As the Redskins enter their final preseason game, several battles remain difficult to predict. The TE position was decided earlier this week when they released veteran Chris Cooley. But the best battle remains at wide receiver.
Do they now keep six wideouts or seven? Regardless there will be an interesting player released. Brandon Banks still hasn’t proven he can play receiver, but his return ability makes him a threat to remain.
Each week during preseason, RapidReports will take a position-by-position look at the players we think are likely to make the final cut to 53 on Sept. 2 and those who we think may soon be seeking alternative employment.
Stock rising: WR Dezmon Briscoe. He’s finally using his size to make plays, both in practice and in games. Briscoe is 6-foot-2, but strong. However, he’s far from safe and must show he can help on special teams.
Stock falling: LB Markus White. He earned a roster spot last year because of his raw ability, but he hasn’t developed enough to warrant a roster spot over Chris Wilson or Bryan Kehl. Both of them are good special teams players. White, who played DE in college, doesn’t look comfortable yet at OLB.
QB -- In: (3) Robert Griffin III, Rex Grossman, Kirk Cousins. Out: Jonathan Crompton. Analysis: Nothing has changed since the day they drafted Griffin. Cousins looked sharp in the second preseason game, but he’s a rookie learning the NFL. Can’t afford to keep only two rookie QBs.
RB -- In: (5) Tim Hightower, Evan Royster, Roy Helu, Darrel Young, Alfred Morris. Out: Tristan Davis, Dorson Boyce. Analysis: Morris has run himself into a conversation over who should start the opener. Helu remains banged up. Hightower, coming off a torn ACL, will be brought along slowly. Every back here has issues that prevent them from being a full-time answer for 16 games. But each offers something of value.
WR -- In: (7) Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Anthony Armstrong, Aldrick Robinson, Dezmon Briscoe. Out: Brandon Banks, Terrence Austin. Analysis: This is the most intriguing battle of the summer and it’s still too close to call. Neither Robinson nor Briscoe offer much on special teams, unlike Banks and Austin. But Robinson and Briscoe have more potential at receiver. Special teams absolutely matters in this battle, which is the only reason so far that Armstrong has a spot. Many things remain in play at this spot.
TE -- In: (3) Fred Davis, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen. Out: Richard Quinn. Analysis: They already cut Chris Cooley, who would have been an expensive backup. The three who are in are very safe. Paul is still developing after his transition from receiver, but he has improved.
OL -- In (8): Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Maurice Hurt, Josh LeRibeus, Jordan Black. Out: Adam Gettis, Erik Cook, Tom Compton, Willie Smith. Analysis: Compton, Gettis and Smith are eligible for the practice squad. It’s likely that the first two will end up there after final cuts. Gettis had a chance to start two preseason games, but did not look near close to NFL ready. Both need to develop. Smith, entering his second year, is athletic but looks marginally better than 2011.
DL -- In (6): Adam Carriker, Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen, Chris Baker, Jarvis Jenkins, Kedric Golston. Out: Darrion Scott, Doug Worthington, Delvin Johnson. Analysis: Hard to imagine this changing, unless the Redskins worry about Golston’s durability and opt for a young guy such as Worthington. Otherwise, this is one of the easier positions to call.
LB -- In (8): Ryan Kerrigan, Perry Riley, London Fletcher, Brian Orakpo, Keenan Robinson, Lorenzo Alexander, Rob Jackson, Chris Wilson. Out: Bryan Kehl, Markus White, Brian McNally, D.J. Holt. Analysis: That last spot remains up for grabs. Kehl played outside linebacker vs. the Colts for the first time in his career. Wilson had a terrific game and has looked good this summer, but he had a solid camp for Philadelphia last summer and was cut. White hasn’t progressed enough and should be on the practice squad.
DB -- In (10): DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, Brandon Meriweather, Madieu Williams, Cedric Griffin, Reed Doughty, Brandyn Thompson, Richard Crawford, DeJon Gomes, Tanard Jackson. Out: Travon Bellamy, Jordan Bernstine, David Jones. Analysis: Bernstine is a good fit on the practice squad. Jones and Thompson likely are vying for the last corner spot. If they opt for Thompson, then it would give the Redskins two young backups; he was a sixth-round choice in 2011 while Crawford was a seventh-rounder this past April. The Redskins could opt for nine defensive backs, keeping four safeties with Hall moving there in a pinch. That would put Gomes and/or Doughty on the hot seat, but the coaches love Doughty’s special teams play.
Special teams -- In (3): Billy Cundiff, Sav Rocca, Nick Sundberg. Out: No one. Analysis: The Redskins cut Neil Rackers and Graham Gano this past week in favor of Cundiff. A big upgrade? Probably not so this could be an issue to watch all season.
John Keim covers the Redskins for the Washington Examiner. Follow him on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLWAS or @John_Keim.