On Monday, we asked you to choose the offensive line for what would be a 53-man roster determined by The Insider’s readers. Readers very clearly wanted tackles Trent Williams, Morgan Moses and Tyler Polumbus, center Kory Lichtensteiger, and guards Shawn Lauvao and Spencer Long on the roster.
The linemen in the next tier were nearly even in votes — guards Chris Chester, Mike McGlynn and Josh LeRibeus, with tackle Tom Compton and Adam Gettis not too far behind. Maurice Hurt, Tevita Stevens and Kevin Kowalski were the outsiders you don’t expect (or want) to win a roster spot.
Insider readers had a clear top six, and then are seeing five linemen competing for two to four spots. To comprise our final Insider 53, we might need to have a runoff. As of this writing, Chester (763 votes), McGlynn (748), LeRibeus (742) and Compton (728) were ahead of Gettis (649), and far ahead of Hurt (334).
Today let’s choose our defensive line. In a 3-4, you need nose tackle and two defensive ends. Much of the pass rush comes from the outside linebackers, so the ends can be penetrating 1-gap types or hole-clogging 2-gappers. Washington appears to be transitioning — without changing defensive coordinators — to a 1-gap scheme that will cut the defensive ends loose, so keep that in mind as you go through.
Here are the candidates (click link for stats):
Chris Baker — Brings versatility to the line, as he has played nose and end. Started the final three games at end, and signed a three-year deal in the offseason.
Stephen Bowen — Had started 42 games in a row for Washington before knee injury ended his season last year.
Barry Cofield — Regarded by some as one of the better nose tackles in the league.
Clifton Geathers — At 6-8, 340, he’s giant even by NFL standards. Doesn’t move well enough to be a penetrator, so his potential role seems limited.
Kedric Golston — Others come and go, but steady defensive end always finds a way to contribute. Made eight starts last season, and played 124 snaps on special teams. His 45.6% of defensive snaps played was higher than any Redskin but Cofield.
Jason Hatcher — Signed from the Cowboys in free agency, specifically for his ability to get to the quarterback from the D-end spot. Played 834 snaps for Dallas last season, including 87 on special teams.
Jarvis Jenkins — Third-year player has two career sacks in 19 starts, but was a second-round pick under Mike Shanahan.
Frank Kearse — Fourth-year player had eight starts in two seasons in Carolina, and appeared in two games for 34 snaps with Dallas last year.
Chris Neild — Fourth-year nose missed 2012 with an injury and played in eight games last season.
Robert Thomas — Rookie nose from Arkansas is practice-squad eligible.
Doug Worthington — Third-season defensive end last made news for his minicamp fight with Mike McGlynn.
There are 11 candidates. Do you keep five? Six?