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?
Position: Offensive tackle
On the roster: Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Vinston Painter, John Kling, Kevin Bowen
Locks: Williams, Moses, Nsekhe
Williams seems to be on a quest to earn first-team All-Pro honors this year. He may have been on way last year before a disputed four-game substance abuse suspension benched him in midseason. Going into his eighth year, Williams created a bit of a stir by skipping voluntary OTAs. Instead, he worked out in Houston on his own to get into what he called “ultimate shape.” We will see if the conditioning pays off over the time working with teammates.
After signing Moses to a contract extension, the Redskins are now set at tackle through the 2020 season. Moses’ five-year deal averaged $7.65 million in new money, making him the third highest-paid right tackle in the league. He is rock solid and the Redskins are happy to have him locked up for the long haul.
By now, everyone knows the story of Nsekhe’s journey through the minor arena leagues to the NFL. He is a very good backup tackle but to suggest that he’s close to being as good as Williams is silly. In four starts last year Nsekhe gave up one sack, three QB hits, and 13 hurries. In 12 games, Williams’ numbers were two sacks, one hit, and 10 hurries. Again, Nsekhe is a solid reserve but let’s not make him into something he’s not.
On the bubble: Painter, Kling
Last year, Painter joined the team after training camp was over and he spent the first three games on the practice squad before being moved up to the 53-man roster. He played just 10 snaps on offense. The third-year player will have to earn his roster spot in Richmond.
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All we really know about Kling is that he is huge, at 6-8, 320. That will get him noticed as he tries to beat out Painter for the fourth tackle roster spot—if they decide to keep four tackles.
Long shot: Bowen
It looked like Bowen’s season might be over when he had to be taken off the field on a cart at the end of one of the Redskins’ OTA practices. But the leg injury turned out to be relatively minor and he will be ready for training camp. He also is massive at 6-9, 335 and that gives him dark horse status in the backup competition.