RUSSELL: Redskins finally have the depth to compete

Chris Russell
July 24, 2018 - 5:04 pm

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


When the Washington Redskins begin Training Camp 2018, they'll have the best depth they've had in the Jay Gruden era, and in the time Bruce Allen has been the grandmaster.

Outside of the interior offensive line and safety, I see a solid, versatile and deep roster at every other position.

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That doesn't mean they'll be great or dominant or win 11 games. Here's what it does mean: The Redskins are better equipped to absorb injuries and substandard performance.

QB: With Alex Smith locked up under a long-term contract, as opposed to the throw-by-throw, quote-by-quote referendum on Kirk Cousins, he's an immediate upgrade to the position. Washington still has veteran Colt McCoy as an insurance policy, along with a young NFL quarterback to develop in Kevin Hogan. They dropped the ball in this area last year.

RB: This position is much deeper. Derrius Guice is the best running back the Redskins have had in a decade. Chris Thompson is healthy again. Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley will battle for a backup spot while Kapri Bibbs and Byron Marshall fight for another.

WR: After losing Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, the Redskins were exposed last year. This year, they invested in proven speed threat Paul Richardson, drafted Trey Quinn and still have young veterans Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson and Maurice Harris.

TE: Yes – Jordan Reed is still a major question, but Vernon Davis and Jeremy Sprinkle are viable backups. Sprinkle is going to be better than Niles Paul.

OL: Washington bolstered its offensive tackle depth by drafting third-round prospect Geron Christian, and still has Ty Nsekhe and T.J. Clemmings. The interior is still a huge question mark after Spencer Long left in free agency and Arie Kouandjio was lost for the season.

DL: The Redskins defensive line is as strong and deep as ever. Add in another first-round pick in Daron Payne, along with Tim Settle and the return of Phil Taylor, and the Redskins have the depth to absorb the crippling injuries they suffered in 2017 and have a deep rotation.

OLB: At outside linebacker, the Redskins lost Junior Galette and Trent Murphy, but added Pernell McPhee and have young pass rusher Pete Robertson to push a slimmed down Ryan Anderson.

ILB: I  like what Washington has inside, with starters Mason Foster and Zach Brown re-signed, and Martrell Spaight, Zach Vigil, Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaun Dion Hamilton battling for two or three roster spots.

CB: Despite trading away Kendall Fuller and wanting nothing to do with Bashaud Breeland, the Redskins have a mix of youth and experience. Josh Norman and Orlando Scandrick will lead young pups Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Josh Holsey, Greg Stroman and possibly Danny Johnson.

S: This group is still a concern if Montae Nicholson does not stay healthy while paired with D.J. Swearinger. Deshazor Everett and fourth-round pick Troy Apke will be pushed by Fish Smithson to keep them on track.

Arizona and Week 1 is still 40-plus days away, but finally, the Redskins roster is built to truly compete.

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