Washington Redskins: Grading each position group

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /
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The Washington Redskins are not getting a lot of respect in the lead up to the 2019 season. Taking a look at the team by position groupings lends a slightly more optimistic viewpoint.

I have broken the Washington Redskins down into ten position groups. There are five offensive groups and five defensive groups. Because Washington plays a base 3-4 defense, I lumped the defensive line into one group, not differentiating between the interior and exterior linemen. Of course, I had to assess the inside and outside linebackers separately. I also looked at the cornerback positions and the safeties separately.

On the offensive side of the ball, I graded the offensive line as a single unit along with quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends and wide receivers. Now, to the grades. Here are the Washington Redskins position groups ranked and graded, starting with the defensive side of the ball.

Defensive Line Grade: A+

Let’s start with the defensive line. This is the strongest unit on the team. In their base alignment, the Redskins have the 2018 first round pick, DaRon Payne, starting at nose tackle. He is flanked on either side by 2017 first rounder Jonathan Allen and 2016 fifth-round pick Matt Ioannidis. This is an extremely strong starting defensive line

The starters are backed up by nose tackle Tim Settle and defensive end Caleb Brantley. Both players came into the league with high pedigrees and provide quality depth to this unit.

Allen was considered by most to be the top defensive tackle in the 2017 NFL Draft and Payne received similar praise in 2018. Washington obviously made a concerted effort to improve their defensive line and it shows.

This group is a tremendous improvement from just three years ago when the Redskins started Chris Baker, Ricky Jean Francois and Stephen Paea backed up by Kendall Reyes and Kedric Golston. Washington’s new and improved D line has the potential to be dominant.

Outside Linebackers Grade: B+

Sticking with the defense the next group is the outside linebackers. The Washington Redskins moved back into the first round to select Montez Sweat. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Sweat blew up the combine running a 4.41 40-yard dash and bench pressing 225 pounds 27 times. He should have an immediate impact backing up Ryan Anderson opposite perennial pro bowler Ryan Kerrigan.

The Redskins also drafted Jordan Brailford out of Oklahoma State and signed free agent Cassanova McKinzy out of Auburn. This group is poised to have an extremely strong year.