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NFL.com Believes Matt Ioannidis Will Exceed Expectations

Posted May 20, 2016

Redskins' rookie defensive end Matt Ioannidis continues to turn heads, as NFL.com has him as one of six late draftees who they think will make an impact this season.

Matt Ioannidis is like every other rookie on the Redskins’ roster: He’s grinding, learning, and trying to make a name for himself.

With each passing day, the buzz surrounding Ioannidis gets bigger and bigger, as people are realizing that he’s capable of being a major force on Washington’s defensive line this season.

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein came up with a list of “Six late-round picks likely to exceed expectations in 2016,” and Ioannidis made the cut.

Here’s what Zierlein had to say about Ioannidis, the Redskins’ fifth-round selection in this year's NFL draft:

“One glance at the depth chart will tell you that Ioannidis has a chance to work into the Redskins' defensive-line rotation quickly,” Zierlein said. “He has enough power at the point of attack to handle himself against NFL blockers and proved to be very disruptive during Senior Bowl week in January. While he won't light up the stat sheet, he'll be in a good spot to fight for potential game reps early in the season if he plays with some consistency in preseason camp.”

Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden likes to refer to Ioannidis -- who's officially listed as a defensive end -- as a “DL,” or defensive lineman, because he can be plugged in at any spot on the defensive line and do work.

“Man, he’s [Ioannidis] strong and I think eventually he could put on some weight and be a good nose guard,” Gruden said. “Like a lot of these guys, we’re kind of getting to know them as they are getting to know the system and all of that stuff and we’ll try to find out the best place for him based on where we need him and where his best success rate will be.”