A weakness for many seasons, the Redskins made a number of moves to strengthen their defensive backfield this offseason. During the last few months GM Scot McCloughan brought in safeties Jeron Johnson from Seattle and Dashon Goldson from Tampa, in addition to cornerback Chris Culliver from San Francisco. In the draft, McCloughan brought in more reinforcements for the secondary in safety Kyshoen Jarrett (6th round, Virginia Tech) and Tevin Mitchel (6th round, Arkansas).
That's a lot of new bodies for the Redskins secondary, and the influx of new players means some of the old will be released. It's just math. Who that will be is the better question.
The projected starting secondary will go Bashaud Breeland and Culliver at the corners, with Johnson and Goldson at the safeties. Assuming he's healthy by August, DeAngelo Hall will have a role as a reserve safety or third corner. There is also corner David Amerson, who stepped way back in his second season but played well as a rookie. Tracy Porter, a free agent signee last season by Bruce Allen who played very limited snaps due to a host of injuries, could be an odd man out.
Behind Johnson and Goldson, it's trickier to predict who stays in Washington. Trenton Robinson, Akeem Davis and Duke Ihenacho are guys that will flirt with the cut line, but Robinson and Davis have shown the ability to make plays and big hits, particularly on special teams. Ihenacho is a former starter on a strong Broncos defense. Philip Thomas, a draft pick of the Shanahan regime, has battled injury and poor play in his time with the 'Skins.
Special teams will be a key for secondary players to make the roster. It's logical to expect McCloughan wants to keep Jarrett and Mitchel, two players from his first draft with the 'Skins. And it's obvious that Breeland, Culliver, Johnson, Goldson make the roster. If healthy, Hall is on the obvious list, and Amerson would have to really struggle throughout the summer to inch toward the cut line.
Typically NFL teams keep 10 defensive backs between corners and safeties: By this count, eight have locked spots. Porter's contract could keep him on the roster, leaving just one spot for a collection of safeties with NFL experience. McCloughan likes size, and Thomas, Ihenacho and Davis offer that while Robinson does not. Will that be a deciding factor?
Guess here for 10 DBs come 53 man roster: Breeland, Culliver, Johnson, Goldson, Hall, Amerson, Porter, Ihenacho, Jarrett and Mitchel. Davis is a big hitter on special teams, something McCloughan has talked about, and could be the first man left off the list. Any slip-ups, on or off the field, could change this list quickly.
Agree? Disagree? What's your 10 look like? Let us know in the comments.