Redskins Rookie Defensive Backs

Will the rookies shine in camp?

**This is the first post in my Camp Battles series where I will be taking a look at the position by position training camp battles that we need to keep an eye on**

On this date it is hard to pick the five players who will see the most playing time in the secondary week one. Right now, I think the corner backs who will see the most playing time in week one are:

Josh Wilson, DeAngelo Hall and E.J. Biggers

By mid season though, there is a good chance that second round draft pick David Amerson will replace Biggers as the third corner back in the Skins’ rotation. The final roster spot should be Richard Crawford’s. This means that Chase Minnifield is going to be on the practice squad for a year of development.

Just like the corner backs it is hard to predict which safeties will make the roster but at this point I will try. Everyone knows that if  Brandon Meriweather is healthy, he will win one starting spot but  the other spot is up in the air. The rookie safeties, Bacarri Rambo and Philip Thomas, will have a hard time earning a starting spot week one. It’s nice to fantasize about one of them doing so, but at this point, it’s a far fetched thought. They both have to learn a lot and our defense is complicated for the safeties, they have to be interchangeable.

This leaves Reed Doughty, DeJon Gomes and Jordan Pugh to battle it out for the other starting spot next to Meriweather. We all know Doughty is better at SS, but so is Meriweather. DeJon Gomes needs to improve a lot before he can be counted on to be a starter but he’s shown flashes, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think Gomes can make the jump in his 3rd year in our system to be a starter. Jordan Pugh will be in the mix and he has the versatility to play each safety position but has never started in the NFL. Both Gomes and Pugh are going to have to play lights out this training camp and preseason to earn a starting spot next to Meriweather. If they don’t, neither is likely to make the Redskins final 53 man roster.

Tanard Jackson is the wild card at the safety position this season. If he is reinstated he could be a factor in the second half of the season but no one knows what kind of shape he’s in because he would have had a year away from football.

What the Redskins could do is use combinations and use players in different roles, which they did a lot of that last year. Again, both Thomas and Rambo “might be” more talented than our returning safeties, but again, they have to learn a lot. The safeties in our defense are expected to do so much. They have a great role in both run support and in pass coverage and that takes a while to learn. Each safety also must be interchangeable at strong safety and free safety for the Redskins defensive scheme to be at its best. Of the two rookies, Thomas could take over in the middle of the season at one of the safety positions, if he improves his tackling.

Without a doubt, the defensive backs position is going to be one of the best battles to watch come training camp as it could go in so many directions.

Next Up: Defensive Line

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