Time for take #2. I made my original prediction about the roster approximately three weeks ago and while it's still early, things are starting to take shape.
After keeping a close eye on training camp and getting a good look at a lot of the guys in the first preseason game, I'm ready to make some changes. Here's how I think the 53-man roster shakes out right now (starters in italics):
Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
After watching McCoy's performance against the Pats, I think he deserves a spot. I mean, this guy was a starter in the league not that long ago. RGIII is 100% healthy, but with his style of play, there will always be durability concerns. I'm very much borderline on this and it wouldn't be surprising at all to me if they kept two (in which case, McCoy would be cut).
Offensive Line (10)
Trent Williams, Shaun Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Morgan Moses, Spencer Long, Mike McGlynn, Josh LeRibeus, Tom Compton
Same starters but two changes: in with LeRib and Compton and out with Gettis. I'm just as borderline about including Tom Compton as I was last time. He might be the 54th man. Luckily for him though, Moses just doesn't appear ready to be the lone back-up OT. Compton hasn't looked really good, but Moses is real raw. The first eight guys are locks, but they could easily keep LeRib, Compton, or both. Also, I'd be shocked if TW, Lauvao, Licht, Chester, and Polumbus are not starting week one.
Wide Receiver (6)
Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Aldrick Robinson, Santana Moss, Ryan Grant
No change here. Robinson has looked good in camp and had a good outing against the Pats. He's solidified himself even further in my mind. I think the vast majority of people right now would agree that these are the six WR's that will make the roster.
Tight End (3)
Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul
Again, no change. This is kind of like the receiver group, most everyone agrees that these three will make up the TE group on the roster. Bolser isn't terrible, but he seems like an ideal PS player to me.
Running Back (4)
Alfred Morris, Roy Helu, Darrel Young, Lache Seastrunk
So I dropped Thompson and replaced him with Seastrunk. Thompson just can't stay healthy. I said in my first 53-man article that this would obviously and largely come down to Thompson's health. He obviously could make it over or with Seastrunk, but if he's not healthy, then there's no chance. Silas Redd has looked pretty good, but he will be able to find a spot on the PS. After Lache's display against the Pats, he'll be harder to keep on the PS. That plus the fact that he was a draft pick and I think at this point, he's likely to make the roster. He had all them people in NE saying, "He's wicked fast." We're stacked at RB and I think they'd love to keep these four plus Redd and Thompson, but unfortunately there isn't enough space. Perhaps both Redd and Thompson could go to the PS...
Defensive Line (6)
Jason Hatcher, Barry Cofield, Chris Baker, Jarvis Jenkins, Kedric Golston, Stephen Bowen
I got rid of Clifton Geathers to make room for some other positions. Obviously, Bowen hasn't been healthy enough to practice yet, so whether he makes it or not will largely depend on his availability come week one. I really like Golston and have enjoyed watching him throughout camp. I think he's underrated and a lock to make the team. Same with Jenkins. It was interesting to see that Jenkins was the guy out there in the "NASCAR" package with Orakpo, Kerrigan, and Murphy against the Pats. Another thing about seeing the package is it makes me think Murphy is going to get more snaps than a lot of people thought and the defensive linemen are going to get less. I think that makes it easier to roll with six as opposed to seven. I still like Geathers, but just think he gets caught in a numbers game. I wouldn't be surprised if he made it, but I need to see more impact. If Bowen can't get healthy, I'd say Geathers is next in line followed by Neild.
Outside Linebacker (4)
Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Rob Jackson
Obviously, I was way off on the Brandon Jenkins pick before. With him gone, and no one else really standing out to me, I'm cutting the number down to four. I like Adrian Robinson, but I like Rob Jackson more. He's got experience and knows Haslett's scheme. I think he's got a little more versatility, too.
Inside Linebacker (5)
Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Adam Hayward, Darryl Sharpton, Akeem Jordan
No change. It's kind of tough leaving Will Compton off. Jordan has more experience and is definitely a better ST's player. I think that's more important when considering a reserve LB. Compton could make it over him if he plays really well throughout the rest of the preseason and it wouldn't surprise anybody. He's even listed ahead of Jordan on the depth chart right now. Compton's been good but he'll need to be better. My gut tells me Jordan.
DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tracy Porter, E.J. Biggers, Bashaud Breeland
No change here, either. I think Biggers has played well during camp and against the Pats and I think he's putting a little distance between himself and Minnifield/Crawford. It appears that Roberts is going to handle the PR duties, which hurts Crawford's chances. Minnifield has had a pretty good camp and I think they'll find a way to get him on the PS.
Ryan Clark, Brandon Meriweather, Phillip Thomas, Trenton Robinson
I'm putting Robinson on instead of Rambo at this point. He's simply much better on ST's. Rambo has looked better in the tackling department, but Robinson has had a very good camp, too. He looked great against the Pats. People have been talking about Rambo tackling better, but Robinson still had more/better tackles against the Pats and played more ST's snaps than any other Redskin. I'd love to keep Rambo, but I don't think there's room. I guess they could if they're worried about Clark's health, but his hamstring issues seem pretty normal and not all that concerning (though his age might be). Akeem Davis is another guy to keep an eye on, but much like Rambo, Robinson is simply much better on ST's. I think this regime/coaching staff really values ST's.
Zach Hocker, Robert Malone, Nick Sundberg
Out with Forbath, in with Hocker. He's been better at kickoffs and FG's. The current staff just spent a draft pick on him. This could change after seeing some more preseason games, but how can you not say Hocker over Forbath after what we saw in the Pats game? Forbath needs to be incredibly strong and accurate in the remaining games to regain his spot. I mean, did y'all see Hocker's tackle?! He was very impressive all around in that game. And Forbath missed two FG's (one didn't count) and kicked a KO out-of-bounds! They weren't even close in that Pats game.
That's 26 offensive players, 24 defensive players, and three specialists. What do you guys think?