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Individual Redskins Grades – Defense

Now that we are one quarter of the way through the 2015 NFL season, its time to review how the individual players on the Redskins have performed thus far.

Yesterday we started with the offensive side of the ball, so today we’re looking at the defense.

We have gone back and reviewed the game tape as well as the stats in order to come up with grades for all of the players who have been on the field for enough snaps to warrant an accurate and fair analysis.

For reference, a C+ grade is the baseline average; higher grades are above average, lower grades are below average.

Let us know if you agree or disagree with any of these grades by getting in touch on Twitter!

GradePlayer
A-MLB Keenan Robinson
27 total tackles. 10 stops. 233 snaps played.

When the Redskins saw long time stalwart London Fletcher retire, many expected the Middle Linebacker position to be a point of weakness in his absence. Instead they've seen Keenan Robinson step in to the role and play some excellent football

Robinson leads the Redskins in stops this year with a total of 10 through 4 games played. With his excellent sideline-to-sideline speed, Robinson has excelled at bringing down ball carriers and shutting down screen plays before they have a chance to get out of the backfield.
A-DE Chris Baker
3 sacks. 9 stops. 13 total tackles

As mentioned above, Keenan Robinson leads the Redskins with 10 total stops through the first 4 games. Keenan Robinson has played 233 snaps on defense.

Chris Baker has played less than half of that, with 100 defensive snaps against his name, yet he is equal 2nd with 9 stops. A monumental effort from Baker, who like most of the other Defensive Linesmen, has been asked to play at multiple spots along the front trench, and has done so with aplomb.

Baker also leads the Redskins with 2.5 sacks after his big game against Philadelphia in week 4.
B+DE Jason Hatcher
5 tackles. 10 QB hurries. 1 sack. 2 QB hits.

Looking rejuvenated, Hatcher's stats so far in 2015 don't accurately portray just what a meaningful impact he has had in the new-look Redskins defensive front.

A disruptive force, Hatcher consistently gets the best of Offensive Linemen who stand between him and the Quarterback, with Hatcher having the 2nd most QB hurries on the Redskins.

If he can stay healthy and continue playing like he has been throughout the first 4 games, Hatcher is in for a huge year.
B+OLB Ryan Kerrigan
11 total tackles. 1.5 sacks. 14 QB hurries. 9 stops.

After his excellent 2014 season and his newly signed contract extension, Kerrigan may be suffering from exceedingly high expectations from Redskins fans. There seems to be a perception that he has been struggling this year, and although there have certainly been some plays where he's been able to get hands on the QB without bringing them down for the sack, the fact remains that Kerrigan is having yet another strong season through the first four games.

He leads the team in QB hurries on 14, is equal second for stops on 9, and has batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage as well.
BFS/CB Kyshoen Jarrett
8 total tackles. 4 stops. 52.5 QB rating allowed.

After volunteering to play nickel Corner Back during Training Camp when the Redskins had a rash of injuries affect the position group, Jarrett has continued to impress with his versatility and pass coverage skills.

Through 4 games he has only allowed catches on 44% of passes targeting receivers that he's covering, and has conceded no touchdowns and no pass completions over 10 yards.
BDT Terrance Knighton
9 total tackles. 5 stops.

Another player where stats cannot accurately reflect production, Terrance Knighton is a huge reason why the Redskins are 2nd overall in the NFL for run defense, allowing only 78 yards per game, 3.9 YPC, and conceding only 1 touchdown on the ground all year.

Often being double teamed, Knighton is a force to be reckoned with on the Defensive Line, and he creates gaps for other Redskins defenders to take advantage of consistently.
BOLB Preston Smith
2 sacks. 2 Forced Fumbles. 1 batted pass.

In limited opportunities as part of a rotation with Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy, the 2nd round rookie Preston Smith has flashed signs of great promise for the Redskins.

With 2 sacks to his name, Smith has demonstrated an excellent burst off the snap that neither Kerrigan or Murphy possess. He still has elements of his game he needs to refine, and there are reports that coaches want to see more discipline and maturity from the young player before they begin to give him an expanded role, but it is safe to say that the future is bright for Smith if he continues to develop.
B-CB Chris Culliver
6 total tackles. 1 touchdown conceded. 63.6% passes completed to opponents

Joining the Redskins in Free Agency this offseason, Culliver has stepped in to the #1 CB role and has looked like a definite upgrade at the position compared to previous years.

Although his week 4 game where he was clearly battling a persistent injury was not his best showing, the attitude and tenacity he displayed by insisting on playing was promising, building upon the leadership he has shown since Training Camp.
B-CB Bashaud Breeland
9 total tackles. 2 touchdowns conceded. 66.7% passes completed to opponents.

