By: Reese Nasser
The football team in Washington is creating something worth cheering for and it’s being led by a defensive unit that is quickly becoming one of the best in the NFL. Washington’s defense is regarded as a top-five group entering this season and all signs point to them becoming even better. Second year player and defensive rookie of the year, Chase Young, is at the forefront of the defense and has become the leader of the group. Here are three reasons why Washinton will lead the NFL in sacks this season.
Best Defensive Line in Football
Washibgton has crafted a defense line full of stars. Chase Young, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, and Montez Sweat lead the front four. Each has quickly become one of the best at their position and the group as a whole is held in high regard. The other component that they have is youth. The oldest of the four is Allen, who is just 26 years old. Between this group, 21.5 of the teams 50 sacks were recorded. With an extra year of working together, the unit will only work better together. The four of these players alone could account for potentially 30 sacks if they are able to take yet another leap next season.
Bringing the Defense Back
The fact that a majority of this defense is returning, with the addition of high-profile rookies, this unit will become even better. Nine of Washington’s eleven starts from last season will be returning. This should be room for excitement. As much of the team relies on the front four, the rest of the group should be able to build off of that. While the linebacker core only accounted for a few sacks, that should be expected to change as well.
The expectations will be high for the first round pick. His athleticism and all around ability to play the position will bring an extra dynamic to this defense. While Davis accounted for only 1.5 sacks in his final season at Kentucky, he still racked up 102 tackles. In Washington’s defense, it can be expected that Davis’ speed will be utilized in a way that it wasn’t in college. His 4.37 40-yard dash shows that he is fast and has top end speed. Bringing that type of speed off of the edge or on blitz will result in either Davis getting a decent amount of sacks in his rookie season or one of the star defensive lineman getting the reward.
Chase Young’s stock continues to go up and up. In his rookie season, he was one of the best defensive players in football. The Ohio State standout is just another great in a long line of star defensive ends coming out of the school. Young’s impact was nearly instant in Washington. He led all rookies in pressure.
His 7.5 sacks were hard earned as Young was often double teamed. Teams quickly realized how much of a threat he was. He is expected to take yet another leap in his sophomore season and will remain the focal point of this Washington team. Young will be expected to rack up double digit sacks and nobody will be surprised when he does.
This unit will look to expand on the 50 sacks that they had last season. With the defense that has been assembled, that goal is possible. There is a chance that they could add at least an extra ten to their total from last season. 60 is manageable and will be well within reach for the players out in Washington.