Commanders News: Hard Knocks, Ron Rivera, Chase Young and core ranked

Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio
Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders young core ranked

Despite working with limited resources this offseason, the Washington Commanders feel like they have a solid young nucleus that can propel them to potential playoff football in 2023. Everything has to go right and the appointment of Eric Bieniemy needs to have the desired effect, but there is more optimism than pessimism currently.

Of course, it's a game of opinions. The Commanders' core of Terry McLaurin, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Chase Young, and Montez Sweat wasn't ranked all that favorably by Seth Walder of ESPN Analytics, who put Washington at No. 28 thanks in no small part to the uncertainty at quarterback.

"Uncertainty at quarterback (and therefore, the lack of one on this list) dings Washington. But this is a solid collection of players in their prime, and the case could be made for the Commanders to rank higher. I believe [Chase] Young can still be a good player, as he posted a 19% pass rush win rate at edge as recently as 2021."

Seth Walder, ESPN Analytics

Having four of the five core players on the defensive front is another potential complication. And there is a chance 2023 represents the last season that all four will be together given the contract decisions upcoming for Young and Sweat.

If Sam Howell provides stability under center, the Commanders are going to surge up this list next year. But again, there is no saying that will be the case with any great confidence.