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Redskins pre-draft depth chart review: Offense

Redskins pre-draft depth chart review: Offense

The Redskins’ depth chart is beginning to take shape after some free agency gains and losses. Let’s take a look at where they stand on each side of the ball, starting with the offense.

Starters are listed first, reserves roughly in the order they would appear on a depth chart.

Quarterback: Kirk Cousins
Reserve: Colt McCoy

They will look to add one in the draft or perhaps as an undrafted free agent. When it comes down to cutting the roster to the final 53 the decision will be whether they should keep their developmental quarterback on the roster or if they should try to carry him on the practice squad.

Tackle: Morgan Moses, Trent Williams
Reserves: Ty Nsekhe, Takoby Cofield

Nsekhe was the primary backup last year, filling in for both Williams and Moses when dealt with injuries. Tom Compton, who mostly played as an extra tight end last year, has departed to join Kyle Shanahan with the Falcons. That could open the door for Cofield, who was on the practice squad all of last year, to step into a reserve role. They will need to bring in two or three more for OTAs and training camp.

Guard: Brandon Scherff, Spencer Long
Reserves: Arie Kouandjio, Shawn Lauvao

The question mark here is Lauvao, who is recovering from a Week 3 injury to his ankle. He’s almost certainly out for OTAs and his status for training camp and perhaps the start of the regular season are in doubt. They will need someone to fill in for him and a couple of others for the offseason.

Center: Kory Lichtensteiger
Reserves: Josh LeRibeus, Austin Reiter

Lichtensteiger started and finished the season at center with LeRibeus starting 11 games when Lichtensteiger was out with a neck injury. Reiter, a seventh-round pick last year, was on the practice squad most of the season. It would not be shocking to see any of the three starting this year.

Wide receiver: Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder
Reserves: Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross, Andre Roberts, LaRon Byrd

It seems likely that Roberts will get released at some point after he is cleared from the knee injury that landed him on injured reserve for the final six weeks of last season. They likely will to into OTAs with 10-12 receivers so they will probably sign a few more whether or not they draft one.

Tight end: Jordan Reed
Reserves: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen, Derek Carrier, Marcel Jensen

Carrier is likely to be sidelined into training camp after suffering a torn ACL in December. The Redskins could carry four tight ends on the 53-man roster since they are going to go without a fullback. They might add one more before OTAs.

Running back: Matt Jones
Reserves: Chris Thompson, Silas Redd, Mack Brown

The three top backs are coming off of injuries. Jones had a procedure to repair a hip problem, Thompson had shoulder surgery, and Redd tore his ACL in a preseason game last year. They will want to go into OTAs with six or seven running backs, perhaps more. They will almost certainly will either draft one or sign a veteran free agent to team with Jones and add a few more camp bodies.

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2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

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USA Today Sports Images

2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

LOS ANGELES — Some years, the December talk is of playoff tiebreakers.

Other years, it’s about draft position.

This is one of those “other” years.

The Redskins’ current skid of four losses in their last five games has knocked them out of playoff contention but into more favorable position in the 2018 NFL Draft, which is scheduled to take place in late April.

The Redskins' record is 5-8 through Week 14,  and if the season ended today, Washington would be picking either 11th or 12th in the first round.

Here’s the big picture: As of Monday, there are eight teams that have fewer wins than Washington. All of them would be picking ahead of the Redskins. 

The Bengals and Jets also have eight losses so the one and only draft order tiebreaker would be applied.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

This does not work out well for the Redskins.

The NFL Draft tiebreaker is strength of schedule with the teams with the weaker schedules getting the better picks. I am sure you have heard about how tough a schedule the Redskins have all year long. It was a point of pride for many fans. But now it comes back to bite them.

The Jets (opponents winning percentage .488) and the Bengals (.444) have faced weaker schedules than the Redskins (.574). That pushes Washington back to 11th.

RELATED: FEW UPS, MANY DOWNS VS. CHARGERS

But there is a Week 14 game pending. The Dolphins, who have seven losses, play the Patriots on Monday Night Football. If they lose and join the eight-loss group, they would jump ahead of the Redskins based on the SOS tiebreaker, pushing Washington back to 12th.

Of course, the season doesn’t end today and a lot can happen.

But if the bottom doesn’t completely fall out it seems likely that they will end up somewhere between 10th and 12th in the first round.

We will be looking at what that might mean for the Redskins in the coming days and weeks as the offseason comes early for the Redskins one more time.

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NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

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USA Today Sports

NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

The NFC Playoff picture is no clearer in Week 14 than it was in Week 8.

Throughout the 2017-18 NFL season, the NFC in particular has been a gauntlet. So much of a gauntlet that one of the league’s best in the past five years, the Seattle Seahawks, sit outside of the postseason with an 8-5 record.

As of the conclusion of Week 14’s action, only the Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) have locked up a postseason spot.

The Eagles claimed the NFC East for the first time since 2013 with a win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The will clinch a first round bye with a win and losses by the Saints and the Panthers this weekend.

The Minnesota Vikings (10-3) with their loss remains second in the conference, still within striking range over the overall No. 1 seed.

With losses to the two teams ahead of them, the Rams (9-4) have a tough hill to climb to claim a first-round bye, but first they need to get back in the win column.

For the WildCard berths there was a wrench thrown into many teams plans with the Atlanta Falcons (8-5) defeating the New Orleans Saints (9-4) on Thursday night. Atlanta owns a tiebreaker over pretty much every team chasing them for the final playoff spot.

For the five remaining unclaimed spots in the postseason, 10 teams are still alive.

After Week 15 though, that number could dwindle down significantly.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

NFC Playoff Picture Week 15

NFC PLAYOFF BRACKET PROJECTION:
— #1 Philadelphia Eagles* (11-2) vs. BYE
— #2 Minnesota Vikings (10-3) vs. BYE
— #3 Los Angeles Rams (9-4) vs. #6 Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
— #4 New Orleans Saints (9-4) vs. #5 Carolina Panthers (9-4)

NFC TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT:
— Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
— Detroit Lions (7-6)
— Green Bay Packers (7-6)
— Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
— Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

NFC TEAMS ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF PICTURE:
— Washington Redskins (5-8)
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)
— Chicago Bears (4-9)
— San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
— New York Giants (2-11)

SEEDING NOTES:
— Eagles own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Panthers.
— Vikings own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Saints, and Falcons.
— Saints own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Panthers.
— Rams own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints.
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Vikings.

WILD CARD NOTES:
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions.
— Falcons own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions, Packers, Cowboys, and Seahawks.
— Lions own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
— Packers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seahawks, Cowboys.
— Cowboys own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.

Week 15 NFC Games With Playoff Implications:

Sat., Dec 16: Bears at Lions (4:30 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Bengals at Vikings (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Jets at Saints (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Eagles at Giants (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cardinals at Redskins (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Panthers at Packers (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Rams at Seahawks (4:05 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cowboys at Raiders (8:30 p.m.)
Mon., Dec 18: Falcons at Buccaneers (8:30 p.m.)