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Washington Commanders’ Armchair GM: Building Blocks of a Championship Contender

Where do teams need talent to compete in the playoffs?

Las Vegas Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

With the appointments of Eugene Shen as Senior Vice President of Football Strategy and Adam Peters as GM, the Harris ownership group has officially ushered in a new era of football in the Nation’s capital.

For the first time in 24 years, Washington fans can expect to see rational and strategic decision making replace the gut feel of an old football coach and a meddling owner in the team’s offseason team building moves.

It has occurred to me that the changing of the guard in the Commanders’ front office will require a change in my approach to offseason articles for Hogs Haven. Throughout the Snyder era, the Redskins/Football team have struggled to get their roster right. In the past four years, in particular, any idiot could make better player personnel decisions than the front office brain trust.

If the team’s new strategic brains can replicate any of the success they had in their previous jobs, that should quickly become a thing of the past. As an adaptation to this strange new world, this offseason I will shift my focus from diagnosing the failures of a floundering franchise to instead using the available evidence to attempt to anticipate the moves of some of the top experts in the game today. Is that a fool’s errand? Perhaps.

When asked about the state of the Commanders’ roster in his introductory press conference, Peters replied, “I believe there are a few cornerstone pieces on this roster, I believe we have a lot of work to do”.

Peters joined the 49ers as a personnel assistant under newly hired GM, John Lynch in 2017, in the wake of the one-year Chip Kelly experiment. Three seasons later, the 49ers were back in the Super Bowl. The roster that Peters and Lynch inherited in San Fracisco was not unlike the one he is now tasked with rebuilding in Washington.

To kick off my new Armchair GM series, I will be looking at the elements of a championship contender to get an idea of what pieces Peters will need to put in place to make his team a contender. In the first edition of the series, I will examine the starting rosters of teams that have played in the past five Super Bowls. In upcoming editions I will take a look at how the roster Peters has inherited compares to recent Super Bowl teams, to develop an idea of the work that he has ahead of him. I will also delve into his past moves in San Francisco to look for clues about how he might approach this mammoth task.

Identifying Common Elements of Super Bowl Rosters

In this article, I examined the starting rosters of conference champions in the past five NFL seasons to see if there were any common elements. To perform this analysis, I took inspiration from another famed NFL team builder with links to both San Francisco and Washington. According to draft savant, Scot McCloughan:

You know the grading system? Blues are like perennial Pro Bowl players. Reds are like really good football players…Yeah. So, if you’re lucky, you have four or five blues, and hopefully one of those is your quarterback. If you have another 30 who are reds, starters, solid backups, core special teams guys, then you have a chance.

While sticking to the general spirit of Scotty M’s nomenclature, I took some liberties with the definitions and added a category. For this exercise, I rated each “starting” player and a few key special teamers on the 10 Super Bowl rosters in the following categories based on their performance in their Super Bowl season:

Blue – An elite player at their position. The elite designation was based on being nominated to the Pro Bowl or any of the three All Pro Teams (AP first or second team, Sporting News, Pro Football Writers Association) or the equivalent. I graded a few players as Blues based on having comparable numbers to their All Pro and Pro Bowl counterparts (e.g. Tom Brady in 2020), or if they made regular appearances on lists of All Pro and Pro Bowl snubs published my major sports press outlets (e.g. G Ali Marpet, 2020 Bucs).

Red – Red is a broad category spanning the range from a better than average starter to a player who just missed out on being a Blue. The “better than average” determination for most positions was made by a cursory examination of their Super Bowl season stats compared to other players at their position. For quarterbacks, I was guided by ESPN’s total QBR, which is the best all-in-one performance metric available for any NFL position. For offensive linemen, I had to resort to a combination of stats on pressures allowed (PFF) as well as Approximate Value and PFF blocking grades. There are no truly satisfying stats on blocking performance this side of a pay wall.

JAG – Average to below average starters were designated as Just A Guy. JAGs are players who didn’t make the cut as Reds.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Methodological Details

Readers who aren’t interested in the fine points can skip ahead to the next section.

