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#HailMail: Breaking Down The Redskins' 2020 Roster


The Redskins are continuing to prepare for the 2020 season via their virtual offseason program. Here's what Redskins fans want to know:

I was surprised tight end Thaddeus Moss was not a late-round draft pick. What kept him from being drafted? Size? Speed? Blocking ability? Receiving skills? -- Ron N.

Thaddeus Moss, the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss, was projected as a Day 3 tight end following a standout season for reigning national champion LSU.

But at the NFL Scouting Combine in late February, his physical revealed a Jones fracture in his right foot that required surgery.

He did not participate in front of professional scouts as a result, and he was unable to visit teams for follow-up medical exams because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both factors hurt his draft stock, according to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero.

The Redskins stayed away from Moss during the draft, but once he went undrafted, they took a chance on him by signing him as a college free agent.

"Everything we've gotten from our medical staff we feel comfortable with," vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith said about Moss' health after the draft. "We'll monitor that whenever the time comes that he's able to come with us."

If fully healthy, Moss could be a valuable addition to the Redskins' tight end room. He has reliable hands and quality body control, according to analyst Lance Zierlein, and also excels as a blocker.

"He will get after it as a run blocker, using above-average technique and an impressive ability to strain and sustain against bigger opponents," Zierlein wrote in Moss's draft profile. "He could struggle to uncover against tight man, but his hybrid TE/H-back versatility and run-blocking prowess could lock him into a TE3 role."

Nice to see the rookies get their jersey numbers. When can we expect to see jersey numbers assigned to veterans that we signed through free agency? -- Michael B.

The numbers for every player are currently listed on the roster page of the Redskins' website. Here are the jersey numbers for all of the team's free agent signings:

  • QB Kyle Allen: No. 8
  • WR Cody Latimer: No. 12
  • CB Kendall Fuller: No. 23
  • RB Peyton Barber: No. 25
  • CB Ronald Darby: No. 35
  • S Sean Davis: No. 36
  • RB J.D. McKissic: No. 41
  • LB Kevin Pierre-Louis: No. 48
  • LB Jared Norris: No. 50
  • LB Thomas Davis Sr.: No. 58
  • G Jeremy Vujnovich: No. 68
  • G Wes Schweitzer: No. 71
  • T Cornelius Lucas: No. 78
  • TE Logan Thomas: No. 82
  • TE Marcus Baugh: No. 85
  • TE Richard Rodgers: No. 86

You also might notice there are several instances where two players have the same number. For example, running back Peyton Barber and cornerback Fabian Moreau are both listed as No. 25. This is normal for 90-man rosters; when the Redskins take the field, the offense will wear white and the defensive will wear red.

If both players make the final 53-man roster, then one of them will be forced to switch numbers.

Are the Redskins looking to add a veteran wide receiver to help out the young wide receivers? How about another tight end? -- Edward R.

It doesn't seem likely that the Redskins will add another player at either position.

Washington wholeheartedly pursued Pro Bowl wideout Amari Cooper, and when he decided to stay with the Dallas Cowboys, it signed 27-year-old Cody Latimer to serve as the position's veteran presence.

Then they drafted Antonio Gandy-Golden in the fourth round and signed two college free agents, bringing their wide receiver total to 13.

Plus, there are hardly any veteran wide receivers worth signing at this point. Demaryius Thomas is 32 years old, while the other options include Taylor Gabriel, Chris Hogan and Jarius Wright, among others.

The same philosophy holds true at tight end. The Redskins have seven tight ends -- four of whom are new -- and the best player available is 36-year-old Delanie Walker.

Are the Redskins throwing in the towel by not improving the offensive line? -- Warren T.

I'm not sure where this is coming from, because the Redskins have spent the entire offseason trying to improve their offensive line. They locked up Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Scherff by placing their franchise tag on him. Then they tried to re-sign right guard Ereck Flowers; the Miami Dolphins just offered him more money than they were willing to match.

With Flowers gone and Trent Williams requesting a trade, the Redskins signed three offensive linemen during free agency: guards Wes Schweitzer and Jeremy Vujnovich and tackle Cornelius Lucas. During the NFL Draft, they selected tackle Saahdiq Charles in the fourth round and center Keith Ismael a round later.

Washington did not land the most-coveted offensive linemen on the market, and with one pick in the first two rounds, it was not in position to bolster the offensive front at the top of the NFL Draft. But the Redskins added several versatile players who will compete for the two starting spots at left guard and left tackle. Let the best linemen win.

Seeing as we have a big need at left tackle, why not sign a player like Jason Peters to fill the spot? He is big and would be playing against Philadelphia twice a year. -- Jody C.

In theory, this makes a ton of sense. Peters, 38, is a nine-time Pro Bowler who has started 195 games since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2004. He'd be the perfect mentor for the Redskins' young tackles such as Charles, Geron Christian Sr. and Timon Parris.

