Ryan Kerrigan, Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Matt Ioannidis, Nate Orchard, Caleb Brantley
This was really tough. While Washington has done next to nothing to address their woeful offense, they have spent insane amounts of capital building a young, fierce defensive line.
Allen (17th overall in 2017), Payne (13th overall in 2018), and Sweat (26th overall in 2019) would already be a very nice trio to build from. Of course, Washington used the second overall pick in 2020 on Young to really set this group apart from most in the league. Oh, by the way, Kerrigan was a first-round pick in 2011 as well.
Kerrigan fell off a little last year, but with Sweat and Young in place, it will not hurt this team if he starts trending downward. Sweat put up seven sacks as a rookie while also forcing two fumbles. Allen meanwhile has 14 sacks from the interior in his last two campaigns. With him and Payne manning the middle, it won’t be hard to imagine Young adds that knockout punch to make this one of the more devastating groups in the entire league.
Speaking of Young, not only does he come from the Ohio State football factory that produced both Nick Bosa and Joey Bosa as well as Cameron Heyward, but he also produced on his own as a Buckeye. In his final two years in college, Young had 27 sacks and eight forced fumbles. If he only has a quarter of that production as a rookie, he’ll still be a force to be reckoned with for opposing offensive lines.
Ultimately, the only reason this group is not higher is that they are still more in the talent/potential phase than the steady production level. That next level should be a mere formality, however.