NFL preseason has already kicked off with the Hall of Fame game last Thursday, but the league’s other 30 teams don’t start their seasons until later today. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look around the league at each team’s initial depth chart to gain some semi-serious insights. These depth charts are mostly fake, compiled by communications departments instead of coaching staffs. But I thought it’d be a fun exercise to overreact to things, so here we are!
Arizona: Kliff Kingsbury is a dork
The Cardinals decided to release a depth chart based on who will get the most playing time in their first preseason game instead of a real one based on what their team will look like, because they’re a bunch of nerds. It reminds me of college coaches who refuse to release depth charts to avoid giving other teams an advantage (or something), because obviously if you say Kyler Murray is your fourth string QB, teams will forget he exists. Maybe he forgot to do his (no longer) required homework this week.
Anyway, Sean Harlow over Lecitus Smith at center seems to be a good battle to watch since Rodney Hudson seems on the edge of retirement. I’m a bit disappointed to not see Smith in the lead for that competition, but he was a sixth round pick, so I’m not shocked. Will Hernandez being listed as a starter seems like a bad sign for a guy who’s theoretically going to be a regular season one. Also, shoutout my guy Eno Benjamin for leading the RB2 role behind James Conner. Never wrong, only early.
Defensively, Rashard Lawrence and Leki Fotu getting significant playing time tells me Arizona isn’t thrilled about the performance of their defensive tackles from last season. Antwaun Woods and Kingsley Keke are decent veterans who could push them for spots if Lawrence and Fotu don’t have good preseasons. At EDGE, seeing Myjai Sanders and Cameron Thomas being low on the depth chart makes me sad. Ezekiel Turner is a key special teamer and apparently first linebacker off the bench, so that’s cool. Corner outside of Byron Murphy is…something, certainly.
Atlanta: Wow! That’s…uh…wow!
Good lord, this team looks bad (sorry, Falcons fans). Rookies being buried aside, we’re still looking at a rough offensive line, Feleipe Franks disrespect, and someone called Cornell Armstrong starting at nickel. Back to the rookies being buried: again, what is the point of this?
Mariota over Ridder isn’t surprising, but I still expect Ridder to play this season. Tyler Allgeier, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Damien Williams are really the only running backs I care about. (Side note: forgot Avery Williams moved to RB. But he’s basically a punt returner only so I’m going to forget it again in like ten days.) Olamide Zaccheaus over Bryan Edwards is a rough look for the guys on Twitter that swore Edwards was going to be the second coming back in the day. KhaDarel Hodge running as WR4 ish seems…bad. Elijah Wilkinson at left guard is also bad. Matt Hennessy and Drew Dalman tied up at center could end up with a fine NFL starter, maybe? But neither of them have proven it, clearly. What is a Parker Hesse and why is he TE2 over Franks? (This is a bit, to be clear. But good for Franks for being open to the change.)
Defensively, I actually like this team a bit. Grady Jarrett, Ta’Quon Graham, and Anthony Rush isn’t the worst defensive line I’ve ever seen – I watched plenty of the 2021 Chargers. Graham is an ascending player who deserves this spot over Marlon Davidson. Expect Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone to play more than the second and fourth team spots suggest, but Adetokunbo Ogundeji and Lorenzo Carter are legitimately the starters. AJ Terrell is a dawg and Casey Hayward is still a solid player even at his age. Unfortunately, most teams have three receivers to cover these days. Richie Grant seizing a starting spot alongside Jaylinn Hawkins is a fun young safety duo.
Baltimore: Gonna have to cut somebody
I enjoy this team and look forward to seeing which of the interesting players they end up cutting. Justice Hill seems like he’s on the way out if JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards are healthy by the opener considering his fourth team spot. I liked Makai Polk but he’s WR10(?) on this team, behind other guys I liked like Devin Duvernay, Tylan Wallace, and James Proche II. One of Geno Stone or Ar’Darius Washington seem likely to miss the cut due to the numbers game at safety.
A backup offensive line of Ja’Wuan James, Tyre Phillips, Patrick Mekari, Ben Cleveland, and Daniel Faalele seems pretty good behind a starting offensive line that also seems pretty good! Tyler Huntley deserves a legit shot somewhere, but I’m cool with him hanging out behind Lamar for another season first, I guess. Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar will be higher than TE4 and TE6 when the season opens.
I love the idea of a Justin Madubuike, Michael Pierce, Calais Campbell, Broderick Washington, and Travis Jones IDL group. Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo will be a dangerous pass rushing duo when Ojabo is healthy, but the return of ageless wonder Justin Houston will help offset the lack of Ojabo highlights. Linebacker is questionable – I don’t think Patrick Queen is very good – but that’s a bit of a nitpick. At corner, it’s Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters and then a bunch of goons outside of Kyle Fuller, who got caught up in a crowded room in Denver. I’m interested to see how the safety packages play out with Chuck Clark, Marcus Williams, and Kyle Hamilton too.
Buffalo: Tremaine Edmunds is only 24 in his 5th season
Bring me the Terrel Bernard revolution at middle linebacker and I’ll die happy. Nothing against Edmunds, who people around the league seem to like, but his eyes are questionable and I worry about the defense’s ability to make stops if he’s getting manipulated every other play by the high level QBs in the AFC.
A bit surprised to see James Cook listed behind Zack Moss, but I think it’s more of a vote of confidence in Moss and his role than an indictment of Cook. Both should get plenty of work in addition to Devin Singletary in one of the most convoluted committees of all-time. Isaiah McKenzie has had a stellar camp and I’m excited about him as the primary slot receiver. Jamison Crowder could be a surprise vet cut but I’m not sure, while Khalil Shakir looks like he’ll be making more of an impact on special teams as a rookie. Not worried about Spencer Brown being listed on the second team, since he basically hasn’t practiced all offseason. He’ll be the starter when healthy.
Absolutely love Dane Jackson being listed as a starter, even if it’s only temporary while Kaiir Elam ramps his NFL education up. Christian “Levi Wallace” Benford being listed on the second team is a testament to the way Buffalo develops exactly one UDFA corner every four seasons. An EDGE rotation of Von Miller, Greg Rousseau, AJ Epenesa, and Boogie Basham has the potential to be downright gross. Defensive line as a whole looks like a strength with Tim Settle and Jordan Phillips behind Ed Oliver and DaQuan Jones.
