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Who are the locks to make the Redskins' 53?

Who are the locks to make the Redskins' 53?

The Redskins will report to training camp on Wednesday with 90 players on the roster. One of the biggest jobs the coaching staff will have is to determine who will be on the 53-man roster when the season starts.

We all know, however, that there are not 53 jobs up for grabs. Some players are locks to be on the roster when the season starts on Sept. 7 in Houston, barring injury or other unforeseen circumstances. How many players are locks and how many roster spots are really at stake? Let’s take a look:

Offense (16): OL Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Kory Lichtensteiger; WR Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts; QB Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins; RB Alfred Morris, Roy Helu, Darrel Young; TE Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul

Some will want to debate a few of these such as Young and Paul. But I’ve heard that Young is a lock despite Gruden’s history of not always keeping a fullback on the roster in Cincinnati and with the team trying to revive the special teams units Paul isn’t going anywhere. I could have put Tyler Polumbus as a lock but he’s more like 95 percent certain to be on the 53; If Moses can come on like gangbusters, the organization could decide that Polumbus’ $2.5 million salary is too much for a backup.

Defense (15): DL Jason Hatcher, Chris Baker, Barry Cofield; LB Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley; CB DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tracy Porter, Bashaud Breeland; S Brandon Meriweather, Ryan Clark, Phillip Thomas

The only possible question mark is Breeland but I don’t see them exposing their fourth-round pick to waivers in an effort to get him on the practice squad. Free agent linebackers Spencer Hayward, Akeem Jordan, and Darryl Sharpton are in the 95 percent category but there is a possibility that there won’t be room for one of the three.

I’m not prepared to call any of the six specialists locks. Long snapper Nick Sundberg is the closest but the organization might look at the fact that he has spent a total of 19 games on injured reserve the past two years and go with Kyle Nelson. While Kai Forbath and Robert Malone are solid favorites at kicker and punter, respectively, neither is a lock.

With a total of 31 roster locks, 22 jobs are legitimately up for grabs between now and when final cuts are made on August 30. The competition will be fierce and it gets underway on Thursday.

Did I miss any players you think are locks? Anyone listed not a lock in your opinion? Let me know in the comments.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

There's still time to vote on this one:

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

Just before training camp, I took a stab at figuring out who on the Redskins roster would still be with the team and contributing in the year 2020. Now that the season is over, let’s revisit that look, move it up to 2021, and see how much the picture has changed. The offense is up today, the defense later this week.

The terms used here are mostly self-explanatory. If you want details you can look at this post from a couple of years ago.   

Offense (age as of Week 1 2021)

Potential blue-chip players: Brandon Scherff (29), Morgan Moses (30)
Changes from last prediction: Moses added, removed Trent Williams (33), Jordan Reed (31)

Scherff and Moses both are two young players who should get better with more experience. The right side of the line will be in good hands assuming the Redskins will be able to re-sign Scherff, who will be a free agent following the 2019 season.

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Williams will be 33 in 2021. He can play at a very high level at that age but I think he will be just below the perennial Pro Bowl status he enjoys now. Although I think that the Redskins can still get some good play out of Reed in the next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine him staying productive into his 30’s. He is under contract through 2021 but it’s hard to see him playing in Washington past 2020.

Solid starters: Jamison Crowder (28), Josh Doctson (27), Chris Thompson (30), Williams
Changes: Doctson, Thompson, Williams added, Kirk Cousins (33), Terrelle Pryor (32), Moses removed.

I’m probably higher on Doctson than most. I don’t see him attaining All-Pro status or catching 100 passes in a season but his physical talent is so good that he will be a solid, productive receiver for the next several years. The Redskins will need to find a third receiver but they will have two good ones in Crowder and Doctson.

Third-down back isn’t technically a starting position but Thompson should still be contributing as much to the offense as many starters.

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I think that Cousins will be a solid starter somewhere in 2021 but it is not looking like it will be in Washington. Pryor obviously did not work out and he is very likely to be playing elsewhere next year.

Potential starters: Spencer Long (30), Rob Kelley (28), Samaje Perine (25), Chase Roullier (28)
Changes: Added Roullier, moved Doctson up

Long could be a fixture on the O-line in 2021 or he could be signed by a different team in March. I don’t think that Kelley or Perine will be workhorse backs but either or both could be a part of a tandem. Roullier could move up to the “solid starters” category if he can repeat what he did in a small sample size (7 starts) in 2017.

There are other players who could end up on these lists a year from now. But we haven’t seen enough of 2017 draft picks TE Jeremy Sprinkle or WR Robert Davis to offer an intelligent assessment of where their careers are headed. It’s the same with undrafted linemen Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis. They might not make the team in 2018 or they could be competing for starting jobs in 2019.

There also are reserves like Ryan Grant (30) and Ty Nsekhe (35) who still could be on the roster but who would only be spot starters.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.