1. SJC still fields the most talented roster in the DMV just slightly ahead of DM. Biggest ? is the new Q (Sol-Jay Maiava '20) and whether he can sustain the toughest schedule in the nation. Lets not forget he is undersized compared to what they have fielded at Q most recently (Hill 6'2 230, Doyle 6'4 215) and might be taking some hits given that he enjoys to extend the play using his mobility. Defensively, nearly all of their starting players are power 5 recruits aside from maybe one LB or DB and regardless of losing Cam Goode, new transfer Tre Williams '20 should fill the need inside with no problem. Most importantly at the skill positions, not one team in the area compares. The backfield depth is exceptional with starter Keilan Robinson '19 sharing the load with Antwain Littleton '21 and the occasional spell of the heavily underrated do-it-all swiss army knife: Ron Cook '19. At receiver, no player in the conference compares to Rakim Jarrett '20, not to mention that he is accompanied by Cam Ross '19, and exceptional 2-way players such as Quinten Johnson '19 and Mordecai McDaniel '20. While their offensive line isnt the most impressive group in the conference, they got it done last season and definitely look the part size wise.
2. DM comes in right behind SJC and will surely have a rebound season. They will lean heavily on RB Marshawn Lloyd '20 and we should see a little more of Sieh Bangura '21 who did an honorable job filling in for Lloyd when he was injured last season. Their offensive line has great depth, but is not what it has been in recent years, so I believe that is going to be a big ?, along with the Q position. It will be interesting to see if Eric Najarian '19 can lead this team, or if responsibility will be handed down in the case that he cannot. Next up would be Trace Campbell '21, who will surely develop into a starter for DM soon, just maybe not this season. The wildcard at Q is VA transfer Ryan Cammas '21, however he does appear to look the part as of yet. It will be interesting to see what happens at receiver for DM, and whether their new MoCo transfers will make a big impact (Kaden Prather '21 & Jalen Clyatt "21 - both over 6'2). Some receiver names to keep an eye out for are Joshua Dodd '20, EJ Core '20, Jermaine Johnson '19, and possibly freshman Jaishawn Barham '22 who will one day be a monster whether it be WR or DE. Defensively, this team is very talented with all-star safeties Nick Cross '19 and DeMarcco Hellams '19, new McDonogh LB transfer Greg Penn '21, and an impressive DL.
3. GZ is a big sleeper this season, mainly due to the fact that Q Caleb Williams '21 might be the best in the country and will be the key reason games are won for this team. Outside of the future 5-star Q, the backfield is the weakest of the big four, but given their complex and effective offensive system, their exceptional OC will once again use smoke and mirrors to give returning starter Lucas Warfield '19 opportunites to gash defenses. He will most likely be accompanied by former starting corner Malcolm Terry '20 who has played tailback for the team before, but has yet to be seen as effective. In short yardage, one of their starting linebackers will come in as he did for them last season. He is the hardest runner on the team and from what I hear the toughest on the team: Loic Sangwa '19. At receiver, the Eagles are led by John Marshall '19 who has great hands and with a 6'1+ frame has the ability to make plays for the team when they need them. Dean Engram '19 will also see time at WR, but he is a versatile weapon that also returns kicks and plays DB. He can make plays for the team, but might be one of the more overrated players on a team where there arent many players that should even be considered rated. On the offensive line, two new starters will come in and be expected to fill big shoes at tackle: Olu Fashanu '20 and Patrick Matan '20. Outside of the that, the core of the offensive line is strong and should help the team run the ball effectively this season. Defensively, GZ has a deep DL, which is rare for them. Joseph Wete '19 will look to lead the team in sacks, while Sean Johns '19 will push him for just that. Look for Hunter Stewart '19 to also see time at DE, given that the team is altering its defense this season to feature him in a different way. Linebackers are going to be solid, but the defensive backfield is probably the biggest questions with two sophomore corners and two safeties that have never started games in the WCAC. Should be interesting to see how the DBs develop given they are underdeveloped and lack experience.
4. GC did a good job of bringing in transfer talent, but I still do not see the team making it past the semis this season. The team will lean on Latrele Palmer '19 to carry the load, but he is not the type of player to pound the rock consistently all season and win big time games. If Sy'Veon Wilkerson '20 can pick up where he cannot, their backfield can be a very good one, but still not at the level of SJC and DM (given Lloyd stays healthy). With an offensive line loaded with size and newly touted transfer Landon Tengwall '21, they should be able to run the ball and protect effectively. At WR, Cam Hart '19 will be the biggest threat with his combination of length and speed, but outside of him they do not have the weapons that SJC or DM have. At the Q position, Kam Snell '19 in my eyes is not going to beat you through the air, but might keep the team in games due to his mobility and play extention ability. Defensively, the team will be stout and anchored by LBs Julio Ayamel '19 and Jalen Green '19. Look for the 6'4 Mitchell Melton '20 to make a name for himself either at LB or DE this season as he will be a freak in the conference soon enough. Eventhough the team brought in some DB transfers, it will take time for them to develop and should be a weak spot for the team in my opinion.
Overall, it looks like SJC and DM will most likely battle it out for the championship, but do not count out GZ as they could win it all as the wildcard. I just do not see GC making it happen, but who knows!