Redskins

Quick Links

Need to Know: Looking ahead at the Redskins' 2018 depth chart on offense

perine_vs_nyg_2_usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Looking ahead at the Redskins' 2018 depth chart on offense

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 15, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:05 p.m.; Jay Gruden news conference and open locker room after practice, approx. 2 p.m.

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 9
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 16
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 132

Redskins 2018 depth chart—offense

The one constant at Redskins Park is change. What will the Redskins’ depth chart look like in Week 1 in 2018? I’ll take a look into the crystal ball at the offense today; look for the defense sometime in the next few days.

Quarterback

Starter: Colt McCoy
Backup: Baker Mayfield (draft)

This could go in a lot of different directions. It’s certainly possible that Kirk Cousins will be back but I have a hard time seeing either a long-term deal or the Redskins biting the bullet on the $35 million franchise tag. Certainly, they could sign another veteran free agent as a placeholder and they could draft a different quarterback. But I think the veteran and early draft pick is the model.

Running back

Starter: Samaje Perine
Backups: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley

I think that there should be an upgrade here and perhaps if the right player falls into their lap in the draft they will jump. But history tells us they don’t value the position enough to invest a high pick or significant free agent dollars. If they don’t acquire anyone, it’s the status quo. It could work out if Perine takes the next step and Kelley stays healthy.

Tight end

Starter: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Jeremy Sprinkle

Reed will be back to give it another go in 2018. The question mark here is Paul, who is a free agent. It’s more likely than not that he’ll be back.

Wide receiver

Starters: Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant
Backups: Michael Gallup, Robert Davis, Brian Quick

Gallup is a productive receiver out of Colorado State who should be available in the second and maybe the third round. It may not be Gallup but I do think that the Redskins have to take a receiver sometime in their first 100 picks and start getting him in the system. That receiver eventually will push Grant back into being a backup. It’s also possible for Davis to develop enough to be the short-term starter.

Offensive line

Starters (left to right): Trent Williams, Spencer Long, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses
Backups: Ty Nsekhe, Tyler Catalina, Kyle Kalis, 1-2 free agents and draft picks

Roullier was playing well for Long at center before the rookie himself went on the injury list. If he resumes his solid play when he returns, the plan may be to keep him at center and re-sign Long, who is an unrestricted free agent, to play left guard. 

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.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

 

 

Quick Links

Need to Know: The best receivers the Redskins will face in 2018

julio_jones_usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The best receivers the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 17, nine days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best pass catchers the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the pass catchers are up. They are roughly ranked 2017 receiving yards, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teams and quarterbacks

Julio Jones, Falcons—Somehow the perception is that he had an off year in 2017 even though he still had 1,444 yards receiving. His touchdowns were down; his total of three TDs was a career worst for a full season. Still, he’s a beast to try to cover and even if you have him perfectly covered he can still make the catch on you. 

DeAndre Hopkins, Texans—Despite working with some shaky quarterbacks, Hopkins has managed to gain over 1,100 receiving yards in three of the last four seasons. He is a highlight show regular and his 13 touchdowns led the league in 2017. 

Michael Thomas, Saints—The third-year player doesn’t have high name recognition outside of New Orleans and maybe fans of the other NFC South teams. Defensive coordinators certainly don’t sleep on him. Thomas is as consistent as they come, posting nine games with 80 or more receiving yards last season. 

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals—I keep wondering when he will show signs of his age (he’ll be 35 before the season starts). He didn’t last year, posting 109 receptions despite the fact that his quarterbacks were an aging Carson Palmer plus journeymen Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton. 

Mike Evans, Buccaneers—At 6-5, he is able to physically beat most cornerbacks. Evans will turn 25 just before the season starts and he got a five-year, $82.5 million contract extension. He is worth every bit of it. If Jameis Winston gets a big contract (something that is up in the air right now), he owes a good chunk of it to Evans. 

