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Grading the Washington Commanders 53-Man Roster by Position Group

NFL: Washington Commanders Training Camp Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Washington Commanders 53-man roster is still a work in progress, the main cogs, aside from tight end, are pretty much set. Seeing as that is the case, I have given out grades to each position group, and an overall grade for the roster.

These grades take into account both starters and depth, with greater weighting going towards the starters in each positional group.


Sam Howell

Jacoby Brissett

Grade: C

The C grade comes from the unknown that Sam Howell essentially is. I flirted with a B- but even the eternal optimist in me couldn’t go there until I see more from Howell behind this makeshift offensive line. I do, however, have high hopes!


Brian Robinson

Antonio Gibson

Chris Rodriguez

Grade: B

This is a solid, but not dynamic group. Robinson and Rodriguez are more bruisers, where Gibson is a guy you’d like to get out in space to create mismatches for opposing defenses. Robinson has sneaky-good hands, and if he can be used some out of the backfield, it could open things up for Eric Bieniemy’s offense.


Terry McLaurin

Jahan Dotson

Curtis Samuel

Dyami Brown

Byron Pringle

Dax Milne

Mitchell Tinsley

Grade: A-

This group has great top-end talent and solid depth. McLaurin and Dotson are both upper-echelon players and Samuel is a sneaky option, especially now that he’s in Bieniemy’s new offense. Brown and Pringle offer excellent depth and Tinsley is a rookie with upside. Milne is a slot guy with limited return ability and is the weak link of this group.


Logan Thomas

Cole Turner

John Bates

Curtis Hodges

Grade: C

Even if Logan Thomas comes back healthy, this group is still weak at the top and with depth. Cole Turner has the highest upside of the unit, but he’s too unproven to grade them any higher than a C.


Charles Leno

Saahdiq Charles

Nick Gates

Sam Cosmi

Andrew Wylie

Cornelius Lucas

Trent Scott

Chris Paul

Ricky Stromberg

Tyler Larsen

Grade: D+

This is a bottom five unit in the league and the grade reflects it. There is one young impact starter (Cosmi), and even he’s unproven as a guard. Charles has some upside, but he’s yet to make it through a season without injury. Rookie C/G Ricky Stromberg, who Rivera called a “developmental” prospect before training camp started, has come on nicely as of late and he may be one of the few on this unit (along with Cosmi) who have a future with this team.


Montez Sweat

Jonathan Allen

Daron Payne

Chase Young

Efe Obada

John Ridgeway

Casey Toohill

James Smith-Williams

Andre Jones

K.J. Henry

Grade: A

Defensive line is without a doubt the strength of this football team and a top five unit in the NFL. The interior depth is a tiny bit concerning now that Mathis went to IR, but we do have Ridgeway and Obada (who can play inside if necessary) to still run the Bear Front. The EDGE position has very good upside and depth.


Jamin Davis

Cody Barton

Khaleke Hudson

David Mayo

Grade: C

The Commanders are a 2-LB base defense (as is most of the NFL), however, this group does not inspire confidence among the fanbase. For two former NFL linebackers to devalue the positions as much as they seem to do is egregious.


Kendall Fuller

Emmanuel Forbes

Benjamin St-Juste

Kam Curl

Darrick Forrest

Danny Johnson

Christian Holmes

Quan Martin

Percy Butler

Jeremy Reaves

Grade: B+

The unit upgraded in a big way with first round pick Emmanuel Forbes, who throughout the preseason has been as advertised. Quan Martin, the Commanders second round pick, on the other hand has struggled. What helped raise the grade here is the solid depth on this unit. St-Juste is a great third corner (if he can stay healthy) and Danny Johnson offers inside-outside versatility. Christian Holmes played well in the preseason and looks to have made significant progress from his rookie season. Percy Butler had a quiet preseason but the staff really likes him as a free safety.

Special Teams:

Tress Way

Joey Slye

Camaron Cheeseman

Grade: B

Tress Way is one of the best punters in the NFL. Slye is an average kicker who goes through stretches of inconsistency. Cheeseman is reliable.

Overall Grade: B-

The defense keeps this roster slightly about average as the unit as a whole has top five potential. The offense leaves a lot to be desired, especially at the two most important position groups on a football team - quarterback and offensive line. This team does have some quality playmakers, but will this offensive line allow the quarterback time to find them, and open up holes for them to run through?