The Washington Redskins are halfway through their preseason schedule, and we’re starting to get a feel for what the 53-man roster is going to look like. The team currently has 90 players on the roster, and the first wave of cuts — which will reduce the roster to 80 — is due Aug. 30. Then comes the cut down to 53, followed by the forming of the eight-man practice squad.
So how is the roster shaping up? Let’s take a look, position by position, at the players that appear to be locks, and those that remain on the bubble.
Looking good: John Beck and Rex Grossman are locks.
On the bubble: Kellen Clemens and Ben Chappell.
Thoughts: Shanahan doesn’t always keep three quarterbacks, but it would make sense for the team to keep Clemens given how inconsistent Grossman is and how unproven Beck is. If theRedskins think they can get by with two and cut Clemens, Chappell could be a practice squad candidate.
Running back (3)
Looking good: Tim Hightower and Roy Helu are a potentially explosive duo.
On the bubble: Ryan Torain, Evan Royster, Shaun Draughn.
Thoughts: Torain needs to get healthy so he can prove himself, and if he is able to do that, his chances of making the roster are good. Royster looked good last week, but isn’t much different from Hightower and Torain in his running style. If he doesn’t make the team, he likely is a strong special teams candidate.
Looking good: Darrel Young is looking solid both as a blocker and pass catcher.
On the bubble: Keiland Williams
Thoughts: Williams is listed as No. 2 on the fullback depth chart, but he offers versatility because he also can play running back, and is pretty decent pass-protector. He also plays special teams, so his chances would seem to be pretty decent.
Wide receivers (5-6)
Looking good: Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Armstrong appear to be locks.
On the bubble: Terrence Austin, Donte Stallworth, Leonard Hankerson, Niles Paul, Aldrick Robinson, Isaac Anderson, Brandon Banks, Malcolm Kelly.
Thoughts: If Banks is healthy and able to produce in the returns department, then he is set. Austin is having a good preseason, and coaches like Hankerson’s potential; he’s not helping himself with frequent drops, however. Stallworth is solid, but it’s a crowded position. Kelly’s chances don’t appear good. Paul could make the practices squad. Robinson needs to redeem himself from a shaky preseason debut.
Tight ends (3)
Looking good: Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen are locks.
On the bubble: Mike Sellers, Joe Torchia, Derek Schouman, Tony Curtis.
Thoughts: Sellers is trying to make the team at tight end after apparently losing his fullback job to Young. Cooley’s injury could help him, and Sellers is a good blocker. The last three tight ends’ chances aren’t great.
Offensive line (8)
Looking good: LT Trent Williams, LG Kory Lichtensteiger, C Will Montgomery, RG Chris Chester and RT Jammal Brown are on the team. T Sean Locklear, C/G Erik Cook and G Artis Hicks appear to have good shots.
On the bubble: C Donovan Raiola, G Maurice Hurt, G Corey O’Daniel, G/T Selvish Capers, G/T Xavier Fulton, T Willie Smith, T Clint Oldenburg.
Thoughts: The Redskins likely will carry eight offensive linemen, and Shanahan likes versatility. Locklear can play both tackle positions, Hicks can play both guard positions and tackles as well, and Cook can play any of the interior positions. None of the bubble players has significant experience, and other than rookie Willie Smith — a prime practice squad candidate — none has consistently looked very good.
Defensive line (7)
Looking good: NT Barry Cofield, DEs Stephen Bowen, Adam Carriker, Jarvis Jenkins, Kedric Golston are on the team. NT Anthony Bryant is a solid backup.
On the bubble: DEs Darrion Scott, Jeff Stehle, Doug Worthington, NT Chris Neild, Thomas Weaver.
Thoughts: Those four bubble players likely are battling for one spot, but it would be surprising to see the team carry three nose tackles, so while Neild — the seventh-round draft pick out of West Virginia — has looked solid, he’s likely headed to the practice squad. Scott is the only player of that group with real experience to speak of, although Worthington is intriguing.
Looking good: OLBs Bryan Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Rob Jackson, Lorenzo Alexander and ILBs London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh, Perry Riley and Keyaron Fox all appear to be set.
On the bubble: ILB Horatio Blades and OLBs Markus White, Thaddeus Gibson, Edgar Jones, Eric McBride.
Thoughts: Blades appears to be on his way out after coming to camp out of shape and has lost his job as Fletcher’s backup to Fox, who also is a strong special teams contributor. White and Gibson likely will wind up on the practice squad.
Looking good: DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, Kevin Barnes, Phillip Buchanon.
On the bubble: Byron Westbrook, Brandyn Thompson, Dante Barnes, Reggie Jones, Tyrone Grant.
Thoughts: Westbrook appears to have a leg up thanks to his experience with the team as a solid special teamer, and on Friday, he played the role of third corner on the first team with Hall and Barnes with Wilson out. Jones has looked solid, and Thompson finally showed something with the interception Friday night. But the rookie out of Boise State still is a long shot to make the team.
Looking good: LaRon Landry, Oshiomogho Atogwe, Reed Doughty, Chris Horton.
On the bubble: Kareem Moore, DeJon Gomes, Anderson Russell, Davonte Shannon.
Thoughts: Landry and Atogwe have yet to get on the field in a preseason game, but are safe and expected to play Thursday. Moore still isn’t ready to return yet. Gomes has looked good in preseason, but still might wind up on the practice squad at a crowded position.
Special teams (3)
Looking good: K Graham Gano, LS Nick Sundburg, P Sav Rocca
Thoughts: Gano has another competitor in Clint Stitser, but Stitser didn’t kick Friday, and Gano was 3-for-3 again.