Last thing: seems like a bad sign that Punt God is still listed as the backup behind Matt Haack, last year’s worst NFL punter. Could just be giving the veteran preference, or it could be a sign that Araiza’s hangtime concerns coming out of SDSU are still an issue. I’m going to key in on it frequently this preseason, because I’m that kind of guy.
Carolina: Man, the 2018 draft sucked, huh?
I would rather have Geno Smith and Drew Lock than Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield at this point. Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson are the only QBs worth anything from the 2018 draft class unless you count Jets legend Mike White. To roster two of them, neither of them Allen nor Jackson, seems like borderline QB malpractice.
PJ Walker seems like he’ll have a hard time making the team unless the Panthers can offload Darnold, who apparently they’re shopping. Interested to see that D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard are co-RB2 since they have a roughly similar playstyle. Seems like both will be relevant if McCaffrey can’t stay healthy again this season. Terrace Marshall seems like he’ll be stuck as WR4 because of Mayfield’s chemistry with Rashard Higgins, but that’s not a knock when the other two receivers are DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson. Brady Christensen over Ikem Ekwonu is weird after they refused to play Christensen at left tackle last season, but whatever. Let whoever loses play left guard instead of Michael Jordan. Pat Elflein versus Bradley Bozeman at center is another rough one, but I’d expect it to be Bozeman. At least the right side is good!
Jacob Tuioti-Mariner being fourth team baffles me considering how well he played in Atlanta the last time a team gave him playing time, but that was two stops ago now, so maybe he’s just not as good as I thought. Looks like Amare Barno has an easy road to being EDGE3. The foursome of Brown, Ioannidis, Nixon, and Roy on the inside has potential that I like. Cory Littleton not being a starter surprised me, but maybe that’s just name value on a player who’s declining. Frankie Luvu is an underrated tackle machine who has probably earned a chance to start for a while. The secondary looks like a lot of fun if everyone plays to their potential, so I’ll keep an eye on them, although I’m a bit confused about who’s playing nickel since CJ Henderson and Keith Taylor Jr. are both primarily outside guys.
Chicago: Somebody needs to be held responsible for this
Listen, I get it. Ryan Poles inherited a team in cap hell that was paying a bunch of guys that weren’t playing. This is a slash and burn year. Fine. Whatever. But holy hell, does Justin Fields have barely anything to work with. I hope to god that the new staff and front office has a long-term plan and doesn’t watch Fields die on the field and decide that he’s not the guy.
Darnell Mooney is good, but I don’t think I’d want any of the other Bears receivers to be getting significant time on a functioning NFL team. Velus Jones will play because he was a third round pick, but he struck me as more of a return specialist than a wide receiver when I watched his college tape. Equanimeous St. Brown couldn’t produce with Aaron Rodgers at QB in the offense Chicago is currently installing and now he’s WR2??? Byron Pringle is fine, I guess? N’Keal Harry is already injured, which brings us to…Dante Pettis?
Oh, and the offensive line is bad, too. Signing Michael Schofield and Riley Reiff in the last few weeks has helped, but it’s also a testament to how brutal the lineup was that two summer pickups are immediate starters. Teven Jenkins apparently has a new injury, so he’s not a starter. Also the Bears might be trying to trade him?
Defensively, Roquan Smith requesting a trade because the new regime apparently refuses to negotiate in good faith is a bad look. Defensive tackle is fine, I guess? Justin Jones is an average guy, Angelo Blackson is probably below that. Robert Quinn is good! I like Nicholas Morrow and the secondary! Joe Thomas starting at linebacker seems suboptimal for a team potentially also losing Smith, which would result in Matt Adams starting, apparently? He has 55 career tackles in 4 seasons. This team frightens me. If Justin Fields gets injured we may as well call up the USFL All-Stars to replace Chicago for the rest of their games.
Cincinnati: Finally, a real offensive line
Apart from the obvious improvements on the OL, the Bengals look exactly the same. Which is good! They made the Super Bowl!
I would like if Jackson Carman wasn’t starting, and I would like if Chris Evans was RB2 over Samaje Perine, but those are the nitpickiest of nitpicks on an offense that looks primed to repeat their 2021 performance. Chase, Higgins, and Boyd remains one of the league’s better trios, but I am a touch concerned about the depth behind them if anyone gets injured. Adding Ted Karras, Alex Cappa, and La’el Collins to fortify the right side of the line gives me hope that Joe Burrow won’t pull an Andrew Luck. Hayden Hurst seems like a one-to-one replacement for CJ Uzomah considering the depth chart behind him has not moved at all.
I would really prefer Cam Taylor-Britt to be starting over Eli Apple, but I’ll give the rookie some time before growing worried about his ability to go out and earn the CB2 role. Zach Carter being listed as a second team defensive tackle is encouraging. I’m excited to see Joseph Ossai get back on the field as EDGE3 behind Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson. Jessie Bates seems all but gone with Dax Hill directly behind him on the depth chart, so I’m going to go work on my best fits article for his impending free agency. Was hoping to see Tycen Anderson a bit higher at the other safety spot. Also, Clark Harris doesn’t seem eager to give up on the long snapping job quite yet despite being 38, as my LS1 Cal Adomitis is still listed as the backup. I say this with a completely straight face: I am going to pay attention to the long snapping in Bengals preseason games.
Cleveland: Give me your running backs
Sexual predator aside, what stands out most is that Cleveland cannot possibly keep all six of these running backs. Kareem Hunt has asked for a trade that the Browns have told him they won’t make. Demetric Felton, Jerome Ford, and John Kelly are competing for one spot – at least one of them will be available on waivers, and at least one of them will get picked up.
Jacoby Brissett is fine. I think he’s going to play a lot of games! Cleveland is not going to trade for Jimmy G, or Gardner Minshew, or whatever else. Josh Rosen is not going to make a dent (sadly). It’s gonna be Brissett. David Bell seems to already have the starting slot role nailed down and should see a lot of targets alongside Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Anthony Schwartz and Michael Woods II have both dealt with injuries in camp, with Woods capitalizing on Schwartz’s injury early and then suffering his own. This is the David Njoku breakout season, while Harrison Bryant will get plenty of work as well. 13 personnel will not be as frequent with Austin Hooper gone and more talent at receiver. Nick Harris gets his shot to start at center with JC Tretter still on the free agent market.
