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Washington Commanders Defensive Report Card

Defensive Report Card

The Commanders Defense had an up and down year and at times were erratic. Chase Young did not come back until the final 2 games of the season but Jamin Davis, Darrick Forrest, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne were all leaders of this defense despite a roller coaster season for the team. 

Defensive Linemen

Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen were the two headed monsters in the interior as they always found ways to stop the run and get sacks. John Ridgeway has a lot of potential to be a key factor in this defense but I think they should look to add more depth to that group in the offseason either in the draft or in free agency.

Grade: B 

Edge Rushers

Chase Young only appeared in two games this season because he was still recovering from a torn ACL but with a full offseason ahead he will find a way to get 100% and be ready to return to form in ’23. Montez Sweat put together another breakout season but the question for this unit is, will Chase Young return to form? Does Sweat get an extension? I think its possible but it remains to be seen.

Grade: C+


The linebacking core had its ups and downs but, Jamin Davis is slowly growing into a leadership role in that group. Unfortunately, he ended the season on the injured reserve, he will look to recover for the offseason. Other guys likes Jon Bostic, Cole Holcomb were also on injured reserve to finish the season however I do think that linebacker is a big need for the Commanders in the offseason. I think they’d go with a  MLB specifically.

Grade: C

Defensive Backs

Darrick Forest had himself a great season as he led the team in interceptions. Also, Kendall Fuller led the team in pick 6’s while Bobby McCain and William Jackson III also had decent seasons. This group could use some upgrades to get younger and faster in the offseason. 

Grade: C

Overall Grade: C

Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio is on the hot season heading into the 2023 season but if the Commanders give him a good unit to work with and finds a way to put this group back into a top 5 defense then his job is safe.

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