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Revisiting my one and only 2021 roster projection

How’d I do?

NFL: Washington Football Team OTA Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Back on 21 June, in that soft spot between minicamp and training camp, I decided to try my hand at projecting the final 53-man roster. If you want to see that article, you can click here.

Now that we know Washington’s initial 53-man squad, I thought it would be fun to look back and see how prescient (or not) I was.

I know there will be some movement in the roster between now and the Chargers game, but it’s really the initial squad that everyone tries to predict from the 90 man training camp pool of players.

I usually figure that anyone should be able to predict 46 players correctly. The talent is in getting the last 7 right. Well, by that standard, I was a failure.

I’ve shown my misses in red. Depending on how you count, the exact number of misses can be argued, but I figure I’ve got 10 misses, meaning that I only got 43 right, which is well below what I consider to be “par”.

Where did I do well, and where did I go wrong?

Where I got an “A”

Well, I was 100% on safeties, running backs and special teams. Special teams, of course, was a gimme, so there’s no credit in that.

Remember that this was a June projection. After seeing the preseason games, I had changed my mind and figured that Jeremy Reaves would make the roster in favor of Darrick Forrest, so the early projection worked in my favor there, improving my predictive score by one.

I will take credit for being on the Jaret Patterson hype train early, though I was hardly the only one.

LB

I count the linebacker group for two misses, though, to be fair, I don’t think anyone in the world projected the WFT to only keep 4 linebackers. It’s hard taking a -2 on that, but you win some and you lose some.

DL

Defensive line really only had two question marks, and I got one right (Shaka Toney) and one wrong (I predicted WBK over Toohill). By the end of preseason, it was clear that WBK wasn’t ready for prime time, but back in June I was counting on his draft status to keep him on the roster. That was actually the toughest decision for me when I wrote that article.

CB

At cornerback, I seem to be the only person in the world who thought that Darryl Roberts was destined to make the roster, and I never wavered in that opinion. By the end of preseason, I thought it was clear that Moreland would be cut and that McTyer would be retained, but back in June I still figured the people’s corner to be a no-brainer.

I feel no shame in predicting that the team would keep Danny Johnson over Apke, although I understand the logic of why Apke is still a Teamer.

OL

I had one miss on the OL, and that was the backup center. At the time (and even when preseason came to an end) I figured it was a coin-toss between Ismael and Larsen, so I went with the guy the team drafted.

TE

My worst performance is at tight end, where I correctly projected only two players out of the 4 kept by the team. Worse still, the guy I projected to make the team, Deon Yelder, was the first guy cut!!

WR

I feel pretty good about my wide receiver call. I boldly called for 7 receivers when that idea was being openly mocked by nearly everyone. I got 6 out of 7 correct, though, again, I projected the first guy cut, Kelvin Harmon, to make the team over the draft pick Dax Milne. I’m not shocked that Harmon got cut, but I am a bit surprised Milne made the team. I think he’s the first guy cut if no one goes to IR and the team signs a veteran linebacker.

QB

The only question with QBs wasn’t who, but how many? I said 2. The coaches went with 3. Back in June, my thinking was that Kyle Allen didn’t look like he’d be healthy by September. By the end of preseason, it was clear that Rivera would keep three on the roster and no one on the practice squad.

Well, if anyone ever thought I could be trusted to project a roster accurately, this exercise should put paid to that notion.

Still, it’s always fun to discuss the ‘what ifs’ during the offseason doldrums. Thank goodness that we’re just a week away from the season kickoff, and just about ten days out from Washington football.

That’s gotta be more fun than reading about roster projections, right?