Keeping up with the depth chart can be challenging in the off-season — especially one like the Redskins have had in 2020 — one in which a few veterans have been released, some have chosen to depart in free agency, players have been traded on and off the team, and around a dozen or so free agent signings have taken place — most of them special teams players, backups and marginals starters, with a few ‘camp bodies’ thrown in the mix.
Aside from a few relatively well-known names like Thomas Davis and Richard Rodgers, and the return of Kendall Fuller, the Redskins free agent haul has been a lot of low-profile players.
I thought, with the draft a week away, this might be a good time to hit the pause button and see what the Redskins roster looks like when it is laid out in a depth chart.
There are inherent difficulties in formulating a depth chart in April in any year, but the challenges are multiplied this off-season by a new coaching staff, a defensive scheme change, and an influx of a large number of low profile free agents.
For instance, in the change to a base 4-3 defense, should a player like Ryan Anderson be moved to the DE group along with Montez Sweat and Ryan Kerrigan, or is it likely he will play off-the-ball linebacker in the new scheme?
When we look at guys who are third on the depth chart, it may not always be clear if they should be listed, say, as a slot receiver or wide receiver.
I have looked at sources, including other articles that project the Redskins position groups for 2020, PFF snap counts to see where some of the less experienced free agents lined up in the 2019 preseason with their former team, and other depth charts (usually put together by people who know less about the Redskins personnel than I do).
Still, you may not always agree with where I have put players. That’s okay — feel free to correct me in the comments.
Likewise, you may not agree with my decisions on starter vs. backup. The best example may be my decision to list Matt Ioannidis as the starter ahead of Jonathan Allen, but there were also some decisions to be made at spots like tight end, left guard, and at every linebacker spot.
I have endeavored to at least get the number of players recorded accurately. I have double checked my list of players against both Redskins.com and Our Lads, and I believe I have the name of every player, even if there may be some argument over their exact spot on the depth chart.
I also made the decision to list each player only once, so, while Ross Pierschbacher may back up two or three positions, I listed him only as Chase Roullier’s backup. Likewise, each defensive back and wide receiver has been assigned only one position, though a player like Kendall Fuller may play both boundary corner and slot corner.
I have assumed that every player who is under contract, except Alex Smith, will be healthy and ready to play. Guys like Reuben Foster, Bryce Love, Derrius Guice and others have been put into the depth chart with no consideration for the possibility that they may begin 2020 on the PUP list.
As for Trent Williams, I have put him 3rd on the depth chart at left tackle and highlighted him as likely to hold out or be traded.
In the end, I find that the team has 74 players currently under contract. I assume that Alex Smith will be on PUP, and that Trent Williams will be traded or will not report, so that puts the likely training camp roster (if there is a training camp) at 72 players — currently 34 on defense and 37 on offense.
The Redskins have, unless I missed a transaction somewhere along the way, 7 draft picks next week. Assuming they make 7 picks, then they would have room to bring in 11 undrafted free agents. Of course, there will not be a tryout camp or May OTAs, so, once the 90-man roster is set, it is likely to be a bit more stable than it usually is in May and June. Still, the Redskins may well sign more than 11 UDFAs and make room by cutting one or more of the players that currently inhabit the bottom of the roster.
Click on the chart below to inspect it more closely.
I hope you find this useful as you consider how the Redskins can use the draft and college free agency to complete the 90-man roster.