By Adam Aniba
At long last, we are finally here! With Training Camp set to begin Tuesday, eyes will be on the Washington's front seven, who many think have the potential to be a top rated defense. In his second year, Chase Young looks to add to his path of destruction, and build upon his 2020 DROA campaign in which he was named a defensive captain in 2020. As impressive as Young is, Montez Sweat, Daron Payne, John Allen and Matt Ioannidis are imperative to the success and ceiling of this defensive unit. When fans discuss the depth of the line, Ioannidis is the most frequent name that's mentioned. But, don't forget about the Hokie DT, Tim Settle.
Despite concerns when he declared, many evaluators projected Settle to fall no later than Round 3. However, he fell to the 5th round of the 2018 draft. Settle weighed in at 329 lbs at the '18 NFL Combine, which led to concerns about possible weight fluctuation issues and his overall durability on the next level. The Hokie lineman's physical transformation over the last 3 years has been promising, if not astounding.
Settle seems to have accepted the challenge by Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio, trimming down to 308 lbs last season and he looks primed for an expanded role in this defense. Settle heads into the 2021 season with a lot to prove behind a stout unit.
Having a look at some of his college tape, was a stark reminder of just how dominant Settle can be and how far his transformation has come in only a few years.
In 47 career games for Washington (2 starts), Settle registered 41 tak (27 solo), 7 sacks, 8 TFL's, 12 QB hits. In 2020, Settle opened eyes with 5 sacks in a rotational role (1 start).
More to Come
Although Washington and Jack Del Rio's unit struggled during their dismal 1-5 start through October, before ultimately going on a 6-4 run, Settle was quietly gaining the reputation as a stout run defender. In fact, Settle had a 13.8% run stop percentage, ranking him the 5th highest interior defensive lineman and given a 75.7 run defense grade by PFF's Nick Akridge (interview below) which was the 10th highest during that time span.
Settle might have been the forgotten man among some of the Washington fanbase, but his ability as a stout run defender and pass rusher (5 sacks in 2020) will continue to gain national attention with the ascension of Washington's defense. With John Allen at a potential impasse over a contract extension, along with his fellow interior defensive lineman's contracts also coming to an end in the near future, the time is now for Settle to show coaches that he's much more than a rotational lineman and can impact games. There is no doubt, this will be the most important season of Settle's career thus far.
**UPDATE- DT John Allen signs 4-year $72 million LTD with a $30 million bonus**
**CLICK the Sidelines icon below for our interview with PFF's Nick Akridge below**