Here's the third edition of this and obviously, things are still very fluid only half-way through the preseason. This time Justin Byram has come along to give his opinions, too. In my opinion, the spots that are the least stable at this moment in regards to both numbers and actual players are RB, OL, and S. This is at least somewhat evidenced by the differing opinions Justin and I have as we disagree at least a little bit on three positions: OL, DL, and S.
We've had two preseason games to help with these predictions and some players really changed their stock in that last one against Cleveland. We'll be able to get a much better guess at this after the third preseason game coming up against Baltimore on Saturday. Here's what both Justin and I think at the moment (starters are in italics).
Rowsey (3): Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
Nothing's changed here and I really doubt it's going to. We all saw the dangers in RGIII's game against the Browns and keeping these three guys just makes a lot of sense. If anything happens to RGIII this year and Cousins has to start, or if Cousins isn't with the team next year, in either scenario McCoy would make a fine back-up. Griffin really needs to stay healthy.
Byram (3): Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
As much as I’d like to only keep two quarterbacks on the roster, Griffin proved against Cleveland his days of playing reckless aren’t quite over. It will be hard for Griffin to get over the mental aspect of taking off running whenever he's in trouble because that’s what he’s been taught for so long. McCoy will provide insurance in the event Griffin gets hurt.
Rowsey (10): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Morgan Moses, Mike McGlynn, Spencer Long, Josh LeRibeus, Tom Compton
I'm still sticking with the same 10. LeRibeus closed the gap behind Chester largely because of Chester's lackluster play against the Browns, but I'm not ready to say they'll start LeRib over Chester just yet. If for any reason they need to go with someone other than Chester though, LeRibeus seems like the only real option since Long isn't ready yet. The gap between Compton and Moses has closed some as well, but I still think the staff would have concerns keeping Moses as the only reserve OT at this point. It'll be very interesting watching those two switch sides and see how they do over these last two preseason games. If Moses continues to improve, perhaps they go with nine and leave Compton off. If Chester were better, we could have saved a spot for somewhere else by leaving LeRibeus off, but after that poor performance against the Browns, I feel like LeRibeus needs to stay for insurance. I'd feel a lot more secure in this pick if LeRibeus would just really step it up and play solid games against the Ravens and Bucs. The shift of Moses and Long over to the right side this week against the Ravens, and with the possibility of first-team snaps, is very interesting... especially for Chester, LeRibeus, Compton, and Polumbus. This could change a whole lot after that game.
Byram (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Morgan Moses, Spencer Long, Josh LeRibeus, Tom Compton
This is another tough cut, I don’t think I’m ready to give Morgan Moses the swing tackle job yet, forcing Tom Compton onto the roster. I like how Josh LeRibeus has looked this off-season bumping Mike McGlynn off the roster.
Rowsey (6): Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Aldrick Robinson, Santana Moss
This is pretty set for me. Ross has looked very good and would be seventh right now, but I don't see any way they're keeping seven. I'd also expect Hankerson will start the season on PUP.
Byram (6): Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Aldrick Robinson, Santana Moss
The first three are no-brainers, and Grant has shown that he will challenge for the fourth receiver spot early, and might have to position won by the end of pre-season if he keeps it up. The rest is what’s tricky, Robinson played well against New England but didn’t flash much against Cleveland, should Moss be replaced with a younger receiver to be developed? Rashad Ross’ return ability make him an interesting prospect to watch.
Rowsey (3): Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul
Book it. Bolser's not good enough to crack this top three and I don't think they'll keep four. To the PS!
Byram (3): Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul
No surprises here, Reed is the break-out candidate, Paulsen is by far the best blocker, and Paul is a special teams ace that has shown great improvement this year.
Rowsey (4): Alfred Morris, Roy Helu, Lache Seastrunk, Darrel Young
I came very close to putting Royster on here either with or in place of Seastrunk. Ultimately I went with the same group I did last week. I think Royster, Thompson, and Redd all have very real chances still and this is the least predictable group on the team, in my opinion. Thompson has got to get healthy and show something. I think the staff really likes him and wants to keep him, but I think it'd be difficult to justify doing so based on the preseason so far. Royster had a great game against the Browns, but so did Seastrunk. Royster has gotten more attention for it because he kind of came out of nowhere and got the TD, but Seastrunk has been consistently good running the ball. I'd feel more comfortable about this if we could see some passes go Lache's way... This is the battle to watch over the last two preseason games.
Byram (4): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Roy Helu, Lache Seastrunk
Morris and Young are locks, and Helu is pretty safe as well. However, no back has really stepped up in pass protection. Chris Thompson’s injury has given undrafted rookie Silas Redd additional reps where he has run the ball well and showed pretty good blocking skills, making him a dark-horse to make the 53-man roster. But for now, I’ll give Seastrunk’s potential the nod for the last running back spot.
