The Washington Football Team has spent a ton of resources on the defensive line over the years. Now, those resources are paying off as the team has one of the best groups in the NFL.
The biggest beneficiary of Washington’s outstanding defensive line is the secondary. The Football Team quietly had one of the better secondaries in the NFC last season despite lacking a true shutdown corner.
This offseason, the WFT allowed Ronald Darby to walk and replaced him with former Cincinnati star William Jackson III. It was a major upgrade for Washington.
The Football Team also brought in veteran defensive back Bobby McCain who can play some corner and free safety, and rookie cornerback Benjamin St-Juste. St-Juste had an impressive spring for Washington in the OTAs.
Pro Football Focus continued its series ranking the top position groups in the NFL, this time focusing on the secondary. PFF ranks Washington as the No. 11 secondary in the league.
Washington is all-in on its defensive line, but the team also happened to field one of the better coverage units in the NFL in 2020, ending the year ranked sixth in team coverage grade. The addition of William Jackson III in free agency should only bolster the group, and it gives defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio some flexibility to implement more man coverage. Jackson’s 80.0 coverage grade in man-to-man concepts since 2017 is over 15 points higher than Ronald Darby’s coverage grade on the same subset of plays (64.3).
If McCain can help stabilize the free safety position, while St-Juste proves his strong spring was no fluke, Washington’s secondary will be among the absolute best in the NFL. Jackson is going to have a big year for the Football Team.
Washington has some good corners in Kendall Fuller, Jackson, Jimmy Moreland and St-Juste. The team has a potential star at strong safety in Kamren Curl. You combine a group of talented defensive backs with an elite defensive line, and you have the makings of the NFL’s best defense.
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