Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins landed one of the biggest steals in the 2019 NFL Draft when they selected Montez Sweat No. 26 overall. So far during Redskins OTAs, the rookie has done nothing but impress and is drawing rave reviews from writers who cover the team.

On Wednesday, JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington speculated that Sweat could be the team’s best rookie in 2019, even over potential starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

“A freak athlete with a strong track record of production in the SEC at Mississippi State, Sweat looks like the instant starter at outside linebacker opposite Ryan Kerrigan,” Finlay wrote. Third-year pro Ryan Anderson could and likely will push Sweat for competition, but the rookie’s speed should prove the difference. 

“Not only does Sweat look like an immediate starter, but he also looks like he could be a contender for Defensive Rookie of the Year. The talent is that real.”

This falls right in line with what beat writers have been sharing on social media — Sweat’s speed is tangible, and it should lead to immediate success.

Among those who have been blown away by Sweat are his new teammates. Ryan Kerrigan compared him to a future Hall of Famer recently.

“The one person that kind of came to mind — and this isn’t a playing thing — but Julius Peppers,” Kerrigan said, per ESPN’s John Keim. “I remember meeting Julius Peppers and just seeing how big he was in person, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, that dude is big.’ That was kind of my first impression of him in terms of size. But then to know how fast and athletic he is too, it’s pretty remarkable.”

One of the top edge rushers in the 2019 NFL Draft class, Sweat was widely considered a top-five pick following his incredible combine performance. His speed was on full display, which, combined with his production at Mississippi State gave scouts good reason to gush. Then, Sweat saw his stock plummet near draft day due to what was later, sadly, reported as a misdiagnosed heart condition.

It seems safe to say that Sweat’s loss — falling in the draft — was Washington’s gain.

Jesse Reed
Managing Editor at Sportsnaut. Featured on Yardbarker and MSN.com, and formerly was a breaking news writer/NFL analyst for Bleacher Report.