Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 22, 35 days before the NFL draft.
Redskins starters quick hitters—defense
The last couple of days here I looked at how the depth charts are shaping up with a little bit of commentary (offense, defense). Today and tomorrow I’ll take a closer look at the starters with some quick hitters about each one. Yesterday it was the offense, now the defense is up.
DE Jonathan Allen—He was close to being ready to practice during the last couple of weeks of the season so his Lisfranc rehab is going well. Anticipation will be high when he takes the field in Week 1.
DE Stacy McGee—From looking at my social media timelines I can conclude that many Redskins fans hear “free agent D-lineman” and automatically say “bust”. That’s not the case with McGee. Last year he was the Redskins’ most consistent defensive lineman.
NT Ziggy Hood—I’ve said this before and it still holds true—Hood should not be a starting nose tackle. He would be very good as a rotational defensive lineman.
OLB Preston Smith—Sure, he’s inconsistent. But he’s on often enough to be a very valuable player. He lacks eye-popping sack totals but since he came into the league in 2015, only Smith has at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and four forced fumbles.
OLB Ryan Kerrigan—He will turn 30 during training camp but he shows no signs of slowing down.
ILB Zach Brown—The Redskins needed to bring him back and they got it done. He does struggle in coverage at times, but the defense is much better with him than without him.
ILB Mason Foster—He and Allen saw their seasons end due to injuries at about the same time and the defense wasn’t the same after that. Foster brings experience and toughness to the defense that is hard to replace.
CB Quinton Dunbar—It’s possible that Fabian Moreau will beat him out for the starting job before the season starts. But Dunbar has come a long way since the former wide receiver volunteered to help out at cornerback when a rash of injuries hit during his rookie season. I wouldn’t bet against him.
CB Josh Norman—He certainly didn’t play poorly last year but the goose egg in the interceptions column is a black mark. The thing is, with quarterbacks like to test Dunbar and Moreau playing on the other side, he might not get many opportunities to pick off passes this year, either.
S D.J. Swearinger—After signing as a free agent, he put himself on the line, saying he was the leader of a defense before he had even played a snap with the group he wanted to lead. He walked the walk, filling both the leadership vacuum and the lack of quality safety play.
S Montae Nicholson—Jay Gruden said that Nicholson was the defensive version of Jordan Reed, a player who changes what the unit can do when he is on the field. High praise, but also a lot of pressure to stay on the field.
Tandler on Twitter
There also likely is the option to get a good DL in the draft. Have to weigh that vs. cost of playing a free agent. I like Hankins a lot but I haven’t seen his name on any All-Pro lists either.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) March 21, 2018
—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 26
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 128
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 172
In case you missed it
- Redskins player quick hitters—Offensive starters
- Richardson's contract is team friendly early
- Draft Countdown: Could Da'Ron Payne be the final piece to the D-line?
- Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line?