So far this off-season, each team has seen changes such as roster moves, prospects being drafted, trades, releases, and more. That is no different for the burgundy and gold, as the next step in the process is figuring out the Washington Football Team roster projections. Ron Rivera took over the team in 2020 and made some interesting moves that were questionable in the beginning, but turned out to be the best ones. Releasing a first-round QB was one of the biggest moves Rivera made in 2020. Rivera also brought in defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and has established an identifiable football culture in Washington.
Washington has the tools to do something great in the NFC East division. Winning the division last year definitely caught a lot of attention in Washington. After releasing Alex Smith this offseason and bringing Ryan Fitzpatrick, I think we understand what Rivera"s plan is. With that being said, there are sure to be many changes to the roster from here to the start of the season, but I am here to give the best 2021 Washington Football Team roster projection based on current facts. It"s not definite, but it"s what I see based on the changes made to the team in the off-season.
Washington Football Team Roster Projections: Offense
Quarterbacks: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen
The quarterback situation could be concerning to most participants looking at it on paper. Why did Washington fail to draft a quarterback? I think Ron Rivera is giving the guys on his team a chance to step up this year instead of grabbing another young prospect to groom. Ryan Fitzpatrick can be an excellent teacher who can teach some young quarterbacks who is looking to bounce back in their career. Taylor Heinicke had a memorable game against the GOAT himself, Tom Brady in the Wildcard round against the Buccaneers. Heinicke threw for 137 yards, one passing TD, 47 yards rushing, and one rushing TD.
Allen missed 2020 with a leg injury that expedited the Alex Smith comeback story. With Fitzpatrick being the leading man in the quarterback room, this could be a good scenario for Heinicke and Allen. Being able to sit and learn behind a veteran like Fitzpatrick will do some good for the young QBs.
Runningbacks: Antonio Gibson, JD McKissick, Peyton Barber, Lamar Miller, Jaret Patterson (rookie-udfa)
I love this runningback company Washington has. Leading with Gibson who has had an amazing rookie season in 2020, ending it with 795 rushing yards, 11 TD"s, and 170 touches. JD McKissick has also had a good season as well, adding additional yardage and plays for the offense in the backfield. McKissick finished the 2020 season with 365 rushing yards, one TD, 589 receiving yards, and two receiving TD"s. Barber filled in where he was needed, was a good addition as well to expand the offensive drives on the field.
Washington added Miller towards the end of the season but was not really an impact on their season. WFT brought Miller back on a 1-year deal for the 2021 season, so we might be able to see him in action. Washington also makes some room on the RB chart by adding rookie and UDFA Patterson from Univ. of Buffalo. Patterson had a remarkable season in 2020 with UB and was enough to add him to the roster. I would think he would make the 55-cut. I think Washington could possibly go with 5 RBs this season, adding Patterson as a special team option.
Washington currently does not have no Fullbacks on the roster, but look for a TE to take place on the depth-chart if anything.
Wide Receivers: Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Kelvin Harmon, Cam Sims, Dyami Brown, Adam Humphries, Steven Sims Jr.
These are my WR selections as far as the 55 roster projection, however, the WR room is a bit overcrowded. Washington has 12 WRs on the roster but needs at least five to make the cut. There is currently nine WR on my list, but the level of talent these young receivers have will make it difficult as to who makes the cut. It is obvious that Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel make the roster. McLaurin had an amazing second-year season, matching his rookie season in 2019.
Washington added Curtis Samuel during the FA period, signing a three-year deal worth $34.5M. You cannot forget Cam Sims, who finally had his breakout season in 2020 showing that he deserves to stay on the team. Harmon was injured with an ACL injury during the offseason in 2020. He will have to battle for a spot on the roster, but I have faith he will be added to the cut. Then you cannot forget the addition of third-round draft pick WR Dyami Brown from UNC.
Humphries, Sims Jr., and Isaiah Wright will have to battle for the next two possible spots on the WR chart. Humphries looks more promising than the others, but we will see how it goes in the OTAs.
Tight Ends: Logan Thomas, John Bates, Temarrick Hemingway
It"s obvious that Thomas gets the starting job. The only question is who will back him up and who will serve as the third option? I doubt Washington will keep four TEs on the roster, so my guess would be Sammis Reyes becoming a practice squad player as he develops more. John Bates was drafted in the 2021 Draft in the fourth round. I think he will win the battle for the backup option over Hemingway, considering his size and speed, and career track record in college.
Hemingway serves as a good blocking TE, so he would be my next pick on the roster. Reyes just was signed as he recently transitioned from basketball in college to a TE in the regional pro-days, and was called to battle for a spot on the team. He will most likely be a practice squad player to develop more as the season improves, but look for his number to be called if injuries happen.
