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Seventh-round cornerback Brandyn Thompson made a strong push for a spot during preseason games. He has solid ball instincts and can turn and run with receivers. Seventh-round outside linebacker Markus White is an explosive outside rusher who needs to diversify his pass-rushing arsenal and learn coverage responsibilities. Both players showed their potential this summer.

Shanahan also went young at the bottom of the offensive line depth chart. Tackle Willie Smith should be proud of making the team as an undrafted free agent in a year with no offseason program.

Shanahan spoke last week about the need to project players’ ability more this season than in past years, and maybe this is one of those cases. Smith is lanky, which affects his knee bend and overall athleticism. He ran a 5.5-second 40-yard dash at the combine, which is a bit slower than Shanahan’s standard. But at 6-foot-5, he has a 34 1/2-inch reach. Coaches liked enough about him to target him as soon as undrafted free agents were eligible to be signed in July.

On the other hand, the Redskins let Artis Hicks go, completing his fall from the starting lineup at the end of last season. Hicks struggled with his pad level, and it carried over to this summer. They might have kept him because he’s a veteran who has played guard and tackle, but they moved on.

Apparently, being old with a static skill set is not good enough for Shanahan’s Redskins. That by itself is a step forward.