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Redskins roster has lean, familiar look Only 2 draft picks sure to make team


ASHBURN, Va. -- You probably won't need a program to keep track of the Washington Redskins this year.

With the deadline for cutting down to the 47-man roster set for Monday, it appears that the 1992 Redskins roster will resemble 1991's.

That's not surprising since the Redskins are a veteran-dominated Super Bowl championship team that has lost only three of last year's players -- linebacker Matt Millen, who retired; quarterback Stan Humphries, who was traded; and running back Gerald Riggs, who was waived.

That has opened spots for at least three newcomers, but that's about all who will make this year's active roster even though the Redskins drafted 11 players and signed four Plan B players.

Desmond Howard, of course, was their big investment with a $2.8 million signing bonus. He will make the club even though he missed training camp in a holdout. He's supposed to be one of their stars of the future.

Coach Joe Gibbs said yesterday that he is "leaning" toward letting Howard make his debut tomorrow night against the Minnesota Vikings even though he has had just three days of practice and has gotten a crash course in the Redskins' system.

The other 10 draft picks cost them $885,500 in signing bonuses, and they invested $463,000 in signing bonuses in their four Plan B players.

Of those 14 players, the only one who definitely will make the active roster is second-round draft pick Shane Collins, a defensive lineman.

Only one other draft choice, offensive lineman Matt Elliott, the final player selected in this year's draft, has a shot to make it.

But it's still early to judge this year's draft. Chris Hakel, the quarterback drafted on the fourth round, will go on the injured reserve list as part of the Redskins' quarterback development program. It'll take another year or so to determine if he has potential.

Two offensive linemen, Paul Siever, picked in the third round, and Darryl Moore, selected in the eighth round, were injured at the start of camp and placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

Two other players, tight end Ray Rowe, who was drafted on the sixth round, and cornerback Calvin Holmes, who was drafted on the seventh round and has been waived, showed enough potential that they'll be offered spots on the practice squad.

That means that only three of the 11 draft picks -- linebacker

Boone Powell, who's been waived, linebacker Tony Barker and wide receiver Terry Smith, who are still on the roster -- appear to have no future with the team.

One other newcomer, free-agent linebacker John Brantley, who played in the World League, has a chance to make it as the final linebacker.

Another free agent, rookie Robert Green, who has looked impressive, is a candidate for the practice squad.

Of the four Plan B players, defensive lineman George Hinkle was traded to the Minnesota Vikings with Joe Johnson and offensive lineman Steve Gabbard was waived.

The other two, defensive linemen Keith Willis and tight end Gary Wilkins, are fighting for slots. Wilkins has been slowed by a knee injury.

If Willis, who's battling Jason Buck for the final defensive line slot, doesn't make it, he, in effect, will lose out to Collins.

When the Redskins signed Willis and Hinkle, they didn't know they'd be able to draft Collins so they wound up with 10 linemen.

"All 10 can play, but we had to trade Hinkle because you can't keep all 10," general manager Charley Casserly said.

They figure the Hinkle investment was a good one because they got a sixth-round pick from the Vikings that can be upgraded to a fifth.

The Redskins won't know for a year or two how productive this draft has been. If Elliott makes it, Hakel develops and Siever comes back from his shoulder injury to be a productive player, it would have been a good draft.

"I'm never going to promote a draft; I'm not one of those guys," Casserly said. "But I feel if you come out of a draft with two legitimate starters, then you're doing a good job. Time will tell."

Casserly said it was more difficult this year because the quality of the draft wasn't deep.

"My thinking is that this wasn't a strong draft. It fell apart after the first round. Anything you get in this draft after the first round is a credit to your scouting department," Casserly said.

The Redskins hope that Howard will have an immediate impact, and that Collins will be a spot player this year.

NOTES: Linebacker Andre Collins, who spent two days in the hospital with a stomach virus, was released yesterday and hopes to play against the Minnesota Vikings tomorrow night. . . . It'll be the Redskins' only home preseason game after stops in Orlando, Fla.; East Rutherford, N.J.; London; and Los Angeles.

Redskins signings


Draftees... ... ... ... ... ... Signing

Name ... ... ... ...Pos Rd ..bonus... Status

Desmond Howard.. .. WR 1 $2,800,000 . R

Shane Collins... .. DL 2 ..$415,000 . R

Paul Siever .... .. OL 3 ..$195,000 . PUP

Chris Hakel .... .. QB 4 ..$130,000 . R

Ray Rowe ... ... .. TE 6 ...$37,500 . R

Calvin Holmes ... . CB 7 ...$30,000 . W

Darryl Moore... ... OL 8 ...$22,000. .PUP

Boone Powell ... .. LB 9 ...$18,000. .W/I

Tony Barker... .... LB 10...$15,000. .R

Terry Smith .. .... WR 11...$12,000. .R

Matt Elliott . .... OL 12...$11,000. .R

Plan B signees

... ... ... ... .... .... .... ... ...Signing

Name... ... ... ... ... Pos bonus. ...Status

George Hinkle... ... .. DL $200,000 ..T

Keith Willis ... ... .. DL $150,000 ..R

Gary Wilkins ... ... .. TE $100,000 ..R

Steve Gabbard .. ... .. OL .$13,000 ..W


PUP-physically unable to perform




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