Redskins: Knighton adds some steel
For much of the last decade the Washington Redskins have struggled to field a solid defensive line, making move after move to little avail. This offseason has been no different as new GM Scott McCloughan has added ends Rickey Jean-Francois and Stephen Paea, and, in one of the best moves of free agency so far, Terrance Knighton to man the nose.
As a two-gapping nose tackle, Knighton adds an element that Washington has lacked since moving to the 3-4 defense. He is a space-eating behemoth, where before they preferred the more penetrative talents of the undersized Barry Cofield. Over the past two years no Redskins defensive lineman has graded positively in run defense, but across the same span Knighton has recorded a cumulative +18.9 grade against the run.
While his primary role is to stuff the run, in 2013 Knighton also showed that he can disrupt to the opposition’s passing game. With four sacks and 34 total pressures, Knighton had a Pass Rushing Productivity score of 8.9, the eighth-highest among tackles. He finished just behind more established interior pass rushers like new teammate Jason Hatcher, and Jurrell Casey.
With the rumors going around free agency that Knighton has been dealing with weight issues, the Redskins might have gotten themselves a steal in free agency, only giving Knighton a one-year contract worth $4 million. If they get the motivated Knighton that played in Denver they will have signed one of the best nose tackles in the league.