2017 Washington Redskins Preview: Defensive Line


The Washington Redskins will continue to build upon their 3-4 defensive scheme, with three solid defensive players on the front line of their attack.  On the first unofficial depth chart released by the franchise, they have listed Ziggy Hood and Stacy McGee as the primary defensive ends, while new free-agent addition Phil Taylor Sr. rounds out the line at nose tackle.  

Further down on the defensive depth chart is noteworthy names such as: rookie first round pick defensive end Jonathan Allen, defensive end Terrell McClain, and backup nose tackle A.J. Francis.
While many casual fans will be alarmed as to why Jonathan Allen is not the presumed starter over Stacy McGee, keep in mind that this is the first unofficial depth chart, and it will likely change multiple times leading up to week one against the Philadelphia Eagles.  With that being said, Allen is said to be overpowering the Skins stout offensive line during drills, wowing coaches with his work ethic, and improving the overall defensive prowess that may help the Skins get to the quarterback.  

Allen should be expected to start for the defensive unit by week one, considering he appears ready to make an immediate impact on this already-improving defensive line.

Another strong force on the front line, is the recent addition of Phil Taylor Sr. at nose tackle, who is now taking over the position held prominently by former Redskin veteran Chris Baker.  The former first-round pick by the Cleveland Browns should be well up to the task of filling the void left by Baker, and after not playing during the 2015 season, he appears to be healthy and ready to contribute in big ways for the 2017 Washington Redskins.

Additionally, having the depth of capable starters such as Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain is simply icing on the cake for coach Jay Gruden and his defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky.  Overall, this defensive unit appears, on paper, for a breakout year for getting consistent quarterback pressure and stopping the run on a frequent basis.

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