Redskins 360 takes an early stab at the defensive depth chart and notices that we're going to lose at least one deserving player on the defensive line somewhere along the way. He says:
Defensive line (9)
Set: Phillip Daniels, Cornelius Griffin, Andre Carter, Anthony Montgomery, Kedric Golston, Demetric Evans and Lorenzo Alexander.
Competition: A bunch of players for two spots -- Chris Wilson, Erasmus James or Alex Buzbee as an athletic pass rusher? Does Ryan Boschetti continue to be a survivor at tackle due to his work ethic?
Prediction: Injuries could play into how many linemen are kept for Week 1. If Rocky McIntosh and/or Carlos Rogers aren't ready, that's bad news for the D-line. James is a wild card because he's coming off knee surgery. I really like the flash Wilson showed as a third-down pass rusher so he makes the team. James will get a shot on the final roster.
I'll tentatively agree on these locks: Daniels, Griffin, Carter, Montgomery, and Golston. I do not include Demetric Evans in that list because I'm not certain he's a better defensive end than Chris Wilson. I think he's a much better complete player than Wilson in that he's better against the run. I also think his experience is a positive. That said, in 14 games last season he had one sack vs. Wilson's four in 8 games. Having made that point, I would say that Evans' statistical resume on the whole last year was better than Wilson's, especially considering his 3 passes defensed and nearly twice as many tackles in less than twice as many games. None of that factors in snaps.
Why I'm down on Evans -- and let me be clear that I'm not down on him, I just think this might be the year he gets lost in a roster shuffle -- is he hasn't shown any growth whatsoever. He's the same player now that he was in 2004 when he came to Washington. Statistically he's been remarkably consistent, that is, consistently unremarkable. Tackles as a Redskin:
17, 17, 14, 19
Sacks as a Redskin:
2.5, 3, 2, 1
Stuffs as a Redskin:
3, 0, 2.5, 2.5
Etc. Not all of that is Evans fault because he might not be getting the requisite snaps to improve those numbers. But, then again, it's his job to win those snaps away from the people in front of him.
Was Chris Wilson so great? No, not really, but he at least showed more potential last season as a remarkable pass rusher than Evans has in four seasons. The team might end up being presented with a business decision: Do you take the reliable (if nothing special) veteran in Evans but by doing so sacrifice Wilson to the practice squad and, potentially, to someone else? Wilson could end up a great pass rusher in this league and we may never have the opportunity to realize his potential here in Washington if we don't continue developing him right now.
And what's to be done with Erasmus James, who was somehow one of the most talented College d-linemen just a few years ago yet has now found his way to our roster for a 7th round pick?
Defining the "problem": We have, by my count, more than nine defensive linemen who probably could make this roster but can't spend many more roster spots at this position. This list is end heavy as well; Griffin, Golston, Montgomery are the defensive tackles that Redskins 360 lists. Phillip Daniels can line up on the inside too, but he's also our starting end. And with injuries at linebacker and cornerback won't we have to burn some spots elsewhere?
Before I offer my own solution to this alleged problem, let's hear from reader(s). How do your own lists match up with Redskins 360's?