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Which WFT Defensive Player is Exceeding Expectations?

After slipping in the 2019 NFL Draft, Montez Sweat is an elite defensive weapon

Three defensive ends were selected in the 2019 NFL Draft before Montez Sweat went to the Washington Football Team with the 26th overall pick. 

He was WFT's second pick, but has turned out to be by far the most successful. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. was taken earlier in the first round at pick 15. Cut in Washington, that valuable pick was a waste as Haskins now resides in Pittsburgh as an understudy to Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Not only is Sweat out-performing Haskins, he's also out-playing many of the players selected in front of him in 2019. Sweat currently sits just half a sack behind Carolina Panthers' pass rusher, Brian Burns, who was selected 16th overall.

Picked before both Burns and Sweat were Clemson's Clelin Ferrell (Las Vegas Raiders) at No. 4 and Ohio State's Nick Bosa (San Francisco 49ers) at No. 2 overall. 

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Sweat is also out-producing those defensive ends at this point in their careers in sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback hits. 

Of course, it's important to note both Ferrell and Bosa have missed time with injuries. Bosa played in just two games in 2020, and his 20 tackles for loss compared to Sweat's 21 since being drafted speaks to the talent the 49ers defender has when on the field. 

But as the football adage goes, "'the best ability is availability." Sweat plays, and produces.

This is something NFL teams began to doubt as the 2019 NFL Draft neared. Sweat, remember, diagnosed with a heart condition at the NFL Scouting Combine.

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The problem proved serious and threatened Sweat's NFL's career, as well as his long-term health. Because of the diagnosis, the defensive end's stock plummeted. 

Montez Sweat

However, in the time leading up to the draft Sweat had more tests done by more doctors who eventually concluded that his combine diagnosis had been incorrect.

Regardless, the concern was set, and some teams couldn't get past the initial diagnosis, even with the second-opinions strongly suggesting Sweat was perfectly healthy. 

Wearing No. 90 for WFT, Sweat has proven he has the heart, athleticism, and talent to be a force in the NFL. 

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After having seven sacks in his rookie season, he increased that total by two, bringing down opposing quarterbacks nine times in 2020. 

This year, he's already on pace to have 17 sacks, with one in each of the season's first two games. Those have extended his current streak of games with at least one sack to four, the longest active streak in the NFL.

Even if he doesn't stay on pace and bring in 17 sacks, Sweat needs nine more this year to pass Brian Orakpo as the franchise's sack leader through three seasons. 

He'll look for sack three on the season - or more - Sunday when Washington visits the Buffalo Bills looking for their first win in upstate New York since 1987.