Offensive Linemen: Sam Cosmi, Ereck Flowers, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Cornelius Lucas, Wes Martin, Saahdiq Charles, Tyler Larsen,
Washington"s offensive line has been decent in 2020, some issues throughout the season, but did much better than the previous year. In the offseason, Washington has made some key additions to the line, including second-round draft pick Sam Cosmi from Texas, and signing Larsen, former guard of the Carolina Panthers. Washington also went on to trade for Flowers and bring him back to Washington. Having Flowers back is a major improvement for the interior line area.
We understand that Scherff, Moses, and Roullier will automatically start when the season comes unless injury prevents that from happening. Rivera has everyone on competition mode, and those who show that they are here to stay will make the cut. Flowers and Cosmi look to be a definite starter, but nothing is definite inside of Rivera"s eyes. This lineman competition is interesting and will be really competitive.
Washington Football Team Roster Projections: Defense
Defensive Linemen: Chase Young, DaRon Payne, Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat, Matt Ioannidis, Tim Settle, Shaka Toney
Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio made sure the D-linemen room was nice and stocked with heavy hitters. Its already known that the first six listed will be on the roster by the time of the cut date. The question is who will serve as the backups? Washington was able to bring in Toney, which some believe is a steal from Penn State. Most of the roster solely relies on the defensive line starters and backups.
Inside Linebackers: Jon Bostic, David Mayo, Jared Norris
Washington has struggled to form their linebacker core for some years now. With slight improvements in the 2021 season with the mass production of the defensive line, it solved certain problems the linebackers were having. Bostic is at the age where he is more of a veteran leader than a standout player. Washington signed Mayo in the offseason to add to the ILB depth chart. Washington could sign another ILB to battle for the backup position.
Outside Linebackers: Cole Holcomb, Jamin Davis, Casey Toohill, Josh Harvey-Clemons
Cole Holcomb is a young athletic linebacker that can make plays and follow the football location at all times. Washington selected Jamin Davis as their first-round draft pick. Davis is supposed to be the void that was left after losing Kevin Pierre-Louis in the offseason. Washington also has Toohill, Harvey-Clemons, and Hudson there as well along with Phillips as a ST linebacker.
With losing linebackers Pierre-Louis and Sean Dion-Hamilton in the offseason, Washington might pick up another FA during the training camp period. This is an interesting set of linebackers.
Cornerbacks: Kendall Fuller, William Jackson III, Darryl Roberts, Benjamin St-Juste, Jimmy Moreland, Chris Miller.
This was an interesting set of DBs put together in the offseason. Denver signed Ronald Darby, so Washington went to add William Jackson III to the roster afterward. Not a bad addition, along with the signing of former Lions DB Darryl Roberts. Jimmy Moreland had a pretty decent season in 2020 as a nickel back and will be looking to get more snaps in 2021. Washington drafted safety Benjamin St-Juste from the University of Minnesota but will be experimenting with the switch to cornerback.
This DB unit can do great things when it comes together during the season, especially with the safeties. Nothing but the purest talent that Rivera and Del Rio have been slowly putting together.
Safeties: Landon Collins, Kamren Curl, Jeremy Reaves, Darrick Foster, Troy Apke, Bobby McCain.
The safeties do not look as great, but they have a group of young talent who are all ready to step up and show out. The Washington Football Team fans were hoping that Collins would change into a linebacker in the off-season and then WFT could draft a safety, but it wasn"t Rivera"s plan.
Curl showed that he belongs on the team so I am positive he makes the cut as well. Jeremy Reaves stepped up when needed at the end of the season, and Rivera speaks highly of him. Derrick Foster was drafted in the seventh round, so not sure if he will see the field just yet. It could be down to Foster, Apke, and McCain as to which one is active on game day.
Washington Football Team Roster Projections: Special Teams
Kicker: Dustin Hopkins
Hopkins shook that rust off and seems to be consistent again, but if he struggles any more in the 2021 season, he might be given the walking papers.
Punter: Tress Way
One of the best punters in the NFL is here to stay, so there is nothing much to say about Tress Way.
Long Snapper: Camaron Cheeseman
Yes, the Washington Football Team signed a long snapper in the 2021 draft. Camaron Cheeseman from the University of Michigan was the top long snapper and is known for his athleticism and consistency, as he will show in the 2021 season. Washington has struggled to find a long snapper in years, so this is a great addition.
Thank you for reading my 2021 Washington Football Team Roster Projections, you can follow us @PigskinNut_CJ and @OTH_Football. You can check out the Washington Football Team Needs article prior to the draft here.
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