Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Redskins Sign First-Round Draft Pick Montez Sweat

montez_sweat_brush-centerpiece copy

The Redskins signed first-round draft pick Montez Sweat on Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sweat becomes the ninth signee of the team's 2019 draft class. Eight of the 10 members inked their rookie contracts May 9.

Sweat stands at 6-foot-6, weights about 260 pounds and ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine -- measurables head coach Jay Gruden said are "second to none" when it comes to playing as an edge defender. In terms of production, he earned first-team All-America honors at Mississippi State last season, and he was even more dominant at the Senior Bowl, easily beating defensive linemen in 1-on-1 drills.

Following the exhilaration of draft night and the exciting and new experiences in the weeks since, Sweat treasured being on the field for the first time during Redskins' rookie minicamp May 10 - 12. He had missed football dearly -- "like a first love, for real" -- and yearned to showcase his potential to his new franchise. After all, the Redskins gave up two second-round picks -- one this year and the other in 2020 -- to trade back into the first round and select the Mississippi State All-American 26th overall.

"I have no doubt that he's going to play a lot," Gruden said after the second practice session May 11. "The skill set that he has is quite evident. You see his length and then you watch him run after practice and he's faster than anybody we have probably right now."

"He eats up ground when he runs," Gruden continued to gush. "It's like three strides and he's all the way across the field. It's crazy."

Sweat has continued to impress early on in OTAs, which started last week. He seems to fit in with the team's young and talented defensive front seven that includes four-time Pro Bowler Ryan Kerrigan and former first-round defensive linemen Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.

"Big, big dude," Kerrigan said of Sweat. "And for him to have a 4.4 [40-yard dash time], it's kind of like 'Oh my god.'"

"I like him. I like him a lot," Allen added. "All I know is that he is big, tall, long, and he works. That's all that matters."

Over the next two weeks, Sweat will participate in several more OTA days as well as the Redskins' mandatory three-day minicamp held June 4 - 6. During these workouts, Sweat said he'll be focusing on making steady improvements in hopes of reaching his potential.

"Getting better each and every day, reaching the highest ceiling I can get to," Sweat said. "Who knows how good I will be."