Offseasons in Washington are never boring - on this we can all agree!
This franchise as a whole has a lot of weaknesses - starting with the owner and filtering down through the coaching staff, with Ron Rivera shouldering most of the blame. Until those holes are fixed, it may seem like a futile exercise to go through roster projections, but with the likelihood that new ownership won’t happen until March at the earliest, and the looks of a lame-duck season for Rivera, it could get VERY interesting come March.
Below is my projected two-deep depth chart absent of our restricted free agents. I have put players in jeopardy of being released (either for injury or contract reasons - or both) in bold.
2023 Projected Two-Deep:
QB - Sam Howell, ________________
RB - Brian Robinson, Antonio Gibson
WR - Terry McLaurin, Dyami Brown
WR - Jahan Dotson, Dyami Brown
WR (slot) - Curtis Samuel, Dax Milne
TE - Logan Thomas, John Bates/Cole Turner
LT - Charles Leno, Cornelius Lucas
LG - Andrew Norwell, Chris Paul
C - Chase Roullier, ________________
RG - Sam Cosmi, Saahdiq Charles
RT - ____________, Cornelius Lucas
EDGE - Chase Young, James Smith-Williams
DT - Jon Allen, John Ridgeway
DT - ____________, Phidarian Mathis
EDGE - Montez Sweat, Casey Toohill
LB - Jamin Davis, ____________
LB - ____________, Khaleke Hudson (RFA - will likely be tendered)
CB - Kendall Fuller, Christian Holmes
CB - Benjamin St-Juste, ____________
Slot - Bobby McCain, ____________
S - Darrick Forrest, Percy Butler
S - Kam Curl, ____________
P - Tress Way
K - ____________
LS - Camaron Cheeseman
- WR: Wide receiver is the team’s biggest strength with Washington likely boasting a top 5 receiving corps in the league.
- EDGE: Chase Young wasn’t quite back to himself when he returned late in the season, but we saw flashes of the player he once was. Montez Sweat will be on his fifth year option, so working out a long-term deal here is important for the future. The depth behind these two is solid.
- RB: The two-headed monster of Robinson and Gibson is a formidable one.
- S: Safety is now what I’d consider a partial strength of this football team. Both Curl and Forrest had outstanding seasons, and Bobby McCain, who is signed through 2023, can rotate between slot corner and safety. It’s important for Washington to re-sign Jeremy Reeves this offseason.
- QB: There is not much to say here; besides, as usual, the cupboards are bare.
- OL: Outside of quarterback, there is not much more of a glaring need on this roster than offensive line. A case can easily be made that three new starters are needed.
- LB: Cole Holcomb is a free agent. It will be interesting to see if the staff re-signs him or looks to upgrade on the free agent market. There is nothing behind current starter Jamin Davis.
- CB: The starters are solid, but the depth is severely lacking. St-Juste has been injured two years in a row - so that in itself is a major concern.
- TE: It’s time to move on from Logan Thomas. There is some young potential behind him, but none that have really separated themselves.
Where to go from here...
2023 free agency will be big for this football team, but with questions surrounding new ownership and the potential timing for someone to step in, will Dan Synder be willing to allow this lame-duck staff to go out and spend freely on the free agent market?
Re-signing our own free agents will be a top priority. Daron Payne and Jeremy Reaves are the two I’d like to see this staff bring back. Outside of them, there are some question marks. Taylor Heinicke is on the mind of many, but he may be able to better maximize his value on the open market. Wes Schweitzer is a valuable rotational piece on the offensive line, and at the right price, I’d love to see him return. Cole Holcomb is my biggest head-scratcher. He’s solid, but not spectacular. It may be better to let him test the market and see if we can land a better player at the position.
So having said the above, the top free agent needs I have identified are linebacker, offensive line (at a minimum one top-level starter), tight end and a solid veteran back-up quarterback.
Working in the projected comp-picks, Washington should have the following selections in the 2023 NFL Draft:
- RD3 (comp pick)
- RD6 (comp pick)
It’s imperative this staff hits on our top three draft selections. Cornerback, offensive line, and linebacker should be a focus early (assuming quarterback is off the table with the 16th pick). Depth picks later on can help round out this roster.
What position group is the strongest?
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What is Washingtons weakest position group?
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