While the Redskins’ draft decisions could be influenced by free agency, the team could also be in a position to choose from some talented players regardless of “need.”
That includes an edge rusher, which may become more of priority should the Redskins not re-sign outside linebacker Preston Smith next month. According to CBS Sports’ Sean Wagner-McGough, he believes that could be the case, marking down Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat as Washington’s choice with the No. 15 pick.
“They'd love a quarterback, but with the big three off the board already, they look to add another capable pass rusher to pair with Ryan Kerrigan,” he writes in his latest mock draft. “With 22.5 sacks over the past two seasons, Sweat can be that guy.”
Sweat has already made headlines in this draft process, showing out at the Senior Bowl after blowing by offensive linemen in 1-on-1 drills. He has a lot of the tools scouts like to see from edge rushers, and the Redskins could use another outside threat.
As a senior, Sweat earned first-team All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America and Sporting News, finishing as a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive player.
Sweat led Mississippi State in sacks for the second consecutive season, tied for sixth nationally with 11.5 sacks along with 14 tackles for a loss, which ranked second on the team.
Arguably his best game came against Auburn last season, in which he tallied three sacks and a forced fumble, both of which were career highs.
In his junior season, Sweat played both outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and defensive end during 4-3 formations, earning first-team All-SEC honors. He became the first Bulldog since 2005 to lead the SEC in sacks with 10.5, good to tie him for eighth nationally.
According to his Draft Network profile, Sweat has no red flags. He “projects favorably as a base 4-3 defensive end at the NFL level. Sweat illustrates textbook extension in his attack of blocks and his separation skills enable to him win at the line of scrimmage with consistency. Sweat’s lack of mobility through the hips will restrict him as a space defender, he needs to play with his hand in the dirt at all times to make the most of his linear explosiveness and skills stacking blockers.”