I was a little surprised to see Greedy Williams still listed ahead of AJ Green, considering how well Green has played in camp. It seems likely that he ends up the starting nickel corner, with Williams CB4 and Martin Emerson CB5. That’s a tough, tough room that should be among the league’s best. I’ll be watching Green and Williams closely in the preseason. Jordan Elliott and Taven Bryan starting at defensive tackle is less than ideal, but hopefully Perrion Winfrey takes over one of those roles soon. I remain excited about Alex Wright as a rotational rusher behind Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. Linebacker isn’t super inspiring outside of JOK, but the position hardly matters in Cleveland’s defensive scheme.
Dallas: Play base dime, cowards
Dallas lists three starting safeties, three starting corners, two linebackers, and four linemen. That’s uh…12 players. But one of the starters at linebacker is Micah Parsons, who could just as easily play EDGE on most downs. What I propose is starting Parsons over Dorance Armstrong with Leighton Vander Esch as the only linebacker on the field (or maybe Jabril Cox).
I’m thrilled to see Jalen Tolbert and UDFA Dennis Houston listed on the first and second teams, respectively. Houston may very well be WR5 behind Noah Brown with James Washington injured, while Tolbert is WR3 behind CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. I’m bummed that Jaquarii Roberson has been so anonymous that his name is spelled wrong on the depth chart because I thought he had draftable talent. Tyler Smith being a backup is another bummer, but Terence Steele has been a bit underrated at right tackle and Connor McGovern is a fine starter at left guard.
Apart from advocating for base dime, seeing DaRon Bland listed as the second team nickel corner is one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given. Anthony Brown over Kelvin Joseph is disappointing to me as a big Joseph fan, but it seems like the correct choice at this juncture. I like the entire second team at safety – Israel Mukuamu, Tyler Coyle, and Markquese Bell, but I’m not sure if all of them make the roster since that’s getting into S6 territory. I’ll be monitoring the roster cuts there throughout the preseason.
Also, Brett Maher being back is very funny.
Denver: Broncos Country, Let’s Ride
Really nothing surprising on this one, which is disappointing.
Josh Johnson vs Brett Rypien is my favorite backup QB battle in the league, with Johnson taking the edge right now. Nathaniel Hackett has said the competition is ongoing. Looks like Trey Quinn will not be the surprise guy to make the roster at WR despite some reporting to the contrary a few weeks ago. I’d bet on the last spot coming down to Montrell Washington and Tyrie Cleveland. Washington is currently listed as the starting returner, so that’s my bet. On the line, starting Calvin Anderson if Billy Turner can’t go looks rough, and somehow Lloyd Cushenberry still has a starting job.
I’m a little apprehensive about Matt Henningsen and Eyioma Uwazurike being listed on the third team, but the Broncos have a pretty strong defensive line on paper. It seems like at least two of McTelvin Agim, Mike Purcell, and Jonathan Harris will get cut, and I’d guess that any of them would get scooped up by another team. Christopher Allen being fourth team makes me think he’s still not quite back from ACL surgery, which sucks. Also a bit surprised to see Malik Reed as a primary backup once Randy Gregory is healthy. No real surprises in the secondary, although seeing the chart does remind me that Jamar Johnson is very much on the roster bubble.
Detroit: Dan Campbell, ultimate tone setter
I love the trench groups on both sides here, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Campbell is the apple of football Twitter’s eye thanks to his kneecap biting and the recent premiere of the Lions on Hard Knocks.
Jared Goff promises to be absolutely average at QB again, which Detroit seems to honestly be completely fine with. D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams is a nice RB duo, but I do wish Jermar Jefferson and Justin Jackson were higher. Hopefully they find a footing with new teams if they can’t overcome the Craig Reynolds experience. Receiver is no longer a glaring weakness and is now just a regular weakness, or maybe even a fine group. I like DJ Chark, whose time in Jacksonville went largely under the radar because, well, he was in Jacksonville. Amon-Ra St. Brown showed he can be a #1 option if needed last season. Josh Reynolds has chemistry with Goff going back to the Rams; Quintez Cephus is a mighty fine WR4.
Good for Alim McNeill getting the starting nod at defensive tackle alongside Michael Brockers. Levi Onwuzurike will get plenty of action too, I imagine, and figures to be Brockers’ replacement sometime down the line. A starting linebacker duo of Chris Board and Alex Anzalone is maybe the worst in the league, but I have faith in Derrick Barnes to start sooner rather than later. Will Harris and Jeff Okudah have apparently been in a fierce competition for the CB2 role, which is not a great sign for a former top 5 overall pick. Injuries have unfortunately robbed us of much Okudah tape, and it’s always hard to see a guy everyone thought of highly struggle that way. I like the depth at safety with Ifeatu Melifonwu and Kerby Joseph.
Green Bay: Couldn’t find any receivers at the ayahuasca retreat?
Looks like the five will be Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb, Romeo Doubs, and Amari Rodgers or Juwann Winfree. I’ve seen worse (see: the Falcons), but that’s not the kind of corps I’d want if I also had a top ten all-time QB talent like Aaron Rodgers.
Elsewhere on offense, I was a bit surprised to see Tyler Goodson behind Patrick Taylor, who has been dealing with a groin injury. Kylin Hill is on the PUP list, so the RB3 spot is currently open, but it looks like Green Bay favors Taylor over Goodson for now. Ageless wonder Marcedes Lewis still starting at tight end is beautiful to see. The offensive line is fascinating to me. Obviously David Bakhtiari is the real starter at left tackle, not Yosh Nijman. Elgton Jenkins will also start somewhere on the right side instead of Jake Hanson or Royce Newman. I’m excited about Zach Tom and Sean Rhyan being listed on the second team. Rasheed Walker, on the other hand, looks like he has an uphill battle to a roster spot.
Devonte Wyatt behind Jarran Reed smells more like a timeshare situation than Wyatt truly running with the backups. I’ve heard a bit about Jonathan Ford during training camp, so I was a bit surprised to see him on the third team. EDGE depth between Jonathan Garvin, Kingsley Enagbare, Tipa Galeai, and La’Darius Hamilton will be a good battle to keep an eye on. Also excited to see Isaiah McDuffie as LB4. I’d assume the Packers will carry 5 safeties, but who misses the team of Vernon Scott, Shawn Davis, and Tariq Carpenter will be of interest. Jack Coco starting at long snapper over fastest long snapper ever Steven Wirtel is also a bummer, but I’ll be watching the snaps in Green Bay and holding out hope for Wirtel.
