It wasn't long after the tandem of Chase Young and Montez Sweat were traded that fans questioned who would be the next defensive ends (or Edge Defenders) for the Commanders. And the name Casey Toohill became the new talking point for the fanbase as he is currently the leading sack leader for the team.
I'm not doing an in-depth analysis of all the possible candidates, but I will take a short look of likely one's Head Coach Ron Rivera and Defensive Coordinator Del Rio might play.
The next game against the Patriots will likely have a veteran platoon of the aforementioned Casey Toohill, followed by James Smith-Williams (JSW), and Efe Obada. If these names are familiar, it is because they filled in for the absence of Chase Young for the past two seasons. The platoon held their own last season, helping Washington have one of the top defenses in the league, and notably the best defensive lines. But these guys are who they are.
I'm not expecting a breakout season for any one of them though Toohill is definitely making the most of the limited opportunities he had on having a career year. It wouldn't be a huge surprise if he ends up with 8.0 sacks (getting 4 more sacks in the remaining 9 games). To expect that production each year would be a stretch, though Toohill is in his prime years (27). But he could be a short list of WSH free agents to retain if not for the sake of depth.
I'm more curious of recently drafted defensive ends, KJ Henry and Andre Jones Jr. getting meaning snaps. Given the Rivera's and the front office propensity to fortify the defensive line by any means, I want to see what traits they saw in them. Whether or not, Rivera and company stumbled across any gems in Day 3. If anything, to at least give Ron a chance to show there were a reason for the overinvestment of the defensive line.
I believe new management will likely address the EDGE position with any combination of a major free agent signing or Day 1-2 draft acquisition. But for the remaining half of the season, I at least look forward to seeing if any of the remaining defensive ends will make a name for themselves.
Opportunity comes a-knocking.