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NFL Defensive Line Rankings: Washington Not No. 1?!

Pro Football Focus ranked all 32 defensive lines in the NFL, and surprisingly, WFT was not the best.

There aren't many defensive lines in the NFL that can boast being better than the Washington Football Team. According to Pro Football Focus, in fact, there's just one. 

PFF ranked all 32 defensive line units and Washington Football Team came in at No. 2. 

READ MORE: Washington Rookie RB Patterson: The 'Real Deal'?

PFF credits the draft for the dominance of the WFT defensive front, led of course by Chase Young and Montez Sweat:


When a team invests four consecutive first-round picks into one unit, this is the result they’re hoping for. Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Montez Sweat and Chase Young all look to be impact starters through the early stages of their NFL careers. Allen and Sweat, in particular, took clear steps forward last season.

Allen’s 2020 campaign was somewhat overshadowed by Washington's starting edge tandem, but he was excellent when rushing the passer. His 17.1% pass-rush win rate was a top-10 mark among all interior defenders. Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle provide the Football Team additional interior pass-rushing threats beyond the starters, as well.

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The lone team that PFF ranked ahead of WFT's line? The Pittsburgh Steelers.

We know Washington's defensive line is loaded with talent and depth. Two backup tackles - Tim Settle and Matt Ioannidis, would likely be starters on any other club.

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Young will continue to do what he does, but the team should expect even more from third-year veteran Sweat, who did enough last year to make veteran Pro Bowler Ryan Kerrigan expendable. Allen will continue to be the voice of the unit with unquestioned leadership skills, and Payne combines his ridiculous strength with football intelligence to always be in the right spot. 

If the Washington Football Team is going to have success in 2021 and repeat as NFC East Division champions, this defensive line will be a big reason why.

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