An early look at the Redskins final 53-man roster
· Not saying that Grossman has played like Aaron Rodgers, but he has "won" the competition to this point. Sure we "know" what Grossman is all about and therefore the unknown aspect of Beck screams potential, but lack of experience right now is another factor. Beck starting against the Giants, based on where we stand now, means the fix was indeed in.
That's not to say Beck has played poorly, cause he hasn't…I still say all three quarterbacks make the squad. Sure that horrid late game pick against the Ravens didn’t help, but Clemens is a useable piece playing behind one roller coaster option (Grossman) and one that remains largely unproven (Beck).
FB (1): Darrel Young
· At some point you wonder if Torain’s injury history catches up with him and puts him much closer to the wrong side of the cut line. For now he survives…for now…Keiland Williams offers the intangibles that winning team’s need, but running the ball is not one of them. If four pure running backs are kept, I still lean toward Evan Royster. Shanahan better be convinced Penn State’s all-time leading rusher will land on the practice squad if he lets him go. I might guess Shanahan is keeping Royster under wraps so other teams don’t get a better look, except the rook figures to receive plenty of reps against the Bucs.
· Banks’ lingering knee injury could shut him down, though he is expected to play in the preseason finale. Should he stick around, Paul would be odd man out IF Redskins think he makes the practice squad...If Banks is done for the season, the final spot comes down to the rookie Paul or veteran Donte Stallworth. Ironically that battle really could hinge on the play of another rookie. If coaching staff feels Hankerson is consistent enough with hands and route-running, to be fourth receiver/red zone target, the Redskins might be willing to keep another greenhorn at receiver. Otherwise Stallworth’s experience wins out...Austin was already in near-lock status for me, didn’t need another strong game to solidify (but liked it all the same)… Paul and Aldrick Robinson have practice squad written all over if they don’t make the opening game roster…
· Still saying Mike Sellers is shown the door, though he’s been counted out before and survived. If Cooley’s injury drifts into the season, then Sellers stays and Davis has a chance to shine.
· More stunned by play of the offensive line than any other unit on the team. I get the defensive front-7 improving, several players were added, but only Chester is new here…Adding a 10th offensive lineman is certainly an option once teams begin making significant cuts... Hicks’ versatility, Cook and Hurt’s youth rewarded with final three spots… Second-year offensive lineman Selvish Capers did not see the field against the Ravens. Hard to impress when you don't play, so I'm told.
· Perhaps a seventh lineman (Doug Worthington?) is kept now that Jenkins is out. Philip Daniels remains available after the Redskins set him free following the end of the lockout…Seventh-rounder Chris Neild still has a long way to go if he wants to pass Young on the depth chart.
· The competition for the inside spot next to Fletcher appears over with McIntosh the victor, though Riley and Fox look secure with the reserve roles, meaning Horatio Blades is likely taking his non-initial name elsewhere… Not one natural 3-4 outside linebacker in the bunch. That could give the more experienced Rob Jackson an edge over the rookie White and newcomer Thaddeus Gibson. With injuries elsewhere, keeping nine linebackers might simply be the case of holding onto the best 53 with one eventually losing his roster spot when others return to the field…White and Gibson could land on the practice squad, something to ponder.
· With Buchanon suspended the opening four games, the Redskins could keep a fifth corner. Seventh-rounder Brandyn Thompson put himself on the radar with his pick against the Colts, but Jones racked up eight tackles against the Ravens…Landry is still dinged, but appears closer to returning than Moore, who’s headed to the PUP list. That would give Horton new life; I think the Nebraska rookie Gomes finds his way on the roster somehow, someway.
K (1): Graham Gano
P (1): Sav Rocco
LS (1): Nick Sundberg
· This projection has eight of the 12 draft picks making the squad and the other four – Royster, Robinson, Neild, Thompson - appear to be practice squad material. The final number could be closer to seven if angst over keeping so many kids kicks in…
· If space is needed elsewhere due to injury or the discovery of additional talent, the ninth linebacker spot looks to be the most vulnerable, perhaps corner or fullback.
· As for Malcolm Kelly, sigh…