Earlier this week I posted my Washington Redskins 53-man regular season roster projections, which you can find here and here. The truth is you'll find rather similar guesses, some more educated, all over the internet. By that I mean all pretty much have the same 50 players with some combination of say Perry Riley, Logan Paulsen, Keith Marshall, Robert Kelley and Nate Sudfeld either in or out.
As the Redskins get set for Friday's second preseason game, here are five under-the-radar players who have a shot at making the roster and busting all those projections.
Mack Brown, RB -- All the backup talk behind Matt Jones and Chris Thompson centers on Kelley and Marshall (or Marshall and Kelley depending on whether you're Jay Gruden or Scot McCloughan). Yet Brown, the only one of three who was with the organization last year, is no mere afterthought. He averaged over four yards per carry last week against the Falcons and looked decisive doing so. Brown can help on special teams. If he's the one able to run past the Jets defense this week and the one coaches feel can contribute most on teams, then he could be the third running back or fourth if they go that deep.
Lloyd Carrington, CB -- We always mention training camp heroes, but Carrington was that guy during OTAs and mini-camp early in the summer. At that point, Greg Toler was a mere veteran added for a few bucks, not the cover corner savant he turned into in Richmond. Barring injury, Toler and Dashaun Phillips get the fifth and sixth spots. That's solo 2016 thinking. Toler is 31. Carrington is 23. If the Redskins believe they have plenty of viable options now and would rather use a final spot for some forward thinking, Carrington could sneak in.
Deshazor Everett, S -- DeAngelo Hall is the starting free safety. Will Blackmon is the backup. Both were corners at the start of last season. Both open this season 31 or older. Everett is also transitioning over from corner, but he's got another six-plus years before he turns 31. Every decision can't be about age, but it's naive to think it's not a factor. Blackmon has been solid in camp, but tripped up some against Atlanta on some deep throws. Any concerns against the Jets could open the door for some young blood and Everett gained experience getting thrown into the rotation last season.
Maurice Harris, WR -- The Josh Doctson injury watch shows no end in sight and Gruden is done providing a timetable. If the rookie remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list when the regular season starts, he isn't eligible to play for six weeks. That eliminates Washington's best red zone size among the wide outs. That is unless the 6-foot-3 Harris, who's been a consistent presence all summer, turns up the playmaking to the point the coach's start thinking they have a viable red zone option until Doctson returns, someday.
Austin Reiter, C -- If Shawn Lauvao isn't all the way back for Week 1 and needs time beyond the opener, the Redskins may opt for another interior lineman on the bench seeing as backup center Spencer Long stays put at left guard in this scenario. The Josh LeRibeus snap struggle situation is real. If the decision makers think they can risk tackle Takoby Cofield on the practice squad again, then Reiter could stick as the ninth lineman. General manager Scot McCloughan selected Reiter in the seventh round last year and the former South Florida offers some potential at a position where the long-term plan isn't clear.
* Let's just add an extra point and note that in other years, ILB Carlos Fields would generate buzz, but Su'a Cravens and Martrell Spaight have sucked up all the hype from this unit.
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