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Nostradamusing the Redskins 53-man roster

Projecting the Redskins entire roster with only one preseason game in the books – especially this year with a truncated offseason – could prove wildly irrelevant, especially as more and more injuries pop up. Oh well, never stopped me from sticking my neck out there before. Besides, we’ve been waiting months to do stuff just life this, why wait another minute…starters in bold... ® indicates 2011 draft pick…

QB (3): John Beck, Rex Grossman, Kellen Clemens

• Seems like the fix is in and the Redskins are going to tilt the "competition" toward Beck, a player the Shanahan’s have loved since he was draft eligible. Unless Beck truly is all that, Grossman is likely the safer play. Look for all three to make squad as Clemens is a useable piece playing behind one roller coaster option (Grossman) and one that’s totally unproven (Beck).

RB (4): Tim Hightower, Ryan Torain, Roy Helu ®, Evan Royster ®
FB (1): Darrel Young

• Keiland Williams offers the intangibles that winning teams needs, but running the ball is not one of them. If Torain’s injury is ongoing problem, Shanahan might want the extra runner. That would mean Royster, who played ahead of Helu in the opener…on the hand, Shanahan could hold onto the versatile Williams and roll the dice that Royster can be stashed on the practice squad…Signs are pointing toward Mike Sellers being shown the door, though he’s been counted out before. Still, it’s time.

WR (6): Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Armstrong, Leonard Hankerson ®, Brandon Banks, Terrence Austin

• Banks’ lingering knee injury could shut him down and thus open a spot for rookie Niles Paul or allow the coaches to keep an extra player elsewhere…Unless Armstrong regresses significantly or Hankerson is an uber-bust, the top four spots are appear secure... One would hope Austin or Paul’s potential would win out over Donte Stallworth’s experience, though it seems like a false choice for the No. 5 WR. Austin can play special teams – not so much with Stallworth - and his potential is worth holding onto for a team unlikely to make a playoff push… Paul and Aldrick Robinson have practice squad written all over if they don’t make the opening game roster…

TE (3): Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen

• Nothing to see here, other than wondering if Cooley’s injury drifts into the season, giving Davis a chance to shine.

C (2): Will Montgomery, Erik Cook
G (4): Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Artis Hicks, Maurice Hurt ®
T (3): Trent Williams, Jammal Brown, Sean Locklear
• The starting five seems set, an oddity considering four were part of last season’ s leaky unit… Adding a 10th offensive lineman is certainly an option once teams begin making significant cuts or if a talent emerges during camp. • Hicks’ versatility, Cook and Hurt’s youth rewarded with final three spots.

DE (4): Adam Carriker, Stephen Bowen, Jarvis Jenkins ®, Kedric Golston
NT (2): Barry Cofield, Anthony Bryant

• With addition of Bowen and Jenkins, the ends are arguably most improved unit on the team...Hard to see a player outside this half-dozen making the roster… Seventh-rounder Chris Neild has a long way to go if he wants to pass Young on the depth chart.

OLB (4): Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo, Lorenzo Alexander, Markus White ®
ILB (4): London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh, Perry Riley, Keyaron Fox

• The competition for the inside spot next to Fletcher between McIntosh v. Riley will be one of the most intriguing competitions in camp…Not one natural 3-4 outside linebacker in the bunch. That could give the more experienced Rob Jackson an edge over White, but the rookie out of Florida State is making strong early impression.

CB (5): DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, Kevin Barnes, Philip Buchanon, Byron Westbrook
S (5): LaRon Landry, O.J. Atogwe, Reed Doughty, Kareem Moore, DeJon Gomes ®

• With Buchanon suspended the opening four games, the Redskins could keep Reggie Jones as the fifth corner…Otherwise the team likely would keep a fifth safety over an extra corner like Westbrook if injuries to Landry and Moore linger through the pre-season. Chris Horton’s chances of making final roster also increase in that scenario, but the Nebraska rookie Gomes somehow finds his way onto final roster…Westbrook’s special teams efforts gives him the nod over Jones and seventh-rounder Brandyn Thompson.

K (1): Graham Gano
P (1): Sav Rocco
LS (1): Nick Sundberg

• One could say missing two kicks in the pre-season opener showed Shayne Graham cracked under pressure, but his getting cut does not mean Gano is safe. Probably is though…Banks is both the kick and punt returner, but Austin could take over if called upon.

And your point is...

• This projection has eight of the 12 draft picks making the squad and the other four – Paul, Robinson, Neild, Thompson - appear to be practice squad material. Safety Anderson Russell, offensive lineman Selvish Capers, Willie Smith and Xavier Fulton are other practice squad options should they not make the final cut.

• Notable veterans getting the boot: Williams, Stallworth, Sellers, Jackson, and Horton. The likes of Buchanon and Westbrook also need to be on watch.

*Iff the secondary becomes a healthy unit by the opening week, the 10th player could be vulnerable if roster additions are needed elsewhere.

The author covers college basketball and the daily D.C. sports scene for CSNwashington.com and writes about fantasy football for FFToolbox.com.

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