Seven receivers or five running backs? What about three quarterbacks? How many rookies stick? Will the hangman come for Ryan Torain, Leonard Hankerson or Donte Stallworth? One man's take on the makeup of the Redskins roster before final cuts are revealed...
• Sticking with my take that the experience of Grossman wins out. If Beck gets the job week one that indeed the decision was pre-ordained based on how the two played during the preseason. Unless Beck is going to be Brunell-esque with the decision making – and he wasn’t against the Bucs - then the guy who gives the Redskins a puncher’s chance to win each week should start. Regardless, both will play this season.
• As for the number three guy, I say there will be one. Like the way Beck was judged before he got the Shanahan stamp of approval, Clemens gets minimal respect from the masses, but he’s a legit NFL backup. If cut, there is a strong chance he signs elsewhere in short order or when the first injury or two around the league occurs. The Redskins would be taking a major risk should an injury occur at a position you can’t simply sign a guy off the street to fill.
• If the Redskins want another power runner, Torain sticks, even though they would risk losing Evan Royster on waivers. Two weeks ago I was worried about the latter, less so now, both in terms of him getting claimed and not having him. Still, cutting bait with Torain before the inevitable next injury occurs isn’t a bad option and one I might make to avoid future frustration…Keiland Williams offers the intangibles that winning teams need, but running the ball is not one of them.
• Banks is good to go, Austin’s been locked in on this board and Paul appears to have pulled ahead of his fellow rookie Hankerson. Veteran Donte Stallworth made a statement with a late touchdown Thursday night, but the clock strikes midnight on the 30-year-old’s chances (in some ways that happened when they made the deal for Gaffney). As for Hankerson, I’d be scared right about now, but in this year of transition the Redskins figure a way to keep him and Paul…
• Still saying Mike Sellers is shown the door, though he’s been counted out before and survived. If Cooley’s injury is truly a concern, then Sellers stays.
• Same group of nine for several weeks now. Perhaps the biggest concern coming out of the Bucs game was the line getting pushed around by backups…Adding a 10th offensive lineman is certainly an option if an interesting options exists on the waiver wire, but unlikely for now.
• If Jarvis Jenkins was healthy, six linemen would be kept. Instead the Jim Haslett will try to replace him with two bodies. However, should an experienced end become available before the season opener, the Redskins could go back to six and add an extra player elsewhere.
• Rookie Markus White appears to be a victim of the numbers game right now, but is the 54th player on this board. Practice squad for sure and the first linebacker up if needed Rob Jackson’s final game effort and experience gives him the edge over White Thaddeus Gibson, another practice squad candidate.
CB (4): DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, Kevin Barnes, Byron Westbrook; Philip Buchanon to suspended list
S (5): LaRon Landry, O.J. Atogwe, Reed Doughty, Chris Horton, DeJon Gomes ®; Kareem Moore to PUP list
• With Buchanon suspended the opening four games, the Redskins could keep a fifth corner…but I’ll go out on perhaps a silly limb and say they don’t for the opener. Seventh-rounder Brandyn Thompson put himself into position to be that last guy and could get the nod over Buchanon when the time comes...Russell Anderson made the battle for the final safety spot tougher, but I’m sticking with Gomes and Horton.
• After having eight or nine rookies on the club in previous projections, only six make the final roster with the injured Jenkins out for the season. Royster, White and Thompson are the leading contenders for the practice squad. It would not be surprising if WR Aldrick Robinson and NT Chris Neild land there as well.
• If space is needed elsewhere due to injury or the discovery of additional talent, Hankerson, Clemens and the fifth defensive end spot are most vulnerable.
The author can be followed on Twiiter via @benstandig, read at CSNwashington.com where he covers the college sports scene and writes the Word on the Street" blog and listened to weekly on the FFToolbox.com Fantasy Football podcast.