From Grant Paulsen
The Redskins finished forming their eight-player practice squad over the weekend.
Mike Shanahan proved last season that the being on the Redskins’ practice squad is not as far from being on the active roster as it might be on other teams. Running backs Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams, wide receivers Brandon Banks and Terrence Austin and outside linebacker Rob Jackson all spent time on Washington’s practice squad a year ago.
Below is a list of the players who will help comprise the Redskins’ 61-man roster, with some information on where they’ve been recently.
DL Chris Baker:
Baker, 23, is a defensive lineman entering his third NFL season. The Connecticut-native spent the 2009 season with the Denver Broncos and the 2010 campaign with the Miami Dolphins. He played in one NFL game in each of his two seasons in the league. Baker, who finished his college career at Hampton, told me the Redskins signed him to play nose tackle. He stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 329-pounds.
QB Jonathan Crompton:
Crompton, 24, is a rookie quarterback from Tennessee who was drafted in the fifth-round in 2010. Already a journeyman, Crompton has spent time with the Chargers, Patriots and Buccaneers – who he spent the 2011 training camp with. The 6-foot-3, 222-pound signal caller actually played against the Redskins in a preseason game last week. He completed 12-of-22 passes for 142 yards in his initial preseason action.
OG Maurice Hurt:
Drafted in the seventh round (217th overall) this past April. Hurt played his college ball at Florida where he spent time along the offensive line both as a guard and a tackle. A stronger run-blocker than pass-protector, Hurt’s a prospect with nice upside who the Redskins wanted to keep around to develop. Born and raided in Georgia, the 23 year-old stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 318-pounds. He played in all four of Washington’s preseason games.
CB Nate Ness:
Ness, 25, played his college ball at Arizona. He’s spent the past three seasons battling for an NFL roster spot, spending the 2009 and 2011 campaigns in Miami and the 2010 season in Seattle. Ness has played in four NFL games, seeing action in one game in Seattle two years ago (he made five tackles), before playing in three games for the Dolphins last season. A tall cornerback who stands 6-foot-1, Ness was born in Los Angeles and grew up in California.
OG Eric Olsen
Drafted in the sixth-round of the 2010 draft (at 183rd overall) , Olsen played in one game with the Denver Broncos last season. The 23 year-old from Staten Island, NY. played his college ball at Notre Dame. He started 31 of his 44 career college contests, allowing just four quarterback sacks during his junior and senior seasons combined. At 6-foot-3 and 305-pounds, Olsen is known for his athleticism and mobility, a couple of traits that should benefit him well in Mike Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme.
WR Aldrick Robinson
Robinson is one of the twelve players the Redskins drafted in April. A speedy wide receiver who posted gaudy statistics at Southern Methodist University, Robinson muffed two punt returns in the Redskins’ preseason opener against the Steelers. He didn’t catch a pass during his exhibition play, but the Redskins are hoping his plus-speed will eventually make him deep threat. An undersized pass-catcher, Robinson is 5-foot-10 and 172-pounds. Still just 22, Robinson is raw but he has potential.
RB Evan Royster
Penn State’s all-time leading rusher, Royster ran for 110-yards on 26 preseason carries. As impressive as Royster’s first preseason showing was (he surpassed the 60-yard mark on just 15 rushes against Pittsburgh’s daunting run defense), he also fumbled once in the preseason. While Royster doesn’t possess any one spectacular skill, he seems to have quality vision and be shifty enough to shed tackles. Placing Royster, a sixth-round pick in April, on the practice squad makes perfect sense. If Ryan Torain gets hurt — as he has several times in the past — he’ll get a chance to suit up for the Redskins.
DE Doug Worthington
Worthington, 24, played at Ohio State before being drafted in the seventh round (242nd overall) last April. The New York native was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers but he spent a chunk of the 2010 season on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad. He signed with the Redskins part of the way through training camp this summer, Worthington saw increased play time after defensive end Jarvis Jenkins tore his ACL early in Washington’s third preseason game. A 6-foot-5, 292-pound defender who racked up five tackles in the Redskins’ last three preseason games, Worthington could benefit from Washington’s defensive line only being six players deep to start the season.