Each season, ESPN's Bill Barnwell takes the NFL's $177 million salary cap and builds "the perfect 53-man roster." This year, three Redskins — two obvious and one not so obvious — made the cut.
Brandon Scherff, Chase Roullier and Zach Brown joined some of the NFL's finest on the "perfect roster."
There were several rules when it came to its construction. First, there needed to be at least one player – but no more than three – from each NFL team. How much each player would cost was determined by their current cap number after any restructuring, but without cap acceleration. There's at least one player from the 2015, '16,'17, and '18 drafts, with one player from each round and an undrafted free agent. Barnwell built his offense so that it fits within the Patriots' and Josh McDaniels' system, while the defense is built around Jim Schwartz and the Philadelphia Eagles' unit. Special teams was also included.
Barnwell spent $6.75 million on Scherff and $592,000 on Roullier. He describes the "perfect roster's" O-line as "mobile enough to routinely get to the second level on run-pass options and screens and big enough to bulldoze defensive linemen one-on-one."
Scherff – the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft – has made two Pro Bowls in three years and has started every game he's appeared in. The Redskins picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal, extending his time with the team through 2019. At just 26-years-old, a big deal will be coming his way at some point. Scherff was also named a starter on the "perfect roster."
The Redskins drafted Roullier in the sixth-round of the 2017 draft, and in just one season, he has earned the starting center job after Spencer Long missed a chunk of the season with injury and eventually left for the Jets in free agency. Pro Football Focus ranked Roullier the No. 21 center in the league during the 2017 season, and he will have a vital role in helping Alex Smith make the transition to a new offense as smooth as possible.
And then there's Zach Brown. Barnwell spent $2.95 million on the linebacker, saying, "We need cover linebackers with the range to scare quarterbacks from throwing over the middle of the field." When it comes to Brown specifically, Barnwell goes on to say, "The league doesn't seem to value Brown, but he has been an excellent run defender on early downs and isn't much of a liability in coverage."
The Redskins saw his value and signed Brown to a three-year deal back in March after picking him up in free agency during the 2017 offseason. Brown started 13 games in 2017, racking up 127 tackles (84 solo) and 2.5 sacks on his was to finishing ninth in the league in tackles during the regular season.
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