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Redskins Final 53-Man Projection

A day away from the deadline; who makes the cut?

NFL: Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Redskins Final 53-Man Roster projection: Who Makes the Cut?

So, we’ve made it through preseason (thank goodness). Beyond a few tough injuries, my initial roster projections(Offense/Defense) after week 2 of the preseason is largely intact (I told you so). I will highlight the changes (in bold) that have been made and give a few other notes for each position below.


QB (2): Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

If the Redskins were going to keep a 3rd QB because of Colt’s injury, it wouldn’t be Hogan. He just isn’t yet ready to be a backup.

RB (4): Adrian Peterson, Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson

Samaje holds on to a roster spot just barely better than he holds on to the football. He’s on the roster for now, but as soon as Thompson falters on any level, look for either Bibbs to be brought back in or Marshall to be activated off the IR. Kelley is the kind of player you want on your team; he advocated for more special teams reps in OTAs and will do whatever it takes to make this team. He also looked much more effective running behind a FB.

WR (6): Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Trey Quinn, Mo Harris, Brian Quick

Preseason sweetheart Cam Sims finds himself on the outside looking in. Every year, fans fall in love with a WR that has tools but isn’t ready yet (see Marko Mitchell). If Harris isn’t healthy, Sims is the last guy on, but I think Quick is a lock because of his veteran presence, special teams play, and consistency.

TE (4): Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle, JP Holtz

This is an easy group, right? Wrong. Holtz makes the team as he has shown he can be a capable fullback in front of two RBs who ran significantly better in 12 personnel this preseason. Gruden is a creative play-caller and knows what fits his offense best, so I believe he sees that both Rob Kelley and Adrian Peterson run more effectively with a lead-blocker. Plus, Holtz has shown he is athletic enough to get out on a flat-route effectively.

OL (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Kyle Kalis, Tony Bergstrom

No change here. The final roster spot was between Kyle Kalis and Tyler Catalina, so now that the Wine-Mixer is out for the season, Kalis keeps his job. However, I fully expect that the last OL spot will belong to someone who is not currently on the Redskins’ roster come week 1 in Arizona.


DL (6): Jonathan Allen, DaRon Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier II, Tim Settle, Ziggy Hood

*This assumes Stacy McGee starts out the season on PUP*

No change here. As I said three weeks ago, no chance Phil Taylor makes this team as a third NT. It was never going to happen. Big Phil is a good guy, but he never had a shot at this roster without an injury.

OLB (4): Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Pernell McPhee, Ryan Anderson,

Only change here is Pete Robertson not making the final 53 in favor of a fourth TE. I don’t think the Redskins are thrilled with their talent on the outside, and if a 5th OLB is kept, I think that player comes from the waiver-wire.

ILB (5): Mason Foster, Zach Brown, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Martrell Spaight

Spaight makes the HUGE push to supplant Zach Vigil. At camp, Spaight was playing with the 3rd, and sometimes 4th, lines. Perhaps that was a message from the coaches, but Vigil has been less-than-spectacular and his lack of athleticism has shown up throughout the preseason. Spaight’s special teams value, hard-hitting style, and the fact that Brown, JHC, and Hamilton are all more ‘finesse’ ILBs land him the final ILB spot.

CB (6): Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Greg Stroman, Adonis Alexander, Danny Johnson

*This assumes Joshua Holsey starts out the season on PUP*

Danny Johnson was my ‘last cut’ after preseason week 2, but after the departure of Orlando Scandrick, Johnson makes this team. Whispers from the park suggest that Danny Johnson might be considered by coaches to be the team’s 4th CB who would come in after Moreau in nickel. Quite a few months for the undrafted rookie.

S (4): DJ Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Deshazor Everett, Troy Apke

I remain worried about this position, but the projection stays the same. Apke and Everett missed more tackles than they made in the preseason, neither living up to their new ‘Nutella and Wonderbread’ nicknames. Swearinger and Nicholson both struggle in man coverage, something the team showed a lot of in preseason. I hope this unit proves me wrong.

Special Teams (3): LS Nick Sundberg, K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way

I don’t care about special teams. I do think the team should’ve brought in competition for Hopkins, but he was 2% above league average last year in kick accuracy and 4.8% above the league average inside of 50-yards, so maybe we all remember misses more than we remember the kicks he put through the uprights.

So, to recap, that’s 25 offense, 25 defense and 3 specialists. As always, give me a follow/ask me questions on Twitter @Kennedy_Paynter and thanks for reading!