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Washington Football Team OTA Preview: 3 Defensive Battles To Watch

The battle officially starts this week on a mostly loaded defense for the Washington Football Team.

ASHBURN, Va. -- The final phase of the offseason program for the Washington Football Team and others begins this week in Ashburn.

Finally, full team on-field work is allowed, and as we did with the offense (see below), now we're focusing on the defense.

READ MORE: Three Offensive Battles To Watch

As for the defense - here's our top-three position battles we'll be watching out for.

1. Safety: 

Landon Collins is not expected to be on the field for full team activities until the beginning of training camp (if that) as he recovers from a blown Achilles,  but when Collins does return - there's a log jam.

Washington has Kam Curl, Jeremy Reaves, Deshazor Everett, Troy Apke, rookie fifth-round pick Darrick Forrest, the recently-signed Chris Miller and now, Bobby McCain, who also just joined the WFT after being released by the Dolphins.

There's only room for five safeties at maximum when the roster cuts down to 53, and many teams just carry four.

The notion that Collins is going to go right back to a 900+ snap role is one we strongly disagree with but it seems as if Washington is stuck with him for one more year because of the prohibitive contract he signed.

Curl and Reaves finished up as the starters last year but McCain is expected to be the likely starter at free safety. Everett can play both positions.

That could leave Apke battling Forrest and Miller for one spot that may or may not exist.

Our guess is that Apke isn't retained and a surprise move somewhere (Collins to IR to start season?) is coming.

2. Linebacker:

Where does Jamin Davis fit in?

Jack Del Rio has said that the first-round pick would play 'outside' but didn't get specific. He likely fits in at weakside linebacker, where he can use his range and raw athleticism to start his NFL career.

Washington lost Kevin Pierre-Louis at that position and Khaleke Hudson figures to fight for playing time there as well.

Jon Bostic is the starting MIKE linebacker and Cole Holcomb figures to be on the strong side but it's possible a flip is in the works.

David Mayo, Joe Walker and Jared Norris are the primary backups and special-teams contributors.

READ MORE: Washington Cuts Harvey-Clemons, Signs Walker

3. Cornerback: 

There's no battle as to who the primary base starters are; that's the combo of William Jackson III and Kendall Fuller.

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The only question in our mind is does Benjamin St-Juste develop quick enough so that Washington feels they can move Fuller inside the slot when they go to nickel?

Jimmy Moreland can play both so he's the likely option but St-Juste, the rookie from Minnesota, is strictly an outside corner. 

Worth noting: As good as the WFT D was a year ago, there is an influx of talent here. Can the D be even better, starting this week?