As I have stressed above, players were rated based on their performance in the season when they played in the Super Bowl, with no consideration for their performance in previous or later seasons. For example, DL Ndamukong Suh is a five-time All Pro and Pro Bowler, from 2010 through 2016. When he played in the Super Bowl with the 2020 Buccaneers, his performance had declined from his previous All Pro form but was still better than the average starting defensive lineman. He was therefore graded as a Red on the Bucs 2020 Super Bowl roster, not a Blue based on his performance in past seasons. Another notable Red who people may tend to think of as a Blue based on their past peak performance is TE Rob Gronkowski (2018 Patriots, 2021 Buccaneers). Former All Pro CB Marcus Peters even graded as a JAG in an uncharacteristically poor season with the 2018 Rams.

Each Super Bowl team roster was treated independently. That means that many players on teams that made repeat appearances (e.g. Chiefs 2019, 2020, 2022) were counted more than once. Some readers might see that as a confounding factor. I would argue that lessons from repeat Super Bowl contenders should be weighted more than teams that made a single appearance. Also, all teams’ rosters vary from season to season. Therefore, I did not attempt make any adjustment for repeat appearances. Feel free to discuss potential compounds in the comments.

Last of all, the definition of a “starter” can be ambiguous and is sometimes completely arbitrary. When in doubt, I used snap counts to determine which players actually got the most playing time in a season.


RESULTS: Where Do Championship Contenders Have the Most and Least Talent?

To determine which position groups require the most talent to compete for championships, I reviewed all 10 Super Bowl rosters in the past five seasons and asked:

1. Are there any position groups which seem to require elite players?

2. Are there others where it is possible to get by with less than elite talent?

3. Can championship contenders make do with average or below average starters at some positions?

To answer these questions, I counted numbers of Red, Blue and JAG players on each Super Bowl team’s roster from 2018 through 2022. In this section, I’ll present the key findings. The player grades are listed in the Appendix, in case people are interested or want to check my work.

Super Bowl LV - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images

Quarterback

Number of Teams with Blue Players: 9/10

Number of Teams with Red or Blue Players: 10/10

As you might expect, teams that make the Super Bowl usually have elite quarterbacks. In five years examined 9 out 10 Super Bowl teams had a Blue player at QB. The lone exception were the 2019 San Francisco 49ers, starting Jimmy Garoppolo under center. While Jimmy G is generally considered to be a fairly mediocre QB, he had a career season in 2019, ranking 12th in the league with a total QBR of 60.8 (69.1% completions, 3,978 yds, 27 TD, 13 INT). Those numbers put him well into Red territory in the 49ers’ Super Bowl season.

No team has made it to the Super Bowl with an average or below average in the past 5 years. Going back even further, in the decade from 2013 to 2022, only two of 20 Super Bowl rosters featured a QB who was not an elite performer in that season. The other team, aside from the 2019 49ers, was the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles made it to the playoffs that year on the back of Carson Wentz’s career season (Pro Bowl, AP 2nd team All Pro, 3rd in AP MVP voting). Backup Nick Foles took over when Wentz was injured in Week 13 and rose above himself to turn in an elite level performance throughout the playoffs, culminating in being named Super Bowl MVP. If you count Foles, every QB Super Bowl in the past decade has been won by an elite QB.

Bottom line: To compete for championships, teams really need an elite quarterback. The bare minimum teams can get away with is an above average starter who can elevate his play for at least one season.

Offensive Skill Positions

Number of Teams with Blue Players: 8/10

Number of Teams with Red or Blue Players: 10/10

Overall, 8 out of 10 Super Bowl teams had at least one Blue player at an offensive skill position. The two exceptions were the 2018 Patriots and the 2020 Buccaneers. Both of those teams had one thing in common. They had all-millennium all-star Tom Brady playing QB. Both teams were also stacked with middle- to high-end Red players and a few former superstars (e.g. Rob Gronkowski) in their twilight years at the skill positions.

No team has made it to the Super Bowl without at least one Blue player at an offensive skill position, or a Blue QB supported by a strong cast of Red players at skill positions.

The average Super Bowl roster had 1.3 Blue players at offensive skill positions and 2.4 Red players. The 2022 Eagles set the high mark at 3 (RB Miles Sanders, WR A.J. Brown, WR DeVonta Smith). I mentioned above that the two Super Bowl lacking Blue offensive skill players had Tom Brady at QB. In addition, both rosters had four Red players at skill positions (2018 Patriots: RB Sony Michel, WR Julian Edelman, WR Josh Gordon, TE Rob Gronkowski; 2020 Buccaneers: RB Rondald Jones II, WR Mike Evans, WR Chris Godwin, TE Rob Gronkowski).

