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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Commanders running backs

  • Locks: Austin Ekeler, Brian Robinson Jr., Chris Rodriguez Jr.
  • Bubble: None

This is the easiest position to evaluate. We may not know how each running back will be used, but these three should provide the Washington Commanders with good flexibility in the backfield.

All can run, and Brian Robinson Jr. developed into a solid receiving back. Austin Ekeler gives them the touchdown-scoring playmaker they have been needing. The ability of tight ends like Ben Sinnott and Colson Yankoff to line up in the backfield as an H-back means that Washington will probably opt to keep just three running backs on its final 53-man roster.

The Commanders like the other young developmental backs they currently have. Kliff Kingsbury coached Austin Jones at USC last season and knows what he can do. Michael Wiley may be another Ekeler in the making. At Arizona, he caught more than 100 balls for over 1,000 yards and scored a dozen touchdowns via reception.

As with Jeff Driskel at quarterback, Jeremy McNichols offers some veteran experience should one of the top three go down to injury. One or two of the backups should end up on the practice squad.

Commanders tight ends

Locks: Ben Sinnott
Bubble: Zach Ertz, John Bates, Cole Turner, Armani Rogers, Colson Yankoff

Now we come to the fluidity of the 2024 roster.

It may seem odd to put veterans like Zach Ertz and John Bates on the bubble. But there is a very real chance the coaches could decide they have younger, more dynamic options.

Adam Peters came from the San Francisco 49ers where he saw first-hand how versatile playmakers like George Kittle and Kyle Juszczyk could impact an offense. That’s why drafting Ben Sinnott to be the primary tight end/fullback makes perfect sense.

For the record, both Ertz and Bates are likely to make the final 53, but the veteran acquisition needs to hold off younger players like Armani Rogers, Cole Turner, and Colson Yankoff. Bates has to show that his rookie season - when he was a viable receiving threat - was not a fluke.

The Commanders may have room to keep four tight ends if one of the younger guys forces his way onto the team with a strong summer. As of now, it looks like there will be three on the final roster, with at least one of the young guys - keep your eye on Yankoff - landing on the practice squad.

Final roster (3): Ben Sinnott, Zach Ertz, John Bates