After a busy free agency period, a draft in which 10 new players were added and the acquisition of 13 undrafted college players, the Redskins look much different than they did last December. So in the coming weeks, Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will break down the revamped roster, position-by-position, as offseason activities ramp up and depth charts come into focus.
Position: Running back
On the roster: Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Silas Redd, Chris Thompson, Matt Jones, Michael Hill, Trey Williams
Likely to make the 53: Morris, Young, Jones
Comment: Morris has been the bell cow in Washington for the last three years and Jay Gruden has said that it will stay that way on multiple occasions this offseason. Even though both his yards gained on the ground and his average yards per rush have steadily declined since his stellar rookie 2012 season he will remain the starter and is likely to get the majority of the carries.
A year ago there was chatter that Young could be on his way out since Gruden’s offense in Cincinnati didn’t utilize a fullback. But Gruden said that Young’s versatility as a blocker, pass catcher, and special teams player gave him job security and there’s no reason to think that will change this season.
Jones was the team’s third-round draft pick. At 6-2, 231 he is a big back that the team is looking forward to utilizing in their revamped running scheme that will emphasize power running. How big a role he will get may depend on how well he can catch passes out of the backfield. During his three years at Florida he caught just 19 passes but he was an infrequent target.
Battling for a job: Redd, Thompson, Hill, Williams
Comment: To borrow a phrase from the Wells report, it more probable than not that Redd will end up on the 53-man roster. The coaches love the way he prepares and plays and the other players on the team like him. But an undrafted player who had just 16 carries and played a limited role on special teams can’t be considered a lock when a third-round draft pick was spent at his position.
Redd could get caught in a numbers crunch. There could be room for only one other running back on the 53-man roster and Thompson could make his case to get that job. He has speed, good hands, and some decent running instincts. If he can combine that with an ability to stay healthy—something that has eluded him both at Florida State and with the Redskins—he could make the roster and have an impact.
Williams will be interesting to watch. He is an undersized (5-7, 195) scatback who was expected to be drafted. However, in Kevin Sumlin’s pass-oriented offense at Texas A&M his carries and production were limited. The Redskins will give him a shot as an undrafted free agent. He may be another Darren Sproles or he may be another small guy who can’t cut it in the NFL.
Hill has bounced around during his two NFL seasons, seeing some regular-season action with the Packers and Bucs in 2013 and spending time with the Colts organization last year. He is likely in for a look in case the team needs an injury replacement at some point during the season.
Post-draft depth chart series