Houston: Rookie supremacy
It’s not much of a surprise considering the rest of the Texans’ roster, but I was still happy to see four rookies on the first or second teams.
Dameon Pierce being listed as RB3 behind Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead is just incorrect. I expect it to be remedied by the time the season starts. Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins are a fine 1-2 punch, but either Chris (Moore or Conley) at WR3 seems a little rough. I was hoping to see Brevin Jordan atop the TE pecking order, but Pharaoh Brown starting tells me that Houston wants more out of Jordan as a blocker. Kenyon Green behind Justin McCray is probably only due to Green dealing with a knee injury; otherwise, the offensive line looks about like what I expected.
The defensive line looks about as expected, and I expect all 5 eventual final roster EDGEs to get time in the rotation. Greenard, Green, Hughes, Addison, and Okoronkwo all have the talent to contribute, although I am curious to see how Hughes and Addison hold up on the back end of their careers. Christian Harris being behind Kamu Grugier-Hill again seems like an injury thing more than a talent thing. Garret Wallow on the second team is a nice surprise; I really liked his TCU tape. The secondary looks as expected. I won’t argue the semantics of Derek Stingley being listed as CB2 because he’s at least starting, and at that point things get pretty fluid between CB1 and CB2 depending on who’s the better player. Jalen Pitre starting from day 1 is also unsurprising and I’m excited to see how he performs in his rookie year.
Indianapolis: You’re starting who?
This is mostly directed at a couple spots on the offensive line and Brandon Facyson, who I think is a perfectly fine corner that probably should not be a win-now team’s CB2.
I’ll gladly admit I was wrong to be low on Alec Pierce, who’s already WR2 in an admittedly odd wide receiver room. Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell complete one of the better trios on paper, but we’ll need to see a full, healthy year of Campbell to draw real conclusions. Depth behind them is questionable to an outsider, but Indy has been developing all of them for a few years and seems to trust what they have. Drew Ogletree being a second team TE is a wonderful surprise; he and Jelani Woods seem like they’re battling it out for TE3. I’m a little concerned about the prospect of starting Matt Pryor and Danny Pinter considering a geriatric Matt Ryan is playing QB, but I’m not sure there’s many better options currently on the roster.
I’m curious to see who the Colts keep at EDGE. There’s six names I like with Yannick Ngakoue, Kwity Paye, Tyquan Lewis, Ben Banogu, Ifeadi Odenigbo, and Dayo Odeyingbo. There’s also no way all six make the team. Gun to my head, I’d assume Banogu is the odd one out, but I really have no idea. Bobby Okereke starting at WILL is a good sign that the new defensive staff likes his athleticism. Zaire Franklin at SAM is concerning, but with Kenny Moore on your team, you better be running base nickel. Nick Cross grabbing a starting spot this early is a big-time brand moment for me. I like Isaiah Rodgers as a CB4 and wouldn’t be incredibly surprised if he ends up starting over Facyson at some point this season.
Jacksonville: New faces everywhere
We already saw the Jaguars in the Hall of Fame game last week, but that was a watered down version without most of the starters.
Preseason legend Kyle Sloter was already cut by Jacksonville, so it looks like Jake Luton has won the QB3 battle unless EJ Perry lights it up for the rest of the preseason. James Robinson is finally getting healthy and will be the first team RB, but I am a tiny bit surprised that there’s not an OR next to Travis Etienne’s name. Laquon Treadwell and Laviska Shenault could be fighting over one roster spot if Jamal Agnew is still the primary returner unless the Jags elect to keep six wideouts. Walker Little not being a starter is another small surprise: I thought he outplayed Jawaan Taylor last season. Someday my guy Ben Bartch will win that starting guard job, I swear.
Jay Tufele languishing on the third team has to be a bit of a letdown considering some of the names on the second team. I’m also curious about EDGE4 behind Josh Allen, Travon Walker, and K’Lavon Chaisson. It looked to be Arden Key in the Hall of Fame game, but he’s listed at DE, as is Dawuane Smoot. I assume they’ll still be playing EDGE most of the time but it’s a weird quirk of the chart. The two-deep of Foye Oluokun, Devin Lloyd, Chad Muma, and Shaquille Quarterman is one of my favorite parts of this team. Tyson Campbell had an injury scare last week but seems fine and should start with Darious Williams and Shaquill Griffin. Really not many surprises except maybe that Gregory Junior is a fourth team corner.
Kansas City: It’s spelled ISIAH
Isiah Pacheco. Rutgers spelled his name on their own official roster wrong. His name is not spelled Isaih. It’s Rutgers football, do you expect more from them?
Speaking of Pacheco, he’s still RB4 despite the stellar training camp he’s had. It’s not much of a surprise with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, and Ronald Jones also in that backfield. Mecole Hardman being listed as a second team receiver makes me feel vindicated in thinking Marquez Valdes-Scantling will be a top guy for them this season. Skyy Moore looks like WR4 to open the season, but it sounds like he’ll be moving up sooner than later if he keeps this pace up. Lucas Niang is on the PUP list, and I’ll be interested to see if it’s him or Andrew Wylie to open the year at right tackle.
Trent McDuffie being the only rookie starter is a bit of a letdown, but I’m stoked that McDuffie has lived up to his hype thus far. A duo of him and L’Jarius Sneed is versatile and dangerous. George Karlaftis behind Mike Danna and Leo Chenal behind Elijah Lee seem like burying the rookies because everyone buries the rookies. Lee was a practice squad guy for the Browns last season; I doubt he’s suddenly become a starting quality player. Safety looks pretty much as expected. If the rookies play well, the defense will be significantly better, which scares me as a Chargers fan.
Las Vegas: Zamir White SZN
We’ve seen the Raiders already, and my biggest takeaway was that Zamir White is going to make this coaching staff put him on the field. Josh Jacobs will have a role, although the fact that he played in the Hall of Fame game is perhaps a smoke signal that it’ll be a lesser one than in years past. Behind that, it’s mostly Kenyan Drake and Ameer Abdullah, both beatable players.
