Deciphering the Redskins' depth chart - August 10
Redskins Insider JP Finlay and Rich Tandler break down Washington's first depth chart of the preseason, including what's set in stone and what could change.
WR: Pierre Garçon, Rashad Ross, Jarvis Turner, Kendal Thompson
WR: DeSean Jackson, Maurice Harris, Reggie Diggs, Dez Stewart
WR: Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant, Valdez Showers, T.J. Thorp
Tandler: They did not include Josh Doctson, who is on the PUP list, on this chart so some of the rookie receivers moved up a notch. That would include Harris, who has drawn some buzz in camp. Many observers think that if any of the undrafted rookies make the 53-man roster Harris has the best shot.
Finlay: Harris has looked good in camp, and is the type of player that could make some plays in preseason and become a fan favorite. But he still faces long odds for the roster. It's hard to imagine Doctson opens the regular season on the PUP, which would mean he is out til Week 6.
TE: Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen, Marcel Jensen
Tandler: Once the Redskins signed Davis and brought back Paulsen this was pretty well etched in stone. Well, until Derek Carrier comes back from the PUP list, which could happen as early as next week. That will have him and Paulsen battling it our for that last TE roster spot.
Finlay: Barring injury, the depth chart isn't going to change. Reed, Davis and Paul will make the roster. Unlike Tandler, I dont think the Skins carry 4 TEs.
RB: Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, Keith Marshall, Mack Brown, Robert Kelley, Kelsey Young, Joe Kerridge (FB)
Tandler: This has puzzled me all offseason. I don’t see a running back behind Matt Jones who is capable of carrying to load if Jones gets banged up and misses a game or two.
Finlay: Keith Marshall had a strong finish to training camp, and has the chance to prove he can be Jones' backup in preseason. The story with Marshall, however, has always been health. If he can stay off the injury list will go a long way towards his productivity. So Jones and Thompson are locks, I like Marshall as the backup RB, and then a 4th runner that isn't on the roster yet will emerge.
QB: Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld
Tandler: No quarterback controversy here, at least not at the top of the depth chart. Only question seems to be if Sudfeld will be on the 53-man roster or the practice squad.
Finlay: For once, my thoughts and Tandler's are aligned.
LT: Trent Williams, Ty Nsekhe, Kevin Bowen
LG: Spencer Long, Shawn Lauvao, Arie Kouandjio, Cody Booth
C: Kory Lichtensteiger, Spencer Long OR Josh LeRibeus, Austin Reiter
RG: Brandon Scherff, Josh LeRibeus, Nila Kisitati
RT: Morgan Moses, Takoby Cofield, Al Bond, Isiah Williams
Tandler: Although Gruden has expressed regret over not having a true backup center for when Lichtensteiger was out last year it looks like they will go the same route this year, with a guard trained to fill in at center. That isn’t the ideal way to do it but roster limits can force compromises that a coach would rather not make.
Finlay: The offensive line is set, barring injuries. The only thing this depth chart doesn't reflect is that by Week 1 against the Steelers, Lauvao will be back at left guard. He has looked dominant in camp drills since his return from the PUP list.
LDE: Ricky Jean Francois OR Kendall Reyes, Corey Crawford, Anthony Lanier II
NT: Kedric Golston, Matt Ioannidis, Jerrell Powe
RDE: Chris Baker, Stephen Paea, Ziggy Hood
Tandler: It’s good to see Francois get an (unofficial) nod for his hard work and winning attitude. Last year it seemed that every time he was in the game he made a play. The disappointment is Paea, although I suspect he will muscle his way into substantial playing time (literally; the guy is powerful) even if he doesn’t start.
Finlay: This is perhaps the hardest position group to get a read on, and some of that is by design since the D-line rotates so much. Baker is the standout and will play the most, and François has impressed when he gets on the field. Like Tandler, I think Paea could have a bounce back season. Ziggy Hood has also made plays in camp and will get a chance to earn more playing time this fall.
SLB: Preston Smith, Trent Murphy, Houston Bates, Ejiro Ederaine OR Lynden Trail OR Shiro Davis
WLB: Ryan Kerrigan, Willie Jefferson, Mike Wakefield
Mike LB: Will Compton, Martrell Spaight, Carlos Fields
Moe LB: Mason Foster, Perry Riley Jr. OR Su’a Cravens, Terence Garvin
Tandler: The surprise when this came out was the move of Murphy back to linebacker. That was made official by Gruden later in the day. It makes sense given the lack of experience at OLB and the logjam of good players on the D-line.
Finlay: At least early, I think Trent Murphy plays before Bates or Jefferson. Murph may lack explosiveness, but he knows the system and is dependable. Spaight is also showing coaches a lot in camp, and it wouldn't shock me if he pushes Foster or Riley for playing time next to Compton. Su'a Cravens is the real wildcard; look for him on the field A LOT when the 'Skins get into nickel and dime packages.
CB: Bashaud Breeland, Greg Toler, Dashaun Phillips, Lloyd Carrington
CB: Josh Norman, Kendall Fuller OR Quinton Dunbar, Jeremy Harris, Mariel Cooper
SS: David Bruton Jr., Duke Ihenacho, Geno Mathias-Smith
FS: DeAngelo Hall, Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett
Tandler: They don’t list a slot corner, which essentially is a starting position. While many think that the job will ultimately go to Fuller, the third-round pick, Phillips is giving him a run for his money.
Finlay: With Doctson on the PUP list, the corner group is probably the best unit on the team. Breeland and Norman are stars, while Fuller, Toler and Phillips look like strong secondary options. And we haven't even mentioned Quinton Dunbar, who played well for the Skins in a converted role last season. Bruton has cemented himself as the starting strong safety over Ihenacho, one position battle some folks thought would be more interesting.
P: Tress Way
K: Dustin Hopkins
H: Tress Way
LS: Nick Sundberg
KOR: Rashad Ross, Chris Thompson, Keith Marshall
PR: Jamison Crowder, Will Blackmon, Rashad Ross
Tandler: Not even token competition was brought in for Way, Hopkins, and Sundberg. There could be challenges at the returner positions; preseason games will go a long way towards sorting that out.
Finlay: Hopkins has looked great in camp; huge leg and accurate. The rest of the depth chart looks right, but it will be interesting to watch punt returns with Crowder not playing against the Falcons in the preseason opener.