As Week 3 of the NFL preseason is set to begin, it’s that time of year to make 53-man roster projections as teams have already made the cut down to 80 this week.
As teams settle in around the league after cutting their rosters back to 80, what better time to take a look at what the Commanders roster will actually look like when the franchise trims back to a 53-man roster next week?
53-Man Roster Projection
This year the 53-man roster projection was a bit different than the last few as the depth chart itself was, for the most part, already known before training camp started. The battle of depth pieces has been what a lot of camp and the preseason have been about. Injuries at the tight end position and along the offensive line have made things interesting, but the fact is this training staff appears to be taking it easy with injured players on the mend, and not leaving anything to chance.
Quarterbacks (3): Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke, Sam Howell
While a surprise cut could come here with Heinicke, it’s not all that likely it will. All three of these guys should make the roster. Taylor gets the nod at backup because he has experience in the system already.
Running Back (4): Brian Robinson Jr, Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic, Jonathan Williams
This position appears to be running back by committee at this point. The only real argument here could come between Jaret Patterson and Williams for that last running back spot.
Receiver (6): Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Jahan Dotson, Dyami Brown, Cam Sims, Dax Milne
The Commanders have had some serious competition for the last receiver spot. While it’s possible they could go with seven (Ron Rivera has not done so since arriving in Washington), the fight for the last spot will come down to Milne, Marken Michell, and Alex Erickson.
Tight End (4): Logan Thomas, John Bates, Cole Turner, Kendall Blanton
The Tight End position has had its ups and downs this preseason, but the fight for the last position will likely come down to Blanton, Armani Rogers, and Curtis Hodges. Unless two players head to injured reserve eventually, there’s no way all this young talent can fit on the same roster.
Offensive Line (10): Charles Leno, Wes Schweitzer, Sam Cosmi, Chase Roullier, Chris Paul, Trai Turner, Cornelius Lucas, Saahdiq Charles, Keith Ismael, Andrew Norwell
With key injuries to several players including Turner, Schweitzer, and Norwell, this preseason hasn’t really given any indication of what to expect from the o-line. Unless Turner gets placed on IR, this is how this position will look. Newly signed Wes Martin was really only just a camp body who could possibly catch on with the practice squad.
Defensive Line (11): Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, Phidarian Mathis, Montez Sweat, Chase Young**, James Smith-Williams, Daniel Wise, David Bada, Shaka Toney, Efe Obada, Casey Toohill
There are 11 in this one because Chase Young will not play until at the earliest Week 5. Whenever he returns it’ll come down between Toohill and Obada for who gets cut.
Linebackers (4): Cole Holcomb, Jamin Davis, Khaleke Hudson, David Mayo
Probably the weakest position on the Commanders roster. Words throughout camp and the preseason is that Davis is a completely different player and that Holcomb is stepping up and into his new leadership role at MLB.
Cornerback (5): Kendall Fuller, William Jackson III, Benjamin St-Juste, Christian Holmes, Corn Elder
This is actually a good room despite what the scheme has shown lately. The only way this would change is if they somehow managed to sign another corner between now and when the 53-man roster is due to turn into the league.
Safety (4): Kamren Curl, Bobby McCain, Percy Butler, Darrick Forrest
This group should be much improved this season. Steven Parker looked like he belonged here in the first preseason game but really didn’t do enough to make it over the other four already listed.
Special Teams (3): Tress Way, Camaron Cheeseman, Joey Slye
Slye signed a new deal in the offseason meaning he’ll be with the Commanders for another three years. Way and Cheeseman are back…Tress continues to be the best personality on the 53-man roster.