Redskins roster projections, Part 2: Defense

Breaking Burgundy's 53-man roster projection continues with the defense plus what we need to see from each unit against the Lions and vulnerable veteran.

Because projecting the 53-man roster alone is standard practice, Breaking Burgundy upped the ante by also noting what we need to see from starters, key reserves and those hoping to make the team in Thursday's home matchup against the Lions. We split up the article into two sections, starting with the offense.

Defensive line (7) : Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea, Ricky-Jean Francois, Chris Baker, Kedric Golston, Frank Kearse.

Only real roster debate here is whether all seven make it or one gets knocked off because of needs elsewhere.

What we want to see Thursday : Curious, can we tell yet if Pot Roast is truly in game shape or, no? We might not see Kearse (left shoulder) at all.

Outside linebacker (4) : Ryan Kerrigan, Junior Galette, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith

The fearsome foursome. Am I right??? If Galette's power game remains potent and Smith's energy remains constant and Murphy's run defense holds firm, look out.

What we want to see Thursday : Since it seems unlikely Galette makes his Redskins debut, how about a second straight stat-stuffing and QB-sacking performance from Smith. Some are practice players while others are game guys.

Inside linebacker: (5) : Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley Jr., Adam Hayward, Will Compton, Martell Spaight

Hayward received a parking spot at Redskins Park. That's good living. In terms of offense/defense, weakest unit on the team other than the TE dumpster fire.

What we want to see Thursday : This is a sneaky banged up unit as Robinson (Achilles), Riley (wrist) and Compton (groin) are dealing with various matters in recent days.

Cornerback (5) : Chris Culliver, DeAngelo Hall, Bashaud Breeland, David Amerson, Justin Rogers

Other than Culliver, are we sure any of these bodies are on the field for Week 1??? We know Breeland (suspension). Hall can't stay healthy. Amerson dealing with a shoulder ailment and not being impressive. Rogers in mix for final overall roster spots. Stay tuned.

What we want to see Thursday : If Hall (toe) can give it a go and any of the other corners like Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith or Tajh Hasson or converted receiver Quinton Dunbar can push Rogers for the potential fifth corner slot.

Safety (4) : Dashon Goldson, Duke Ihenacho, Jeron Johnson, Kyshoen Jarrett, Trenton Robinson

Weird to think I kind of like the safety groups after seemingly forever of doing anything but. I even one listed one of last year's player I'll miss the least. It's possible Ihenacho's impressive Twitter game and Goldson not being Ryan Clark is skewing my opinion. Surely the previous low bar is.

What we want to see Thursday : Johnson is expected to play after sitting out last week.

Special teams (3) : Kai Forbath, Tress Way, Nick Sundberg

What we want to see Thursday : Less about these three and more about the kick coverage, which had lapses against the Browns .

Last men standing : The sixth receiver (Ross), fifth corner (Rogers) and all tight ends not name Jordan Reed are hardly locks at this point. Same for the fifth inside linebacker depending on injuries elsewhere, though Spaight's presence on special teams is desired. There will be no less than four safeties, but we probably shouldn't pen Robinson into that slot just yet. Washington could certainly go with five running backs over a sixth receiver.

Just missing the cut : Trey Williams, Evan Spencer, Tom Compton, Josh LeRibeus, Akeem Davis

Compton the tackle remains unappealing. That he is also an emergency tight end provides extra roster flexibility, but that alone shouldn't give him a slot. ...Davis, currently behind Ihenacho and Johnson at strong safety, or one of the remaining corners could end up on the Week 1 roster with Breeland suspended.

Vulnerable veteran : Andre Roberts. We know the Redskins love Crowder. Gruden continually praises Grant. If the good vibrations keep rolling, if some combination of Crowder, Thompson and Ross prove they can handle the return duties, then Roberts could end up a surprise cut.

One final point for Thursday: Based on the weather forecast, bring an umbrella

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