Best of the rest: T.Y. Hilton, Colts; Davante Adams, Packers; Alvin Kamara (RB), Saints; Zach Ertz (TE), Eagles

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

Tandler on Instagram

Post is up on RealRedskins.com #Redskins

A post shared by Rich Tandler (@richtandler) on

Timeline 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 9
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 23
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 46

The Redskins last played a game 198 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 54 days. 

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Redskins 2018 position outlook: Defensive line

redkins_d-line_vs_sd_usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

Redskins 2018 position outlook: Defensive line

Redskins 2018 position outlook: Defensive line

Training camp opens next week, and we have a break here, giving us time to put the depth chart under the microscope. Over the coming week, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

Defensive line

Additions: Daron Payne (drafted in first round), Tim Settle (drafted in fifth round)
Departures: Terrell McClain (released)

Starters: Payne (NT), Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis
Other roster locks: Stacy McGee, Anthony Lanier, Settle
On the bubble: Ziggy Hood, Phil Taylor

How the defensive line compares

To the rest of the NFL: We are going to have to see about this. Over the last couple of years the D-line has been transformed from an aging group into one where youth is in good supply. Ioannidis is the oldest of the starters at age 24. Allen is 23 and Payne just turned 21 in May. It looks like there is great potential there but we haven’t seen enough of it on the field to make solid comparisons to other lines around the league. Allen missed 10 games of his rookie year with an injury and Ioannidis missed two and was hampered in a few more with a broken hand. Payne, of course, is a rookie. Let’s check back in late October and see how things are going then. 

To the 2017 Redskins:  The primary reason that the line should be significantly better this year is the presence of Payne and Settle on the roster. That means that it is very unlikely that Hood will have to play nose tackle. He has been the starter there for the past two years, forced there by injuries. Jim Tomsula that Hood is not well suited to play the nose. So they have an improvement there. If they get a mostly healthy season out of Allen and if Ioannidis continue to improve this will be the best defensive line they have had since moving to the 3-4 defensive in 2010. 

2018 outlook

Biggest upside: As noted, Payne just turned 21. He seems to have a rare understanding of the game for a rookie. You often see rookies just trying to survive on physical ability early one. Payne has plenty of that, but he also seems to realize that strength and ability alone won’t let him thrive at this level. He pays close attention to his technique during drills, making sure he does things the right way the first time. If he builds on this for the next year or so the Redskins could have a legitimate star. 

Most to prove: Since so many Redskins fans are accustomed to seeing veteran defensive linemen the team signs as free agents play poorly, they automatically put McGee in the “bust” category. But many of his teammates said he was the most consistent player on the line last year. It’s safe to say that he played better than the popular perception. Next year, he will carry a $4.8 million salary cap number and like most players who are not starters but making good salaries, he will need to play well enough to justify that cap number.  

Rookie watch: The Redskins did not expect Settle to be available in the fifth round and he was too good to pass up when he was still on the board. He should get some opportunity as a rookie. He is likely to be the only other nose tackle on the roster besides Payne (sorry, but the numbers make it unlikely that Phil Taylor will make the roster). That could have him active on many game days and that usually means getting some snaps in the rotation. We will see what he can do with his chances. 

Bottom line: The Redskins were last in the league in rushing defense in 2017. It wasn’t all on the line—in particular, injuries to the inside linebackers hurt a lot—but the simple fact is that the organization long neglected the line. The philosophy was to create a patchwork unit from aging free agents. That has changed now with three homegrown players set to start and Settle and 2016 undrafted free agent find Anthony Lanier providing reserve help. It’s going to be a better unit, no question. But improvement over the last several years is a low bar and we’ll find out if this develops into a quality line over the next few months. 

Quote-unquote

Greg Manusky on Payne:

Payne is doing a great job. He’s trying to get acclimated to some of the calls, hasn’t had a lot of mental errors. He’s done a great job. Physical player.

2018 position outlook series

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