The rank order of skill positions with Blue players on Super Bowl Rosters was as follows: WR 5/10 teams, TE 4/10 teams, RB 3/10 teams.

Only 1 team in the past 5 Super Bowls has featured any offensive skill position without at least one Red player. The 2021 Bengals featured JAGs CJ Uzomah (20th in rec. yds.) and Drew Sample (67th in rec. yds.) at TE. Neither TE achieved even league average production for their positions. That might not be a knock on either player. The Bengals’ offense does not rely much on TEs as receivers. In 2021, any lack of production from the TE position was more than offset by WRs Ja’Marr Chase (Blue, 1,455 rec yds) and Tee Higgins (Red, 1,091 rec yds), with WR3 Tyler Boyd also chipping in 828 receiving yds (not graded because he’s a listed starter).

Bottom line: Championship contenders either have one or more elite playmaker at offensive skill positions, or a strong group of Red players at all the skill positions and a blue-chip QB.

Offensive Line

Number of Teams with Blue Players: 5/10

Number of Teams with Red or Blue Players: 10/10

The OL numbers were a bit of a surprise to me, and will probably surprise many readers. We may be suffering from recency bias.

Only 5 Super Bowl rosters in the past five years featured at least one Blue player on the OL, and only 2 featured more than 1. The latter were last year’s Super Bowl teams, the 2022 Chiefs (LT Orlando Brown, LG Joe Thuney, C Creed Humphrey) and Eagles (RT Lane Johnson, C Jason Kelce, LG Landon Dickerson). I went into this expecting to see more teams loaded with Blue players on the OL, so this was a slight surprise.

That is not to say teams can get to the Super Bowl with weak OL groups. Of the 5 teams that did not feature at least 1 Blue player, 3 had 5 Red players on the OL and 2 had 4 Red players.

The average Super Bowl roster had 0.9 Blue players on the OL and 3.2 Red players. In aggregate terms, the average Super Bowl team had 4.0 Red and Blue players combined on their OL.

Among the 5 teams that did have Blue players on the OL, the positions at which they played were close to evenly split between OT (4/5 teams) and iOL (3/5 teams). However, since starting rosters have 2 OTs and 3 iOL positions, that means that Blue players are a little more likely to be found at OT on championship rosters.

There is a common belief that championship contenders have to have elite offensive tackles. This is where the numbers really diverged from my expectations. No Super Bowl team in the last 5 years featured two Blue players at OT. Among the 4 teams with one Blue OT, 2 played LT (Eric Fisher 2020 Chiefs, Orlando Brown 2022 Chiefs) and 2 played RT (Mitchell Schwartz 2019 Chiefs, Lane Johnson 2022 Eagles). Remember, I am grading players on their performance in the Super Bowl year. A few teams featured former or future All Pros, who were graded as Red in their Super Bowl seasons (e.g. LTs Joe Staley and Eric Fisher in 2019).

One thing that should not surprise anyone is that having a JAG at OT is not a good look for a championship contender. In the past 5 years, no team has made it to the Super Bowl without at least a Red player at both OT positions.

While the Super Bowl OLs were packed with Red and Blue players, they did feature some JAGs. In fact, 5/10 Super Bowl teams featured at least 1 average to below average starter on the OL. The highest number was 2 on the 2019 Chiefs (LG Andrew Wylie, RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif) and 2020 Chiefs (LG Nick Allegretti, RG Andrew Wylie). Those teams also featured one of the great improvisers off structure at QB, stacked offensive skill groups and Blue players at OT. All 6 JAGs who made it to the Super Bowl (counting Andrew Wylie twice) played on the iOL.

Bottom Line: Super Bowl teams in the past five years have either been stacked with Red and Blue players at 4 or 5 OL positions, or have made up for 1 or 2 average to below average players on the iOL with Blue talent elsewhere. No team has made it to the Super Bowl without at least above average starters at both OT positions.

Super Bowl LVI - Los Angele Rams v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Defensive Line

Number of Teams with Blue Players: 9/10

Number of Teams with Red or Blue Players: 10/10

Grouping players into DL vs linebackers and splitting DEs from DTs becomes challenging because some teams run 3 man defensive fronts and some teams run 4 man fronts in their “base” defensive packages (base was put in quotation because most defenses play a majority of snaps in nickel defense, no matter what they call their base alignment). Interestingly, among the 10 Super Bowl teams, 8 ran a 4-3 defense and only 2 (2018 Rams, 2020 Buccaneers) used a 3-4. Also, we are seeing more and more players excel as pass rushers from off-ball linebacker positions (mainly OLB positions in 3-4 defenses).

