With training camp about to start now is the time for the last predictions without any real reports of how these players are doing. My question today is what can be expected of the late round rookies (5th through 7th round picks this year):
5th Rd WR Ryan Grant:
Chance to make the 53 man roster: High
-5th round picks typically make the 53 man roster and the Redskins and his only real competition for a role is Aldrick Robinson, Nick Williams and a bunch of UDFA's. Outside of Grant being injured (in which case he should still make the team, just on IR), Grant would have to look pretty bad to be cut before the season starts.
Role on the Team: 5th or 6th WR
-The top 3 receiver positions are set and ideally the 4th and 5th spots will go to Santana Moss and Leonard Hankerson. The issue is that Hankerson is coming back from a serious injury and may need to start the year on the PUP list. That could open up the 5th spot and a game day active roster spot to Grant. Unless Grant shows himself to be an excellent special teams cover guy, it will be tough for him to crack the active roster if Hankerson is healthy. His role is basically that of an insurance policy and the chance to be a 4th receiver next year when likely both Moss and Hankerson leave.
6th Rd RB Lache Seastrunk:
Chance to make the 53 man roster: High
-Sixth round picks typically make the roster as well though it's not as much of a sure thing as 5th rounders. Seastrunk though has a decently high upside, and is just a bit raw. The Redskins are going to want to ensure they make a spot for him unless he just looks horrible in camp. With the Redskins definitely keeping at least 3 running backs and possibly four there are at possibly two open spots for Seastrunk to fit in.
Role on the Team: 3rd running back/special teamer
-Alfred Morris is obviously locked in as the starter and Roy Helu Jr. is pretty well locked in as the 3rd down back given his receiving ability and pass blocking ability, so it will tough for Seastrunk to move up the depth chart any higher than third. Where he could see some playing time is as a change of pace back on some early downs. Seastrunk has game breaking ability and the Redskins will like to get that on the field from time-to-time. It could also be a showcase for the following year when Helu is a free agent and Seastrunk could take over the 3rd down role. Another area where Seastrunk could get some playing time is as a return man. He doesn't have much experience in the role, but the only real return man on the roster is Andre Roberts and it's been 3 years since he's been a returner. Roberts will likely have both return roles to start the season, but he was just an average returner in the past so there is a chance Seastrunk could work his way into the role.
7th Rd TE Ted Bosler:
Chance of making the 53 man roster: Low
-Overall a majority of 7th rounders make the 53 man roster, but it's basically a 50/50 proposition. Bosler is in a bad spot to make the roster as he's the 4th tight end on the depth chart at a position that teams rarely keeps four TE's. Bosler is not a great receiving threat right now and his blocking is poor, making him a bad bet to move up the depth chart. He does have special teams ability, but his chances of unseating Nile Paul are pretty low since Paul is the Redskins best special teamer and a good gunner.
Role on the Team: Practice Squad candidate
-With his chance of making the 53 man roster pretty small, the best hope for Bosler is to show enough to stick around on the practice squad. If Bosler can improve on his receiving and blocking, he could move up the depth chart pretty quickly in 2015 as Niles Paul is a free agent and Logan Paulsen's contract could void depending on playing time.
7th Rd K Zach Hocker:
Chance of making the 53 man roster: Low to Moderate
-Teams typically don't like to keep two kickers on the 53 man roster (and especially the game day active roster) so chances are if Hocker makes the team it is by him beating out Kai Forbath. While Hocker should easily beat Forbath in terms of Kick-off distance, he's going to have to show himself to be pretty accurate if he wants to get the job. As much as teams value winning the field position game, they aren't going to keep a kicker who keeps points off the board due to inaccuracy. Forbath has proven himself to be an accurate kicker missing just 1 FG his first year with the Redskins. While he missed four last season, 2 were a result of him being injured and 2 were blocked so it's tough to really put those on him.
Role on the Team: Ranges from being an emergency kicker signed off the street to being the only kicker on the roster.
-It's tough to say what Hocker's role will be. There is a chance he's kept as a kick-off specialist, but I'd put that at a very low chance. He could beat out Forbath and be the only kicker on the roster, but again the chances are on the lower side. So his role probably ends up that of being an emergency kicker if Forbath falters during the year, and they look to sign Hocker off the street (or possibly practice squad).
What do you think? Who from this group makes the 53 man roster and what roles will they play?