After missing week 1 due to suspension, Breeland returned to the team as the starting nickel Corner in week 2 against the rams where he played superbly, only allowing 1 reception from 3 targets, and holding Nick Foles to a QB rating of 42.4 on passes thrown to receivers he was covering.

After DeAngelo Hall injured his toe, Breeland was once again asked to move to the outside Corner spot he played most of 2014 at, this time opposite Chris Culliver. Although Odell Beckham Jr and Rueben Randle both scored touchdowns over him in week 3 against the Giants, the coverage from Breeland couldn't have been much better. A promising young Corner, Breeland only has to work on covering jump balls a bit better to further improve his game.
B-DE Ricky Jean-Francois
6 total tackles. 2 QB hurries. 58 snaps played.

Although his stat sheet doesn't show anything special, Ricky Jean-Francois has been a solid addition to the revamped Redskins Defensive Line, and in limited opportunities has done his job well.

C+OLB Trent Murphy
10 total tackles. 1 sack. 1 fumble recovery. 5 stops

In the dying minutes of the week 4 game versus Philadelphia, Murphy played some inspired football netting himself a sack, setting up Kerrigan for another sack, then catching a hook-and-ladder style crossfield lateral attempt to seal the game.

Unfortunately for Murphy, his first 4 games for the season have not been as consistent as he would like, and he has issues recovering from being blocked early in a play. His development is a work in progress, and as he doesn't possess elite physical attributes he will need to rely on technique and effort.
C+FS Dashon Goldson
20 total tackles. 6 stops. 0 touchdowns conceded.

Another new face for the Redskins in 2015, Goldson is hoping to recapture his pro bowl form with the Redskins after a disappointing stint in Tampa Bay.

Goldson so far has been a solid addition, and has certainly represented an upgrade at Free Safety compared to what the Redskins have had in recent years. He hasn't conceded any touchdowns in 2015, and has held opponents to a total 48 yards.

Unfortunately for Goldson his open field tackling has been a minor issue, with 4 tackles missed in his first 4 games.
C+CB DeAngelo Hall
16 total tackles. 1 touchdown conceded. 1 pass defended.

Before injuring himself in week 3 against the Giants, DeAngelo Hall had allowed 6 catches from 10 targets and only 1 touchdown reception.

Although he's not going to recapture his pro bowl form of several years ago, Hall can still be a positive contributor when healthy. Assuming he suffers no setbacks in his recovery from a a toe injury, Hall should step straight back into the outside Corner role upon his return.
C+DE Stephen Paea
6 total tackles. 1 sack. 2 QB hits. 4 QB hurries. 5 stops

The big and terrifically strong Paea joined the Redskins from the Chicago Bears this offseason, and has been a good addition to the overhauled Defensive Line.

Although he saw his starting Left DE role go to the in-form Chris Baker in week 4, Paea has certainly made the most of what have been somewhat limited opportunities, notching up 1 sack, 2 QB hits, 4 QB hurries and 5 stops in 68 snaps played.
CSS Trenton Robinson
24 total tackles. 1 touchdown conceded. 75% passes completed to opponents.

Stepping in as the Strong Safety after starter Duke Ihenacho went down injured early in week 1, Trenton Robinson has had his ups and downs throughout the first quarter of the 2015 season.

Robinson is clearly better against the run than he is in pass coverage, allowing 9 of 12 passes thrown to his opponents to be completed for a total of 149 yards, and a QB rating of 144.1 on these throws. Against the run, however, Robinson has been strong, with 8 stops. He does have the 2nd most missed tackles on the Redskins though, with 5.
N/AMLB Will Compton
20 total tackles.
Insufficient Sample Size

Covering for the injured Perry Riley Jr, Compton has really only had one and a half games worth of opportunities so far, but in those games he recorded 18 of his 20 total tackles.

Compton is young and shows a great work ethic, and has a good ability to track the ball carrier on the ground in congestion and plug the holes. He needs to work on his pass coverage as well as his angles when trying to close down on runners in the open field.
N/AMLB Perry Riley Jr
7 total tackles. 1 QB hurry. 2 stops
Insufficient Sample Size

Another player who has suffered an injury and seen time on the sidelines recovering, Riley Jr played a total of 87 defensive snaps before going down.

N/ACB Justin Rogers
4 total tackles.
Insufficient Sample Size

Justin Rogers only played week 1 in place of the suspended Bashaud Breeland and hasn't seen the field since.
N/ACB Will Blackmon
4 total tackles. 50% passes completed to opponents.
Insufficient Sample Size

Joining the team after week 1, Blackmon has played snaps in every game since but in a limited fashion with only 40 snaps total for the season (compared to Justin Rogers 46 in week 1 alone).

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