NFL Beast

The Best Damn NFL News Site Ever!

Is Marshawn Kneeland Rising up The Commanders’ Board?

3 min read

#NFLBeast #NFL #NFLTwitter #NFLUpdate #NFLNews #NFLBlogs

#Washington #FootballTeam #WashingtonFootballTeam #WFT #NFC #HogsHaven

By: dg28

Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2024 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Commanders

Marshawn Kneeland, DE
School: Western Michigan | Conference: MAC
College Experience: Redshirt Junior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6’3” / 268 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Rounds 2-4

Player Comparison: Preston Smith

College Statistics

Defense & Fumbles Table
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2020 Western Michigan MAC FR DE 5 14 9 23 2.0 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 1
*2021 Western Michigan MAC FR DL 13 16 16 32 8.5 4.5 0 0 0 0 0 0
2022 Western Michigan MAC SO 9 22 15 37 10.0 1.5 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0
2023 Western Michigan MAC JR DL 10 29 28 57 7.5 4.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Career Western Michigan 81 68 149 28.0 12.5 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 2/28/2024.

Player Overview

Marshawn Kneeland was an accomplished high school athlete. You don’t see many players that are team captains and set high school records for tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks on their way to being named first-team all-state. He was also an honor roll student, a regional champ in the 400m, and an all-conference high jumper. Only a two-star recruit, Kneeland had few offers and chose Western Michigan over Grand Valley State and Western Illinois. After not seeing much action in 2019, Kneeland started in three of the five games the Broncos played in 2020 and was plenty disruptive. In a full season’s worth of games in 2021, he would improve his tackles, tackle for loss, and sacks. A calf injury in 2022 limited him to nine games, but he had the most tackles for loss of his career. Fully recovered, Kneeland put up a career high in tackles and tied his career high in sacks in 2023 and was named Second Team All-MAC.


  • Ideal size and length on the edge
  • Heavy hands to knock back blockers
  • Uses length effectively to keep blockers off him
  • Explosive burst when closing to make a tackle
  • Runs stunts well to get pressure or free up others
  • Shows good effort and hustle when plays go away from him


  • Sack production only came in three games
  • Limited instances of him bending around the corner
  • Game relies heavily on power; needs to diversify pass rush moves
  • Would like to see him get off blocks more consistently

Let’s See His Work

How He Fits on the Commanders

With James Smith-Williams, Casey Toohill, and Efe Obada all becoming free agents, there are not many options left on the roster at defensive end. KJ Henry and Andre Jones, Jr. will be holding down the position along with a handful of unheralded players unless the Commanders are active in free agency and the draft.

Kneeland is an interesting prospect who is sure to be rising up draft boards because of his performance at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. He is a powerful player that is disruptive and forces negative plays even without getting sacks. That said, his sack production this past year was concentrated in a handful of games and some of his pass rush wins were schemed to get favorable matchups. Kneeland’s motor, strength, and ability to use power rushes makes him a candidate to start at defensive end early in his career. If he can develop more pass rush moves and counter blockers, he can be a very impactful player.

Originally posted on Hogs Haven