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Redskins' 90-Man Roster Review: Offense

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Next week, the Washington Redskins will begin the first of four weeks of OTAs at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

While no live contact is permitted during this time frame, 7-on-7, 9-on-9 and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

In preparation of seeing the team in a practice setting like this for the first time this year, he’s a quick look at where the offense stands on the current 90-man roster (note that some players may not participate depending on where they are in their rehab programs after injuries):

Quarterbacks (3): Alex Smith, Colt McCoy and Kevin Hogan
Next week will mark the first time that Alex Smith will work in OTAs since the Redskins acquired him in a trade at the start of the new league year.

The recently turned 34-year-old is coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and led the league in passer rating in 2017.

Colt McCoy, meanwhile, is entering his fifth season with the Redskins, although he hasn’t thrown a pass in the regular season since 2015. Still, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has spoken to the importance of having McCoy on the roster.

As for Kevin Hogan, he’ll look to showcase skills worthy of a roster spot this offseason after Washington traded with Cleveland for him.

The 25-year-old has appeared in eight games with one start over his first two seasons.

Running Backs/Fullbacks (9): Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, Derrius Guice, Kapri Bibbs, Byron Marshall, Keith Marshall, Martez Carter and Elijah Wellman
Washington’s backfield received a significant boost with the selection of Derrius Guice in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Guice had a Round 1 grade for the Redskins, but was still available in the second round even after Washington traded back to gain a third round selection.

“He’s just a ball of energy,” Gruden said last week during the team’s annual rookie minicamp. “He’s really excited to be here. He’s willing to learn. He’s first in the meeting, got his playbook open and just soaking in all the knowledge.”

While Guice is now on the roster, Chris Thompson, who experienced a breakout season in 2017, will remain an important cog on offense.

“Chris is going to be out there, and Chris will be in there a lot, so I think the rotation that we will come up with will be quite beneficial to all the backs,” Gruden said. “Keep them fresh, keep them healthy and then use their skill set accordingly.”

Among the injured players who will eventually return to the field during their rehab timelines are Rob Kelley along with Byron Marshall and Keith Marshall.

Kelley, of course, entered the 2016 season as the starting running back, but injuries slowed him before being placed on Injured Reserve.

Elijah Wellman, meanwhile, is the lone fullback on the roster.

Wide Receivers (12): Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson Jr., Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Brian Quick, Trey Quinn, Darvin Kidsy, Simmie Cobbs Jr., Shay Fields, De’Mornay Pierson-El and Cam Sims
Of the 12 wide receivers on the 90-man roster right now, only five spent time on the Redskins’ active roster last year.

The expected headline act of this group, of course, is Josh Doctson, who is now entering his third season after being selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

After playing in just two games during his rookie season due to Achilles injuries, Doctson appeared in all 16 games last year to record 35 receptions for 502 yards and six touchdowns.

The expectation is that he’ll take an even bigger step up this year.

“He’s played the whole year and done some great things and I think there’s more to Josh than what we’ve seen this year and I think we’ll get more out of him next year – the more comfortable our quarterback gets with him and the more that we see that he can do,” Gruden said at the end of last season. “I’ve been impressed with Josh, not only in the route running, but he’s been getting better in blocking also.”

For Paul Richardson Jr., OTAs will be the first time he gets to participate in unit drills with his new team after signing in March. He’s coming off a season in which he recorded career highs in receptions (44), receiving yards (703) and receiving touchdowns (six).

Robert Davis and Maurice Harris are two players who will look to impress after each spent most of last year on the practice squad.

Harris, of course, recorded a memorable catch against the Vikings in November while Davis received positive reviews during training camp.

Quinn will also look to catch the attention of the coaching staff after being selected with the very last pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

“It still puts a chip on my shoulder,” Quinn said last week of being Mr. Irrelevant, the nickname given annually to the final player selected in the NFL Draft. “I think I was the best receiver in the draft, and wherever I go I’m going to compete no matter what. Wherever I was picked, it was going to end up one way or another, and I’m going to do the best with my opportunity.”

Tight Ends (5): Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle, Manasseh Garner and Matt Flanagan
As has been the case for the last two seasons now, the Redskins have a lethal one-two punch with Reed and Davis at the tight end position.

While it has already confirmed that Reed won’t participate in OTAs as he recovers from injury, when healthy the sixth-year veteran changes the dynamic of the offense.

“I think he’s going to be a lot better this year than he was last year,” said Redskins Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams. “Him being in the building and talking to him, he feels the same way. He’s confident that he’s going to be ready to go. Like you say, he’s one of the best in the business in this league at what he does.”

Sprinkle could be in line for a significant increase in playing time after Niles Paul departed in free agency to join the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Offensive Linemen (16): Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, T.J. Clemmings, John Kling, Alex Balducci, Cameron Jefferson, Casey Dunn, Demetrius Rhaney, Tony Bergstrom, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Kyle Kalis, Tyler Catalina and Arie Kouandjio

While there’s some uncertainty heading into the latter stages of offseason workouts which offensive linemen will be able to participate, the Redskins will get an extended look at how some players who could provide depth during the season will perform.

Geron Christian, for example, was selected in the third round of the draft as he’ll work behind the likes of Williams and Moses once healthy.

“We will keep him at the swing tackle,” Gruden said. “You know, what we went through at tackle last year was catastrophic with all the injuries and still a lot of these guys are recovering from their injuries. Trent is recovering still, Morgan is still recovering, Ty [Nsekhe] is still recovering, we have T.J. [Clemmings] still recovering. So we need depth at tackle. He's a great, young tackle. He's one of the best pass blocking tackles in this draft in my opinion.

“He plays left and right side and will provide ample depth for that position, a position that you can never have too many of.”

Along the interior of the offensive line, Chase Roullier will get extended work at center as he’s in line to start there in his second season while Shawn Lauvao was re-signed last week. Lauvao has started all 41 of his appearances for the Redskins.

Another possibility could be that Nsekhe gets additional reps at guard like he did some last year.

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