Football Team

Washington's most impactful players of 2020: Montez Sweat

Football Team

The Washington Football Team's 2020 season was a memorable one filled with impactful performances. Over the next two weeks, NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux and Ryan Homler will take a look at 10 players who provided the biggest impact. Next up: Montez Sweat.

The reality of any great duo is that there will always be a Batman and a Robin. And, fair or unfair, Chase Young is the Batman of the Washington Football Team's defensive line.

Don't get it twisted, though, Montez Sweat would be the Batman on many other teams in the league.

When Washington drafted Young second overall in April, the entire NFL knew the Burgundy and Gold would be receiving a transcendent talent. Young got tons of national attention -- rightfully so -- but it also made many forget about Sweat, the pass rusher Washington traded back into the first round to pick one year prior.

So, while Young saw several double-teams, and sometimes triple-teams, constantly in 2020, Sweat made sure to take advantage of the matchups he got on the other side of the defensive line.

The second-year veteran led Washington's defense in several categories: sacks (9.0), tackles for loss (12) and quarterback hits (20). Sweat also led all Washington defensive lineman in passes defended (six) and was third on the team in forced fumbles (two).

The numbers don't tell the whole story, either. Sweat graded out as the 11th best edge rusher in the entire NFL, according to the advanced analytic database Pro Football Focus. Although Young ranked five spots higher on the list, Sweat had a better overall grade both as a run defender and a pass rusher.

 

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"I think the addition of Chase Young to our defensive front has really helped Montez because those two are peas in a pod," head coach Ron Rivera said in December.

"They work together, they hang out together, they talk about football together. That’s one of the things you like is that you do see maturity and growth."

The defensive line is Washington's best positional group and Sweat is a major reason why. He's still only 24 years old and has plenty of areas to improve in, too.

But, as the pass rusher showed in 2020, Sweat is already one of the most important contributors on the entire roster.