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Washington Redskins 2013 Roster Prediction: Picking the 53-Man Roster

Dan Ciarrocchi projects the Redskins' final 53-man roster.

Quarterbacks (3): Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman
Missed the Cut: Pat White

Robert Griffin III is coming off of major knee surgery, which is news only to people that have been living under rocks. As a result, that doesn't leave the coaching staff much room to get cute with roster shuffling at the quarterback position. They'll keep these three.

Backs (4): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Roy Helu, Jr., Chris Thompson
Missed the Cut: Jawan Jamison, Evan Royster, Tristan Davis, Keiland Williams, Eric Kettani.

Behind Alfred Morris, Darrel Young and a healthy Roy Helu, Jr., the battle for the final spot in the backfield will be one of the more competitive ones in camp. Royster has no guarantees of a roster spot in 2013, and will have to hope for a slow start from rookies Jamison and Thompson in order to gain a sizable lead and eke out a roster spot. If the Redskins carry three running backs like they did a season ago, it would be difficult to find a situation where both rookies make the roster, although I currently have one of the two rookies penciled in.

If we're speaking strictly in terms of present status, Thompson's recovery from a torn ACL puts him behind both Royster and Jamison in the pecking order, as it already kept him out of organized team activities this summer. However, if Thompson showcases competence in pass blocking, as well as anything close to the explosiveness he had before his injury, he will turn heads early and they won't look away.

Wide Receivers (5): Pierre Garcon, Joshua Morgan, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Aldrick Robinson
Missed the Cut: Devery Henderson, Donte Stallworth, Dez Briscoe, Chip Reeves, Lance Lewis, Skye Dawson, Nick Williams.

If the Redskins keep four tight ends, which is a virtual certainty, it would be difficult to justify keeping six receivers. That reigns especially true, since three of the four tight ends they would keep are pass-catchers who can line-up in the slot from time to time. It would be an uphill battle for the players I have missing the cut, and it would probably take an injury to really open the battle for guys like Devery Henderson, Donte Stallworth and Dez Briscoe.

Tight Ends (4): Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul, Jordan Reed
Missed the Cut: Emmanuel Ogbuehi

There's not much competition for these four men, but this will be a very important camp for Paul. He got a reprieve for his struggles last season due to being new at the position, but he will now have to demonstrate what he's learned if he wants roster security down the road. The team would love to see competence from him, especially with Fred Davis recovering from a torn achilles, and Jordan Reed ailing from a leg injury.

Offensive Linemen (9): Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Tony Pashos, Tom Compton, Josh LeRibeus, Adam Gettis.
Missed the Cut: Jeremy Trueblood, Maurice Hurt, Jacoby Ashworth, Kevin Matthews, Xavier Nixon, Tevita Stevens.

Nine is not a small number for rostered offensive linemen, and although none of the Redskins starting five missed significant time last season, the team could use some insurance. Tyler Polumbus' quality of play left much to be desired, as evidenced by his eight sacks allowed and 46 pressures, per Pro Football Focus. That prompted the front office to bring Tony Pashos and Jeremy Trueblood to camp, two tackles who have also had their share of question marks throughout their careers.

For Trueblood, he underwhelmed his coaching staffs in Tampa Bay and barely saw playing time before a shoulder injury marked the end of his tenure there. He wouldn't likely overtake a healthy Pashos for a roster spot, but health is not a minor matter for Pashos either, who sat out all of last season with a ruptured tendon in his foot. But if Pashos is healthy enough to play, he could be a good stopgap and provide time for a guy like Tom Compton get better acclimated to the professional level.

Defensive Linemen (6): Stephen Bowen, Barry Cofield, Jarvis Jenkins, Kedric Golston, Chris Baker, Chris Neild
PUP: Adam Carriker
Missed the Cut: Chigbo Anunoby, Ron Brace, Philip Merling, Dominique Hamilton

Adam Carriker hasn't seen the field since Week 2 of 2012, and with news of another impending surgery, it looks like that wait will be even longer. Because of his near-certain PUP designation, an additional roster spot will open on the final 53. There isn't anything too crazy going on at the defensive line position, as it should not come as much of a surprise if Chris Neild beats out newcomers Philip Merling and Ron Brace. The coaches really liked Neild after he displayed a solid rookie season in 2011 on limited snaps, and health permitting, he should have no issue winning the favor of his coaches once again. And up until this point, reports on Neild's health have been encouraging.

Outside Linebackers (4): Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Brandon Jenkins, Darryl Tapp
Suspended: Rob Jackson (four games)
Missed the Cut: Vic So'oto, Ricky Elmore

Rob Jackson's suspension for the first four games of the season hurts the Redskins' depth at the outside linebacker position, but only for the first four games. He has shown competence in passing situations, and once he is on the field, he will definitely get into Jim Haslett's rotation. Until then, the story will be watching Darryl Tapp adjust from having his hand in the dirt, as well as the rookie Brandon Jenkins, who is battling back from a fractured foot injury. Though Jackson will be suspended, he is still allowed to practice and play in preseason games so reps will be there for him.

Inside Linebackers (4): London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Bryan Kehl
Missed the Cut: Roddrick Muckelroy, Marvin Burdette, Will Compton, Jeremy Kimbrough

Not much to address here. London Fletcher is the heart and soul of the defense and will once again line up next to Perry Riley. Because Fletcher's clock is ticking, and has been for some time, fans ought to get a healthy dose of Keenan Robinson this preseason. Bryan Kehl has participated in Redskins camp before, and the departure of Lorenzo Alexander will allow Kehl to play special teams, which is known to be one of his strengths.

Cornerbacks (6): DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, E.J. Biggers, David Amerson, Richard Crawford, Chase Minnifield
Missed the Cut: Jerome Murphy

Remember those roster spots vacated by Carriker and Jackson? The secondary is where they will likely be used up. Additional depth will be needed here more than positions like wide receiver and running back, and Chase Minnifield could be the main beneficiary come final cut day. Of course, he has much to prove health-wise a year after undergoing microfracture surgery to the same knee that was operated on at the end of his college career. But what remains, is that it looks as though Minnifield will get a second chance to seize a roster spot. Health permitting, I believe he will.

Safeties (5): Brandon Meriweather, Reed Doughty, Phillip Thomas, Baccari Rambo, Jordan Pugh
PUP: Jordan Bernstine
Reserve/Suspended: Tanard Jackson
Missed the Cut: DeJon Gomes, Devin Holland

The final spot of the most uncertain Redskins position will likely come down to a competition between Jordan Pugh and DeJon Gomes. Pugh likely has the edge after showing improvement in each game down the stretch, while Gomes has not done much to impress his onlookers over the past two seasons. Additionally, Gomes fits more of a strong safety's mold, which the Redskins already have in starter Brandon Meriweather, veteran Reed Doughty and rookie thumper Phillip Thomas. Pugh is more of a free safety, a position where the Redskins could certainly use more help in. As I touched upon in my camp battles piece, the Redskins could go with a committee approach at free safety, and it certainly wouldn't hurt to have versatility if they were to do this.

Specialists (3): Kai Forbath, Sav Rocca, Nick Sundberg
Missed the Cut: John Potter

The Redskins brought kickoff specialist John Potter to camp after Kai Forbath struggled in this area last season. It would be nice to supplement Forbath's field goal kicking ability with a kicker whose only job is to boot it from the 35-yard line. However, although Forbath's kickoff issue is very real, it doesn't warrant using a roster spot to address it. Not yet, at least.