Washington Football Team Roster- Defense

Continuing from my post about the offense, here’s the defense:

Defensive Ends: Chase Young, Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat, James Smith-Williams:

The name that pops from this list is Chase Young. The second overall pick in this past year’s draft, this might be the best defensive player they have drafted since Sean Taylor with the amount of hype he gets. Montez Sweat coming into year 2 in a new defense expects to produce after finishing last season strong. After starting the first half of the season slow with only 1.5 sacks in his first eight games, he had 5.5 in the second half. He is expected to be in majority of the snaps as he and Chase Young are possibly the best young defensive end combo, and they’re only 24 (Sweat) and 21 (Young) years old. Ryan Kerrigan is a true staple in the history of this franchise. He’s two sacks away from breaking the franchises all-time sack record, and he’s most certainly gonna break that record this year. He missed the first games of his career last night after dealing with concussion issues, so I fully expect him to make a big impact this season, as he’s going to be a constant revolving rotation with the guys they have on the D-Line.

Defensive Tackles: Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Tim Settle:

These are some of the most underrated interior linemen in the NFL. Daron Payne coming into year three is expected to take another leap and become one of the top interior defensive linemen in all of football. Matt Ioannidis according to some people is a top tier DT, has racked up 16 sacks over the last two years after signing his 3-year extension last year. Jon Allen is probably the least talented of the three, but he’s the vocal leader of the defense, as he was named a team captain for the second season in a row.

Linebackers: Jon Bostic, Cole Holcomb, Thomas Davis Sr., Kevin Pierre-Louis, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Ryan Anderson, Khaleke Hudson:

Jon Bostic was a nice find after the injury to Reuben Foster May of 2019, but I expect the biggest contributor being Cole Holcomb. He finished second on the team in tackles, I think he’s in line for a bigger 2020 season. Thomas Davis Sr. is a nice mentor and a leader in the locker room for head coach Ron Rivera, who Davis has had his best years under in Carolina. He’s currently nursing a nagging calf injury, but I expect him and Holcomb to be the starting LBs for the 2020 season. The biggest question is Ryan Anderson. He fits better in a 3-4 scheme, but the team now runs a 4-3 scheme and has him listed as an LB. They were supposedly fielding trade calls for Anderson, but they possibly think keeping him is better than some late-round draft pick.

Cornerbacks: Ronald Darby, Kendall Fuller, Fabian Moreau, Greg Stroman, Jimmy Moreland, Danny Johnson: 

No more Josh Norman. No more Quinton Dunbar. The corners for Washington are going to look much different in 2020. They signed Fuller away from the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs after trading him away in the Alex Smith trade. They also signed Ronald Darby in FA to a one-year deal, as he struggled during his time in Philadelphia after two successful years in Buffalo.  Injuries held him back, but he’s had a good camp, and if he can stay healthy, he can revive his career in DC. Fabian Moreau I think will surprise a lot of people this year. For the two years, he was placed as the nickel back, and needless to say, he was not playing good. But when they benched Josh Norman, he was placed outside and was producing very well. Now with him back to his natural position on a normal basis, he will be a good outside CB this season.

Safeties: Landon Collins, Troy Apke, Kamren Curl, Deshazor Everett:

If you would have told a Washington Football fan that this time last year that Troy Apke would be your starting safety opposite Landon Collins, they’d think that they were in a lot of trouble and doomed. But he outplayed Sean Davis, who Washington signed from the Pittsburgh Steelers this free agency period, and the team ended up releasing him during roster cuts. I think the “thunder and lighting” aspect will bode well with Landon Collins tackling ability and Apke’s 4.34 speed.