Football is the ultimate team sport. All it takes is one out of 11 players on any given play to shoot the entire team in the foot.
Every player on any NFL finalized 53 man roster will impact their squad is some fashion, obviously some more than others. I ranked all the players on the current Redskins roster 1-53 based on their importance and impact to the 2013 season.
Can’t be replaced. Losing any of these guys would greatly effect the outcome of the season…
1. QB Robert Griffin III - Duh. The hope of this entire franchise rides on his surgically repaired right knee.
2. LT Trent Williams - The guy that protects that right knee
3. LB London Fletcher - Leader of the defense and heart of the squad
4. WR Pierre Garcon - In 2012, Redskins were 9-1 in games Garcon played in, 1-5 in games he didn’t. Numbers don’t lie.
5. NT Barry Cofield - His constant push up the middle allows the backers and ends to fulfill their duties in Haslett’s defense.
You’ll hear these guys names multiple times each Sunday, usually for doing something positive…
6. TE Fred Davis – With all his demons in the past, this elite talent finally puts all the pieces together and has All-Pro season we’ve been waiting on since 2008
7. OLB Ryan Kerrigan - A very special player that will play everywhere in the front seven. Should finally have breakout season with Orakpo’s return
8. OLB Brian Orakpo - The ying to Kerrigan’s yang. Not an elite pass-rusher, but very good and very effective
9. CB DeAngelo Hall - Not the shutdown corner that he once was, but the best/most versatile corner on the team (plays field, boundary and slot corner positions as well as free safety.). Has also emerged as a leader, which helps his worth to this team.
10. RB Alfred Morris - Not just a system back. Has vision, power and deceptive speed. The hammer of this potent Skins’ rushing attack.
11. RG Chris Chester - No Redskin has had a more consistent tenure under Shanahan than Chester. Does his job with little fanfare
12. C Will Montgomery - Played at a Pro Bowl level last season. If not for a few poor snaps and miscommunications, would be on par with Chester.
13. MLB Perry Riley - Finally has put it all together. One of the faster linebackers in the NFL now is developing the instincts to match.
14. RB Roy Helu Jr. - The lightning to Morris’ thunder. Fast and very elusive. Plus a threat in the receiving game. Completes one of the NFL’s best running back tandems.
THE CORE PLAYERS
The meat and potatoes of the team. Does a lot of the heavy lifting. Gives great support to upper two tiers …
15. LDE Stephen Bowen - Great at stuffing the run. Doesn’t get a lot of praise, but trust me, it is nearly impossible to catch Stephen Bowen slipping at left defensive end.
16. SS Brandon Meriweather - In a small sample size, showed his prowess in the secondary. If he stays healthy, could be secondary’s best player
17. QB Kirk Cousins - God forbid something happens to RGIII, take solace in knowing we have one of the league’s top backups.
18. LG Kory Lichtensteiger - Played all of 2012 with a bad knee/ankles. Now he is healthy and return as the team’s best run blocker.
19. WR Santana Moss - Made the transition from No. 1 receiver to slot receiver seamless. What he lacks in top-end speed he makes up for in quickness which is key for a slot guy.
20. CB David Amerson - So far, has flashed the talent that made him the Redskins’ top selection in last year’s draft
21. K Kai Forbath - Can you remember the last time the Redskins’ had a kicker that nailed 40 yarders with regularity? I can’t
22. FB Darrel Young - Could be the most underrated guy on the team. Rarely misses an assignment, underrated receiving option, top-shelf blocker
23. CB Josh Wilson - Doesn’t get as much praise as he deserves. Can do things at corner that Haslett couldn’t ask of any other cornerback, especially in blitz packages.
24. Josh Morgan - Played all of 2012 with painful screws in his leg to stabilize a nasty injury he suffered in 2011 and somehow managed to lead the team in catches. Screws are out and if you’ve been paying attention this preseason, his explosion on his routes appear to be back (is also the team’s best blocking WR). I expect a huge season from this guy
Fly under the radar in terms of recognition, but do the little things that make good teams into great teams….
25. TE Logan Paulsen - Of the Redskins four tight ends, he is by far the best blocking option. Not to say he can’t catch because he can do that too.
26. SS Reed Doughty - Ever year, Reed Doughty somehow slips his way in the Redskins starting lineup for some reason. A pro’s pro. He isn’t great in coverage, but is a tenacious tackler and is a leader on special teams.
27. TE Niles Paul - Every great team in the NFL has a player like Niles Paul. The new Lorenzo Alexander. Special teams guru and plays in multiple spots (wide receiver, tight end, kick returner and fullback)
28. RB Evan Royster - The Reed Doughty of the offense. Won’t find a more dependable third running back. Can fill in admirably for Morris or Helu Jr. in a pinch.
