Friday, August 29, 2014

Roster predictions/evaluations- Offense

With the Redskins' final 2014 preseason snap played, we're less than 2 days out from the cut down to 53. Let's take a look at the prospects, what I think will happen, and what I think should happen.

bold: lock
italics: predicted roster spot
normal: off the 53-man roster  


Quarterback (3)
1. RG3
2. Kirk Cousins
3. Colt McCoy
Obviously Griffin an Cousins are locks. McCoy was decent this preseason, so it's mostly an issue of whether Gruden and Allen decide to keep 3 quarterbacks. I'd prefer we went with two because a third would mean losing out on someone who would help on a game-to-game basis. That said, I think we keep three.

Halfback (3)
1. Alfred Morris
2. Roy Helu (third down duties)
3. Chris Thompson
4. Silas Redd
5. Evan Royster
6. Lache Seastrunk

This is probably the toughest position to predict, and the hardest to spot at which to make a decision. I have to think Royster's veteran status is the reason he's gotten preferential depth chart listing. He's a reliable enough third tailback, but with the young talent the Redskins have to pick from, I can't imagine keeping him. With Thompson injured most of the preseason, Redd and Seastrunk have both been impressing. Seastrunk is my choice, as he is much more talented. He has been the team's second best runner this preseason, and I think the importance of his struggles with receiving and blitz pickup are being overblown. He'll improve in time, and with Helu on the squad, we don't need Seastrunk on third downs. Redd may be more well-rounded, but he has a lower ceiling, and Seastrunk was vastly more impressive in week four, including a screen taken for an 80 yard touchdown pass. Thompson finally played in week four and impressed. I have him making the roster despite getting set a bit behind the ball with his missed time. I'd like Thompson and Seastrunk to both make it, with Redd stashed on the practice squad, but I have a hard time seeing five runningbacks (spoilers for the next entry!) kept.

Fullback (1)
1. Darrell Young
Nothing much to say here. He will make the team, he will be the fullback. 

Wide Receiver (6)
1. Pierre Garcon
2. DeSean Jackson
3. Andre Roberts
4. Ryan Grant
5. Santana Moss
6. Aldrick Robinson
7. Leonard Hankerson (PUP)
8. Nick Williams
9. Lee Doss 
I'm confident Moss's veteran leadership and reliable presence keeps him on the roster, and Aldrick Robinson's speed and improved route running give him the ability to really help out. It would be rough to pare the group down to five, but I think they'll keep six. Hankerson will miss the first 6 weeks of the season on PUP, which does mean a potentially tough decision after that, but hopefully the time in between will help make it easier. Williams may end up on the practice squad, and Doss is really just a preseason player.

Tight End (3)
1. Jordan Reed
2. Logan Paulsen
3. Niles Paul
4. Ted Bosler

Bosler may get put on the practice squad (honestly, though, I'd prefer using those spots on other guys) but he won't make the team. Niles Paul showed some improved receiving this preseason, which was nice as he isn't someone I've been too high on, but the reason he's extremely likely to make the team again is, as it has always been, his great special teams play.

Tackle (4)
1. Trent Williams
2. Tyler Polombus
3. Morgan Moses
4. Tom Compton
5. Maurice Hurt
Moses should be locked in as the swing tackle backing up both Williams and Polombus. I expect nine offensive linemen to make the team, so the question, I think, is really whether they keep a fourth tackle or a second center. Center is probably the bigger need, but there's better talent at tackle, so I think they'd move Chester to center and/or pick someone up if something happens to Lichtensteiger. I particularly think they're more likely to go tackle in light of Moses spraining his MCL, though down the line they could potentially drop one if the top 3 look good. Compton was a great run blocker this preseason, but struggled against the pass, where Maurice Hurt was pretty solid. Regardless, Compton got a lot more work, so I'm fairly confident that he would be the one they keep.

Guard (4)
1. Shawn Lauvao
2. Chris Chester
3. Josh LeRibeus
4. Spencer Long
The Redskins' starting guards are weak. Chester isn't a good starter, and Lauvao, whom they paid a lot of money to bring in this off-season, has never been terribly impressive either. However, there is good depth here with two recent third rounders in Long and LeRibeus. I expect both to make the team. I was also a fan of Adam Gettis, who had played well this preseason, but he was already cut, probably due to his sub-optimal size. He is very quick and would be a great pickup for a team running a lot of zone concepts.

Center (1)
1. Kory Lichtensteiger
2. Tevita Stevens
3. Kevin Kowalski
As I mentioned in the tackle section, there is likely a direct correlation here. Kowalski was very bad this preseason, and while Stevens was a bit better, I predict Compton beating out Stevens for the 9th line spot, leaving no primary center on the roster behind Lichtensteiger. Either or both of these guys could end up on the practice squad though, and would be liable for a promotion in the event of a Lichtensteiger injury.

25 total

PUP predictions: WR Leonard Hankerson

Bottom of the roster guys: OT Tom Compton, HB Chris Thompson, QB Colt McCoy, WR Santana Moss

Top of the cuts: HB Silas Redd, HB Lache Seastrunk

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