To deal with this complexity, I sort of double dipped. In this section, I’ll look at defensive linemen, including all DTs and DEs. For this purpose, I will treat 3-4 DEs as DTs, because they are comparable players. In the next section I’ll look at Edge defenders, including 4-3 DEs and 3-4 OLBs. A few players got counted twice. I took care not to let that alter any conclusions.

Seven of 10 Super Bowl teams had at least one Blue player on their DL. What might surprise some is that 6 of them had Blue players at DT and only 4 had them at DE.

The three Super Bowl teams without a Blue defensive lineman were the 2018 Patriots, the 2020 Buccaneers and the 2022 Eagles. The 2018 Patriots had 3 good Red players on the DL and JAG Malcom Brown at DT. The 2020 Buccaneers were one of two Super Bowl teams with a 3 man defensive front. They had two quality Red players at DE (treated as DT here, since 3-4 DEs play on the interior). They also had two Blue edge defenders at OLB, who will be dealt with in the next section. The 2022 Eagles had four near-elite Red players on the DL, who just missed the cut to be classified as Blues. So the three teams without elite players on the DL more than made up for it in other ways.

The average Super Bowl roster had 1.0 Blue Players on the DL and 1.6 Red players. In aggregate, the average Super Bowl roster had 2.5 Red and Blue players on their DL. Bear in mind that 2/10 teams had 3 defensive linemen and 8/10 had 4.

While Super Bowl teams tend to have stacked defensive lines, they also usually have one weak link. Nine of 10 Super Bowl rosters had 1 JAG on the DL. The only one that didn’t was the 2022 Eagles, which had 4 Reds. No Super Bowl team had more than 1 JAG on the DL.

Bottom line: Super Bowl teams tend to have stacked defensive lines, averaging 1 elite player and around 2 more players in the above average to nearly elite category. Most Super Bowl teams managed to get by with one average or below average player on the DL.

EDGE Defenders

Number of Teams with Blue Players: 6/10

Number of Teams with Red or Blue Players: 10/10

As I explained in the previous section, edge defenders can be either 4-3 DEs or 3-4 OLBs. In this section, I combined those two groups and even threw in the occasional 4-3 OLB who makes his living rushing the passer like the Eagles’ Haason Reddick. There will be considerable overlap with DEs included in the previous section. My idea was to get an idea of what is required in different functional areas on a Super Bowl roster, and not to be constrained by arbitrary position titles.

Here we are looking at players who rush the QB on passing downs and seal the edge against the run, whatever teams call them.

Only six out of 10 Super Bowl teams had at least 1 Blue player at an edge rushing position. However, no team made the Super Bowl without at least one Red player on the edge, and only 3 out of 10 had fewer than 2 edge defenders graded below Red.

The 2020 Buccaneers were the only team with two Blue edge defenders, OLBs Jason Pierre-Paul (Pro Bowl) and Shaquil Barrett (8 sacks, 11 TFL, 71 pressures, Pro Bowl snub).

The numbers might get a little funny, because two of the teams brought edge pressure from the OLB position in a 4-3 defense (2021 Rams OLB Leonard Floyd, high end Red, 9.5 sacks, 19 TFL, 37 pressures; 2022 Eagles OLB Haason Reddick, Blue). Be that as it may, the average Super Bowl team had 0.7 Blue edge defenders and 1.0 Red edge defenders. In aggregate, the average roster had 1.55 Blue and Red edge defenders.

Nevertheless, 4/10 teams have made it to the Super Bowl with a JAG playing one of the Edge positions: 2018 Rams OLB Matt Longacre, 2019 & 2020 Chiefs Alex Okafor and Tanoh Kpassagnon, 2021 Rams DE A’Shawn Robinson. Each of these teams were able to compensate for a lack of production on one edge, by pressuring the QB from another position. The 2018 and 2021 Rams featured Aaron Donald as an interior pass rusher and the 2021 team added pressure off the edge from OLB Leonard Floyd. The 2019 Chiefs also featured a disruptive interior pass rusher in DT Chris Jones (Blue) who was paired with two-time Pro Bowl DE Frank Clark on the other edge.

