In a draft that some feel will produce future starters well into the later portions of the event, the Redskins are without a second-round pick. Ron Rivera called that a "burden" six weeks ago, and he probably likes that fact even less now.
Washington fans are understandably unhappy about it as well, seeing as they recently watched their team stumble through a truly torturous 3-13 season with a roster that needs lots of reinforcements. They understand how useful that selection would be, and how it could've yielded a dynamic receiver or skilled corner or any other helpful young piece.
It seems like many conversations about that lack of crucial capital, though, are forgetting a very important factor: Montez Sweat.
Sweat is the reason the franchise will take a long break after acting at the top of the order on Thursday night. A year ago, the Burgundy and Gold swapped second rounders with the Colts and also gave up their upcoming Friday choice to move up and grab the Mississippi State pass rusher at No. 26 overall.
In short, they saw a defender they coveted and aggressively pursued him. Keep that in mind when the organization sits out for an extended period early in the draft. In fact, maybe you should even semi-count Sweat as part of the 2020 haul.
As a rookie, No. 90 took a while to get comfortable, notching just 1.5 sacks and four QB hits through his first eight games. He turned it on from there, though, picking up 5.5 sacks and nine QB hits the rest of the way. It was a very encouraging finish for Sweat, a player with insane athleticism and a ceiling that's higher than the one at Jerry World in Arlington.
There's reason to expect Sweat to continue his rapid improvement in 2020, too.
Beyond just having a firmer idea of what is required to win on the edge in the NFL, the 23-year-old will find himself in a scheme that better suits his strengths. Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio will have Sweat attacking the backfield at all times, which'll be a much better use of his abilities than what Greg Manusky was having him do.
The team also appears slated to land Chase Young, the Ohio State star who could immediately terrorize offenses in his first taste of pro football. The combination of Young and Sweat may prove to be downright unfair, and if Young gets as much attention as he's expected to, Sweat will be spending a lot of his career standing over downed signal callers.
Yes, because the Redskins are at the start of what should be a grand rebuild, it'll hurt many to see them skipped over in the second round. When that happens, however, just remember they sacrificed this year to secure Sweat 12 months ago, and he is very much a part of that rebuild. The deal was by no means a bad one, and still has the chance to be a very wise one.
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