Friday, May 27, 2016

Let's Play Locks and Bubbles (Redskins Roster) Part 1

(No! Not Chutes and Ladders.....Locks and Bubbles! I really need to fire my web guy.)
We've had the draft.
We've had UDFA signings and rookie mini-camp.

The 90 man roster is set (for now) and the Redskins are now into OTAs. This is a great time for beat writers to shake off a little off-season rust and report about the various whatnot that's going on in Ashburn. It's good for the team as well as players get to work with one another and the playbook is slowly installed.

To me this is a really, really dull time of year.

So, since I have nothing better to do.......

"But Al you still have to write up an article on Josh Norman, on RGIII leaving and all the write ups on the draft picks!!!!"

Please, if I feel like writing them, I eventually will do those articles. It's not like I'm getting paid or anything (I'm not, but hey if you want to send me money maybe that would speed up the process. Who knows.)

.....anyway. Let's take a look at the roster.

I'm not going to do a classic final 53 man roster prediction (like everybody else) but instead we're going to play Locks and Bubbles.
More or less, who is guaranteed to make the final 53 man roster and the guys who will be fighting to earn a job.

I'll mention every Lock player but only some key Bubble guys. If I go through the entire 90 man roster, we'll be here all night. This will only be about the final 53 man squad and not who'll be on the practice squad.

Anyway, for part 1 I'm going to look at the offense and special teams.

Locks - Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy

This folks, is a no-brainer.

Bubble- Nate Sudfeld

It wouldn't surprise me that Jay Gruden keeps only 2 QBs on the roster and stashes Sudfeld on the practice squad. The only concern is whether another team may try to sign him away.

Running Back

Locks- Matt Jones, Chris Thompson

Jones has been made "the guy" after Alfred Morris' departure and at worst Thompson will be the 3rd down RB who can also be used as a passing threat.

Bubbles- Mack Brown, Keith Marshall and all the other rookie RBs/FB

Marshall may have a shot if he can stay healthy and make an early impression. I still have a feeling that Pierre Thomas comes back and becomes Jones' backup.

Wide Receiver

Locks- DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder

No surprises here. These four alone give the 'Skins a pretty strong unit.

Bubbles- Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross

This has to be Grant's year to step up and show Scot McCloughan and the coaches that he can be a useful player to the team in 2017 and beyond after Garcon and/or Jackson are gone. Ross has the speed to be useful as a KR and on deep plays, but he needs to show this year that there is more to his game than just a nine/go route.

Keep an eye on new WRs Harris, Diggs and Showers as they may push one of the veterans out for a roster spot.

Tight End

Locks - Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Niles Paul

Reed is arguably the best TE in the game right now (or at least top 3). Davis will help with blocking and trying to play like the superstar he once was. Paul is a ST captain and is versatile in that he'll be both a TE and a FB/H-Back. 2016 was supposed to be Paul's year, hopefully it'll be 2017 instead.

Bubbles- Logan Paulsen, Derrek Carrier

It's likely that the Redskins will carry 4 TEs this season which gives Paulsen hope. The key will be that he can provide blocking like Tom Compton did last year. Too many mistakes and penalties and he'll be gone. Carrier's health will determine what happens to him in '16. My early guess is that he'll start the season on PUP.

Offensive Line

Locks- Trent Williams, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Arie Kouandjio, Ty Nsekhe, Kory Lichtenstiger

I'm not 100% sold that Lichtenstiger makes the final 53. It's been clear that the Redskins want to upgrade the position with Spencer Long or even Austin Reiter. That said, nobody has proven that they can be the starting Center, so right now Lichtenstiger looks like he'll be the guy week one.

Bubbles- Shawn Lauvao, Takoby Cofield, Josh LeRibeus, Austin Reiter

There are likely 2-3 open spots and there may be room for some veterans. Cofield has impressed a few people and could replace Tom Compton as a 4th OT. Lauvao's health will determine if he's the starting LG or cut. Josh LeRibeus can play both guard positions and center although his performances have been so-so.

Special Teams

Locks- Dustin Hopkins (K), Nick Sundberg (LS), Tress Way (P)

These guys aren't going anywhere after a solid 2016.

So there you have it.
I have 21 players right now guaranteed to probably make the final roster.
Defense will be up next.

Feel free to give your Locks and Bubbles in the comments below.
Am I right or absolutely crazy? Let me know what you think.
Please share this article with your friends and follow my regular ramblings about the Redskins, Nationals, beer, politics (minimal, I promise), sports, movies and other stuff over on Twitter @IIWIISkinsBlog

Don't forget about my co-writer @TattooedScorpio
Check it---- he's got his own podcast now Sports on the Hill @SportsOTHP