Commanders chose Toney over Bradley-King

·2 min read

William Bradley-King or Shaka Toney?

That was a decision the Washington Commanders’ brass was forced to make for the initial 53-man roster 4 pm deadline Tuesday.

The Commanders’ top 8 defensive linemen were already clearly established, while Chase Young is recovering from his torn ACL. Starting on the outside will be Montez Sweat and James Smith-Williams. On the inside, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne are proven. Providing depth on the inside will be Phidarian Mathis and Daniel Wise, while Casey Toohill and Efe Obada conclude the top eight down lineman.

Keeping one more lineman who can be an extra pass rusher, the Commanders determined for now they would keep Toney (No. 58) on the active roster while placing Bradley-King (No.5 6) on the practice squad. So, how will the Commanders use Toney?

Both Toney and King saw time in the 2021 season for Washington. Toney appeared in 10 games and King played in 3. Toney appeared on 10.66% of defensive snaps; King on 5.33%. Toney was in on 14.84% of special teams snaps, while King was not used on the special teams’ units.

Toney was in on 2 solo tackles, 6 assists and one tackle was for a loss. He also contributed 3 QB hits and 1.5 QB sacks. King contributed 5 assisted tackles, 1 QB hit and .5 QB sacks.

Commanders analyst Logan Paulsen was confident Bradley-King had won the final defensive lineman spot, stating he had a more consistent training camp and preseason than did Toney. However, in fairness to Paulsen, he also had stated last week that though Bradley-King had been more consistent, it was Toney who possessed more athletic explosiveness that could be utilized in pass-rushing situations and coverage teams.

Lining up against 300-pound offensive tackles while weighing only 238 himself, Toney is at a huge disadvantage on running plays. Thus it is highly likely Toney would only see snaps (barring injuries) during definite passing downs.

In the preseason, Toney exhibited his pass-rushing ability (and agility) on some plays that one can’t help but notice how Toney can bend the edge with speed. His nice tackle on punt coverage against Kansas City demonstrated his ability in the open field. Yet, Toney was seen at times determined to head up the field, taking himself far out of some plays.

Bradley-King doesn’t exhibit the explosiveness of Toney, yet at 254 pounds brings more size than Toney. Bradley-King (Baylor) has not demonstrated the same explosiveness, yet he has been more consistent. He could again be brought up to the active roster sometime in 2022.

 

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire