With the season opener fast approaching, it’s time to put the Redskins’ depth chart under the microscope. Over the coming days, 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.
Starter: Kirk Cousins
Other roster locks: Colt McCoy
On the bubble: Nate Sudfeld
How the quarterbacks compare:
To the 2016 Redskins: This is a hard one to answer. With another year as the starter under his belt, Cousins should be more knowledgeable. But he has lost his top two receivers in Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson. We will have to find out how Terrelle Pryor and Josh Docston work out as replacements for the departed 1000-yard duo. For right now, the minus of missing the receivers about cancels out Cousins’ gain in experience. About the same
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To the rest of the NFL: The subject of where Cousins ranks among NFL quarterbacks is a topic of endless debates. His numbers are top-five but intangibles like his ability to make players around him better and the Redskins’ poor record facing the better teams in the NFL drag down the perception of him. He’s better than average but far from elite. Top half of NFL
Biggest upside: Sudfeld certainly has tons of growing room in his game. He has a lot to learn including footwork and decision making and we don’t know if he will ever master the game. He has some good physical tools and if he can get the rest of his game together he could be a solid starter.
Most to prove: Obviously, it’s the $24 million man. If you’re reading this post you don’t need any elaboration here.
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Bottom line: The Redskins may be better on defense and perhaps they will run the ball more often. But if this team is going to be successful it will be because they can move the ball through the air. That means that Cousins has to come close to his output last year and improve in the red zone. He might be up for it and his weapons may or may not be.
Jay Gruden on Sudfeld:
The thing about Nate is that Colt and Kirk are very selfish when it comes to reps so he doesn’t get a lot. So this is a great opportunity for him to show what he can do. He’s had a few sprinkled in here – he played I think half against Baltimore Week 1, sparingly, he didn’t play last week, and he played sparingly Week 2, so we’ll see how he does. All those roster decisions, they are going to come up come Friday morning when we get back.