Bottom line: Pressuring the QB and sealing the edge is critical to contending for championships. More than half of Super Bowl teams have featured an elite player on the edge and most had two above-average edge defenders. Those that lacked a Blue edge defender or had an average or below player on one edge have compensated by having high end talent on the other edge and/or pressuring the passer from other positions.

Off-Ball Linebackers*

Number of Teams with Blue Players: 2/10

Number of Teams with Red or Blue Players: 7/10

*The definition of a linebacker is becoming increasingly challenging as teams are using fewer players at the position and moving to hybrid roles in the defensive backfield. For purposes of this analysis, I have defined it as any linebacker who doesn’t play primarily as an edge defender. This can include traditional middle linebackers, as well as outside linebackers in 4-3 defenses that I didn’t class as edge defenders.

In case you were wondering why I have been tracking numbers of teams with Red or Blue players at each position, this is it. Off-ball linebacker is the only position group at which teams have made it to the Super Bowl in the past five seasons without an above average starter. It is also the position group with the lowest number of Blue players represented on Super Bowl rosters.

Even so, most Super Bowl teams have had at least one above average starting linebacker. The average Super Bowl roster had 0.82 Red players at off-ball linebacker and 1.2 Red and Blue players.

The only Super Bowl team with two Blue linebackers were the 2020 Buccaneers (Devin White and Lavonte David, both AP 2nd team All Pro). The only other team with a Blue linebacker were the 2018 Rams (Cory Littleton, 2nd team All Pro, Pro Bowl).

The three teams that have lacked Blue or Red players at the position were the 2019 and 2020 Chiefs and the 2021 Rams, since I am counting Rams OLB Leonard Floyd as an edge defender. All three of these teams had very strong defensive lines and secondaries, featuring mixtures of Blue and Red players at both levels.

Bottom line: Off-ball linebacker has the lowest representation of above-average and elite starters on Super Bowl rosters. Nevertheless, most Super Bowl teams have at least one above-average starter at the position. Those that didn’t have compensated with strong defensive lines and secondaries.

NFL: FEB 02 Super Bowl LIV - Chiefs v 49ers Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Defensive Secondary

Number of Teams with Blue Players: 6/10

Number of Teams with Red or Blue Players: 10/10

Every single team that made the Super Bowl Rosters had a majority of positions in the secondary filled by above average starters. All 10 rosters had 3 or 4 Blue or Red players.

Six of 10 rosters had at least 1 Blue player in the secondary. The 2022 Eagles had the only secondary with more than one Blue: CBs James Bradberry (AP2) and Darius Slay (Pro Bowl).

Of the 6 teams with Blue secondary players, 4 had them at CB (2018 Patriots, 2019 49ers, 2021 Rams, 2022 Eagles) and 2 had them at safety (2019 and 2020 Chiefs). The Blue safety on both Chiefs teams was Tyrann Mathieu.

The average Super Bowl secondary had 0.7 Blue players, 2.4 Reds and 0.7 JAGs.

Seven out of 10 Super Bowl teams had one JAG in the secondary. No team had more than one.

Bottom line: Every Super Bowl team in the past five years had at least 3 above average starters in the secondary.

Special Teams

Number of Teams with Blue Players: 5/10

Special Teams was not a major focus of this analysis, but it is worth mentioning 5 out 10 Super Bowl rosters featured Blue players on special teams.

All up there were 6 Blue players on those 5 rosters: 2 punters, 2 kick or punt returners, 1 kicker, and 1 special teamer.

The 2018 Rams were the only team with two Blue players on special teams: punter Johnny Hekker (AP2) and special teamer Cory Littleton (AP2). Littleton also made the Pro Bowl and AP All Pro second team that season at inside linebacker.


Profile of a Super Bowl Roster

I was actually surprised at how packed with talent the starting rosters of Super Bowl teams were. The average Super Bowl team in the past five seasons had 5.5 Blue players and 10.8 Red players. That comes to an average of 16.3 above average starters out of 22 starting positions. At the other end of the talent spectrum, the average Super Bowl roster had fewer than 5 average to below average starters.

As we have seen, not all position groups on championship rosters are equal. Some positions seem to require elite talent to get to the championship level; while it is possible for championship contenders to get by with a few average to below average players at others.

