Former Commanders defensive end visits Atlanta Falcons

KPRC 2 Houston’s Aaron Wilson reports that former Washington Commanders defensive end James Smith-Williams visited the Atlanta Falcons. Smith-Williams was drafted in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Commanders out of North Carolina State University.

Smith-Williams had his best season when he started 14 games in 2022 with the injuries to Chase Young. Smith-Williams ended the season with 23 tackles (12 solo), 16 QB hits, five tackles for loss, three sacks and two pass deflections.

With the Commanders hiring former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, the defense is getting re-configured more into his vision. That means some pieces from the past regime could look for new homes in 2024. The mass exodus seemed to start when Washington traded away both Montez Sweat and Chase Young last season. Smith-Williams could find himself in a similar situation.

According to The Athletic’s Ben Stadig, Smith-Williams was not the playmaker but a secondary piece who did his job and allowed players like Sweat, Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen to be their best selves. If Atlanta decides to go pass-rusher early, a player like Smith-Williams can help them become the best version of themselves sooner rather than later.


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