NFL Network Analyst Brian Baldinger believes the Washington Football Team is in the driver's seat in the NFC East in 2021 and they control their own destiny.
The 2020 NFC East race was a popular storyline all last season with all four clubs finishing below .500 and the Burgundy and Gold getting a playoff berth after narrowly defeating the Eagles in Week 17.
Since then, Washington has bolstered its depth at quarterback by signing journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick, opted not to go all-in on one of the signal-callers who were available during the offseason, and did not trade up for one of the top QB prospects in the NFL Draft.
"I'm bullish on Washington," Baldinger told 106.7 The Fan's BMitch & Finlay on Thursday. "I like everything they've done, including the quarterback they've put in there. They could've gone out there and chased one of these quarterbacks, and maybe it might have been the best thing to do, but I like what they're doing."
In addition to the moves Washington made at QB, Baldinger praised the work the Football Team made in free agency and during the draft.
"I believe in building around the quarterback, and then when it's time to get him, you go get him," Baldinger said. "But right now, they just keep building and adding offensive linemen. You added Curtis Samuel, and you add Jamin Davis to the defense. I'm a big William Jackson III fan. I think he's gonna play great for Washington. I like everything they're doing."
With the Giants loading up on talent and the Cowboys looking to get back on track with a healthy Dak Prescott, the NFC East race next season should be a lot more competitive.
"I think it's Washington's division to lose right now," said Baldinger.
Helping their cause at repeating as NFC East champs, Baldinger believes Washington's defense, already one of the best in the league last season, could take an even further leap forward in 2021.
"I think it'd be really good," he said of Washington's defense getting another year together. "I mean to get [Matt] Ioannidis back. I think Chase Young is just learning how to play the game. Like you see his talent — he can play the game in a tuxedo. You see the movement. But he needs an array of moves and countermoves. I think that can be coming."
"I just think this defense can certainly — they were fourth last year — there's no reason why they can't be the best defense in football this year. No reason," Baldinger said. "They've got all the talent. They've got depth. I like having a spark of young players like Jamin Davis coming in and playing with real enthusiasm. I think he will. There's no reason why this can't be as good a defense as there is in football this year."