To summarize all of the preceding analysis, here are the elements that seem to be required to put together a championship contender:

QB: An elite QB, or an above average starting QB who is capable of elevating his play in a playoff season

Offensive Skill Positions: At least one elite playmaker OR above average starters at all offensive skill positions

Offensive Line: Above average starters at Right and Left tackle, no more than 1 average to below average starter on the interior offensive line

Defensive Line: One elite player and at least two other above average starters in teams playing 4 man fronts

Pass Rush: One elite pass rusher or two above average edge defenders. The elite pass rusher could be an edge rusher or an interior pass rusher on the DL.

Off-ball Linebacker: At least one above average starter

Defensive Secondary: At least three above average starters


What’s next?

In the next edition of the Armchair GM, I will take a look at how the roster that GM Adam Peters inherited compares to the profile of a championship contender. What building blocks are in place and what pieces will be on his shopping list as he looks to build a winner in DC?


Appendix: Player Ratings

2018 Patriots

Blues (2): QB Tom Brady, CB Stephon Gilmore (also KR Cordarelle Patterson)

Reds (17): RB Sony Michel, WR Julian Edelman, WR Josh Gordon, TE Rob Gronkowski, LT Trent Brown, LG Joe Thuney, C David Andrews, RG Shaq Mason, RT Marcus Cannon, DE Tre Flowers, DT Lawrence Guy, DE Deatrich Wise, LB Don’t’a Hightower, LB Kyle Van Noy, CB Jason McCourty, SS Patrick Chung, FS Devin McCourty (“Backup” RB James White)

JAGS (3): WR Chris Hogan, DT Malcom Brown, LB Elandon Roberts

2018 Rams (3-4 Defense)

Blues (4): QB Jared Goff, RB Todd Gurley, DT Aaron Donald, ILB Corey Littleton (P Johnny Hekker, ST Cory Littleton)

Reds (13): WR Brandin Cooks, WR Cooper Kupp, WR Robert Woods, TE Tyler Higbee, LT Andrew Whitworth, LG Rodger Saffold, RG Austin Blythe, RT Rob Havenstein, DT Ndamukong Suh, OLB Samson Ebukam, CB Aquib Talib, SS John Johnson, FS Lamarcus Joyner

JAGs (5): C John Sullivan, DE Michael Brockers, ILB Mark Barron, OLB Matt Longacre, CB Marcus Peters

2019 Chiefs

Blues (7): QB Patrick Mahomes, WR Tyreek Hill, TE Travis Kelce, RT Mitchell Schwartz, DT Chris Jones, DE Frank Clark, S Tyrann Mathieu (KR Mecole Hardman)

Reds (8): RB LeSean McCoy, WR Sammy Watkins, LT Eric Fisher, C Austin Reiter, DT Derrick Nnadi, CB Bashaud Breeland, CB Charvarius Ward, S Juan Thornhill

JAGs (7): WR Demarcus Robinson, LG Andrew Wylie, RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, DE Alex Okafor, LB Anthony Hitchens, LB Damien Wilson, LB Reggie Ragland

2019 49ers

Blues (4): TE George Kittle, DE Nick Bosa, DT DeForest Buckner, CB Richard Sherman, (FB Kyle Juszczyk, not counted for analysis purposes due to positional rarity)

Reds (14): QB Jimmy Garoppolo, RB Tevin Coleman, WR Deebo Samuel, WR Emmanuel Sanders, LT Joe Staley, LG Laken Tomlinson, C Weston Richburg, RG Michael Person, RT Mike McGlinchey, DE Arik Armstead, LB Fred Warner, LB Dre Greenlaw, CB Emmanuel Moseley, S Jimmie Ward, (Backup RBs Raheem Mostert, Matt Breida)

JAGs (3): DT D.J. Jones, LB Kwon Alexander, S Jaquiski Tartt

2020 Chiefs

Blues (7): QB Patrick Mahomes, WR Tyreek Hill, TE Travis Kelce, LT Eric Fisher, DT Chris Jones, DE Frank Clark, S Tyrann Mathieu

Reds (6): Clyde Edwards-Helaire, C Austin Reiter, RT Mike Remmers, DT Derrick Nnadi, CB Charvarius Ward, CB Bashaud Breeland

