- Rookie running back Keiland Williams averaged 3.5 yards a carry and rushed for two touchdowns in the preseason. But is it enough for him to make the cut? (Photo: Associated Press)
The players have had their chances to display their talents, and now their futures are in the hands of Mike Shanahan and his staff.
By 4 p.m. on Saturday, we will know for sure who did and who did not make the cut as Shanahan & Co. hack the roster down from 75 players to the league required 53.
Here’s a position-by-position look at how the Redskins roster could wind up looking:
Quarterback -- 3 -- It looks like the Redskins are a lock to take Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman and John Beck into the regular season. Coaches like the progress that Beck (who received an extension in the last week) has made, and the potential he offers. Richard Bartel didn’t do that bad in his preseason performances, but the Shanahans have had their eye on Beck for a while.
Running backs -- 4 -- Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson appear to be set, and Mike Sellers is their fullback. Willie Parker did better in his final audition, but with him not playing special teams, it looks like he’s on he way out. I’m going with Keiland Williams as the third RB, and Ryan Torain could make the practice squad.
Tight ends -- 3 -- Chris Cooley and Fred Davis are locks. The Redskins could take a third tight end for an extra blocker, and Lee Vickers has a slight edge over Logan Paulsen in this category.
Wide receivers -- 5 -- The obvious locks are Santana Moss, Joey Galloway and Anthony Armstrong. Devin Thomas will make this team partially because he did enough last night to remain in the mix, partially because teammates and coaches have noted how he has worked hard despite his inconsistencies, and partially because with Kelly now out, the pickings are rather slim in the size department. Terrence Austin seemed to do enough to earn a spot by again turning in a steady, productive performance last night. Brandon Banks might have killed his chances with another fumble, but maybe he makes the practice squad.
Offensive line -- 10 -- Casey Rabach, Derrick Dockery, Artis Hicks, Jammal Brown and the rookie Trent Williams are your starters. Their backups did little to solidify their spots on the team last night. But perhaps versatility will help some of the candidates. Will Montgomery can play both guard and center, Chad Rinehart guard and tackle, Will Robinson can play both right and left tackle, and guard Kory Lichtensteiger has good athleticism. Rookie Selvish Capers remains a work in progress and would be a good practice squad candidate.
Defensive line -- 7 -- Ma’ake Kemoeatu looks like the starting nose tackle and Adam Carriker and Kedric Golston the left and right defensive ends, respectively. Phillip Daniels appears safe as Carriker’s backup, and for now Albert Haynesworth is a backup, but has to take over as a starter sometime in the very near future. That leaves Vonnie Holliday, Jeremy Jarmon, Darrion Scott, Howard Green and Anthony Bryant to fill three spots. Holliday is a vet with an ability to play end and -- like Carriker -- pitch in at nose tackle. Jarmon may be a very long shot, but I’m giving him the nod. He’s been in a tough spot, rehabbing, gaining weight to play DE in the 3-4, and playing catch-up. But coaches have praised his work ethic. And as only a second-year player, You’d have to think he’s still got good potential.
Linebackers -- 9 -- London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh, Brian Orakpo, Andre Carter and Lorenzo Alexander are the locks, and H.B. Blades, Chris Wilson, Perry Riley and Robert Henson all made solid contributions as well. Still no word yet on Henson’s knee injury, though.
Cornerbacks -- 4 -- DeAngelo Hall, Carlos Rogers and Phillip Buchanon are a given, and that leaves Kevin Barnes, Justin Tryon, Byron Westbrook and Ramzee Robinson vying for a spot. Barnes edges them out.
Safeties -- 5 -- LaRon Landry, the rehabbing Kareem Moore and his temporary replacement Reed Doughty are on this team. Chris Horton and Tyrone Carter likely get the nod as well, beating out rookie Anderson Russell.
Special teams -- 3 -- Kicker Graham Gano and punter Josh Bidwell never had competition in the preseason, and long-snapper Nick Sundberg earlier this week beat out James Dearth.
The Redskins could possibly decide to take only eight linebackers so they could have an extra defensive back for support in pass coverage. And in that case, Westbrook could make the cut because he also offers solid special teams play. But overall Riley and Henson appear to have both done more than Tryon, Westbrook and Robinson this preseason to warrant roster spots.