Redskins: Studs and duds from the team’s Preseason Week 1 loss to the Browns
Studs: EDGEs Cassanova McKinzy and Ryan Anderson
It was too hard to pick one of these two, so I’ll just go with both.
The Redskins upgraded their starting edge rotation by adding Montez Sweat in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. They also drafted Jordan Brailford late in hopes of shoring up their depth. But if the first week of the preseason is any indication, they may have more-than-solid depth at the position and could have five candidates to make the roster at the position.
McKinzy was one of the players I was most looking forward to seeing in this contest. He had been drawing nice reviews in camp thanks to his abilities as a speed rusher. That was something that the Redskins had been lacking in previous seasons, and his speed was on display tonight.
McKinzy was able to get into the backfield consistently against the Browns’ weaker backup tackles. He mostly used speed but even though he wasn’t able to show much on the score sheet, he did affect many passes. He did have a hit on the QB as well, so that was definitely a solid development for him. McKinzy did get up slowly and leave the field at one point, so hopefully, he will be okay moving forward.
As for Anderson, he showed more as a pass rusher than he did last year. He notched 0.5 sacks and 1 TFL and was forceful off the edge against the run and as a strength-based edge rusher. He did have to drop into coverage at one time (though he shouldn’t have been asked to do that given his lack of speed) but when playing near the line of scrimmage, he looked very comfortable and showed signs of improvement.
Anderson should be an excellent backup this season. He can play on early downs to help against the run while also getting a chance to rush the passer on occasion. But either way, it’s looking like Anderson and McKinzy will be a nice pair of players that can make an impact in specific roles off the bench. And once a healthy Brailford is added to the mix, the ‘Skins’ defensive line and edge rusher group will get even stronger.