When the Washington Redskins selected quarterback Dwayne Haskins at number 15, I was already calling it the steal of the draft to that point. Then they topped themselves, getting pass rusher Montez Sweat with the 26th overall pick.
Sweat was considered one of the elite talents of the draft class, but a heart condition caught at the combine caused him to slip down many draft boards.
The Washington Redskins however, received some different information. Their team doctors believed this issue wasn’t nearly as bad as initially thought. The team traded up for Sweat.
Now that he’s on the team, it seems like a perfect fit. The Redskins already had one of the best front sevens in football thanks to a young defensive line led by Da’Ron Payne, Jonathan Allen and Matthew Ioannidis.
Of course, they also have Ryan Kerrigan, one of the most criminally underrated pass rushers in recent history. Kerrigan is averaging over 10 sacks per season in the NFL, and has had 13 in each of his last two. He’s the perfect person to have on the side opposite of Sweat.
Montez Sweat has elite speed and athleticism at the position and has shown the strength to bully offensive linemen as well. Considered NFL-ready heading into the draft, he can help a team immediately but still develop into a star in short succession. Basically, he’s the total package.
Sweat is such a talent that he could have been drafted by any team. You would have expected big things from him. Washington might be the most perfect fit possible.
The team has more than enough talent to keep pressure off Sweat. Teams won’t focus on him because they need to worry about Kerrigan at all times; they need to worry about the three rising stars on the defensive line as well.
However, there isn’t too much talent to the extent that Sweat won’t get a chance to shine. The Redskins needed an outside linebacker opposite of Kerrigan, and now they have one. He’ll get a chance to play a major number of snaps, which could lead to massive numbers.
Sweat also won’t be buried in the mix. All those players that I’ve named are great; the defensive linemen are young enough to turn into absolute stars as well. However, none of them are going to rack up 20 sacks this year.
No one’s going to be taking away so many opportunities from the rest of the group because he’s too busy breaking sack records. Instead, they’ll all eat – pretty well might I add.
With this in mind, Montez Sweat has a strong chance to not only be the steal of the Washington Redskins’ draft, but the steal of the entire 2019 NFL Draft. He’s an elite talent in a perfect situation. A double-digit-sack rookie year isn’t out of the question, making a lot of teams mad that they passed on him due to health concerns.
It’s not often that you can praise a Washington Redskins draft this much. However, they managed to hit quite a few home runs this year. Montez Sweat could be the crowning steal that cements the claim.