Over the next few weeks, Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ 2017 depth chart as the team enjoys some R&R ahead of training camp.
Some positions are easy to handicap.
Others have moving parts and, thus, are more complex. So, who’s in? And who’s in trouble?
Up today… Inside linebacker
Position: Inside linebacker
On the roster: Will Compton, Zach Brown, Mason Foster, Martrell Spaight, Chris Carter, Zach Vigil, Pete Robertson, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Nico Marley
The numbers: Have nine, likely to keep 4-5 on the final roster.
Locks: Compton, Brown, Foster
MORE REDSKINS: The top five offenses the Redskins will face in 2017
Compton worked his way up from undrafted free agent to the practice squad to a special teams contributor/spot starter to the starting job. He needs to improve his tackling; he had the second-most misses on the team.
Brown is coming off a Pro Bowl season with the Bills. His speed and athleticism bring a playmaking element to the ILB group. Last year he posted four sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception. The Redskins would welcome similar production out of him this year.
Foster played well in 2016, leading the team in tackles and getting charged with just five misses.
Later in the season, he adapted well to the nickel linebacker role after Su’a Cravens was injured. He played only 415 snaps last year (37.7 percent) and it seems that despite the acquisition of Brown, they need to find a way to get him on the field more often.
On the bubble: Spaight, Carter, Vigil
The Redskins carried five here last year but they could reduce it by one this season to keep an extra outside LB on the roster. That means that Spaight, a 2015 fifth-round pick, Carter, who signed as a free agent in March, and Vigil, picked up by the Redskins late last season, may be competing for one spot.
Spaight could have the inside track as they liked what they saw when he filled in for Compton last year. Carter is going into his seventh season and his fifth NFL team and he is the sort of journeyman the Redskins might like to hold on to. Vigil started two games for the Dolphins as an undrafted rookie in 2015 so he could be a project worth the development.
Long shots: Robertson, Harvey-Clemons, Marley
Seventh-round pick Harvey-Clemons may need a year on the practice squad to learn the position and to put some more weight on his 6-4, 215-pound frame. Marley also might need to add to his 200 pounds but at 5-8 he might have trouble doing that.
Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year.