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Seven Things We've Learned About Montez Sweat


As players take their final breaks before training camp, we take a look back at the new faces from this offseason and what we've learned about them, football and otherwise, so far.

Next up is first-round edge defender Montez Sweat:

1. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash ever by a defensive lineman.

Sweat's teammates agree the rookie's athleticism seems non-human.

During the NFL scouting combine, Sweat ran the fastest-ever 40-yard dash by a defensive lineman in 4.41 seconds. The 6-foot-6, 262-pound edge defender also posted some of the combine's best marks in wingspan (84¾"), arm length (35 ¾") and hand size (10 ½").

"He's a creature," linebacker Ryan Anderson said during minicamp. "Dude is a specimen. Good dude, though. Young guy, eager to learn, he listens. He asks questions. He's going to make this team a lot better."

2. He joined the Redskins defensive linemen clan.

The Redskins defensive linemen do almost everything together, from lifting weights to boxing. Yet this summer they picked Sweat, who's listed on the Redskins' roster as a linebacker, to join their activities as a sign of respect.

"I like him a lot," defensive lineman Jonathan Allen said during OTAs. "All I know is that he is big, tall, long and he works. That's all that matters."

3. He loves slow jams.

Before taking the field, Sweat listens to rappers who pump him up, such as Young Thug and Future.

Most of the time, though, Sweat enjoys listening to slow R&B artists, including Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross. Sweat was raised by his grandparents, who he said got him interested in R&B music.

"I was brought up on the old school music," Sweat said. "It was either you listen to it or your ears are going to break, so that's what I did."

4. He was recruited as a tight end.

Multiple publications listed Sweat as one of the country's top tight end recruits at Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He also played defense in high school, and he made his primary position defensive end when he arrived at Michigan State in 2014.

Three years later, Sweat transferred to Mississippi State, where he became a first-team All-American for his production off the edge.

"Initially, he's an offensive guy, so I asked him if he wanted to play tight end," Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead told in April. "That didn't work out so well."

5. He could hardly be stopped in college.

After earning first-team All-SEC honors as a junior at Mississippi State, Sweat returned for his senior season. He only raised his draft stock.

Sweat compiled 14 tackles for loss and a team-high 12 sacks, earning second team All-America honors from The Associated Press.

"Physically? Yeah, it's freakish," Redskins defensive line coach Jim Tomsula said during minicamp. "The stuff you saw on college tape, the stuff you saw in the workouts, you don't hide 4.4 speed. You don't hide that height. You don't hide the length. … You don't write checks before you can cash them, but it's exciting to watch."

6. He was a rim protector in high school.

In addition to wreaking havoc on opposing offenses in high school football, Sweat also dominated the paint in basketball games. He used his length as a rim protector, averaging 12.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game as a senior.

If he didn't play football, Sweat may have had a future in basketball and has been open in saying he'd want to work in sports in some way.

"He's a monster, man," Redskins linebacker Mason Foster said during OTAs.

7. He's following Preston Smith's career path.

Sweat has followed a similar career path as former Redskins linebacker Preston Smith. Smith attended the same high school as Sweat, played at Mississippi State and was drafted by the Redskins in the second round of the 2015 draft.

Sweat saw Smith, who signed with the Packers in March, on a visit with Green Bay during the draft process.

"I've got a great relationship with Preston Smith," Sweat said. "He just told me to keep my head up, keep grinding and just keep on going."

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