Reporting Grant Paulsen
Chris Baker – The 24-year-old nose tackle has shined in camp, and he’s coming off an impressive showing that included a dominant goal line stand in Washington’s preseason opener in Buffalo. The 333-pound, run-stuffing, block-attracting defensive lineman has the versatility to play defensive end as well as nose, which will benefit him in his growing cause to make the Redskins’ roster.
Terrence Austin - The 2010 seventh-round pick has played in 18 games — mostly on special teams — over the past two seasons. He’s playing less in practices this season than he did in the past two years because he is Santana Moss’ sole backup as a slot receiver, and Moss has been getting most of the reps at a position he’s suddenly playing exclusively. Austin got fewer opportunities to make plays in the game than Brandon Banks and Aldrick Robinson, who he’s battling with for a roster spot. He could benefit from a strong close to camp.
Richard Crawford – The 2012 seventh-round pick intercepted a pass and returned a punt 17-yards as part of a quality preseason debut against the Bills. The standout performance came on the heels of a couple of weeks of practices where he consistently flashed at Redskins Park. Crawford is definitely in the hunt for a roster spot, particularly if Washington decides to keep five cornerbacks.
Alfred Morris - A rookie who runs with power and always falls forward for additional yardage, Morris led the Redskins in rushing attempts (15) and yards (54) on Thursday night in Buffalo. The 218-pound tailback showed the same above average balance and shiftiness he’d been displaying in practices since the start of training camp. It was Morris’ tackle-shedding ability and propensity for taking on contact that impressed, however, something that he isn’t able to showcase in limited-contact practices.
Chris Wilson – Wilson played four seasons in Washington, never missing a game, as a valuable special teams asset from 2007-2010. But when Wilson’s contract expired last offseason and the Redskins didn’t re-sign him, Wilson signed with the Eagles but wasn’t able to make Philadelphia’s roster during training camp. He was out of football in 2011, but spent tireless hours preparing for a comeback in 2011. He’s had a strong training camp and he was studly Thursday night in Buffalo, but he played mostly against reserves who won’t make the Bills roster. I would like to see him get a chance to be evaluated against better competition in Chicago.
Trent Williams - Williams missed Saturday’s practice with a bruised left foot, which he suffered while blocking downfield on Pierre Garcon’s 20-yard touchdown catch against the Bills. X-Rays came back negative and Mike Shanahan said that Williams’ status for this weekend’s game in Chicago is still unknown. I only put Williams on this list because he has a chance to finally emerge as a pro bowl caliber left tackle this season if he can stay healthy. Hopefully for Shanahan and the Redskins, Williams’ foot bruise is as minor as the head coach is saying it is.