Who will make the Redskins' 2017 53-man roster?
Redskins 53-man roster projection
The battle for roster spots has ended. All that is left to happen is for the dreaded Turk to make the rounds and deliver the bad news to the players who aren’t going to make the 53-man roster. The deadline is Saturday at 4 p.m.
Here is Rich Tandler’s final roster projection. Players who are new to the organization in 2017 are in italics. Rookies are also in bold.
Starter: Kirk Cousins
Backups: Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld
Sudfeld may have played his way off of the bubble last night. He didn’t have to be great against the Bucs to hold on to his job and it looks like he was plenty good enough.
Running backs (3)
Starter: Rob Kelley
Backups: Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson
It looks like Sudfeld’s success may have come at the cost of Mack Brown’s job. There really is no need for four running backs and needs elsewhere could bump Brown off. The Redskins will dangle Matt Jones as trade bait but if they can’t pull off a deal he will be released.
Wide receivers (6)
Wide receivers (6)
Starters: Josh Doctson, Terrelle Pryor, Jamison Crowder (slot)
Backups: Maurice Harris, Ryan Grant, Robert Davis
Free agent signee Brian Quick appears to be the odd man out here. He started slowly during the offseason program but he was better in camp. Davis, a sixth-round pick, still has a lot to learn but he and Quick are close and that should lead the team to keep their draft pick over the inexpensive free agent signee. It's also possible that they both stay and that Harris, who was injured much of training camp, is the odd man out.
Tight ends (4)
Starter: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Jeremy Sprinkle
Reed is back off the PUP list so this unit appears to be set. Derek Carrier, now healthy, made a push for a job but there doesn’t appear to be a spot for him.
Offensive line (8)
Starters (left to right): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses
Backups: Ty Nsekhe, Kyle Kalis, Chase Roullier
Kalis has been lining up with the second team ahead of Arie Kouandjio for all training camp and in the first two preseason games. Fellow rookie free agent Tyler Catalina also has been working with the second team and he could grab that roster spot instead of Kalis.
Defensive line (6)
Starters: Jonathan Allen, Stacy McGee, Ziggy Hood (NT)
Backups: Terrell McClain, Anthony Lanier, Matt Ioannidis
They have a major numbers problem here. They are going to keep five D-linemen active on game days so they likely will go with no more than six here. But there isn't a true nose tackle in the top six. Ioannidis has played too well to be cut and McClain would be too expensive to release ($7.25 million in dead cap over two years). This doesn’t give them room to keep a true nose tackle type like Joey Mbu or A.J. Francis. Neither of them performed well enough from the start of camp through the Bucs game to warrant a spot on the 53.
Inside linebacker (4)
Starters: Mason Foster, Zach Brown
Backups: Will Compton, Martrell Spaight
I won’t rule out them finding a way to squeeze in Josh Harvey-Clemons, who played well against the Bucs. It is more likely that he ends up on the practice squad.
Outside linebackers (5)
Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Backups: Ryan Anderson, Junior Galette, Chris Carter
Trent Murphy’s season-ending injury did not cause any immediate changes here because he was not going to be on the initial 53 anyway because of a four-game PED suspension. Carter has pushed his way off the bubble with good special teams play and some strong efforts on defense.
Starters: Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland
Backups: Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Josh Holsey
Moreau has looked good since his NFL debut against the Packers, especially on special teams. As a third-round pick, he probably was a lock anyway. Holsey forced his way onto the team with his ability to play on the outside and in the slot plus, you guessed it, good play on special teams.
Starters: D.J. Swearinger, Su’a Cravens
Backups: Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, Montae Nicholson
The lack of a viable candidate to play nose tackle helps Blackmon stay on the roster here. He could be the 53rd man and if the Redskins decide that they want a player at another position on either side of the ball, Blackmon could be the odd man out.
LS Nick Sundberg, K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way
Both Way and Hopkins have had good preseasons, justifying the decision not to bring in challengers for them, at least for now.
The final count:
24 players on offense
26 players on defense
10 rookies including nine of the 10 draft picks
16 players new to the organization in 2017