Let’s talk about the Washington Football Team, which is still weird to say. Please just pick a name already. Anyway, the Washington Football team has a great foundation in place. They have an uphill battle ahead of them with Dallas and Philadelphia being in a better position in terms of a complete team. Washington has shown they have an up and coming defense with the best four man front in the game. On offense, the pieces are there. But, is it enough to win now? Let’s break it down.
Department of Defense
Frist, the defensive line. From left to right, Chase Young, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, and Montez Sweat are machines. The 4-3 may be outdated, but it works with this group. All of these guys were first round picks. Washington loves battling in the trenches. Because they are so solid, draft picks William Bradley-King and Shaka Toney likely won’t even see the field. They were both drafted in round seven from Baylor and Penn State respectively.
Next up, the linebackers. This is where Washington needs to improve. They picked Jaminn Davis round one from Kentucky, and Jon Bostic and Cole Holcomb are coming back. However, it’s not a star studded group like the d-line. Nobody really jumps out at you. There is intrigue to what they will do. It’s possible that teams will be focused on limiting the line production, and that may allow the backers to run free.
Finally, the secondary. This will be a secondary to watch this season. The team added William Jackson from the Bengals to pair him with Kendall Fuller. Third round pick Benjamin St. Juste from Minnesota will most likely fight for a nickel role. Landon Collins is back from injury and will be paired with the young and versatile Kamren Curl. Fifth round pick Darrick Forrest was picked in round five from Cincinnati, and he is likely headed to special teams duty for now. Speaking of special teams, Camaron Cheeseman was taken in round six from Michigan as a long snapper.
Can The Offense Produce?
The simple answer is probably. Washington has a good amount of weapons. However, the big question is the quarterback potion. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the answer. Taylor Heinicke played well and almost led Washington to a playoff win against Tampa. Signing Fitzpatrick means that he is going to be a starter. Washington needs a young QB to be successful. Fitzpatrick is always inconsistent and can never hold the starting job. It helps when you have Antonio Gibson at running back. Gibson showed he can be a feature back. That could mean that J.D McKissic now takes a backseat or becomes expendable entirely. McKissic is a great receiver out of the backfield, but so is Gibson.
Next up, the receivers. Curtis Samuel was signed and paired with his Ohio State teammate Terry McLaurin. That will add a dynamic presence to the offense. McLaurin is the top option and rightfully so. Adam Humphries was signed as a slot receiver. However, Steven Sims Jr played well and deserves that spot. Humphries also has a history of concussions. Dyami Brown was drafted in the third round from North Carolina and for now is the leading candidate as the fourth receiver. They also took Dax Mline from BYU in round seven. Logan Thomas did well as a tight end, and also had some plays drawn up for him as a former quarterback. Josh Bates was drafted in round four from Boise State. On the depth chart, he is listed as the #2 tight end.
Finally, the offensive line. The best draft pick up for Washington was right tackle Sam Cosmi in round two from Texas. Cosmi is going to be the starter without question. The rest of the line from right to left is made up off Brandon Scherff, Chase Roullier, Wes Schweitzer, and Charles Leno Jr. The addition of Leno does not make any sense. Leno was cut from Chicago. Except for Cosmi, the rest of the offensive line is getting older. Instead of Leno, Washington could have traded for or drafted a young left tackle. Furthermore, they could have used one of their two third round picks or traded one to easily upgrade the position even if it’s only a bridge guy. Leno does not have a lot of time left.
Overall, The Washington Football Team will be a good team moving forward. However, this year will not be their year. Dallas has Dak Prescott coming back. Philadelphia is moving forward with Jalen Hurts. They will do better than the Giants. A third place finish in the division barring a crazy surprise seems like the best case scenario. Ron Rivera is a good man and a strong leader. He can help that team get close to the ultimate goal. But is it enough right now? It’s hard to say, especially since Dallas will come in as the heavy favorite to win the division. The NFC East will be much more competitive this time around.
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