29. OLB Darryl Tapp - Showed this preseason that he could make the switch from 4-3 end to 3-4 outside backer with ease. The next best OLB option behind Kerrigan and Orakpo with Rob Jackson suspended
30. CB E.J. Biggers - Having Biggers on the team will give the defense flexibility on the outsides. Plug Biggers in when the Skins want to move Hall or Wilson around the secondary
31. DE Kedric Golston - Same class as Doughty. Just has the knack for sticking around. Will start in place of Jarvis Jenkins for the next four weeks
32. RT Tyler Polumbus - They tried to replace him this offseason and somehow he fought his way back into the starting role. Needs to shore up his pass pro, but does well on his running assignments
33. DE Chris Baker- Another really underrated player that doesn’t get the credit that he probably deserves. Seems to always be making a play and rarely is off his assignment.
34. Bryan Kehl - His presence on the roster was part of the reason the Redskins let Lorenzo Alexander leave. Easily an upgrade over Zo at linebacker. Not the special teamer that Alexander is, but will suffice.
The young studs that will be the backbone of the Redskins in future years…
35. Brandon Jenkins - High energy, high motor rookie that tumbled in the draft because of injury. Their lose, our gain. Has to work to develop other aspects of his game, but is/will be a menace on third & longs
36. Bacarri Rambo - Even as a rookie, watching Rambo back at free safety will make you wonder how in blazes we ever survived with Madieu Williams as the last line of defense. If he improves his tackling Rambo, has potential to be the steal of the draft for any team.
37. Chris Thompson - Undersized, but has a fifth gear that is second to none of the team. Just straight up dynamic. On punt returns, he will make you forget Brandon Banks’ existence on this planet
38. Jordan Reed - Joker tight end with a wide receiver mentality. I can’t even begin to think about the match-up putting Fred Davis and Jordan Reed on the field at the same time is going to create. I’m giddy just typing this
39. Tom Compton- Has come a long way since being drafted two springs ago. Swing tackle has accumulated enough confidence from the coaches to beat out several vets and make him the only backup tackle on the roster.
Forgettable names, but are very capable of surprising you from time to time….
40. NT Chris Neild - The Pokono Punisher is back after a year on injured reserve. His greatest asset to the team will be spelling Barry Cofield during the course of a game, something that wasn’t afforded with him on the shelf in 2012.
41. FS Jose Gumbs - Probably a big surprise to the casual Redskins fan (probably because of the name. When I first thought Jose Gumbs, I thought it was made up, too), but he belongs on the roster. Out of Monmouth, didn’t get a lot of attention, but is actually a pretty decent player. Better than DeJon Gomes and more athletic than Reed Doughty. WAYYYYYY MORE.
42. SS/FS Jordan Pugh- Rambo and Gumbs are primarily frees. Meriweather and Doughty are primary strong. Pugh is the only safety that has the unique skillset to play both. The Redskins like to use him more on passing downs.
43. CB Jerome Murphy - The cornerback that was good enough to knock training camp darling Chase Minnifield off the 53-man roster. His size and length made him an intriguing prospect on defense, but his real value is on special teams where his guile and competitiveness gave him the edge.
44. G Adam Gettis - I personally think Adam Gettis is the next best lineman after the starting five. Can play both guard spots and can even slide out to right tackle if all else fails.
THE BOX OF CHOCOLATE GUYS
You never know what you’re going to get …
45. WR Leonard Hankerson- I hate putting him this far down on the list, but he is far too inconsistent. Flashes brilliance from occasionally and has a ton of ability. If he continues to develop his game, then can really become a weapon in this offense.
46. WR Aldrick Robinson - See above
47. Rex Grossman - Say what you want about Rex Grossman, but can you name another third stringer in the league more capable than good ole Sexy Rexy? Didn’t think so.
48. G Josh LeRibeus - He is the new Chad Rinehart. His play has been uneven so far in his short career. Has some talent, but is far too inconsistent.
49. QB Pat White - Number five on his back, number four on the depth chart but number one in our hearts. White became the talk of the preseason as RGIII’s read option stunt double. His legs made him a keeper, but honestly his passing leaves much to be desired.
THE NOT APPLICABLES
50. LS Nick Sundberg - Long snappers have an important job and all, but their existence isn’t really acknowledged until they f*** something up…
51. & 52. RDE Phillip Merling & MLB Nick Barnett - They both were brought in to replace players that are either hurt or suspended. They both could also easily be higher on this list, but due to their lack of playing time in the preseason and not knowing how they’ll be deployed come Monday night, they rank 51 and 52 respectively.
Punters are football players too…
53. P Sav Rocca - He is actually a good punter, but if all goes to plan, the Redskins won’t be doing much punting. Last on the list by default. Sorry, Sav.