The Washington Redskins remain in the slow lane during free agency, which for now means plenty of roster spots are available on top of the battle for playing time we know will take place. As we wait for additional signings and the NFL Draft, Breaking Burgundy begins a series looking at those current players with a shot at advancing their previous roles into something larger for 2016.
Player: Arie Kouandjio
2015 overview: The Redskins drafted Kouandjio out of the University of Alabama in the fourth round of the 2015 draft. Despite a season-ending ankle injury to starting left guard Shawn Lauvao in Week 3, the two-time FBS champion saw just one snap with the offense, which came during Washington’s Week 9 loss to the Patriots.
Room for improvement: Pass protection, outside run blocking, general technique
Film: Breaking Burgundy's Paul Conner examined Kouandijo's performance during the preseason
Opportunity: Lauvao is still under contract, but whether he can return from his ankle injury, and subsequent procedures to fix it, remains to be seen. Spencer Long, Lauvao’s replacement last season, is also returning and figures to compete for the starting job. Still, the pecking order probably won’t be hammered out until training camp is underway, and Kouandjio has a chance to make his own destiny.
2016 projection: Given his extremely limited time on the field last season, it’s hard to quantify how much Kouandjio has progressed in his development. He has ample motivation, given the opportunity at left guard, but odds are that he remains in a backup role after making the 53-man roster.
Dan Roth is a freelance sportswriter and Breaking Burgundy contributor. Follow Dan on Twitter @DanRothDC.
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