The Washington Redskins on Monday released their first unofficial depth chart ahead of Thursday's 2016 preseason opener against the Falcons in Atlanta.
While the position battles will continue well into the rest of training camp and the four-game preseason slate that starts Thursday evening, Spencer Long is listed as the No. 1 left guard on the first unofficial depth chart of the year, while Mason Foster – who started the final five regular season games of the 2015 season – is at the starting Mo linebacker position.
"We have to have a depth chart out here probably early next week just for the media and for the program or whatever, but really it's wide open right now," Redskins head coach Gruden said last week. "I wouldn't even put a depth chart out until Week 3 of the preseason. We're trying to get everybody an opportunity and make our decisions."
Long started in place of an injured Shawn Lauvao last season, starting all 13 of his appearances at left guard.
He continued to work with the first-team offense at the position throughout offseason workouts, but Lauvao – who returned to the field last Monday – has been rotating in some, too.
"Shawn is doing good," Gruden said. "He had his first couple days here and it looked like he never left, really. As far as how he's feeling, I think he's still a little rusty a little bit, I think you can tell. He's got to gain full confidence back in his strength on both feet. Once he does that, he'll be fine. But as far as mentally, he is zoned in and knows exactly where to go and how to do it."
Foster and Riley Jr. have also been splitting first-team reps as the coaching staff remains in the thick of their roster evaluations.
Rest of the depth chart
Here are some additional notes from the first unofficial Redskins depth chart this season.
--The team has elected to go with a three wide receiver lineup, as DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon and Jamison Crowder are listed as the starters at the wideout positions. They were, of course, the Redskins' three most productive wide receivers. First behind Jackson is college free agent Maurice Harris, who is looking to grab onto a roster spot after being signed in May. Garçon and Crowder are followed by Rashad Ross and Ryan Grant respectively, both of whom saw a significant increase in action during the 2015 season.
--Because rookie wide receiver Josh Doctson and tight end Derek Carrier remain on the Active/Physically Unable To Perform list, they aren't listed on the first unofficial depth chart.
--While Kory Lichtensteiger has returned to the starting center position, Long and Josh LeRibeus are jointly listed as the backup centers behind the veteran, while 2015 seventh-round pick Austin Reiter rounds out the group. Long has been taking center reps here and there throughout the offseason, while LeRibeus saw significant action at the position last season. The preseason will provide a litmus test as to how far Long has come and how much LeRibeus has improved.
--The tight end room is deep, and putting it on the depth chart really shows just how much talent there is at the spot. While Jordan Reed is listed as the No. 1 tight end, Vernon Davis (No. 2), Niles Paul (No. 3) and Logan Paulsen (No. 4) will certainly have their own niches within a dynamic offense, too.
--While it was expected that Matt Jones and Chris Thompson would be the top two running backs, Keith Marshall will get first crack at securing the No. 3 running back spot. Since the Redskins do not have fullback listed on the depth chart, Joe Kerridge is under running back.
Defense--Despite his bulk up during the offseason, Trent Murphy is listed as strongside linebacker behind Preston Smith. Murphy noted after Sunday's practice that the team envisions a tweener role for him, so he'll continue to play along the defensive line, too, depending on the situation.
--While Chris Baker is holding down the No. 1 right defensive end spot, Ricky Jean Francois and Kendall Reyes are seen as 1a and 1b options at left defensive end. Kedric Golston is listed as the team's top nose tackle, followed by rookie Matt Ioannidis and Jerrell Powe, who remains sidelined for now after a procedure for a heart arrhythmia issue.
--Since the defense does not list a nickel cornerback position on the roster, Kendall Fuller appears behind Josh Norman on the depth chart while Bashaud Breeland is joined by Greg Toler and Dashaun Phillips at the other cornerback position. Cornerback, like wide receiver, is deep, and Washington will continue to gauge the performance of every play at the position before making decisions for the 53-man roster.
--DeAngelo Hall has shifted over to free safety after being listed at both cornerback and strong safety last year.
--Nothing has really changed for the specialists, as Tress Way, Dustin Hopkins and Nick Sundberg are the only players at their respective positions on the roster.
--Rashad Ross is once again listed as the No. 1 kick returner and Jamison Crowder as the No. 1 punt returner. One interesting note is that Will Blackmon follows Crowder. Even though he hasn't recorded a punt return since the 2013 season, Blackmon has tallied three punt return touchdowns in his career.