With two pre-season games down, and only today’s game against the Bengals to go, Washington’s final roster is very likely already set - assuming there aren’t any injuries that throw a wrench in the works. That said, I expect (hope) that Washington’s starters will get very little, if any, playing time tonight, and that what we’ll see is mostly third stringers showing the rest of the world what they’ve got. Below is my prediction of the final 53, and much of the practice squad.
Despite new NFL rules that allow teams to carry a third QB without it counting against their game day 46-man active roster, I don’t believe that Washington will add Jake Fromm to the 53-man final grouping, as that spot is critically needed elsewhere. Howell won the starting job, and Brissett is one of the best QB2s in the league.
I’ll admit that it would be unusual for Washington to carry fewer than 4 RBs on the roster, but again, there’s a critical need for that free spot elsewhere on the team, and I don’t think Jonathan Williams or Jarrett Patterson are terribly likely to get poached. While I think Rodriguez could eventually become RB1, I expect that Ron will start Robinson in that role, with Gibson serving as a third down back.
Logan Thomas basically sat out all of the preseason, a testament to the fact that Ron wants his TE1 back fully healthy against the Cardinals. Bates and Turner will get plenty of opportunities this year as well. I think Hodges played himself off the 53-man roster this pre-season. Will the team keep a fullback in Alex Armah? I have my doubts.
Washington’s offensive line has a lot of moving parts, and has experienced significant injury issues over the past couple of years. I think the team goes conservative here - as they should - and keeps 10 OL going into the season. The most positive thing that can be said about this group is that it has a ton of positional flexibility.
This is Washington’s most talented WR room since - probably - the Posse. With Terry McLaurin hurting with turf toe, I think Rivera keeps an additional WR or two, both to avoid the possibility that a high-end player gets grabbed immediately after cut downs, and to ensure the team has the appropriate depth if Terry is out for a few weeks.
The defensive line is absolutely stacked. It seems a virtual certainty that at least one of the players who doesn’t make the team from this group will get snagged by someone else at this point. For me, the odd man out is Casey Toohill, even with taking ten players along the line. The alternative? Risking one of the individuals drafted this year (either Henry or Jones) or exposing Obada, who I think brings more to the table than Toohill does. Perhaps someone will come down with a phantom injury before cutdowns.
Linebacker is a position of thin depth on the team, but it’s also one of the least critical positions in Jack Del Rio’s defense. I think David Mayo sticks around at least one more year, and Milo Eilfer and DeJon Harris go to the practice squad.
Would it be unreasonable to carry 11 defensive backs? Not if several of them bring high end special teams value, and several in this group do (Holmes, Reaves, Butler, among others). Rachad Wildgoose and Kendall Smith go to the practice squad, while Washington’s DB room remains one of the most talented in recent memory.
Special Teams (3):
Props to Ron for the kicking competition with Badgley, and for bringing in a try-out punter (Palardy) while Way was hurt. Badgley’s leg is probably insufficiently strong for a serious NFL career, and the punter looks like someone who could be called off his couch in a pinch. Let’s hope Cheeseman gets his snaps under control, or we may be looking for another long snapper.
Joey Slye (K)
Tress Way (P)
Camaron Cheeseman (LS)
Among those who I think will make the PS are:
- Jake Fromm
- Dax Milne
- Marcus Kemp
- Jarrett Patterson
- Jonathan Williams
- Curtis Hodges
- Alex Armah
- Aaron Montiero
- Alex Akingbulu
- Kendall Smith
- Rachad Wildgoose
- Mason Brooks
- Trent Scott
- William Bradley-King
- Milo Eilfer
How many roster spots do you think this projection has wrong?
This poll is closed
More than 7