Roster Projection: Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Da’Ron Payne, Tim Settle, Anthony Lanier, Ziggy Hood
Roster Locks: Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Da’Ron Payne, Tim Settle, Anthony Lanier
Offseason Sleepers: Phil Taylor, Tavaris Barnes
The Washington Redskins defensive line looks completely different in 2018. And that’s a good thing.
Coming back with Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, and Anthony Lanier as starters, the Washington Redskins knew they needed more going into the 2018 NFL Draft. They spared no expense on draft night, selecting Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne in Round 1, and then selecting Virginia Tech defensive tackle Tim Settle in Round 5.
The five linemen mentioned thus far are all roster locks, it would seem. In base 3-4, Allen and Ioannidis will for a devastating tandem at defensive end, and Da’Ron Payne can effectively function as both a defensive tackle and a nose tackle. Tim Settle will give the team depth and solid rotational flexibility at nose tackle, and Anthony Lanier, who registered 4.5 sacks in the final five games of 2017, should do the same at defensive end.
More from Riggo's Rag
- What will Emmanuel Forbes bring to the Washington Commanders?
- Highlighting the best Commanders 2023 NFL Draft betting props
- 3 late Commanders rumors drawing buzz ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft
- 4 bold predictions for the Commanders 2023 NFL Draft
- Commanders News: Chase Young trade, draft day, CB riser and Sam Howell
We know who the top five defensive linemen on the roster will be. But what happens after that? There won’t be much breathing room for other options, and we’e already seen the Washington Redskins begin to phase out subpar talent. No one will lose sleep over the loss of A.J. Francis, and the same can be said for Terrell McClain’s release. But what should we make of the remaining options?
One would like to think that Phil Taylor can make the roster and defy the odds after a season-ending injury, but after the NFL Draft, his chances seem particularly slim. The Washington Redskins, with a scheme-diverse defense, don’t need more than two nose tackles, which they already have. This takes Ondre Pipkins off the table as well.
In their sixth defensive lineman, the Washington Redskins will likely look for experience to counter a young defensive core. Thus, the two likeliest options are Ziggy Hood and Stacy McGee. Don’t worry, Hood won’t be starting at nose tackle anymore, so the prospect of his retainment is less daunting. Hood is also older, and the team has made it clear that they hold a certain value in veteran leadership. That could make Hood a bit less expendable. And McGee more expendable. With Payne and Settle in tow, the Washington Redskins don’t need McGee’s versatility like they did last year. And they certainly don’t need his cap number, either. Thus, McGee could be a cap casualty in August.
One final payer to watch is defensive end Tavares Barnes. His odds of making the final roster are slim, but Barnes has the raw athleticism to warrant an extended look. He’s bounced around the league since entering in 2015, but if Jim Tomsula can hone his athleticism and improve his fundamentals, Barnes could be a sleeper on the 90-man roster.