Mack Hollins and Keelan Cole at WR3 and WR4 over Tyron Johnson and Demarcus Robinson fascinates me. I almost think Vegas will have to keep six if that’s the case. Jarrett Stidham at QB2 shouldn’t be a surprise because of his familiarity with the McDaniels offense. The Alex Leatherwood-Brandon Parker battle at right tackle interests me, because I’m not sure the winner has a logical spot somewhere else on the line. Lester Cotton is apparently much improved and seems to have been handed the right guard spot.
What stands out to me on defense is that a CB trio of Trayvon Mullen, Rock Ya-Sin, and Nate Hobbs is lowkey completely fine? Maybe I’m overrating Mullen and Ya-Sin a bit, but I don’t mind the group one bit. Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby are obviously a great EDGE duo once Jones is healthy. Tyree Gillespie being a third teamer is a rough look, but I think he’ll still make the team? Matthew Butler on the third team is also a crime at defensive tackle. Everything else on defense looks pretty normal to me.
LA Chargers: DANIEL OR STICK
The Easton Stick renaissance is finally upon us. Tying up with Chase Daniel for the QB2 role is a real good clue that Stick is going to make the team, again, but this time the coaching staff says he’s developed as a passer!
Isaiah Spiller being behind Larry Rountree is comical, but being behind Joshua Kelley is legit. Kelley has looked like a changed man in training camp and it seems like he and Spiller will split the RB2 role to open the season. Spiller will still have a big role, but Kelley will too. Your five receivers are Allen, Williams, Palmer, Jalen Guyton, and DeAndre Carter. All 5 will get playing time and all 5 look good. It’s still Storm Norton vs. Trey Pipkins at right tackle. Neither player has separated themselves, and both will see extensive action in the preseason. I’d assume one will start at left tackle while the other starts on the right, because Rashawn Slater is not going to see the field until September.
Kyle Van Noy being listed as a second team EDGE and first team LB screams hybrid role. KVN will play mostly MIKE for LA, but once Kenneth Murray comes back healthy, the veteran will also kick down to give Bosa and Mack a breather. Jerry Tillery still starting is painful, but Morgan Fox has yet to make a huge impact in camp to show he should be the starter instead. Christian Covington over Breiden Fehoko is a felony. Deane Leonard at safety is wrong; he’s at corner and looks like he might be CB5. JT Woods will be a second teamer by the regular season and should see time as a two high safety when Derwin James moves into the box.
LA Rams: How soon can we call OBJ?
Ben Skowronek as WR3 is a cruel joke for a team that should be able to do better. I get Odell Beckham won’t be ready to play until midseason, but he has to be on the Rams speed dial as soon as he’s cleared, right?
Kyren Williams has barely practiced considering he came off PUP like three days ago, so it’s not a surprise to see him at RB4. I still think it’ll be Akers, Henderson, and Williams getting carries. Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson are going to have to match the best seasons of their respective careers to keep this engine running with Skowronek and Tutu Atwell at WR3 and 4. Brian Allen is meh at center. Coleman Shelton (Sko Dawgs) vs. Logan Bruss at right guard is the battle to watch on offense.
Daniel Hardy being listed at second team EDGE over Terrell Lewis is a spicy one that I’m excited to see play out in the preseason. Lewis has struggled with injuries since being drafted and he might be running out of chances. Chris Garrett as the other backup EDGE warms my heart. Bobby Wagner is a tremendous departure from the Rams’ usual MO of signing random goons at linebacker, but the rest of the group stays true to their usual philosophy. Derion Kendrick and Cobie Durant might force the Rams to keep 6 corners. Jordan Fuller seems more likely to win the strong safety job than Taylor Rapp. Someday Terrell Burgess will get more playing time, I swear.
Miami: Please find other guys to return kicks
The top three options at both kick and punt returner are also starters – Raheem Mostert and Chase Edmonds at RB, Tyreek and Waddle at WR, Jevon Holland at safety. That’s not the worst thing, but it does expose a few key pieces to more injury possibilities than I would like.
Erik Ezukanma is the latest victim of rookie burying on these depth charts, as everything I’ve read says Ezukanma will be among the top 4 receivers. That means Preston Williams and Lynn Bowden are likely competing for one spot. Miami has 2 starting spots for running backs and a fullback, which only confirms to me that they’re essentially going to be an option team. Mostert and Edmonds are co-starters and I expect Edmonds to play very well given more opportunities on outside zone. Myles Gaskin seems like a better bet to make the team than he did a few weeks ago. Hunter Long could surprise from the TE3 spot, as I think he’s the closest to what Mike McDaniel wants out of the position out of the guys on the roster. Disappointed to see Michael Deiter listed as a backup, but the new look OL looks decent on paper and that’s a huge improvement.
On defense, Miami lists players in a 3-3-4, which is only 10 players? I assume that means it’ll be base nickel because base nickel is the correct defense to be running in the modern NFL. Secondary depth looks questionable – beyond Xavien Howard, Nik Needham, and Noah Igbinoghene, the corner depth looks rough on paper. Byron Jones is on the PUP list and will, of course, start across from Howard when he returns. Eric Rowe is fine, I guess, but nobody else behind Jevon Holland and Brandon Jones looks very good except maybe Verone McKinley. I’m not sure if McKinley is that low on the chart because he’s a rookie or because he’s been bad.
Thomas Morstead seems like he’ll eventually win the punting job. Rookie Tommy Heatherly got waived on Friday in favor of Sterling Hofrichter, who missed all of 2021 with an injury.
Minnesota: Rough look for 2021 3rd rounders
I just kind of assumed that the whole “Sean Mannion is a great guy” routine would go away with Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman being shipped out of town, but he’s listed as the co-backup with Kellen Mond. Minnesota’s other third rounder last year, guard Wyatt Davis, is a third teamer behind rookie Ed Ingram.
If Mond can’t beat out Mannion, I’d be far from shocked to see the Vikings cut bait. He’s a late Day 2 pick from a previous regime that hasn’t developed the way Minnesota was hoping for. It’s early, sure! But I wouldn’t be shocked. I’m interested to see the carries breakdown between Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Kene Nwangwu, and Ty Chandler. KJ Osborn and Ihmir Smith-Marsette as WRs 3 and 4 are nice proof that the Vikings can develop talent. Myron Mitchell at WR6 is a surprise over Jalen Nailor, so that’s a battle I’ll be watching. The starting OL seems set, but I really only see 8 locks on the depth chart. Davis still has a chance, but he’ll need a great preseason.