JAGs (9): WR Demarcus Robinson, WR Sammy Watkins, LG Nick Allegretti, RG Andrew Wylie, DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, LB Anthony Hitchens, LB Damien Wilson, LB Willie Gay, S Juan Thornhill

2020 Buccaneers (3-4 Defense)

Blues (6): QB Tom Brady, LG Ali Marpet (All Pro snub), OLB Jason Pierre-Paul, ILB Devin White, ILB Lavonte David, OLB Shaquil Barrett

Reds (13): RB Ronald Jones II, WR Mike Evans, WR Chris Godwin, TE Rob Gronkowski, LT Donovan Smith, C Ryan Jensen, RG Alex Cappa, RT Tristan Wirfs, DE Ndamukong Suh, DE William Gholston, CB Carlton Davis, SS Antoine Winfield, FS Jordan Whitehead

JAGs (3): WR Scott Miller, NT Rakeem Nunez-Roches, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting

2021 Bengals

Blues (4): QB Joe Burrow, RB Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, DE Trey Hendrikson

Reds (11): WR Tee Higgins, LT Jonah Williams, LG Quinton Spain, C Trey Hopkins, RT Riley Reiff, DE Sam Hubbard, DT D.J. Reader, LB Logan Wilson, CB Chidobe Awuzie, S Vonn Bell, S Jessie Bates III

JAGs (7): TE Drew Sample, TE CJ Uzomah, RG Hakeem Adeniji, DT Larry Ogunjobi, LB Germaine Pratt, CB Eli Apple, CB Mike Hilton

2021 Rams

Blues (4): QB Matthew Stafford, WR Cooper Kupp, DT Aaron Donald, CB Jalen Ramsey, (K Matt Gay)

Reds (14): RB Darrell Henderson, WR Van Jefferson, WR Robert Woods, TE Tyler Higbee, LT Andrew Whitworth, LG David Edwards, C Brian Allen, RG Austin Corbett, RT Rob Havenstein, DT Greg Gaines, DE Von Miller, LB Leonard Floyd, S Jordan Fuller, S Taylor Rapp (Backup RB Sony Michel)

JAGs (4): DE A’Shawn Robinson, LB Troy Reeder, LB Kenny Young, CB Darious Williams

2022 Chiefs

Blues (6): QB Patrick Mahomes, TE Travis Kelce, LT Orlando Brown, LG Joe Thuney, C Creed Humphrey, DT Chris Jones, (P Tommy Townsend)

Reds (13): RB Isiah Pacheco, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR Maquez Valdez-Scantling, RG Trey Smith, RT Andrew Wylie, DE George Karlaftis, DE Frank Clark, LB Nick Bolton, LB Willie Gay, CB L’Jarius Sneed, CB Trent McDuffie, S Justin Reid, S Juan Thornhill

JAGs (3): TE Noah Gray, DT Derrick Nnadi, LB Leo Chenal

2022 Eagles

Blues (10): QB Jalen Hurts, RB Miles Sanders, WR DeVonta Smith, WR A.J. Brown, RT Lane Johnson, C Jason Kelce, G Landon Dickerson, OLB Haason Reddick, CB James Bradberry, CB Darius Slay

Reds (10): TE Dallas Goedert, LT Jordan Mailata, G Isaac Seumalo, DE Josh Sweat, DT Fletcher Cox, DT Javon Hargrave, DE Brandon Graham, LB T.J. Edwards, LB Kyzir White, S C.J. Gardner Johnson

JAGs (2): TE Jack Stoll, S Marcus Epps

Acknowledgement: This article was inspired by a comment by Hogs Haven regular, LASkin, who did a quick look at the makeup of recent championship round playoff teams. I think I found pretty much the same things he did, just in a bit more detail.


Poll

How far is Washington’s roster from looking like a Super Bowl contender?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    The roster’s fine. Just need good coaches and we’ll be ready to compete.
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Just missing a few pieces
    (6 votes)
  • 12%
    Several holes to fill, but a good offseason should do the trick
    (87 votes)
  • 49%
    Need to rebuild multiple position groups, might take 2 years or more
    (353 votes)
  • 24%
    Needs a total overhaul, 2-3 years or more
    (171 votes)
  • 11%
    Depends how long it takes us to find a franchise QB
    (82 votes)
  • 0%
    Every offseason is the same. Things will never get better.
    (7 votes)
708 votes total Vote Now