Breaking down the Washington Redskins’ secondary for 2020
By Jonathan Eig
Primary Backups: Fabian Moreau, Jimmy Moreland
Even without injuries, teams in 2020 need at least three, and more likely four, quality cornerbacks. Recent draft picks Moreau and Moreland both logged solid minutes in 2019, and look to be on the field quite a bit in 2020. Moreau played primarily in the slot last year, but Moreland’s emergence will allow him to move outside where his size should benefit him. Moreland was a fan favorite last year, showing great quickness and a nose for the ball. He is on the smaller side, and durability will always be a question.
Depth Cornerbacks: Aaron Colvin, Danny Johnson, Greg Stroman, Simeon Thomas
Several other players, who the Redskins list as “defensive backs” (as opposed to “cornerback” or “safety”) could figure in here, but these are the primary players battling for one or two final roster spots. Of them, Colvin would appear to have a leg up. He has good size and though injuries have hindered him – and one or two big plays have gone against him – he has shown the ability to play at a high level. Only 28, he played very well for Jacksonville back in 2017, though he struggled after signing a free agent deal with Houston a couple years ago. The Redskins got a look at him in some games last year and liked him enough to bring him back as cornerback depth.
Johnson and Stroman have a similar profiles. Both are a bit undersized (though built differently – Johnson is shorter and thicker, while Stroman is a bit taller and thinner). Both have shown good quickness in coverage and as kick returners, and both have been plagued by injuries. I don’t see Stroman making this roster, but I have always liked Danny Johnson’s instincts and toughness, and should Colvin falter, or Moreland go down with an injury, I would feel good with Johnson playing decent minutes.
The wild card in the secondary is Thomas. We can table the opening day roster conversation, because he will be suspended for the first game of 2020 (finishing his four-game suspension for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy). When he is eligible to return, he will be a very tempting player to develop. At 6’3”, he towers over any other corner on the roster, and he has very good speed and athleticism. He has already shown to be a strong special teams player, and if his coverage skills improve, Thomas could grab the final spot as a backup corner.