Eight players can celebrate their start in the NFL with the Redskins – but their arrival means trouble for other players already on the roster. Here are a number of Redskins who will have tougher competition this summer because of the players Washington just drafted:
RB Chris Thompson: A year ago he was the flashy new running back who could provide a different dynamic for the offense. Now it’s sixth-round pick Lache Seastrunk. Though Thompson’s college film also was electric, he’s smaller than Seastrunk and more fragile. Thompson will have to show improvement as a returner and that he can stay healthy if he wants to stick around.
RB Evan Royster: He was veteran insurance last season, but it’s hard to imagine him sticking around. Roy Helu is a more dynamic player than Royster and now they added Seastrunk. Of course, it could end up that Royster is, once again, in the same role if they want to keep four running backs (plus fullback Darrel Young).
G Josh LeRibeus: The fact that he’s a third-round pick won’t buy him any more time. Since the offseason ended, the Redskins have signed a starting guard (Shawn Lauvao), added a veteran guard/center (Mike McGlynn) and drafted another guard (Spencer Long). McGlynn struggled at guard as part of a terrible line in Indianapolis last season, but he can play two spots. LeRibeus is strictly a guard. They’re not going to cut Long, a third-round choice. And they still like Adam Gettis, who has shown steady improvement and hasn’t had his work ethic questioned. LeRibeus’ 2013 offseason confirmed the fears some had about him before the 2012 draft. He has a lot to prove. You can throw Maurice Hurt on this list, too. But he's not a former third-round pick.
OG Chris Chester: He did not play as well last year and the Redskins could save $2.7 million in cap space by releasing him. The problem is, his replacement is not clear. McGlynn is probably best suited for center while everyone else remains unproven. Chester will have to be beaten out.
PK Kai Forbath: Anytime a team drafts a kicker (Zach Hocker), that’s never a good sign for the incumbent. Sure, Jay Gruden said he could see the team keeping a kickoff specialist. But teams are always reluctant to give two spots when one almost always should suffice. Hocker must prove he not only has a strong leg, but an accurate one. After all, Forbath has made 35 of 40 field goals the past two seasons, but he doesn’t have a big leg on kickoffs (32nd in the NFL last season with 14 touchbacks). And: They drafted a kicker.
OLBs Rob Jackson and Brandon Jenkins: There’s a chance both can make the roster – it’s not far-fetched to see them keeping five at this position, especially if they want a proven veteran backup and if Jenkins shows improvement. They won’t just toss them aside. But there’s no way they’ll keep five inside linebackers and five outside linebackers. And, inside, they have Perry Riley, Darryl Sharpton, Akeem Jordan, Keenan Robinson and Adam Hayward among others. So the linebacker position in general will be interesting to watch. Someone who can help a team will be released.
OT Tom Compton: He’s made steady progress, but will it be enough. The Redskins drafted Morgan Moses and if he doesn’t supplant Tyler Polumbus, he will definitely be on the roster. They won’t keep three players who only play tackle, so Compton has a lot to prove. Offensive line in general will be a crowded competition.
CBs Chase Minnifield and Richard Crawford: The Redskins can keep six corners so even though they’ve added Bashaud Breeland, it’s not a death sentence for both of these players. But the Redskins now have five corners probably ahead of them: DeAngelo Hall, Tracy Porter, David Amerson, E.J. Biggers and now Breeland. But to keep six corners means one fewer safety. So both Minnifield and Crawford could be in more direct competition with one of the backup safeties. Special-teams play will dictate this spot – and Crawford must show his knee isn’t an issue.
TE Niles Paul: He’ll have to be beaten out by seventh-round pick Ted Bolser. But the latter was drafted by the new coach and Paul was drafted by the previous one. Advantage: Bolser. But Paul’s special-teams play has been stellar. But a late-round selection always has to show a lot, otherwise it’s easy to stash them on the practice squad. Had they drafted a tight end in the middle rounds, then Paul’s job would be more in jeopardy.
WR Santana Moss: He was going to have a tough time making the roster anyway, considering they have a slot receiver ahead of him already in Andre Roberts. Now the Redskins added another potential slot receiver in fifth-round pick Ryan Grant. He has experience all over, but his quickness makes him a good fit inside. If he shows he can help, there’s no room for Moss. The Redskins also have Leonard Hankerson, who can play inside (but health will be an issue) and Aldrick Robinson. Nick Williams plays inside, but it’ll be tough for him to win a job. As for Moss, he received only a $65,000 bonus to re-sign, so if he ends up being cut it wouldn’t be a surprise. But it would be a tough ending for a player who did an excellent job for a long time in Washington.