However, it does not seem likely to happen. On "The John Keim Report" on May 1, ESPN's John Keim said Redskins probably won't go after Peters. NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn has also said it's "only a matter of time" before Peters and the Eagles reach a deal for him to return to Philadelphia.

Who are slated for the three linebacker spots at this time? -- Michael H.

Linebacker is a fascinating position for the Redskins for several reasons because there are several viable starter combinations.

One option would be to have Jon Bostic at middle linebacker, Thomas Davis Sr. on the weak side and Cole Holcomb on the strong side. However, Ryan Anderson should also challenge for the strong-side spot. The 2017 second-round pick emerged as a defensive playmaker towards the end of 2019, racking up seven quarterback hits, four sacks and four forced fumbles over the final six games.

The other variable is the status of Reuben Foster. If fully healthy, Foster has the size (6-foot-1, 228 pounds) and athleticism to thrive as a weak-side linebacker. But there's still no timetable for his return.

Overall, the Redskins have 10 linebackers on the roster with varying skillsets. That's a good problem to have, especially considering head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio are former NFL linebackers who know how to best utilize players at that position.

Can we get some updates on injured players from last season, such as Alex Smith, Ruben Foster, Bryce Love, etc.? -- Matthew K.

Of course. Let's start with running back Bryce Love, who missed all of his rookie season recovering from a torn ACL. As a guest on "The Rundown" podcast in March, Love said he was "feeling good" and "getting after it" and that the goal was to participate in organized team activities. "And then definitely be out there, of course, by training camp," Love added.

The Redskins will not have traditional OTAs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it remains to be seen when Love will return to the field. When asked about Love following the NFL Draft on April 25, Rivera said he's "progressing daily" through his rehab process.

As for Alex Smith and Foster, Rivera provided updates on their recoveries during a videoconference on April 7.

"Well the last time I saw them both, they were both right in the middle of their rehabs and both working very, very hard," Rivera said. "Alex is one of those guys that's driven, and what we've done I think in bringing Kyle [Allen] in is add a little insurance as far as that one's concerned. As far as Reuben Foster is concerned, he's done a great job when...I was able to see him. It looked good, it looked like he was working his way back."

Foster is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered during OTAs last May, while Smith continues to work back from a gruesome leg injury suffered in November of 2018.

On Thursday, Smith's wife, Elizabeth, posted on Instagram to celebrate his 36th birthday. Included in the post is a video compilation of Smith doing various football workouts, such as high-stepping over cones, dropping back and throwing to receivers and sprinting out of the pocket.

Chase Young did not run at the NFL Combine, so what did Ohio St. tell the Redskins he ran in the 40-yard dash? Montez Sweat ran it in 4.41 seconds. My guess is 4.5-something? -- Anthony H.

Chase Young does not have an official 40-yard dash time according to his manager, Ian Thomas.

Prospects usually run at the NFL Scouting Combine and then at their Pro Day, but Young did not workout at the combine, and Ohio State's Pro Day was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

His most-recent 40 time that's available publicly seems to be from when he was a senior at DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland in 2017. According to ESPN, Young ran the 40 in 4.94 seconds before starring for Ohio State and eventually getting drafted by the Redskins.

Given Young ran that time about three years ago, he would almost certainly finish much faster if he ran the 40-yard dash today. But now that he's in the NFL, he'll likely never have an official time.

According to my count, the Redskins have 85 players on the current roster. Don't they need 93 to enter training camp? Who will fill the remaining eight spots? College free agents or unrestricted free agents? Any idea who that will be? -- Dan F.

According to the Redskins' website, there are currently 84 players on the roster. And since teams can have 90 players through offseason workouts and training camp, there are six open spots to work with.

During a normal year, the Redskins would usually add players after the the team's annual three-day rookie minicamp, which consists of its draft picks, college free agent signings and tryout players. Last year, the Redskins signed five players following rookie minicamp.

However, there will be no rookie minicamp this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it harder to identify college free agents worth picking up.

While nothing is certain, the Redskins seem more likely to sign unrestricted free agents because there is much more information about each player. But they could also take some of these extra roster spots into training camp and then use them to add players that other teams release.

The NBA is scheduled to open team facilities so players can work out and get treatment voluntarily according to there states social distancing mandates. Is the NFL planning to do this soon as well? -- Matthew K.

All club facilities have been closed since March 25 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the NFL sent out a league-wide memo Thursday laying out a path for reopening facilities.

The memo instructed teams to implement several protocols by May 15, such as getting consent from state government officials, establishing a club infection response team and practicing other social distancing and sanitary measures.

"The protocols are intended to allow for a safe and phased reopening," Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote. "The first phase would involve a number of non-player personnel. ... No players would be permitted in the facility except to continue a course of therapy and rehabilitation that was underway when facilities were initially closed."

Goodell also wrote that the NFL is actively working with the NFL Players Association to create an environment that would enable players to return to facilities. He said the conditions for that to happen should be decided "fairly soon."

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