With training camp set to begin later this month, Redskins.com previews the current state of the Redskins' roster, continuing today with the team's defensive linemen.*
Between a group of soild returners and a trio of established veterans joining them, the Washington Redskins head to the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., with a rebuilt defensive line eager to make their presence known in defensive coordinator Joe Barry's scheme.
Before the Redskins head to Richmond for training camp, check out who all is on the roster position-by-position. Today, it is the defensive linemen.
-- Barry Cofield Jr. (unrestricted free agent)
-- Stephen Bowen (signed with the New York Jets)
-- Jarvis Jenkins (signed with the Chicago Bears)
-- Terrance Knighton (free agent from the Denver Broncos)
-- Stephen Paea (free agent from the Chicago Bears)
-- Ricky Jean Francois (free agent from the Indianapolis Colts)
CURRENT STATE OF THE UNIT:
Perhaps no unit experienced more positive change during the offseason than the defensive line.
Gone are veterans Barry Cofield Jr. and Stephen Bowen, both of whom were productive while on the field but fought through injuries last season.
Replacing the pair is a trio that's coming to Washington off of tremendous seasons.
The headliner for the newcomers is Terrance Knighton, a 6-foot-3, 331-pound monster who is among the best players in the NFL at stopping the run.
For his career, Knighton, who is known as "Pot Roast," has amassed more than 200 tackles with 12.5 sacks and 10 passes defensed in six seasons.
Paea, meanwhile, manned the middle of the Bears' defense last season, recording career highs in tackles (33) and sacks (6.5). He also recorded the first two forced fumbles of his career.
The first signing under new general manager Scot McCloughan was Ricky Jean Francois, a player he drafted while working the same role with the San Francisco 49ers.
The LSU product recorded a personal best 13 starts with the Colts in 2014, registering 28 tackles and three sacks.
Also playing with the Redskins for the first time are Travian Robinson, Corey Crawford and Jerrell Powe.
Robinson, a four-year veteran out of South Carolina, was signed by the Redskins on Dec. 27, 2014. He's played for both the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks.
Crawford was signed as a college free agent on May 7 after playing collegiately at Clemson. In four seasons with the Tigers, the 6-foot-5, 299 pounder appeared in 51 games with 155 tackles and six sacks.
Powe comes to Washington after spending the 2014 season with the Houston Texans, where he appeared in all 16 regular season games.
Along with the newbies are several returning veterans: Kedric Golston, Jason Hatcher, Chris Baker, Frank Kearse and Robert Thomas.
Golston has been quite the story for the Redskins, as the Georgia product is now entering his 10th season with the burgundy and gold after the organization used a sixth-round pick on him in the 2006 draft.
The 2015 season will mark Hatcher's second season with the Redskins, meanwhile, as the Grambling State product looks to return to the form that helped get him a career-high 11 sacks in 2013. For his career, the 6-foot-6, 299 pounder, a 2013 Pro Bowler, has tallied 230 tackles along with 32.5 sacks.
While Hatcher is locked into a defensive end spot, Baker can play both end and nose tackle if asked to move around. During the 2014 season, the Hampton product, who was instrumental in getting Knighton to come to the Redskins, started a career-high 12 games and didn't disappoint, as he recorded 39 tackles with a sack.
While he didn't get a lot of media attention last season, Kearse quietly put together a solid campaign, as he logged three sacks and 13 quarterback pressures, fifth-most on the team.
Thomas was originally signed as a college free agent on May 14, 2014, before going on to spend the majority of the season on the practice squad.
WHAT TO WATCH:While it appears that the three starting defensive linemen will be Jason Hatcher and Stephen Paea at the defensive end spots with Terrance Knighton taking charge at nose tackle, the competition behind them for a spot in the rotation could be interesting.
Baker can play all positions along on the defensive line, and effectively at that, while Golston has remained with the Redskins for so long for a reason. Not only is he consistent in his play along the line, but he's a willing special teams contributor as well.
Also keep an eye on how this unit looks early on, as they're role in defensive coordinator Joe Barry's unit is expected to be that of an attacking variety.