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Redskins mailbag, Part 2: Who starts opposite Ryan Kerrigan?

For Part 2 of the Washington Redskins mailbag, the topics include Preston Smith and Trent Murphy; more Smith; a look at the corner situation and a question: Why Andre Roberts over Santana Moss? Enjoy.

John Keim: Tough to say without seeing Smith vs. NFL starters so this is a better question to ask after camp opens. But they do like him a lot and they see Murphy playing a slightly different role this season. Still, Preston Smith must prove he can handle it and until he does I'll lean toward the vet. Murphy showed he could set the edge well and I don't think we've seen his best as a pass-rusher. Regardless, both will play quite a bit. They will be in nickel probably 70 percent of the time.

Keim: Brian Orakpo was more than just speed; he tried to often use bull rushes as well. So it's not like he was just a speed guy. And for whatever anyone wants to say, he has had success. But the one who ran a similar time in the 40-yard dash to Orakpo is Jackson Jeffcoat (he ran a 4.61 to Orakpo's 4.63). But it's hard to see him playing a whole lot barring injuries to others -- also, Orakpo's 10-yard split was a terrific 1.56 seconds. Ryan Kerrigan ran a 4.67 in the 40, but his game is more than about speed. I wrote about how Preston Smith can overcome his lack of explosive speed -- and there are still hopes for Trent Murphy because of his other qualities. The Redskins have the ability to use players in various ways; that's a bonus and it can compensate for what they might not have. If you have size, versatility and speed? Then you're a top-five pick.

Keim: I need to see DeAngelo Hall first. One of the biggest things you can have is corner depth so not sure why at this point they'd move him to safety -- unless he clearly shows he can't play corner anymore coming off the Achilles' injury. Corner is a more important spot than safety. So if they moved Hall and cut Tracy Porter, that corner depth evaporates. They like Dashon Goldson as the starting free safety. They can use Hall in a variety of ways -- in the past he'd line up at free safety in the occasional look. I could see that continuing, but don't know yet. A lot depends on where his speed and quickness are at these days. Chris Culliver obviously is the top corner and Jay Gruden really liked what Bashaud Breeland added. I do, too. I'd give him the edge over David Amerson, but if Amerson gets it he could be dangerous. The question is: How long do you wait for that to happen? Mitchel? Just a slot guy and there's no way I'd rate him above anyone on this list without seeing him vs. veterans in camp. Yes, Porter could be cut and they'd save $2.33 million. But you must have a better alternative if you do that; durability is always an issue with him but that doesn't mean he's an automatic cut.

Keim: Pretty simple. Connor Halliday lost his love for football and no longer wants to play. I reported that at the time (as did others) and didn't hear anything last weekend that changed my mind as to what happened. Can't say there's been a lot of digging there; he was just an undrafted free agent who may or may not have stuck around on the practice squad. Still, it was a curious happening. It's a difficult sport and if your heart isn't in it and you're a UDFA, it's awfully tough to make a roster. There are players drafted high I'm sure who don't have great passion for the game. But they're in position to suck it up for a couple years knowing they'll likely make a roster and cash in a little.

From Twitter: @john_keim #jkmailbag money aside, how is Santana not a better option than andre Roberts?

Keim: Andre Roberts needs to play better, something I've pointed out numerous times. He was rather ordinary last season (look at the passer ratings when quarterbacks threw his way). But he's also 27 years old; Santana Moss turns 36 in June. Roberts is bigger, too. Also, Moss' days as a productive receiver were done a couple of years ago. It's not just the Redskins who feel Moss is done; nobody else has signed him. And Roberts provides insurance in the return games as well (though, again, very ordinary in these roles and while I know Moss did this in the past, it was no longer a strength). Moss was always one of my favorite players to deal with -- just a true professional -- and I hate to see him leave. But it was time. The real issue does not come down between Roberts and Moss; it's between Roberts and the young guys behind him.