did not fit his ability very well. Adding Sean Davis from the Steelers gives Washington a “thunder and lighting” safety combo with Davis’ speed and ability to play the ball well. He needs to improve his open-field tackling, but I think this combo can become one of the best in the NFC. Mixing in Special Teams captain Deshazor Everett and Troy Apke as depth pieces round out this core very nicely.
Potential Breakout: Sean Davis
6. Wide Receivers: Terry McLaurin had his breakout last year, falling 8 yards short of the franchise rookie yard record, but has proven himself to be one of the best young, upcoming young receivers in the league. Steven Sims Jr. is the lightning in a bottle as not only an offensive threat but also as a return man. Those around the organization believe Kelvin Harmon and Antonio Gandy-Golden can be the answer to the ‘Skins WR problems they’ve had since 2017.
Potential Breakout: Steven Sims Jr.
. @PFF Highest Graded Rookie WRs of the Decade:
— All-Pro Reels (@allproreels) June 10, 2020
7. Cornerback: They signed Kendall Fuller after trading him to Kansas City in the Alex Smith deal, and signed Ronald Darby from the Philadelphia Eagles. However, the biggest question is out of Jimmy Moreland and Fabian Moreau: who will take that step and become that corner that the Redskins need? Moreland has had a following since his big play in last year’s preseason but struggled a bit in the regular season. Moreau, who has been up and down since getting drafted, is going into the last year of his rookie deal. He showed promise when he was favored to start outside over Josh Norman instead of forcing him inside, where he tends to struggle more.
Potential Breakout: Fabian Moreau
8. Offensive Line: The offensive line is not what it was two years ago. With the departure of Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff has to do a lot of the heavy lifting in these position rankings. He’s the only accomplished member of this offensive line, but there is still a lot of potential with the left side of the line featuring guys like Cornelius Lucas, Wes Martin, and Saahdiq Charles.
Potential Breakout: Chase Roullier
9. Quarterback: Dwayne Haskins Jr. goes into a season as the projected starter and he can finally just focus on his craft, letting his play do the talking instead of those around him. He started off rough last year, throwing 5 INTs before tossing any TDs. But he turned it around in his last three starts, tossing 5 TDs to 1 INT with a 67% completion percentage. He had a good ending to his rookie season outside of the ankle injury, but he has room to grow, and the coaching staff believes in him, so if they see him putting in the work, he’s poised for a breakout sophomore campaign.
— NFL Film Review (@NFLFilmReview) June 8, 2020
10. Tight Ends: By far the least productive TE core in the NFL, everyone on this team has no significant production in the last three years. They all combine for 197 receptions, 1888 yards, and 19 TDs, with the majority of these coming from Richard Rodgers. They signed UDFA Thaddeus Moss out of LSU who is coming off a foot surgery that caused him to go undrafted.
Potential Breakout: Richard Rodgers