It’s only a matter of time until Andrew Booth Jr. and Lewis Cine take over starting roles from Cameron Dantzler and Camryn Bynum, respectively. Dantzler has been up and down and I honestly don’t mind him as a player, but he’s clearly the more likely to get demoted considering the other corner is Patrick Peterson. Same thing with Bynum, but Cine has drawn rave reviews in camp and has apparently been getting heavy mentoring from Peterson and Harrison Smith. Both Dantzler and Bynum will be quality depth who should still see plenty of time. Also a bit surprised to see Harrison Phillips at nose while Dalvin Tomlinson is at end; I figured those would be swapped.
New England: Give me your running backs, part 2
New England has 6 running backs, all of whom seem good enough to be on a roster somewhere. Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson will probably be the co-starters once the Patriots update the depth chart to account for James White retiring this morning. Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris have draft capital on their side. JJ Taylor has been serviceable when he’s played in past seasons. Ty Montgomery looks like the most expendable, but he’s listed as the starting kick returner. Not all of them can make the team!
The offense has looked like garbage with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge running things, which is the most shocking thing to happen in the NFL since we found out Mike McCarthy actually didn’t improve his game management skills. Mac Jones is…fine. DeVante Parker is at least a real receiver, which automatically makes him WR1 on a team that disrespects my GOAT Jakobi Meyers every week by refusing to throw him touchdowns. Tyquan Thornton is really fast and that’s really all I’ve got. I don’t hate the offensive line, but I don’t love it either. It is also…fine.
Josh Uche will finally get a chance to start after a series of injuries forced him to miss stretches of his first two seasons. Anfernee Jennings and Ronnie Perkins round out a high upside EDGE room headlined by Matt Judon and his jarring red sleeves. Cameron McGrone being listed all the way at the back of the depth chart worries me a touch, but I hope it’s because he’s never played in an NFL game after missing all of 2021. Christian Barmore being listed as a backup reminds me of how he was technically not a starter at Alabama either. Malcolm Butler better not take a roster spot from Shaun Wade or Jack Jones, who are both listed behind the unretired veteran. Good for Tristan Vizcaino for earning another shot in a kicking competition after performing suboptimally for the Chargers last season.
New Orleans: So like…are you guys competing or not?
I have no idea what the Saints’ plan is this season. I’m not sure anyone outside the building really does thanks to the relatively short notice of Sean Payton’s retirement. Jameis Winston seems to be having a virtuosic camp, proving yet again that you can never be wrong about players, only early. But the rest of the roster seems to be in this weird, in-between area. Young players are beginning to eat into playing time but there are plenty of veterans good enough to propel the team forward also.
It’s looking more and more like Alvin Kamara won’t be suspended, which is good news for a team whose RB depth is somewhere between weird and bad. Mark Ingram is back, which is cool, but Tony Jones Jr. was ineffective last season and Abram Smith has an uphill battle to contributing. The wide receiver depth chart makes me think Kevin White is the odd man out even if the Saints keep six: Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, Marquez Callaway, Tre’Quan Smith, and Chris Olave are locked in. Deonte Harty is the starting returner and is listed as a co-third teamer with Olave. Juwan Johnson listed as TE4 behind Nick Vannett is perhaps the most indicative battle on this roster. Vannett might have more value right now, but Johnson has the higher upside as a development project. Also, Trevor Penning on the second team confirms to me that New Orleans is making him earn a spot instead of running a Mickey Mouse competition.
Payton Turner being listed on the third team is a seniority thing. He’ll be EDGE3 behind Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport, who just came off the PUP list. I’m excited about Jordan Jackson at defensive tackle with some journeymen ahead of him on the second team. A linebacking trio of Pete Werner, Demario Davis, and Kaden Elliss looks fun; I’ll be keeping a close eye on them this whole year. Alontae Taylor already cracking the two-deep is an excellent sign for a player I thought was underrated until he went in the second round.
NY Giants: Fast boi summer
Wan’Dale Robinson and Kadarius Toney both being listed on the first team tells me the Giants are focused on speed this season, although it’s worth noting Robinson is a starter because Sterling Shepard is on the PUP list. It’s perhaps one of the many reasons Darius Slayton has been the subject of cut rumors despite being listed as WR4 on the team.
Gary Brightwell as RB3 is a pleasant surprise to me, but my research indicates that perhaps I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am. Brightwell is a standout on special teams and it sounds like he’s developed as a pure running back this offseason. I’m a bit sad to not see Jashaun Corbin higher, though. It sounds like Richie James or CJ Board are the favorites for WR5 if Slayton is cut or traded for scraps, probably because they have more value on special teams. Daniel Bellinger at TE1 confirms my priors and also confirms that the Giants think that they have nobody else worth playing despite hiding former NFL contributors Jordan Akins and Ricky Seals-Jones on the back end of their depth chart. The offensive line depth desperately needs Matt Peart and Nick Gates to return healthy from their respective injuries.
I know UDFAs rarely get out of the last columns of the depth chart, but I’m still surprised to see Christopher Hinton at the back of the pack. I thought Hinton had draftable talent and size. One of Elerson Smith and Quincy Roche seem to be on the wrong side of the roster bubble unless Azeez Ojulari isn’t ready to be activated by Week 1. Neither linebacker spot is decided, but the incumbent duo of Blake Martinez and Tae Crowder is fine if they stick with it. Rodarius Williams, Cor’Dale Flott, and Dane Belton all on the two deep is a thrill. It looks like Williams and Flott will be CB4 and 5, rounding out the team behind starters Adoree’ Jackson, Aaron Robinson, and Darnay Holmes.
NY Jets: A weirdly large amount of depth
I’m mostly talking about EDGE here, where the Jets have ten players currently on the roster. 6 or 7 of them are guys I think of as decent players, but surely there’s not enough room for all of them. Maybe Vinny Curry doesn’t have anything left. Maybe Jabari Zuniga and Micheal Clemons simply aren’t good enough. Same thing at running back, where Zonovan Knight seems to be getting caught in a numbers game.
