Last week I posted my pre-training camp depth chart for the offense. Today its time to look on the defensive side of the ball. Here's how I think the defensive line is set up going into training camp this week.
Nose tackle and right end are pretty much set. Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen have their respective positions locked down. Jarvis Jenkins needs to step up and improve his pass rushing skills, but with Adam Carriker still struggling to rehab his injury, Jenkins looks to have the starting role barring an injury himself.
The depth behind the starters on the defensive line is where it gets interesting. The Redskins signed Phillip Merling and Ron Brace to compete for spots in camp against Chris Baker, Kedric Golston and Chris Neild. I think that one of them might be able to crack the final 53, but it's all up in the air at this point.
On to the linebackers.
Like with the defensive line, the linebackers are set in stone. Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo will be the starting outside linebackers, while London Fletcher and Perry Riley will start inside. Rob Jackson should be the primary back up to Orakpo, as he was last year, but could also see time across the entire linebacker unit given his big play ability. Keenan Robinson has the athleticism to make an impact next year, and could potentially help cover those big athletic tight ends the Redskins have had troubles with. Bryan Kehl looks likely to be Lorenzo Alexander's replacement as a back up inside backer, while rookie Brandon Jenkins could see time at either outside position and going after the quarterback.
Finally, the secondary.
Nobody really knows exactly how the secondary is going to pan out. DeAngelo Hall and Brandon Meriweather are the only guys that appear to have their starting positions locked down. Josh Wilson is likely to be the starting corner opposite Hall, but rookie David Amerson offers more size and athleticism. That could help his case to beat out Wilson in camp.
The slot corner and free safety positions are wide open at this point. Hall was the primary slot man for the majority of last season, but Wilson impressed when he played there in week 17 against the Cowboys. If Amerson can show starting ability in camp, then moving Wilson to cover the slot might be a good option for the Redskins. Off-season acquisition EJ Biggers will also be pushing for the slot role, as will Richard Crawford, who has nice foot speed to help him mirror quicker slot receivers.
I have Reed Doughty down as the starting free safety going into camp, but I think Bacarri Rambo beats him out by the end of camp. Phillip Thomas saw some time at free safety during OTAs and minicamps, but he is better suited to strong safety. Rambo is a true free safety, which gives him an advantage over every other safety on the roster currently.