Projecting Redskins 2016 offensive depth chart

All the decisions made in free agency and the NFL Draft start with who's on the roster and where gaps exist. Time for a depth chart check.

Free agency and the NFL Draft wiill dominate the next two months of coverage. The Washington Redskins are in the process of sorting out their own players, targets around the league and incomng prospects. Part of the calculus involves those already on the roster. Here's a look at the Redskins projected offensive depth chart, showing the current players, those likely back and missing pieces. The number of projected players for each position shown in parenthesis.

Quarterbacks (3) – Kirk Cousins (free agent), Colt McCoy (free agent), mid-to late round draft pick

 

One of the simpler positions to examine. Cousins is all but certain to be wearing Burgundy and Gold in 2016, whether it be a long-term contract of franchise tag tender. McCoy is also a free agent. Good chance the veteran returns seeing as McCoy knows coach Jay Gruden’s system, but he also wants a shot at competiting for a starting role if offered. It's not a lock the Redskins go with three quarterbacks after doing so in recent seasons, but general manager Scot McCloughan will probably draft a quarterback that can sit back and develop. That player would replace Robert Griffin III on the roster.

 

Running backs (4) – Matt Jones, Chris Thompson (exclusive restricted free agent), veteran back (i.e. Pierre Thomas, outside free agent), Darrel Young (free agent)

 

With Alfred Morris likely leaving, Jones becomes the lead option, for now. There's a good bet the Redskins add a veteran they can lean on in case Jones can't stop the fumbles or injuries. Thompson can be retained for a steal and Washington will probably want to have an experienced back to complement their relatively young backfield. Although Young saw limited playing time in Bill Callahan’s power run game that features two tight ends, the fullback could return because of his role on special teams.

 

Wide receivers (5/6) – DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross, and/or draft pick

 

A lot has been made about the money that could be saved by cutting the likes of Jackson or Garcon. McCloughan does not need extravagant amounts of money to begin with so what is the point in losing an elite deep threat and gritty receiver willing to go across the middle on third down? One name not mentioned above, Andre Roberts. Just doesn't seem like there's a fit for him on the roster, which is why he's a possible if not likely cut. There is a clear need for more size within this unit so the Redskins could add a big receiver in the draft. Ross, a valuable kick returner next season, looks good for 2016, but could be a surprise cut in August if the roster spot is needed elsewhere.

 

Tight ends (3) – Jordan Reed, Niles PaulDerek Carrier

 

Reed is not a free agent until next summer so clearly the breakout threat is staying put. Paul was praised by Gruden and the rest of the coaching staff before his ankle injury cost him the 2015 season. Carrier, acquired for a fifth-round pick before the start of the 2015 season, is another good bet for 2016. This scenario would leave free agents Logan Paulsen and Alex Smith as the odd men out.

[ RELATED - Ranking the Redskins free agents. All of them.]

 

Tackles (4) – Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Tom Compton (exclusive restricted free agent), Ty Nsekhe

 

Moses went from training camp question mark to cementing his starting role at right tackle with Willams on the blindside. Compton, coming at little cost, can be used as a blocking tight end and as an extra offensive line in short distance sets. Nsehke easily beat out Willie Smith last year but could have to fight for his job again against an UDFA.

 

Guards/Centers (5) – Brandon Scherff, Spencer Long, Arie Kouandjio, Kory Lichtensteiger, Shawn Lauvao/ draft pick

 

Scherff, Long and probably Kouandjio are roster locks because of their youth and how much McCloughan believes in building from the draft. The GM won't hesistate to add an aggressive lineman in this year's draft, which bring us to a pair of veterans. Lichtensteiger, 30, might be wearing down. Until further notice, he retains the starting center position unless Long shift from left guard or competition comes via free agency or the draft. Like Lichtensteiger, Lauvao has two more years left on his deal. He was fairly effective in the beginning of the year before a season ending ankle injury. With the continued development of Long and Kouandjio, the Redskins might part way with the former Cleveland Brown in order to save $8 million over the next two years. Free agent G/C Josh LeRibeus is unlikely back for 2016. 

Follow Neil on Twitter @neildalal96.

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