Commanders DTs (4)
- Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Phidarian Mathis, John Ridgeway.
If the Washington Commanders want to accomplish anything this season, they must be heavily reliant on their defense once again. This all starts up front with a defensive line loaded with high-end draft picks and extremely capable performers.
Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne are arguably the league's best defensive tackle tandem. Phidarian Mathis should also see plenty of reps provided he stays clear of injuries, with John Ridgeway preferred for the No. 4 spot initially.
One would expect the Commanders to look at available options on the waiver wire to further boost depth in this area. Something that would leave Ridgeway's situation looking particularly precarious.
Commanders DEs (7)
- Montez Sweat, Chase Young, Efe Obada, James Smith-Williams, Casey Toohill, K.J. Henry, Andre Jones Jr.
The Commanders have an embarrassment of riches across their pass-rush. But their chances of improvement rest squarely on the shoulders of Chase Young and his ability to put a consistent run of games together.
Young and Montez Sweat are both entering contract years and look highly motivated to put up significant numbers. James Smith-Williams will likely be the No. 3 option, with Efe Obada also set to spend time on the edge rotation and as a three-technique on the interior when the situation dictates.
K.J. Henry is given the benefit of the doubt after an underwhelming summer. Keep an eye on Andre Jones Jr. - the seventh-rounder making considerable waves in the hope of prominent involvement as a defensive end or a pass-rushing outside linebacker.