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Projecting Redskins rosters through 2021

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What does the future hold?

Washington Redskins v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Last May, as one of my first posts on the site, I took a crack at projecting the Redskins’ rosters for the next three years. I was right on some things: Jamison Crowder would be allowed to walk in 2019, Hood and McGee would be off the team, and Matt Ioannidis would get another contract. But, I was wrong on a whole lot more, including several guys I hoped might be allowed to walk for cap savings. Nonetheless, undeterred and with a bit more seasoning, I thought it might be interesting try the exercise again, looking at the players we have locked up through 2021 and the gaps that we can anticipate needing to fill, either through free agency or the draft over the next couple of years.

The players listed in the table below without any parenthetical next to their names are under contract with the Redskins for the period listed. If they need to be re-signed or extended in order to stay on the team, that is indicated. In instances where a position needs to be drafted to fill a hole left by a departing free agent, or traded player, that is indicated as well. Each listing is 46 players including likely starters and immediate back-ups, as projecting full 53 man rosters so far out would be nearly impossible.

Potential Rosters by Year

Position 2019 2020 2021
Position 2019 2020 2021
QB1 C. Keenum D. Haskins D. Haskins
QB2 D. Haskins QB2 (Draft) QB2
RB1 A. Peterson D. Guice D. Guice
RB2 D. Guice B. Love B. Love
RB3 C. Thompson S. Perine RB3
RB4 S. Perine RB4 (Draft) RB4 (Draft)
WR1 J. Doctson T. McLaurin T. McLaurin
WR2 P. Richardson P. Richardson P. Richardson
WR3 T. Quinn T. Quinn T. Quinn
WR4 T. McLaurin C. Sims C. Sims
WR5 C. Sims K. Harmon K. Harmon
TE1 J. Reed J. Reed TE1
TE2 V. Davis TE2 (Draft) TE2 (Draft)
TE3 J. Sprinkle J. Sprinkle TE3
LT D. Penn G. Christian G. Christian
LG W. Martin W. Martin W. Martin
C C. Roullier C. Roullier C. Roullier (re-sign)
RG B. Scherff (re-sign) B. Scherff B. Scherff
RT M. Moses M. Moses M. Moses
OL1 G. Christian R. Pierschbacher OL1
OL2 R. Pierschbacher OL2 (Draft) OL2 (Draft)
DE1 J. Allen J. Allen (re-sign early) J. Allen
DE2 M. Ioannidis M. Ioannidis M. Ioannidis
DE3 C. Brantley DE3 (Draft) DE3
DT1 D. Payne D. Payne D. Payne
DT2 T. Settle T. Settle T. Settle
OLB1 R. Kerrigan R. Kerrigan M. Sweat
OLB2 M. Sweat M. Sweat OLB2 (Draft)
OLB3 R. Anderson R. Anderson J. Brailford
OLB4 C. McKinzy J. Brailford OLB4 (Draft)
ILB1 SD. Hamilton SD. Hamilton SD. Hamilton
ILB2 J. Bostic R. Foster ILB 2 (Draft)
ILB3 C. Holcomb C. Holcomb C. Holcomb
LB1 JH. Clemons JH. Clemons ILB 1 (Draft)
FS1 M. Nicholson M. Nicholson (Draft) FS1
FS2 T. Apke T. Apke T. Apke
SS1 L. Collins L. Collins L. Collins
SS2 D. Everett SS2 (Draft) SS2
CB1 J. Norman CB1 (Draft) CB1
CB2 Q. Dunbar Q. Dunbar Q. Dunbar (Re-sign)
CB3 F. Moreau F. Moreau CB3 (Draft)
CB4 J. Moreland J. Moreland J. Moreland
CB/SP G. Stroman G. Stroman G. Stroman
LS N. Sundberg N. Sundberg LS (Replace)
P T. Way T. Way P (Re-sign/Replace)
K D. Hopkins D. Hopkins k (Re-sign/Replace)

At this point in the pre-season, the 2019 roster should be fairly locked in, with some jostling among position priority, but most of the players shown are pretty close to being locks to make the roster. The one real question mark remaining is whether Trent Williams will play for the Redskins this year, but if he does, that essentially just bumps Penn and Christian down in priority on the OL.

The 2019 roster is very heavy with youth, and as a result, perhaps less predictable - in terms of talent - than the 2018 roster. Accordingly, 23 players on this year’s team (50%) are locked up through 2021, assuming they aren’t cut, traded, or injured. Many of the positions that would be left vacant are depth positions that can and should be targeted in the drafts over the next two years.

