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Why Redskins fans need to keep Montez Sweat in mind during the 2020 NFL Draft

Why Redskins fans need to keep Montez Sweat in mind during the 2020 NFL Draft

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.

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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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Morgan Moses most impressed with Dwayne Haskins 'knowing that he's going to be the No. 1 QB'

Morgan Moses most impressed with Dwayne Haskins 'knowing that he's going to be the No. 1 QB'

Ron Rivera might be hesitant to name Dwayne Haskins the Washington starting quarterback but right tackle Morgan Moses did not hold back with his praise of the second-year QB.

"Seeing his change, knowing that he's going to be the No. 1 QB has probably been the most impressive thing from a rookie guy that some had written off," Moses said on Friday. 

Speaking on a Zoom call with local reporters, Moses explained that Haskins' growth and improved confidence stand out compared to his rookie season. Last year it was understandable that at times Haskins would struggle with play calls or specific offensive concepts, but this year, he's taken command.

"You can hear every word he says in the huddle. Those are the things he might have struggled with the year before," Moses said. "He's developed that mental aspect of his game."

RELATED: SHEEHAN: 'MAJOR INDICTEMENT IF HASKINS CAN'T WIN STARTING QB JOB

Haskins struggled mightily early on as a rookie in a messy situation. As the year progressed and he got some understanding of life in the NFL, he improved. By the end of the season Haskins played his best football, and this offseason, it seems he's used that momentum to prepare for a big 2020 year.

"He did a great job of turning himself around this offseason," Moses said. 

While the team was unable to practice or run through organized football activities, Haskins did work out with some of the Washington wide receivers in the offseason. He also shed weight and added muscle and impressed the new coaching staff with his command of the playbook. Washington offensive coordinator Scott Turner talked earlier this offseason about quizzing Haskins, and that the former Ohio State star nailed the questions. 

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In the end, however, winning the offseason won't matter. It's about what Haskins can do on the field this fall that will determine his future in Washington.

Moses said that every player in the locker room has plenty to prove this fall, to themselves and to the new coaching staff, and that includes Haskins. The biggest takeaway though is that Haskins has done his best to put himself in a position to succeed. Coaches noticed, and now players are too. 

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Current Jets and former Washington WR Josh Doctson opts out of 2020 NFL season

Current Jets and former Washington WR Josh Doctson opts out of 2020 NFL season

Current New York Jets and former Washington Football Team wide receiver Josh Doctson has opted out of the 2020 NFL season amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the team announced on Thursday.

Doctson was one of 67 players around the league including Washington's Caleb Brantley and Josh Harvey-Clemons, as many have decided to sit out the season in order to lower their risk of contracting the virus. 

Doctson was placed in the " unspecified'" grouping for the opt out, while "voluntary'" and "higher risk" were the other two options. Players had until Thursday at 4 p.m. to make the decision.

The pass catcher was Washington's first round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he never quite lived up to expectations. Injuries, drops and an inability to ever get comfortable in the offense led to Doctson only compelling 1,110 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons in Washington.

Just before the start of the 2019 regular season, Doctson was released by Washington and later signed with the Minnesota Vikings. He appeared in just one game and had no receptions. He signed with the Jets in February.

Now, the wide receiver will wait until 2021 to see if he can change the fortune of his NFL career. 

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Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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