Here is my prediction for the 53-man roster that will emerge from the final round of cuts:
In (3): P Sav Rocca, LS Nick Sundberg, PK Billy Cundiff
Obviously Cundiff beating out both Neil Rackers and Graham Gano without making a single kick in a Redskins uniform was a surprise to most.
Cornerback (5): DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, Cedric Griffin, Richard Crawford, Brandyn Thompson
Safety (4): Brandon Meriweather, Tanard Jackson, Madieu Williams, DeJon Gomes
Jordan Bernstine goes to the practice squad. Reed Doughty may give you more than Gomes this year but I think that last year’s draft pick stays with an eye towards 2013 and beyond.
Outside (4): Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Rob Jackson, Chris Wilson,
Inside (5): London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Lorenzo Alexander, Keenan Robinson, Bryan Kehl
It’s hard to cut an athlete like Markus White but Wilson is a more polished player and can be a huge asset on special teams.
In (6): Stephen Bowen, Jarvis Jenkins, Adam Carriker, Kedric Golston, Barry Cofield, Chris Baker
This has been set since Chris Neild went out with a torn ACL. Golston stays because the blocking in the middle of the line on field goals fell apart when he got injured last year. Doug Worthington goes to the practice squad.
For a look at my pre-training camp 53-man prediction, go here.
In (5): Roy Helu Jr., Tim Hightower, Evan Royster, Darrell Young, Alfred Morris
None of the four tailbacks is a stud but it would be hard to cut any of them, so Shanahan won’t.
In (3): Fred Davis, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen
This was set when Chris Cooley was released on Tuesday.
In (6): Pierre Garçon, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan, Santana Moss, Aldrick Robinson, Dez Briscoe
Yes, Anthony Armstrong plays special teams and Briscoe doesn’t or at least not very much or very well. But in 2010 Armstrong caught seven passes. Briscoe caught six touchdown passes. Briscoe has been the better player in camp and in preseason games since learning the offense. Briscoe has to stay.
If Brandon Banks stays—and I don’t think he will—he won’t take a job away from one of the six wide receivers. If he does stay it will be as a return specialist and his roster slot will come from the offensive line or from a linebacker.
In (3): Robert Griffin III, Rex Grossman, Kirk Cousins
Rex stays. Period.
In (9): Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Josh LeRibeus, Jordan Black, Adam Gettis, Maurice Hurt
As noted above, the Redskins could decide to keep Banks and trim back an offensive lineman. They got burned last year keeping eight linemen when a rash of injuries hit so I think they will play it safe this year and keep nine.
If they do decide to go with eight, Gettis seems to be the most vulnerable. Black is the swing tackle, LeRibeus can play guard or center, and Hurt can play guard or tackle. Gettis’ may develop versatility but for now he seems likely to learn on the practice squad.
Willie Smith does have a shot at getting Black’s spot. He started camp and the preseason games slowly, something the coaching staff made no secret of. But he has performed better lately. But it looks like Black will get the nod.
Breakdown: 26 offense, 24 defense, 3 specialists
Agree? Disagree? Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter @Rich_Tandler