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2015 Redskins In Richmond: Linebackers

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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 linebackers.

As the Redskins prepare for their third training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., they carry with them 16 linebackers. While the team returns three starters from a season ago in the 3-4 base scheme, the search for a fourth starter will be red hot. 

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Before the Redskins head to Richmond for training camp, check out who all is on the roster position-by-position. Today, it is the linebackers.

ROSTER SUBTRACTION(S):**
--Brian Orakpo (signed with the Tennessee Titans)

KEY ADDITION(S):
--Preston Smith (drafted with the No. 38 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft)

CURRENT STATE OF THE UNIT:
With the departure of London Fletcher two years ago and Brian Orakpo this offseason, fifth-year Purdue product Ryan Kerrigan is now the leader of the linebacking unit.

Last season, the 6-foot-4, 260 pounder turned in his best season to date as a professional, racking up 64 tackles with a career-high 13.5 sacks and four fumbles forced.

While many clamored for Kerrigan to be in the Pro Bowl -- he certainly had numbers deserving of a spot -- he continues to be one of the most consistent players at the position in the NFL.

Also returning as starters for the Redskins this season are inside linebackers Perry Riley Jr. and Keenan Robinson.

Riley Jr. returns for his sixth season with the Redskins, as the former LSU Tiger has been a consistent member of the linebacking corps recently.

Over the last four seasons, the 2010 fourth-round pick has started 54 of the 62 games he's appeared in, recording 405 tackles and 9.5 sacks during that span.

Robinson was called on to replace Fletcher in the starting lineup last season and excelled after two seasons that ended with stints on Injured Reserve.

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The athletic 238 pounder recorded 138 tackles with 1.5 sacks and an interception.

Among those that are behind Robinson and Riley Jr. in the middle are veterans Adam Hayward and Will Compton.

Hayward's biggest contributions, of course, come on special teams, as he was the unit's captain and recorded 13 tackles before a season-ending leg injury. The Portland State product also recorded three defensive tackles as well.

Compton, meanwhile, impressed in his performances last season, as he recorded 60 tackles in his 16 appearances after spending the majority of the 2013 season on the practice squad. 

Those included on the outside with Kerrigan include 2014 second-round pick Trent Murphy and 2015 second-round pick Preston Smith.

Murphy was expected to appear in certain packages while learning behind two former Pro Bowlers as a rookie, but after Orakpo was placed on Injured Reserve following a mid-season battle with the Tennessee Titans, he was thrust into the starting lineup.

In 15 games total, the proud Stanford Cardinal recorded 32 tackles with 2.5 sacks.

Smith, meanwhile, comes to the Redskins after starring at Mississippi State, as he recorded 134 tackles, 16 sacks and five fumbles forced in 47 career games.

Trevardo Williams and Jackson Jeffcoat return for their second seasons with the Redskins, as both were late-season contributors including each recording their first-career sacks in a Week 16 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Martrell Spaight joins the Redskins as a fifth-round draft pick out of Arkansas. As a senior in 2014, he led the SEC in tackles with 128 en route to first-team All-SEC honors.

Houston Bates, Dyshawn Davis, Ja'Gared Davis, Alonzo Highsmith, Dasman McCullum and Terrance Plummer are also members of the unit and will look to add depth and push the starters this season.

WHAT TO WATCH:While Kerrigan's position is solidified in the starting lineup, who starts opposite of him could be a competition that lasts well into training camp.

Murphy came back for his sophomore season in better shape, adding several pounds of muscle in the process, while Smith looks to produce at a high level early.

Jeffcoat and Williams, meanwhile, are both looking to seize the team's fourth outside linebacker spot.

Compton is expected to once again serve as a backup for the team's starters in the inside, but how they use Hayward and Spaight could also be something to note.

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