Breece Hall at RB3 instead of RB2 hints to me that Tevin Coleman will continue to exist in the general proximity of the Jets. I swear this is the Denzel Mims breakout year even though he has more competition than ever – at best, he’s WR4, at worst, WR5. Kenny Yeboah seems doomed as TE4 plus Jeremy Ruckert at the back of the chart. Max Mitchell will be given a legit chance to start after the latest injury to Mekhi Becton, which unfortunately looks to be the story of the young tackle’s career. The rest of the OL is pretty chalk.
Apart from the EDGE depth, the most eye-catching area of the defensive depth chart is corner. DJ Reed, Bryce Hall, and Sauce Gardner are a very good trio – Reed and Hall were already a good duo! Brandin Echols and Isaiah Dunn are decent depth as well. Michael Carter II and Javelin Guidry finish up a seven deep room. I’d expect Guidry and/or Dunn to be the ones available to other teams at final cuts. A quintet of CJ Mosley, Kwon Alexander, Quincy Williams, Hamsah Nasirildeen, and Jamien Sherwood is a nice mix of vet experience and upside at linebacker. I might be looking to add one more DL depth piece if I were them, but the current group is fine.
Philadelphia: We hate your draft crushes
Carson Strong, Kennedy Brooks, Marvin Wilson, Ali Fayad, JaCoby Stevens, Tay Gowan, and Mario Goodrich are all stuck on the fourth team. And I get it, most of those guys were UDFAs, most of them this year. Those guys are always at the back. But you’d think one of them would be worth keeping around in some respect.
Kenneth Gainwell being listed as a co-second teamer with Boston Scott makes me upset as someone with too much investment in Gainwell. Scott is, in my opinion, mostly a JAG, and the fact that Gainwell isn’t emphatically ahead of him makes me sad. Jalen Reagor’s placement on the second team suggests he might still make the team, which seems unsurprising. The bigger question I have is who Britain Covey displaces if the UDFA forces Philly to keep him after his standout training camp. Greg Ward and Zach Pascal are both capable receivers; it seems like the Eagles will have to keep six. I’m confused about what’s happening on the tight end line, but I guess Jack Stoll is the favorite to be TE2. The OL looks as good as ever.
Marlon Tuipulotu seems like he’s going to have a rough time getting on the field if he makes the team. Perhaps no team fits Jordan Davis better; he won’t have to play a full complement of snaps with Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave also in the fold. I’ll be watching Patrick Johnson and Tarron Jackson closely this preseason to see how Philly’s EDGE depth is going to look. Kyzir White, TJ Edwards, and Nakobe Dean are the best LB group the Eagles have put on the field in a long time. I like the starters at corner, but the depth worries me a touch. Safety looks good.
Pittsburgh: George Pickens is Him
Not even seniority can stop Pickens, as he’s listed as a first team receiver alongside Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. Pickens has been the star of the entire league in training camp, producing highlights day after day after day. It certainly looks like he’s going to have a big role even with Johnson and Claypool also commanding targets.
Really no surprises on the offense that I can tell. Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph not being an OR when Rudolph’s accuracy has reportedly improved seems to suggest this is Trubisky’s job to lose. Kenny Pickett has, by all accounts, been a distant third in the competition so far. Benny Snell isn’t the greatest RB2, but I think he’ll safely make the team considering the other options are similarly ineffective. Mason Cole being handed the center spot while last year’s starter Kendrick Green competes with Kevin Dotson for the left guard job is interesting. If Green loses the competition I’d be expecting Pittsburgh to start looking for his replacement in this draft.
Devin Bush and Robert Spillane being listed as co-starters is a tough look for the former top ten pick, even if Spillane is an underrated performer. It’s certainly looking like Bush is a year or two away from having to revive his career in another jersey. Demarvin Leal on the third team feels like a seniority pick. I think Doug Costin deserves an NFL roster spot somewhere, but the group in Pittsburgh looks harder to crack than most. Excited to see another year of development from Alex Highsmith in his second season as a starter. The corner depth worries me a lot: Wallace, Witherspoon, Sutton, and Maulet is a decent top 4, but Chris Steele at CB5 will have to prove he’s ready to go as a rookie. I’ll watch the punting competition just to confirm, but it seems like Pressley Harvin will keep his job.
San Francisco: Good for Spencer Burford!
Of all the rookies the 49ers brought in, I would’ve assumed Drake Jackson was the most likely to have snagged a starting spot by now. Instead it’s Burford, San Francisco’s fourth rounder who has reportedly been very impressive at right guard. Last year’s starter Daniel Brunskill is listed as the backup center, with Kyle Shanahan telling the press that he might be better with fewer reps and that Brunskill hasn’t played guard in camp because the team knows what he’s capable of.
Other than that, the main thing on the offensive depth chart is Jimmy Garoppolo fourth at QB, but that’s because he has to be on the chart somewhere, according to Shanahan. Running back isn’t particularly surprising, with Elijah Mitchell headlining the nastiest committee ever known to man. Jeff Wilson Jr., Trey Sermon, Tyrion Davis-Price, and JaMycal Hasty will also theoretically get carries. Is San Francisco really going to carry 5 running backs and fullback Kyle Juszczyk? I think they may end up trying to sneak Hasty through to the practice squad.
Defensively, moving Arik Armstead back to the interior still leaves San Francisco with a group I really like at EDGE. Jacksonand Nick Bosa are a high upside top two once Jackson eases into a presumptive starting role. Samson Ebukam and Charles Omenihu are under the radar players that I really like. The interior could probably use a boost beyond Armstead and Javon Kinlaw, but Kevin Givens and Hassan Ridgeway are fine backups. At least one of Kerry Hyder, Kemoko Turay, Jordan Willis, and Robert Nkemdiche are bound for waivers. Linebacker and secondary look pretty chalk, although I was a bit surprised to see rookie Marcelino McCrary-Ball listed at MIKE and not safety.
Seattle: It’s a new era
Perhaps a bit obvious considering Russell Wilson is gone, but his departure along with the release of Bobby Wagner has officially closed the book on the 2013 Super Bowl roster. By my count, not a single player from that team remains on the Seahawks, which personally feels melancholic but really isn’t that surprising since 2013 was almost ten years ago. God, we’re old.