Looking to 2020

In 2020, assuming Dwayne Haskins has taken the mantle of starting QB, and Case Keenum and Colt McCoy have ridden off into the sunset, potentially netting us compensatory pick capital, it will be incumbent to find a longer range back-up QB in the draft, perhaps in the fourth or fifth round.

Assuming good health, the Redskins’ backfield could be monstrous in 2020, with a healthy Bryce Love providing “lightning” to complement Guice’s “thunder.” Nevertheless, RB depth should be a target in 2020, as it should probably be in the late rounds of almost every draft.

The Redskins have a ton of young receivers. The question that will be answered in 2019 is: Are any of them very good? McLaurin, Richardson, Quinn, and Harmon will probably all be here for the next several years, with Doc allowed to walk in free agency next year. Nevertheless, this group will likely still provide some opportunities for improvement through the draft in 2020 and 2021.

Short of filling the LT void potentially left by a departure of Trent Williams, the 2020 tight end situation is perhaps the position most in need of draft attention. Many thought the Redskins would take a TE (or two) in the 2019 draft. They instead only picked up an UDFA released by the Lions in Donald Parham, who is more brobdingnagian slot receiver than he is a true TE. The 35 year old Vernon Davis is in the last year of his contract, and while Jordan Reed is signed through 2021, cutting him could result in $8.5M in cap savings in 2020. If he stays healthy in 2019, I think he remains on the team in 2020 to groom a new TE2, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him cut if he struggles to stay on the field this year. Jeremy Sprinkle, to date, has failed to show any signs that he’s ever likely to be more than TE depth.

If Brandon Scherff’s extension gets taken care of imminently - as it should - most the of starting offensive line, as it is likely to be composed over the course of the next 3 years, is probably in place now. The big question, which has been beaten to death, is left tackle. As mentioned above, if Trent isn’t on this team next year, that likely needs to be the primary focus of the 2020 draft. The Redskins added some needed interior OL depth in this year’s draft, and would be wise to reward Chase Roullier sooner, rather than later, to lock him in on a reasonable deal ala Matt Ioannidis.

The defensive line is essentially set, other than a depth position or two, over the next three years. I expect this will be an area of expanding team strength over the coming years, but there will need to be some very deliberate thought given to who will be extended and who won’t be from that group over the next couple of years.

The Redskins should be in great shape at OLB in 2020, with Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat wreaking havoc on opposing QBs. There should be adequate depth there as well, as Ryan Anderson continues to improve and Jordan Brailford matures. Whether Kerrigan retires as a Redskin will likely be a topic as 2021 is considered.

ILB, like wide receiver and the cornerbacks, is a position filled with almost nothing but potential. Will SDH be able to stay healthy and grow into the quarterback of the defense? Is Jon Bostic worth signing longer term? Can Reuben Foster come back healthy and be the disruptive force he was in college? Is Cole Holcomb the real deal? 2019 will reveal the answers to most of those questions.

The Redskins CB corps very closely mirrors its WRs: One or two vets with ceilings of “above average” and a handful of young players composed of late round draft picks and UDFAs. Assuming more of the same from Josh Norman in 2019, my hope would be that he would be a cap casualty in 2020, saving the team $12.5M. Whether that happens or not is highly dependent on the play of Fabian Moreau and Quinton Dunbar this year.

The Redskins are - hopefully - set at SS for years with the signing of Landon Collins. 2019 probably represents Montae Nicholson’s last chance to show that he deserves to be a FS1. Even if he does, the Redskins should target safety depth in the 2020 draft, as Everett is only signed through 2019, and Troy Apke may never be a starter in the league.

Conclusion

Very good drafting over the course of the past three years has put the Redskins in a solid position moving ahead. Next year, the Redskins may need to draft a LT high, but could otherwise be drafting primarily for depth rather than immediate starters. That would set them up tremendously for a strong 2020, another depth draft in 2021, and a chance to make a real run into the playoffs, assuming that Dwayne Haskins is able to develop into the QB that many of us think he can become.

Poll

What grade would you give this version of the Redskins’ 2020 projected roster?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    A
    (48 votes)
  • 62%
    B
    (224 votes)
  • 18%
    C
    (66 votes)
  • 2%
    D
    (10 votes)
  • 2%
    F
    (9 votes)
357 votes total Vote Now