When was the last time you could rank any position on the Washington Football Team as the best in the league? We could be here awhile.
Well, that time has finally come.
Lorenzo Alexander wore the burgundy and gold from 2006-2012. Now, he is an analyst on NFL Network and had some strong words to say about his former team's defensive line. Alexander ranked his top five defensive lines leading into the 2021 season and placed the WFT at the very top of the list.
"These dudes are loaded. They're young, scrappy, and hungry baby. Chase Young and Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Payne, and then you have Tim Settle coming off the bench. These guys can not only play the run and the pass well but these guys are flying down on screens and passes downfield. Getting some big-time hits. We saw Chase Young do that constantly. Because they haven't quite won one yet, they're just hungry and trying top chase after it. They are going to be the most dominant defensive line this year."
This is what happens when you spend a first-round pick on the defensive line for four straight years.
Fans are hoping that Alexander's prediction is right on the money, though a name he forgot to mention is Matt Ioannidis. He suffered a season-ending injury early in 2020 and was unable to contribute to what already was a dominant defense. The return of Ioannidis is good news for Washington, as he is arguably the strongest player of the impressive group.
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Young took the league by storm during his rookie year and at 22 years old, has a chance to be a force for a long time. Along with Sweat, just 24, the duo on the edge for the WFT could be the best in the league. This is not to mention some big bodies on the inside.
Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne were the first of the draft picks that built this defensive front. Both Alabama products have shown an ability to get to the quarterback and stop the run when needed.
Jack Del Rio was brought in by Ron Rivera to be the defensive coordinator. In his first year, Del Rio implemented a 4-3 scheme. It was a breath of fresh air as the days of Joe Barry and Greg Manusky are clearly erased from Washington. Del Rio knew how to use the pieces he was given and get the most out of them. This is by having the front four go get the quarterback and wreck game plans in the backfield.
Alexander ranked Washington's defensive front No. 1, ahead of the Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Rams, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Finally, the WFT has a position group to build around and rely on. That is what has been happening over the last year and it will continue moving forward.