Geno Smith and Drew Lock not getting an OR is pretty much in line with what Pete Carroll has said all offseason: Geno is ahead and he’s not looking back. It’s still a competition, of course, but Smith seems to have the upper hand. Rashaad Penny is rightfully RB1; he really put things together in the back half of last year and deserves a shot to lead the backfield, even with Kenneth Walker waiting in the wings. Dee Eskridge at WR5 behind Marquise Goodwin is not the best sign on a depth chart that mostly ignores the seniority rules other teams use. Neither is Bo Melton being even further down the depth chart. Abraham Lucas as the second team right tackle seems temporary if I had to guess, but Jake Curhan was honestly not bad last season either.
I actually really like the EDGE group Seattle has put together. Uchenna Nwosu is a good player who the Chargers did not re-sign in order to make room for more high-profile players. Darrell Taylor, Boye Mafe, and Alton Robinson are all players I liked coming out of college. I’m excited to see how they perform. I’m bummed that Ben Burr-Kirven’s knee injury was bad enough that Seattle waived him with a failed physical designation. He played well enough on special teams to make this roster if he was healthy and could’ve won an LB4 spot. Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen both advancing to the second team this early on is a very encouraging sign. Seattle has always been a great developer of DB talent under Pete Carroll and that seems to be continuing.
Tampa Bay: Could Ryan Jensen play this season?
Jensen is listed as the starting center even though we know he suffered what was initially reported as a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago. The fact that he hasn’t been placed on IR yet suggests that Tampa is saving a spot on the 53 for him so that they can place him on IR after final cuts and therefore keep him eligible to return for a late season push and playoff run. It could also explain why the Bucs haven’t been aggressive in looking at outside options.
At this point, I think you have to cut Kyle Trask. Maybe stash him on the practice squad, but if you can’t beat Blaine Gabbert at this stage of his career, it’s time to start considering that reality. I’m surprised to see Ke’Shawn Vaughn at RB2 – I feel like I’ve heard that Giovani Bernard looks good and Rachaad White looks great, while Vaughn has just kind of been there. The Bucs will have to cut an NFL caliber receiver, whether it’s Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller, or Jaelon Darden. I also still have hope for Jerreth Sterns’ NFL future, but it’s not going to be in Tampa. I hope to god that Kyle Rudolph over Cade Otton is a seniority thing. The Bucs like Aaron Stinnie, which is why they let Alex Cappa leave in the first place. It’s no surprise Stinnie is listed as the starter at LG.
Somehow I forgot that Tampa signed Akiem Hicks and now I’m mad all over again. Logan Hall will rotate in and eventually replace one of Hicks of Gholston, whoever ages out first. Shaq Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka are a wonderful EDGE duo, but if either of them goes down I’m worried about the prospect of playing Cam Gill or Anthony Nelson. Same thing with Devin White and Lavonte David. It’s a top heavy front seven. The secondary does not have this issue, with Jamel Dean, Zyon McCollum, Logan Ryan, and Keanu Neal all listed as second teamers. That makes sense when you remember that Richard Sherman walked in off the street and played in five games last season.
Tennessee: OL concerns
Taylor Lewan is fine at LT, but he’s had injury problems and hasn’t played to the same level as earlier in his career when healthy lately. Ben Jones is also fine and fits the Titans system well. Nate Davis is good! But the competitions at LG and RT worry me. Neither Aaron Brewer or Jamarco Jones really moves the needle for me. I’m not sure what happened to Dillon Radunz, who I loved coming out. He was bad last season, though, apparently bad enough that Tennessee felt it necessary to take another swing and land Nicholas Petit-Frere.
Malik Willis as QB3 is a seniority thing, but I also feel like I’ve barely heard anything about him in Titans camp. I’m not really sure if the Titans are listing Dontrell Hilliard, Jordan Wilkins, and Hassan Haskins all at second team RB or if it’s supposed to be Hilliard with Wilkins at RB4 and Haskins at 6. Usually it’s the latter, but that seems just as confusing as it being the former in this case. Kyle Philips looks like he has a legit chance to start out of the slot, with Robert Woods and either Treylon Burks or Nick Westbrook-Ikhine on the outside. Chigoziem Okonkwo at TE3 will not last long.
Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry is quietly one of the better DT duos in the league, which evens out with Harold Landry and Bud Dupree being among the more overrated EDGE duos. Landry and Dupree are fine players, but both are pocket collapsers and not sack artists. I’d expect no other team on earth to be starting Zach Cunningham in 2022. Tennessee cares about running the ball and stopping the run. Pass coverage is a luxury skill for their LBs. Not sure if I should be worried about Caleb Farley or excited about Roger McCreary after seeing them listed as co-starters opposite of Kristian Fulton. Either way, the three of them plus Elijah Molden is an ascendant top 4. Safety is the same old, same old. I hope Ryan Stonehouse is listed as P2 because of seniority, because he’s unquestionably an NFL caliber punter.
Washington: Linebackers are overrated
I guess the Commanders are banking on another year of development from Jamin Davis, but also I have little to no idea who else they’d start if Davis plays poorly. Backup Khaleke Hudson has been more of a special teamer during his time in the league and the rest of the depth is equally suspect.
I suspect Sam Howell will be climbing to QB2 if he carries his training camp momentum over into the preseason, as he’s looked better than Taylor Heinicke so far. I’d still bet on Howell seeing time in games that count this season. Brian Robinson at RB3 at the expense of Jaret Patterson hurts my heart, but I know it was inevitable. Hopefully Patterson sticks around somewhere, even if it’s not Washington. Jahan Dotson at first team receiver should surprise nobody that’s been even lightly following training camp. A little worried about Trai Turner at RG, since he’s really been hampered by injuries the last few years. Wes Schweitzer is a fine backup if Turner misses time, at least.
Outside of linebacker, this defense looks fearsome. I am concerned about the depth on the defensive line – James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill are an obviously steep drop-off from Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Phidarian Mathis will be a good DT3 as a rookie, but the options outside of that are less inspiring. I love the corner trio of Kendall Fuller, William Jackson III, and Benjamin St-Juste. St-Juste in particular has had a stellar camp from what I’ve seen. Kamren Curl has really blossomed into a terrific safety for Washington, and I think he and Bobby McCain will do a fair bit of damage this season. There’s really nobody buried on the defensive side that I’m upset about; the team seems pretty straightforward there.