Heading into 2021, the backbone of Washington's entire team was its defensive line. While the defensive line is still one of the team's strongest units, so much has changed heading into Week 1 of the 2022 season. Interior linemen Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle have moved on to other organizations, while star edge rusher Chase Young is starting the season on the PUP list, and will miss at least the first 4 games.
The Commanders will still have Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, and Daron Payne at full go come Week 1. However, the defensive line's depth is in question with so much youth and turnover among the position group. Washington needed players to step up and fill the void, and Daniel Wise looks ready to contribute.
Wise brings immediate value to the Commanders as a 1-tech or 3-tech pass rusher. At the snap, Wise displayed a solid upfield burst with a good change of direction, lateral quickness, and lateral agility as a pass rusher. Along with Wise's athletic ability, he has good hand usage through timing and placement. Specifically, when engaged, Wise does a very good job keeping his chest clean with swim moves, chop moves, or long-arm rushes. Wise's effort is noticeable on tape and can go a long way throughout a game.
While Wise was likely making the team before the preseason started, he solidified his spot through, at minimum, his rush plans, and effort, making Wise a viable chess piece for Washington in clear passing situations for the defensive line. Furthermore, in one-on-one pass rush situations such as "Cinco," Wise has the potential to make an even bigger name for himself through his athletic ability and hand usage.
Wise is entering his age-26 season, but last season was his first year with playing time in the regular season, accumulating 139 snaps in six games. So it's good timing for Wise to be entering his prime years on the rise and a potential role for the team he's on, and with the pass rush void that Washington has from an interior standpoint, it is on him to take advantage of the opportunities ahead of him this year.
What’s been your opinion on Daniel Wise to this point?