After each ranking the Redskins' position groups on a list that went from worst to best, JP Finlay and Pete Hailey will now spend the rest of the week and weekend delving deeper into every spot on the roster.
Next up is one that could produce one of the better competitions of the offseason, and hopefully, one of the better collections of talent: Running back.
Currently on the depth chart: Adrian Peterson, Derris Guice, JD McKissic, Peyton Barber, Antonio Gibson, Bryce Love, Josh Ferguson
Who's in charge?: Randy Jordan (16 years of NFL experience, has been with the team in this role since 2014)
Running back figures to be by far the most reliable unit on the offense in 2020, but there's still some intrigue as to who'll actually be lining up in the backfield for Washington when the action begins.
Adrian Peterson and Derris Guice should be safe. JD McKissic should be, too. Antonio Gibson, meanwhile, will be.
How does Peyton Barber impact the depth chart, though, if at all? What is Bryce Love's status? And could any of the veterans mentioned above, well, end up elsewhere instead of here?
Maybe the supposed competition at RB isn't much of one, or maybe it turns into a heated battle. Either way, coach Randy Jordan should find himself with plenty of options when September finally rolls around.
PAST POSITION EVALS: TIGHT END | CORNERBACK | O-LINE | QUARTERBACK | LINEBACKER | WIDE RECEIVER | SAFETY
* Let's start with running back coach Randy Jordan, one of the few holdovers from Jay Gruden's staff and somebody that all the players on the team like. Jordan pushes his guys hard, but also makes them laugh. He's an assett and Ron Rivera saw it.
* Health will determine how this group shakes out. Guice will be RB1 if he can get back on the field, and more importantly, stay on the field. In two years, Guice has played in just five games and has now had multiple surgeries on both knees. He has serious talent, elite even, but needs to stay on the field. Rivera didn't draft Guice and that could matter if the talented 22-year-old struggles to get healthy. But, man, the potential. Guice isn't even 23 yet.
* Looking at the 53-man roster, the Redskins will have to make a decision about keeping five running backs or 10 offensive linemen. Unfortunately for the RBs, I think they'll keep 10 o-linemen. That means only four backs, and it could shake out something like this. Peterson is on the roster, and then if Guice is healthy, he's on the roster too. That gives the Redskins two traditional runners that can get carries on first and second down. Then the air back -- or third-down back in a more traditional setting -- will be JD McKissic and Antonio Gibson. That leaves Peyton Barber the odd man out, but in many ways, he's insurance if Guice can't get healthy. Barber is a traditional running back in the most old-fashioned sense.
* I get asked about Bryce Love all the time, and while I hope the best for the former Stanford star, he's not a part of my 2020 projections. That's the harsh business of the NFL. If, or when, Love gets back on the practice field, he could absolutely have a role in this offense, but until that happens, the new Redskins coaching staff that did not draft Love will be planning without him.
* Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner loves throwing the ball to his running backs, and while too many comparisons invoke Christian McCaffrey, the Redskins don't have a talent like McCaffrey. That said, both McKissic and Gibson have played receiver in college and will get plenty of passes their way.
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*Peterson is going to go into the Hall of Fame as a Viking, as he should. He'll be remembered for the rest of time as a Viking, as he should. But if the 35-year-old can put together another solid season, tickle 1,000 yards again and break more all-time records with the Redskins, his stint with the team will be more than just a footnote when people look back on his career. There's going to be a fair amount of Burgundy and Gold in his highlight tapes, which is a testament to how he's finishing his time in the NFL. He's not a fading legend who's merely tacking on a couple of extra milestones before retiring; instead, he's a legend who's still performing like one, and more people need to fully appreciate that.
*Will Gibson take more handoffs or haul in more passes in 2020? That's a fun prop bet and one I'm definitely going to pose at some point to JP and Mitch on Redskins Talk. Right now, I'm leaning toward him being more involved in the air. I bet the split ends up being fairly close like it was at Memphis last year, where it was 38/33 in favor of receptions. But overall, the backfield is just too crowded for me to see him truly chipping in there. I think he'll be best on drag routes, screens and checkdowns, and that's how Scott Turner will ultimately feature him.
*I'm going to miss Chris Thompson. He was a critical player for Washington and an amazing person. I hope he wins 10 Super Bowls before exiting the league. However, I do think McKissic can serve as an adequate, and perhaps even more than adequate, Thompson replacement. It remains to be seen how the ex-Lion holds up in pass protection -- that was where Thompson really separated himself, even though he was much smaller than the guys he was blocking -- but McKissic carried the ball 38 times and averaged 5.4 yards per attempt in 2019, while also adding 34 catches. McKissic may be here on a cheap deal, but I expect him to have a sizable role in the offense.
*Love was such a beast in college and just so damn fast. I have nothing more to say other than I hope he can be healthy and contend for a job with the Redskins. There is greatness inside of that kid for sure.
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