Sweat equity: Redskins swap picks, trade up into first round to select Montez Sweat

Montez Sweat #9 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The ‘Skins splash in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, when they selected Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick, was not their lone bold move of the evening.

Washington traded up (Indianapolis) to get back into the first round. With the 26th overall pick, the Redskins select Mississippi State pass rusher Montez Sweat. According to NFL.com, Washington traded a 2019 second-round pick (No. 46) and a 2020 second-round pick to the Indianapolis Colts to hop back into the first round to pick Sweat.

“It means a lot,” Sweat said of the Redskins trading up to select him. “It means that they trust in me. It means that they believe in me. I want to give the same respect back to them and just give my all. That’s all that means to me.”

A video board displays an image of Montez Sweat. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

It is the first time the Redskins have drafted two players in the first round since the 2005 NFL Draft when the organization selected Auburn’s CB Carlos Rogers (No. 9 overall) and QB Jason Campbell (No. 25 overall).

“My emotions were going everywhere. It was low-key a series of some doubts like, ‘Why am I dropping so far? ‘What’s going on?’ I was just wondering what’s going on and then the Redskins called me and they changed my whole persona, everything, the way I was feeling. Now they definitely have a winner in me.”

Sweat (6-6, 245) played in 26 career games at Mississippi State University from 2017-18, compiling 101 tackles (48 solo), 29.5 tackles for loss, 22.0 sacks, a forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He earned first-team All-SEC honors by both the Associated Press and coaches in each of his two seasons in Starkville. He was a 2019 Senior Bowl selection after leading the Bulldogs in sacks for a consecutive season.

As a senior last season, Sweat received first-team honors by the Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News and Phil Steele. He appeared in 13 games and collected 53 tackles (27 solo), 14.0 tackles for loss, with 11.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

In his junior season, Sweat started all 13 games in which he appeared leading Mississippi State with 10.5 sacks. He totaled 48 tackles (21 solo) and contributed 15.5 tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery.

A year earlier, he appeared in 12 games as a true freshman, tallying 20 tackles (nine solo) and 1.5 tackles for loss.

Sweat, 22, attended Stephenson H.S. in Stone Mountain, Ga., where recorded 33 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss with 1.0 sack. He helped lead Stephenson to a 9-3 record and the round of 16 in the Georgia high school state playoffs. He was born Sept. 4, 1996.

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