There is a significant amount of turnover and attrition within every NFL roster from year to year, and the Redskins will be no different in 2018. There will be new starters at quarterback, on the defensive line and at cornerback, and there will be a lot of new faces among the team’s depth players. Here’s a look at the final 53-man depth chart after the 2017 training camp concluded and an early look at where that group stands today.
One note: The numbers of players kept at an individual position often changes, so we will use the 2017 numbers as the barometer.
Quarterbacks (2): Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
Cousins is gone to the Minnesota Vikings in free agency and replaced by Alex Smith, acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs. This will be the fourth year McCoy is in the system, and he’s likely safe. The Redskins traded for Kevin Hogan, and the two should compete for the backup position. The team could easily keep three quarterbacks.
Running backs (4): Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson, Mack Brown
The team loves Thompson and Perine is in his second year. Neither is going anywhere. Kelley could be in danger after the drafting of Derrius Guice, but he has just one year left on a cheap contract. Brown was waived in October and is now a member of the Vikings.
Wide receivers (5): Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Terrelle Pryor Sr., Ryan Grant, Brian Quick
Crowder and Doctson are back as starters, and Quick just signed an extension. Pryor signed with the New York Jets in free agency; Grant left for the Indianapolis Colts. Former Seattle Seahawk Paul Richardson was the top free agent signing of the offseason and is expected to start on the outside.
Tight ends (4): Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Jeremy Sprinkle
Reed and Davis are safe as major pieces of the offense. Paul is gone after signing during free agency with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sprinkle is under contract through the 2020 season, and the only other tight end the Redskins have brought in is undrafted free agent Matt Flanagan out of Pittsburgh.
Offensive linemen (8): Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Brandon Scherff, Trent Williams, Chase Roullier, Tyler Catalina.
Williams, Moses and Sherff are back as starters. Roullier is expected to replace Spencer Long as the starting center after Long signed with the Jets in free agency. Lauvao re-signed last week and is the favorite to remain the starter at left guard. Nsekhe is back as a top backup, and Catalina should return for his second season after playing seven games and starting two in 2017. Third-round pick Geron Christian would make eight if the Redskins stick at that number.
Defensive linemen (6): Jonathan Allen, Ziggy Hood, Anthony Lanier, Stacy McGee, Terrell McClain, Matt Ioannidis
The defensive line could see the most movement from last season’s opening 53. Allen is a lock to be back, and 2016 fifth-round pick Ioannidis also should be after posting 4.5 sacks in 2017. McClain was released last week after the team drafted a pair of linemen in Da’Ron Payne and Tim Settle. Lanier seems safe, but things could come down to a numbers game for him and the rest if the team keeps six again. Veteran Phil Taylor is also in the mix after recently signing a one-year deal.
Linebackers (10): Ryan Kerrigan, Zach Brown, Mason Foster, Preston Smith, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight, Chris Carter, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Junior Galette, Ryan Anderson
Kerrigan, Brown, Foster and Smith are back as starters. Second-round pick Anderson is back for his second season. Compton departed in free agency, and the team told unrestricted free agent Galette that he wouldn’t be brought back. Pernell McPhee will be on the roster after signing as a free agent. Spaight is entering the final year of his rookie deal after having six starts in 2017, the best year of his career. Sixth-round pick Shaun Dion Hamilton should make the final cut because of his upside. There should be competition otherwise.
Cornerbacks (6): Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Joshua Holsey, Kendall Fuller
Norman remains the top corner on the roster, and youngsters Dunbar and Moreau will see more action after the trade of Fuller and the free agent departure of Breeland. (Breeland remains a free agent after failing a physical with the Carolina Panthers but is not expected back.) Orlando Scandrick will take one of the spots after signing as a free agent and seventh-round pick Greg Stroman will have a legitimate shot, particularly because of his punt return prowess.
Safeties (5): D.J. Swearinger, Su’a Cravens, Deshazor Everett, Montae Nicholson, Stefan McClure
Swearinger, Everett and Nicholson are locks. Cravens was traded to the Denver Broncos, and McClure is with the Detroit Lions. Fourth-round draft pick Troy Apke would have to be awful to not make the 53. Fish Smithson and undrafted free agent Quin Blanding are in the mix for a final spot if the Redskins stick with five players at the position.
Kicker (1): Dustin Hopkins
Hopkins signed a three-year deal this offseason.
Punter (1): Tress Way
Way will have to compete with newly signed free agent Sam Irwin-Hill.
Long Snapper (1): Nick Sundberg
Sundberg is under contract through 2020 and should be automatic to make the 53.
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