QB: Robert Griffin III (rookie)
HC Mike Shanahan has already told the media that Griffin would be the starter from day one and that he will be doing things from that quarterback position that people have not seen before. He has the tools around him with a solid running game, and a young group of ball catchers. The ceiling is high for the former Heisman Trophy winner.
RB: Roy Helu
Helu came in to his own late last season playing in 15 games and racking up 640 yards and two scores, on top of his 379 yards receiving. He rushed for over 100 yards in thee straight games starting on November 27th
against Seattle. The second-year player out of Nebraska will be expected to double his rushing yards next year as Shanahan’s ground attack begins to take form.
FB: Darrell Young
Not much of a competition here seeing how Young is the only fullback on the roster after the Skins unexpectedly released Mike Sellers. Young is a linebacker-turned-fullback and showed signs of promise last year blocking both against the run and pass.
No. 1 WR: Pierre Garcon
This was made very clear when the Redskins signed Garcon to a five-year, $42.5 million dollar contract in March. With Santana Moss turning 33 in June, it was important for Washington to add youth to its wide receiving corps and Garcon had 947 yards and six touchdowns on a Peyton Manning-less Colts team in 2011.
No. 2 WR: Santana Moss
Not many things have been going right for the Redskins as of late. But Santana Moss always provided that sign of hope for fans. Moss, who is entering his 12th
season, his seventh in D.C., is still good enough to provide some offense and guidance for the new quarterback.
TE: Fred Davis
Fred Davis, aside from a little run in with Mary Jane, is a young tight end with tons of upside. He and Griffin could have many years where they make the Pro Bowl together. Now that the running game will be that much better and the addition of a true No. 1 in Garcon, Davis’ numbers should soar in 2012.
LT: Trent Williams
This will be the guy to watch in 2012. His off-the-field actions last year made him a liability and if he doesn’t perform up to his first-round potential, then the Redskins could be cutting ties with the former Oklahoma Sooner before this season ends.
LG: Kory Lichtensteiger
He tore is ACL in Week 6 against the Eagles last season, which was one of the many holes on the offensive line. But Lichtensteiger had been playing good football, and some may say he was the best lineman they had to that point last year. If he can fully recover from his injury, he should be back for the zone-blocking scheme that Mike Shanahan’s offense is built upon.
C: Will Montgomery
Just thinking of the name Casey Rabach brings shutters to Skins’ fans. Montgomery was nothing spectacular last year, but he did well enough to be the starter in Week 1. He should do better in 2012 with a more mobile quarterback in Griffin, and now that he has a little time playing center under his belt.
RG: Chris Chester
Chris Chester was the only Redskin offensive lineman to start and play in all 16 games a year ago. And with the three other guards on the roster not having three years NFL experience between them, Chester should be a lock.
RT: Willie Smith
This is a problem Washington needed to address in the Draft but they didn’t. And for that they could be in some trouble. Willie Smith played decent last year filling in for Trent Williams, but he is most definitely not a starter. Hopefully they can find a hidden gem in training camp that is willing to step up or else this could be a problem all of 2012.
DE: Jarvis Jenkins
He looked like a beast in the 2011 preseason, but as would be the story of the Redskins, Jenkins tore his ACL before he could make his regular season debut. But he will be back this year and it should be no surprise if he is dominant.
NT: Barry Cofield
Cofield was one of the few things that went right for the Redskins last year. After playing with the Giants for five years in a 4-3, Cofield was moved to nose tackle in Shanahan’s 3-4 scheme. He should be even better this year as the defense looks to improve on its 117.8 yards rushing per game last season.
DE: Stephen Bowen
Bowen had 41 tackles and six sacks in 2011 after being picked up in free agency last year. Bowen’s numbers should only get better as this young defense continues to gain experience.
OLB: Ryan Kerrigan
This kid was a monster last year and should only get better. Kerrigan had 63 tackles and 7.5 sacks, and an interception return for a TD in his rookie year. His athleticism is perfect for an outside linebacker in a 3-4 and will anchor this very good defense.
ILB: London Fletcher
NFL’s current Iron Man, as Fletcher has played in 224 consecutive games over the past 14 seasons, is the heart and soul of the Washington Redskins' defense. In April, he signed a five-year contract to lock him up in D.C. for the rest of his career.
ILB: Perry Riley
Riley wouldn’t get his first start until Week 10, but he still had 68 total tackles and one sack. He took over for the ill-performing Rocky McIntosh and should have a good season in 2012.
OLB: Brian Orakpo
In 2011, Orakpo posted 59 tackles, nine sacks and three forced fumbles. This will be his fourth season in the league and now that Kerrigan has another year under his belt, teams will not be able to strictly focus on Orakpo.
CB: DeAngelo Hall
People have mixed feeling towards Hall but mine are that of disappointment. Hall has all the talent in the world yet plays very selfish. He could be one of the top shutdown corners if he would play man coverage. But, in Washington, Hall is really all the Redskins have and needs to play well to make up for the obvious team weakness this year; the secondary.
CB: Josh Wilson
The former Maryland Terrapin showed he can play fairly well at times, and absolutely abysmal at others. Combined injuries limited his ability last season, but he is still young and could be a very good corner in the NFL if he develops and stays healthy.
SS: Brandon Merriweather
With LaRon Landry in New York, the Redskins take a gamble on Merriweather. Many in D.C. see him as an upgrade, where I see him as a potential headache. After wearing out his welcome in New England, he played last year for Chicago. He will be on a short leash with Mike Shanahan and if he doesn’t show character growth, he could be sent packing by midseason.
FS: DeJon Gomes
Gomes played exceptionally well in his reserve role for the Redskins last year. He got his first start in Week 11 against the hated Cowboys and recorded 14 tackles. Gomes was the man who was responsible for AP tearing his ACL (legally of course) and took over at strong safety when LaRon Landry went down on IR. Gomes should be a good option for free safety for the Redskins this season.
K: Graham Gano
Not much to say here except they don’t have anyone else. He can kick it a mile but can’t hit the broad side of a barn.
P: Sav Rocca
The Redskins' MVP of 2011? Many fans think so. He regularly pinned opponents inside the 20 yard line which helped field position battles against teams like the New York Giants and the Seattle Seahawks.
KR: Brandon Banks
This kid is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. But with 13 receivers on their roster already, Banks days in D.C. may be numbered. If he can show he can return kicks and maybe be a threat on offense, this would assure Banks of his roster spot in 2012.