Washington Redskins depth chart: Backfield sees big changes

Da'Ron Payne and Derrius Guice both project as Week 1 starters for the Redskins. Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo

With free agency and the draft completed and OTAs and minicamps scheduled for the next month and a half, here’s a closer look at the depth chart for the Washington Redskins Note: Starters in bold:


Quarterback (3): Alex Smith, Colt McCoy, Kevin Hogan

There’s no question about the order and who has what role. Smith will be a solid leader and won’t turn the ball over, two things that will thrill the Redskins.

Running back (6): Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley, Byron Marshall

Guice will provide power with his violent style; Thompson provides the third-down punch. It’ll be interesting to see if they keep four at this spot.

Wide receiver (7): Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Paul Richardson, Brian Quick, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn, Maurice Harris

Richardson adds needed speed, but Docston’s development will be critical; coaches believed he should have been targeted more last season. Crowder, operating from the slot, will be a good pairing with Smith on underneath throws.

Tight end (3): Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

Reed has struggled to stay healthy and is coming off surgeries to both big toes that caused numerous issues last season. Sprinkle’s development as an in-line blocker will be critical.

Tackle (4): Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian

The first three players listed are recovering from surgeries and will be sidelined most, if not all, of the spring. Nsekhe might play some guard, though he’s best suited for tackle. This is a strong group when healthy.

Guard (7): Brandon Scherff, Shaun Lauvao, Arie Kouandjio, Tony Bergstrom, T.J. Clemmings, Kyle Kalis, Tyler Catalina

After Scherff, it’s uncertain who will start, though Lauvao has the best chance -- but after missing 22 games the last three years combined, it’s hard to say how long he’d hold the job. They need quality depth.

Center (2): Chase Roullier, Bergstrom

Roullier took over for Spencer Long as a rookie last season and showed that he could handle the position. Bergstrom can play both guard and center.


Cornerback (6): Josh Norman, Orlando Scandrick, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Josh Holsey, Greg Stroman

The Redskins kept six players here, but the biggest decision they’ll face is who starts opposite Norman. If Scandrick does not, he’ll start in the slot and it will either be Dunbar or Moreau.

Safety (5): D.J. Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Deshazor Everett, Troy Apke, Fish Smithson

The Redskins kept only four safeties last season and might do so again given their (hopeful) depth at corner. Nicholson could be a standout free safety if he stays healthy.

Linebacker (10): Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Mason Foster, Zach Brown, Martrell Spaight, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Ryan Anderson, Pernell McPhee, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Zach Vigil

The Redskins typically keep nine players here. They need Anderson to develop as a pass-rusher and for Harvey-Clemons to do so as a cover guy in nickel.

Defensive line (7): Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee, Tim Settle, Ziggy Hood, Anthony Lanier

They might not go with seven during the season, but it’s a deep group and they’re intent on stopping the run. This should be their deepest line unit in quite some time.


Punter (2): Tress Way, Sam Irwin-Hill

Way has been solid for Washington, but he will have competition in camp from Irwin-Hill, though the latter has never punted in an NFL game. In four seasons with Washington, Way has averaged 46.2 yards per punt with a 39.8 net yard average.

Kicker (1): Dustin Hopkins

After making 89.3 percent of his field goals his first season, he’s made a combined 81.4 percent the last two. But he’s only 27 and has a strong leg, so he’ll get another shot.

Long-snapper (1): Nick Sundberg

He rarely makes a bad snap, which is why he’ll enter his eighth season with Washington.

Kick returner (4): Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Byron Marshall, Maurice Harris

Thompson has averaged only 20.8 yards per kick return in his career, so this job could go to someone else if they want to limit his touches to offense.

Punt returner (3): Jamison Crowder, Greg Stroman, Trey Quinn

If Stroman or Quinn make the final roster, they’ll contend for this job. Crowder excelled in this role in 2016, but in his other two seasons combined, he’s averaged only 5.8 yards per return. He fumbled five times in 2017.