Commanders 53-man 2024 roster projection: Summer break edition

Early offseason workouts provided some roster clues.
Terry McLaurin
Terry McLaurin / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Even by conservative estimates, at least half of the players who begin the 2024 season on the Washington Commanders roster will be new to the team. There is a very real possibility the opening-day roster could top 60 percent.

The speed and thoroughness with which Adam Peters has reconstructed on-field personnel has been mind-boggling. Everyone expected a shakeup, but this has amounted to a tsunami.

What is even more stunning is the realization that when the dust settles, only about one-third of the Commanders 2024 players will have been acquired during the last four seasons. With one exception, all of the best-returning players were already here when Ron Rivera came to town.

In hindsight, it is clear that Rivera faced an impossible task trying to maintain some semblance of professional order in an imploding franchise. Still, his lack of success in acquiring and developing talent through the draft or free agency left a deep hole.

By the time a team finishes its full minicamp in June, more clarity forms about the roster. That may have happened at a few positions for the Commanders this year, but it remains a roster very much in flux.

At some positions, like the defensive backfield, we come out of minicamp more confused than ever. Let’s not even start with the kicking conundrum.

We can try to read the tea leaves. Examine how coaches like Dan Quinn and Kliff Kingsbury built rosters in previous head coaching gigs. Look at the types of players Joe Whitt Jr. and Larry Izzo have favored in the past. Think about where players lined up during minicamp, and just use some gut intuition.

In the end, we can make an educated guess about which 53 men will be on the Commanders' opening day roster. Let’s start on offense, and let’s start with an easy one.

Commanders quarterbacks

  • Locks: Jayden Daniels, Marcus Mariota
  • Bubble: Jeff Driskel, Sam Hartman

There has been every indication that Jayden Daniels is on track to be the opening-day starter. His skill was always obvious. His maturity and work ethic have also become apparent. Marcus Mariota will provide veteran support as the Washington Commanders' backup quarterback.

Washington will only keep two quarterbacks on the final roster. At least one of the others, and quite possibly both, will end up on the practice squad.

The Commanders would prefer keeping undrafted free agent Sam Hartman in a developmental role. If they feel he is too far away right now, those in power may also hold onto Jeff Driskel in the event of an early-season injury.