- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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Examining the Washington Redskins' roster:
Jay Gruden only had two quarterbacks in each of his three seasons with Cincinnati, but Griffin still needs to prove his durability. So nothing has changed since the original posting. If something happened to Griffin, they would still be in good shape with Cousins and McCoy. If they go with two, then McCoy gets left off.
Running backs (4)
Nothing has changed at this point, though Evan Royster is healthy. Still, I'm going with four and, for now, giving the last spot to Thompson because of his ability to catch and play in space. Rookie Lache Seastrunk still has a ways to go, but the games could change his situation. As always, Thompson must still prove his durability; only one way to do that. I still view Royster as an insurance policy, but he's not better than Morris as a runner or Helu in his role, and Royster lacks the speed of Thompson and Seastrunk. I am curious to see Silas Redd in the preseason.
I still don't think Leonard Hankerson will be ready to start the season on the active roster. I wonder about Robinson, but not the others. While some undrafted free agents have looked good in practice, I learned long ago not to go overboard until you see them in games. Robinson made a couple big plays this week, but he remains a fast receiver who is inconsistent.
Tight ends (3)
Rookie tight end Ted Bolser looks better than in the spring, which is a good sign. He's still learning the details of blocking, etc., and it could be hard to keep four tight ends this season. Bolser is a good candidate for the practice squad. Paul is having a good camp, but he had one last year as well.
Offensive line (10)
It's still too early to separate this group. Compton worked against the starters and was definitely inconsistent, especially against linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Compton must prove he can handle such a player effectively if he wants to be the swing tackle. But the Redskins don't have a proven backup tackle and Moses, while improving, still isn't there yet. LeRibeus still rates ahead of the other backups.
Defensive line (6)
This one is fluid as well because it depends in part on Bowen’s health. Bowen is confident he'll be ready for the start of the season. I like Chris Neild and so do they, but can they keep him? Golston is more versatile and a key player on special teams, but he’s also 30 and they must get younger at some point. But he still helps in too many ways. Clifton Geathers and Neild will factor in here.
Compton will make the roster provided he proves he can tackle during the preseason games. As of now I'd have Akeem Jordan as the odd man out in this situation. He's been a good special teamer, but he's a two-down linebacker. Hayward's special teams ability gives him an edge. Again, still not sure on Jackson, though if they want at least one experienced backup on the outside he fits the description.
Chase Minnifield remains eligible for the practice squad and has looked solid in camp. Richard Crawford is coming off a knee injury and needs time to get his game back. The one benefit for Crawford is that he can play in the slot; they need depth at that spot. Breeland has worked there as well, however. Porter is still shaking rust off his game after missing the offseason because of shoulder surgery; he needs to improve. It's hard to imagine Breeland playing over him in the slot, at least initially, but the coaches love Breeland's mindset and potential.
Nothing has really changed; the games will be a lot more revealing than practice for this group. Rambo continues to work with the No. 2 defense, so I'll stick with him.
The Forbath selection is based on never having seen rookie Zach Hocker kick in an NFL game. That's what I said in the original post and nothing has changed. However, it's not as if there's a big difference between the two in practice. Based on practice, Hocker has a solid shot to win the job. I'm not crazy about the punting situation. Malone is inconsistent, but Blake Clingan has never punted in an NFL game.