Jay Gruden has “no doubt” Montez Sweat will play “a lot” this year

AP

Dropped from multiple draft boards due to a heart condition, rookie pass-rusher Montez Sweat remained high on the board in Washington — and he’ll be on the field plenty in 2019.

“I have no doubt that he’s going to play a lot,” Washington coach Jay Gruden told reporters on Saturday regarding Sweat, who was acquired after Washington traded back into round one with the Colts. “The skillset 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 has great length, great speed. Now, it’s just a matter of transitioning into the defense — both base and sub-fronts. So, we’ll see how he does but definitely impressed with him, with the athletic body of work that he has. Now, it’s a matter of getting him ready mentally and working on the fundamentals to go along with playing outside linebacker and defensive end in sub [packages].”

At least one of the teams that removed him from the board for health reasons nevertheless regarded him as the best pass rusher in the draft. Sweat’s speed had something to do with that assessment.

“He’s just fast,” Gruden said of the guy who ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine. “He’s fast. He eats up ground when he runs. It’s like three strides and he’s all the way across the field and it’s crazy.”

It’s not crazy to think of the kind of steal Washington will have gotten — and some teams may end up thinking it was crazy to take him off the board — if the heart condition detected at the Scouting Combine ends up being a non-issue.