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Preseason Midterm Grades

Burner’s Burning Questions – Preseason Midterm Grades

Next week, the Redskins will trim the roster to seventy-five players and the following week will produce a lineup of fifty-three. In this second preseason installment of BBQ, we will hand out midterm grades by position and provide some analysis as well. Two games remain on the preseason schedule and players on the bubble are looking to make an impression.

Quarterbacks – Grade, Incomplete:
It would be tempting to put a grade of A+ on the rehabilitative efforts of one Robert Griffin, III. Everything to this point suggests that he is the week one starter. Kirk Cousins has done a fine job in limited action while Rex Grossman and Pat White have turned in solid performances, albeit against third and fourth stringers.

Running Backs – Grade, B:
Roy Helu and Evan Royster deserve high marks for their performances thus far, but the rookies are lagging far behind. Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison are in danger of being cut.

Tight Ends – Grade, C+:
Fred Davis is having a very good camp and a solid preseason. Logan Paulsen continues to be his dependable self. Niles Paul could be in danger of not making the final fifty-three while rookie Jordan Reed is struggling.

Wide Receivers – Grade, A:
The entire group has been impressive thus far and the coaching staff could be facing some difficult choices when the roster is whittled to fifty three players. Players who will be cut could include Dezmon Briscoe, Donte Stallworth, and Lance Lewis.

Offensive Line – Grade, C:
Up front, the starting unit has been good, but could be much better. The obvious concern centers on right tackle – who will step up and contribute? Backups Tom Compton and Adam Gettis have made major strides in the offseason and it is now paying off for the Redskins. Josh LeRibeus has drawn the ire of coaches for his lack of preparation heading into the new season.

Defensive line – Grade, A:
This unit, despite being undermanned, is turning in a very fine 2013 preseason. Barry Cofield has been spectacular and Kedric Golston is probably having his best start ever. Chris Baker, Jarvis Jenkins, Chris Neild, and Stephen Bowen look to be in good form as well.

Linebackers – Grade, A+:
London Fletcher is an ageless wonder. Ryan Kerrigan is in beast mode. Brian Orapko is looking great. Backup Darryl Tapp is looking great. Nick Barnett is a solid addition to the linebacking corps. Toss in Perry Riley and Rob Jackson and you have a great lineup of linebackers that could be the best in the league.

Cornerbacks – Grade, B-:
The group as a whole has been impressive thus far in preseason, but a couple of veterans could be on the bubble. Don’t be surprised if Chase Minnifield makes the roster. DeAngelo Hall is looking good and certainly makes the team. E.J. Biggers is definitely on the bubble and is probably sent packing. Josh Wilson could be on the bubble too, but he probably sticks around. David Amerson has made a couple of rookie mistakes, but he looks to be the real deal and could start on opening night.

Safeties – Grade, C-:
It is tempting to put an incomplete grade here, but cutting Brandon Meriweather is not an option. The Redskins need for him to be healthy this season. Tanard Jackson will probably be reinstated and he is certainly needed if the talented safety can return to form. Bacarri Rambo has had a mixed preseason thus far, but he needs to quickly learn the nuances of free safety.

Special Teams – A:
Sav Rocca has the punting chores to himself. Kai Forbath looks to continue his success from last season. John Potter’s booming kickoffs are certainly welcomed. Nick Sundberg is a valued commodity. Rookie Skye Dawson could make the team as a returner/wide receiver.

What grades would you hand out? Who are your surprises to make the team? Who are your surprises to get cut? Feel free to add your answers and suggestions. Next week, BBQ will attempt to predict the final fifty-three – be ready with your lists too. See you then.

Hail To The Redskins!
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