2018 Washington Redskins starters, 53-man roster, schedule prediction

The Washington Redskins roster heading into the 2018 season (starters in bold):

QUARTERBACK (2): Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

The Redskins have two experienced quarterbacks who are signed beyond this season, reducing the need for a developmental player at this position. Smith missed two games to injuries in five years with Kansas City, and McCoy has been in this offense for five seasons. Keeping only two quarterbacks enables them to keep an extra player at another position.

RUNNING BACK (5): Adrian Peterson, Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Byron Marshall

The Redskins will eventually only have four on the roster as Marshall likely will head to injured reserve. There’s also a chance they could eventually trade Perine. They would like to place Kapri Bibbs on the practice squad. Thompson’s health is no longer an issue and he should be able to handle a full load as a third-down back. But if they do end up keeping Kelley and Perine, it’s designed as insurance for the 33-year-old Peterson.

RECEIVER (6): Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Paul Richardson, Trey Quinn, Cam Sims, Maurice Harris.

The Redskins need Doctson to take a big step; he did not have the sort of summer that would foreshadow one but perhaps the season will be different. Richardson’s speed will make a difference, but as much on crossers as throwing down the field. Crowder will provide Smith a safety net. Sims made it over Brian Quick in part because of his raw ability and the fact he already can play both outside spots.

TIGHT END (3): Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

Reed only played in six games last season; when he’s on the field with Davis, the Redskins are at their best. But Reed has played more than 12 games only once in his career. This group must block better in the run game. Sprinkle has the size to help here; his development as a blocker will be key. They could look to add another player here, someone who doubles as a fullback.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Tony Bergstrom, Geron Christian, Casey Dunn

Dunn was the surprise pick, but he could still end up on the practice squad once other players are signed. They might even add two players here. After last season, in which the Redskins used 36 different line combinations, keeping that many could be warranted. The starters are set and Nsekhe will be the third tackle again. Bergstrom will be the backup center. If the line stays healthy, it’s a solid group.

DEFENSIVE LINE (6): Matt Ioannidis, Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, Tim Settle, Ziggy Hood, Caleb Brantley

Stacy McGee was placed on the physically unable to perform list or he’d have been on the roster. The Redskins have an excellent young base up front for the first time in a while. Payne’s versatility – he can play nose tackle as well as defensive tackle in nickel – is pivotal. He and Payne will be tough to move. The Redskins’ pass rush will get a big boost from the interior. They added Brantley two days after final cuts, hoping their other young guys and line coach Jim Tomsula can help him maximize his ability.

LINEBACKER (9): Ryan Kerrigan, Mason Foster, Zach Brown, Preston Smith, Pernell McPhee, Ryan Anderson, Zach Vigil, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Josh Harvey-Clemons

They have a consistent rusher in Kerrigan and one with potential in Smith, entering a contract year. He’s capable of double-digit sacks. They kept five inside linebackers, with Harvey-Clemons sticking around because the former safety can cover. Anderson and McPhee did not provide much of a rush this summer. But McPhee is proven; Anderson’s strength is playing the run, but he still needs to provide some sort of push as a reserve.

SECONDARY (10): Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, D.J. Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Fabian Moreau, Greg Stroman, Danny Johnson, Adonis Alexander, D.J. Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Troy Apke, DeShazor Everett

The Redskins go with six corners and four safeties -- three of those corners are rookies, and a fourth, Moreau, played 58 snaps from scrimmage last year as a rookie. There’s a chance they’d add an experienced player after final cuts. Depth is an issue for the entire secondary.

SPECIALIST (3): PK Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way, LS Nick Sundberg

For a fourth straight season, the Redskins will open with the same specialists. Sundberg is firmly entrenched as the long-snapper. Hopkins had a strong 2015, making 89.3 percent of his field goals. But in the last two years combined, he’s made a combined 81.3 percent. That must improve.