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Washington 2021 Position Reset: Offensive Line

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With Super Bowl LV capping off the 2020 season, it is time to look ahead to the 2021 campaign.

Over the next few weeks, Washingtonfootball.com will break down the position groups and lay out who the team could potentially add via free agency and the draft. These are the positions that have been covered so far:

Next up is the offensive line:

The Washington Football Team's top offensive plays from the 2020 season.

On The Roster

It took some time for Washington to find a group of starting offensive linemen that it liked; the right side and center were set, but there were a couple of different pairings on the left side. First, it was Geron Christian Sr. and Wes Martin, who claimed the starting left tackle and guard spots. Then, Wes Schweitzer took over at left guard and Cornelius Lucas at tackle. From that point, there were few major adjustments to the group -- right tackle Morgan Moses switched over to left tackle for one game because of an injury -- and they finished the season third in the NFL in pass-blocking, according to Pro Football Focus.

That success started with Moses and right guard Brandon Scherff, who had some of the best seasons in their respective careers. In fact, head coach Ron Rivera even called them "war daddies" near the end of the season. Moses had his best PFF run-blocking grade (85.9) in seven seasons, and as the most experienced offensive lineman on the team, he was one of the leaders at the position and for the offense as a whole.

"I think Morgan is a competitor," said offensive coordinator Scott Turner. "He's a tough guy. He's going to do whatever he needs to to get the job done wherever we ask of him. He's really been a good player for us over the course of this season."

Scherff emerged as one of two Washington players voted to the Pro Bowl, which was the fourth of his career, but what was more impressive was that he did so while also being placed on Injured Reserve after Week 2. The time off did not affect Scherff's production, as he committed only two penalties all year and allowed just 21 pressures. That also earned him a first-team All-Pro selection for the first time in his career.

"Those are the leaders up front for us," Turner said of Moses and Scherff. "They've done a great job, Brandon in particular. He brings it every day. He's the same guy, the toughness the blue-collar mentality. It helps, energizes and drives our team."

Scherff and Moses were not the only players to have impact seasons, though. Center Chase Roullier had a career-high pass-blocking season by allowing only one sack on 699 pass plays and started all 16 games for the second time in his four years with Washington. That reliability and production earned him a contract extension, ensuring he will remain with the team for the foreseeable future.

"Chase has been a steady presence and leader on our offensive line all season. He is a great teammate and does everything the right way," Rivera said in a release announcing the extension. "We are glad to be able to reward a player who has spent his entire career here. He was well deserving of an extension, and I look forward to continuing to coach him as we work towards sustained success here in Washington."

As for the other players who finished the season as starters on the offensive line, Lucas consistently played left tackle for the first time in his career and allowed just two sacks, four quarterback hits and 14 total pressures. Schweitzer, who became the starting left guard in Week 7, committed two penalties and had the highest pass-blocking grade (70.5) of his career.

The remaining offensive linemen did not receive as much playing time but proved they could be serviceable backups, if needed. Christian and Martin both showed flashes of promise in their limited amount of starting reps, while David Sharpe received two starts against the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys and did not allow a sack in either game. David Steinmetz only received four snaps and earned a 71.8 run-blocking grade from PFF for his efforts.

Left tackle Saahdiq Charles dealt with injuries that sidelined him for all of training camp and most of the season. He played two snaps against the New York Giants in Week 6 before injuring his knee, which forced him to miss the rest of the year. The coaches were still pleased with the few reps they saw from Charles, though, and are looking forward to his return.

"For him, he's a strong, young player," said assistant offensive line coach Travelle Wharton. "He comes in early, works extremely hard. The sky's the limit. He put in the work, now he's just got to get healthy and get on the field. I love his attitude and what he brings to the table because he's a very versatile player."

Free Agency

Scherff is set to become a free agent at the start of the new league year after receiving the franchise tag last season.

The 2021 free agent class of offensive linemen is littered with experienced players, including New England Patriots guard Joe Thuney, Carolina Panthers left tackle Russell Okung and Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jason Peters.

Check out a list of all the impending free agent offensive linemen, HERE.

Draft

Oregon tackle Penei Sewell, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 325 pounds, is regarded as one of the best overall prospects regardless of position. Coming in after Sewell at offensive tackle is Christian Darrisaw, who earned All-ACC honors with Virginia Tech in 2020. There are also plenty of top interior offensive line options, including Alijah Vera-Tucker (USC), Wyatt Davis (Ohio State) and Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma).

If Washington wants to look for depth in later rounds, there are prospects like Jack Anderson (Texas Tech), Trey Smith (Tennessee) and Walker Little (Stanford).

Check out a list of all the offensive line prospects, HERE.

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