Rowsey (6): Chris Baker, Barry Cofield, Jason Hatcher, Jarvis Jenkins, Kedric Golston, Chris Neild
I took off Bowen because I've lost faith that he'll be ready to start the season. I still think they like him and the pay-cut certainly helps. He'll start on PUP and then join the 53 assuming he can get into playing shape by the time he's eligible. Honestly, it was a toss-up between Neild and Geathers for me. I was leaning Geathers last week and he had a nice sack and looked pretty good against the Browns, but for some reason I just can't shake the feeling that the coaching staff likes Neild. It's way close.
Byram (6): Jason Hatcher, Barry Cofield, Chris Baker, Jarvis Jenkins, Stephen Bowen, Kedric Golston
With Stephen Bowen re-negotiating his contract it is clear that he is in the Redskins future plans, making Kedric Golston the only questionable one on this list. The Redskins may opt for a younger version of Golston, but I like his versatility and special teams ability especially after last seasons special teams disaster.
Rowsey (4): Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo, Trent Murphy, Rob Jackson
No change here. Gabe Miller looked good against the Browns and could challenge Jackson is he shows out against the Ravens and Bucs, but for now, Jackson has the edge.
Byram (4): Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Rob Jackson
The top three are very clear and the Redskins really like what they have in them. However, there is a clear drop off in talent after the top three, so who makes the final cut? Jackson has the most experience, but would the Redskins prefer a younger option like Gabe Miller or Adrian Robinson? For now I’ll give the edge to Jackson, but he is by no means a lock.
Rowsey (5): Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley, Adam Hayward, Will Compton, Darryl Sharpton
Will Compton looked great against the Browns and even though Akeem Jordan looked pretty good too, Compton really stole the show. I think Sharpton might need to be a little concerned after missing so much time. The longer he's hurt, the more his chances are hurt. And if Jordan can put together another couple games with great ST's play like he did against the Browns, he could knock Sharpton off.
Byram (5): Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley, Adam Hayward, Will Compton, Darryl Sharpton
The first two are starters and Hayward may end up being the special teams captain, after that is where it gets interesting. I really like the way Will Compton has played and he has the most experience in Jim Haslett’s defense, leaving Sharpton and Jordan fighting for the final roster spot. Jordan made a few plays on special teams Monday night against the Browns, but for now I will go with the hard-hitting younger player in Sharpton provided he can return from his ankle injury relatively soon.
Rowsey (5): DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, E.J. Biggers, Bashaud Breeland, Tracy Porter
It's looking more and more like these five. Breeland was excellent against the Browns. He really stood out. I already thought he was a lock for the roster, but now I'm thinking he'll actually get some PT. Crawford has disappeared and the only guy close to these five in my opinion is Minnifield. I definitely think they'll put Chase on the PS.
Byram (5): DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tracy Porter, E.J. Biggers, Bashaud Breeland
It will be interesting to see who wins the nickel cornerback role that is essentially a starter. Breeland certainly made a case with an impressive game against Cleveland. Although the third cornerback spot is up for grabs, I would be surprised if it wasn’t these five on the 53-man roster.
Rowsey (4): Brandon Meriweather, Ryan Clark, Phillip Thomas, Bacarri Rambo
OK, I switched Robinson for Rambo. Between the comments on my last roster post and the way he has performed all preseason long (especially against the Browns), how could I leave him off? I mean, if DeAngelo Hall says you've been the best player on defense during the preseason, then I think you're probably good enough to be on the team. I still like Trenton Robinson a whole lot, make no mistake about it, especially on ST's, but Rambo has been too good and I don't think they'll keep five. I liked Robinson over Rambo largely for his aggressiveness, but Rambo has been much more aggressive as of late.
Byram (5): Brandon Meriweather, Ryan Clark, Phillip Thomas, Bacarri Rambo, Trenton Robinson
Bacarri Rambo has shown improvement in the first two pre-season games, but the Redskins find a way to keep the impressive hard hitting safety Trenton Robinson a roster spot as well, giving the Redskins three young safeties with a lot of potential.
Rowsey (3): Zach Hocker, Robert Malone, Nick Sundberg
Why should I change? I mean seriously Forbath, why should I change? They both seem to be good FG kickers, but Hocker is better on kick-offs.
Byram (3): Robert Malone, Zach Hocker, Nick Sundberg
The kicker battle is hard to gauge at this point, but so far Hocker has been more impressive especially on kick-offs.