Evaluating the Redskins draft picks: Kamren Curl’s biggest weakness could hold him back
How Curl fits with the Redskins
Curl is obviously a depth candidate at this stage in his young career. And at the safety spot, there may be an opening that he can slot into. But there’s no guarantee that a roster spot will be available.
Landon Collins and Sean Davis will be the starters for the Redskins, but beyond them, the depth chart is unsettled. Veteran Deshazor Everett has been with the team since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and he is currently penciled in as the top backup at the position. He’s similar to Curl in that he’s better against the run but can struggle to tackle in space and is a strong contributor on special teams.
Elsewhere, Troy Apke has mostly been a speedy special teams player during his NFL career but the former fourth-round pick flashed a bit at times on the field last year. He’s still raw and will need to make the leap to impress the new coaching staff, but his potential as a gunner could earn him a roster spot, especially considering that the ‘Skins don’t have a ton of speed in the secondary.
Jeremy Reaves, who outplayed Apke at times last season, will also get a chance to make the roster. And Maurice Smith is an unheralded player who could battle for a practice squad spot. So, Curl has no shortage of competition as he looks to make the team.
At the end of the day, the easiest path for Curl to make the roster would probably be by unseating Everett. The 28-year-old has reached his ceiling and if Curl can match him, he could have a case as a younger alternative to Everett who may be shakier but could be better in the future.
It’s possible that Curl could unseat Apke as well if Rivera and Del Rio don’t believe in Apke’s potential. Or he could make the roster as a fifth safety if the team values his special teams ability enough. But for the time being, there’s no guarantee that Curl will make the team.
If I had to guess, I’d say that Curl will start the season on the practice squad barring an injury. From there, he’ll have a chance to be one of the first game-day call ups in the event of an injury given his special teams ability. If he can work his way onto the active roster and serve as a core special teams player by the end of the year, that would be a good rookie season for the raw safety.
It will be interesting to see how Curl performs this offseason. He has a high floor and will be a special teams contributor no matter what. It’s just a matter of whether or not he can outperform the other safeties on the team to make the squad. He should stay in Washington, but he isn’t guaranteed a roster spot.