The curtain is about to rise on the 2019 roster
The dress rehearsal is upon us which means the starters are getting ready to be named. Roster positions are starting to become locked in with the final 5 to 10 still needing to be finalized. Is Docston still going to be around? Can Cam Sims and Robert Davis do enough to avoid the practice squad? What about Perine? Could we see 5 Safeties make the team?
QB: Keenum*, Haskins
It has been no secret since my first mock roster came out in late July that Colt was not going to be in on the 53-man roster come Week 1. What has changed is that Head Coach Jay Gruden as all but confirmed that Case Keenum will be the starter in the season opener. Keenum will be looking to do only what Alex Smith has during the Jay Gruden era, win a season opener. Haskins is looking like he will sit, learn, and get some playing time at the end of the year should the Redskins be out of playoff contention. Sorry Bram looks like I won’t owe you that 6-pack (if that bet was a real bet).
RB: Peterson*, Guice, Thompson, Marshall
Colt McCoy isn’t the only Redskin that is joked about being Jay’s illegitimate child. Samaje Perine seems to have nine lives with this team. Yes, the team has had injuries and reason to keep him around with Guice going down. But, with the teams top 3 running back being healthy and back (knock on wood), it is tough to see him having a roster spot. Perine does not excel on special teams, so the only reason the Redskins would keep him is as an insurance policy in case Guice or Peterson have injury scares in season. Expect Marshall to maintain a roster spot until Bryce Love gets cleared to play.
WR: Richardson*, McLaurin*, Quinn*, Harmon, C. Sims, R. Davis, Doctson
It is no secret at this point, thanks to JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington, that Josh Doctson’s time as a Redskins is nearing its end. With the emergence of Cam Sims and Robert Davis during training camp, it is starting to look less likely that Doctson could be around come cut down day. According to JP, the Redskins have even gone as far as trying to trade the former first rounder the past two years, but there were no takers. It will come down to whether the Redskins believe they can stash Cam Sims, or even Kelvin Harmon, on the practice squad without them getting snatched up by another team.
TE: Reed*, Davis, Sprinkle
This is a position where there could be a surprise. Jordan Reed is downright the most talented receiver the Redskins have. When he is healthy and consistently on the field, the Redskins make the playoffs. I have had Flanagan as the fourth tight end for weeks because of Jordan Reed’s injury history and Vernon Davis is not getting younger. It is possible that the Redskins surpass a seventh receiver or fifth safety to keep their best blocking tight end on the roster.
T: Penn*, Moses*, Christian Sr.
G: Scherff*, Martin*, Flowers
C: Roullier*, Bergstrom Pierschbacher
The offensive line is clearly the weakest group on the Redskins heading into 2019. Trent Williams has continued to be MIA with no end in sight. The offense will clearly go as the left side of the line goes which is starting to look more like Donald Penn at Left Tackle and a lean towards the rookie Wes Martin. Do not be surprised is Erick Flowers is ultimately named the starting Left Guard for Week 1, but Martin is the future and the more reps he gets the better he will be moving forward. Tony Bergstrom is a wild card. He has had a rough camp and first two weeks of the preseason. I still have him on the roster based off what John Keim has been saying that Bergstrom is currently considered the top back-up Center and can act as an extra guard should that be needed.
DE: Allen*, Ioannidis*, Wicker
DT: Payne*, Settle, Brantley
The defensive line is the strength of this Redskins team. The starters are going to dictate the pace of the game and whether the offense will have a short field. Allen is the clear captain of the defense, if not the Redskins, and will expect nothing less than greatness from his linemates.
OLB: Kerrigan*, Sweat*, Anderson, McKinzy
ILB: Dion-Hamilton*, Bostic*, Harvey-Clemons, Holcomb
The line backers are younger, faster, and likely hungrier than last year. Kerrigan is quietly continuing his Hall of Fame career with no concern of a drop off coming any time soon. Montez Sweat has seen a little bit of in game action but is looking like a “Madden create a player” according to those that were at training camp. Anderson and McKinzy will round out the outside linebacker position.
If there is one question mark on the defense, it is the inside linebacker position. Second year player Shaun Dion-Hamilton is expected to run the defense with the veteran Joe Bostic flanking him. They are not a great pair in pass coverage, but they are better than what they had in Foster and Brown last year. Dion-Hamilton will continue to develop in season with Josh Harvey-Clemons and rookie standout Cole Holcomb rotating in when necessary. Holcomb will be a quiet and key contributor in 2019.
CB: Norman*, Dunbar*, Rodgers-Cromartie, Moreau, Stroman, Moreland
Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar will return as starters on the outside from last year. Norman looked to have lost a step and was not helped when D.J. Swearinger and Haha Clinton-Dix would free lance and play out of position. Having Landon Collins at the Strong Safety position should help if Norman’s performance shows any hiccups. Dunbar is looking to bounce back from a nerve issue in his shin that ended up shutting him down for 2018. Rookie sensation Jimmy “The People’s Corner” Moreland will look to contribute most on special teams but could see some action in dime packages. Fabian Moreau is the favorite to be the starting slot corner but will have to play at a high level to keep Greg Stroman or Moreland from taking that role from him.
FS: Nicholson*, Apke, Reaves
SS: Collins*, Everett
The Safety position is pretty much set. Montae Nicholson will be looking to put a disappointing end to 2018 behind him and prove he belongs as the starting Free Safety in the foreseeable future. Landon Collins comes in with high expectations after signing a high-priced contract. The safety position has been a rotating door more than any other on the Redskins roster since the death of Sean Taylor. Collins will be looking to bring some stability on the back end of the defense. Jeremy Reaves is a new addition to the mock roster. He could end up making the team as mostly a special teams contributor. Reaves presence on the team could be dependent on what the coaching staff (really Bruce) wants to do with Perine and Flanagan. This might be Troy Apke’s last shot at staying in D.C. past this year with Deshazor Everett being a mainstay back-up at Strong Safety and on special teams.
Special Teams (3)
Reuben Foster (IR), Bryce Love (PUP), Alex Smith (IR), Colt McCoy (IR)
Italics = Rookie
* = Starter