The Senior Bowl is over, there will be no Combine this year, and the individual university pro days are just around the corner. We made the playoffs this year, so there’s more hope in DC than usual, but most of that energy now seems focused on how to resolve the QB situation for 2021 and beyond. Oh, that and mock drafting. This is the first of my pre-draft mocks, conducted using the Fanspeak.com mock draft simulator.
For this mock, I used the latest big board available, the Steve Shoup’s Big Board (1/30/21), on the “difficult” setting. As per usual, I was looking to trade back if the right opportunity arose. As it so happened, the talent at #19 was simply too good to pass up.
The full draft can be found here.
Round 1, Pick 19:
Zach Wilson (QB)
Micah Parsons (LB)
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB)
Washington’s need for an LB is dire, and many people feel Parsons may be the best defensive player in the draft, but no positional need is greater for this team than QB, and Wilson could be the second best QB in the draft. Will he slip this late in April? Doubtful, but I wouldn’t have been unhappy with either of the LBs (or Alex Leatherwood (OT)) at #19 either.
Round 2, Pick 19: Trade back with Titans for Round 3 pick 21, Round 3 pick 37, Round 4 pick 21, Round 5 pick 22, Round 6 pick 31 and a future Round 4 pick.
Trading back from round 2 generally nets at least 2 (or more) round 3 or 4 picks, where lots of talent still remains, and this trade was a no brainer.
Round 3, Pick 10:
Jabril Cox (LB)
Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR)
Trey Smith (G)
Cox, if he sticks around this long, is an amazing “consolation prize.” He immediately goes into training camp competing for a starting role. While a WR named after a king of Egyptian gods is tantalizing, particularly with our current WR room composition, I had to pass. The guardsmen too would need to wait to have their urges satisfied, but not long.
Round 3, Pick 18:
Deonte Brown (IOL)
Brown is a massive man (6’3”, 364 lbs) and an interesting option at guard. He had a less than stellar showing at the Senior Bowl, but he didn’t allow a single sack in his entire college career. If he could lose a little weight at the next level, his play could even improve more, particularly in the talented hands of John Matsko.
Round 3, Pick 21:
Amari Rodgers (WR)
Rodgers is likely a slot WR at the pro level, and given Washington’s up and down play there, he’s a welcome addition. His 4.4 speed and YAC ability make him an immediate upgrade at one of the team’s greatest areas of need.
Round 3, Pick 37:
Richie Grant (S)
The WFT takes a true single-high free safety with a Day 1-2 pick? This year it does. Grant balled out in the Senior Bowl practices and is flying up people’s boards. Cam Kurl gets a young companion in the secondary as Landon Collins is shifted to nickel backer or WILL LB.
Round 4, Pick 19:
LaBryan Ray (DL)
Ray gets added to the growing cast of “Bama Boys” and goes into the developmental pipeline to keep that defensive line a team strength into the future.
Round 4, Pick 21:
Anthony Schwartz (WR)
Schwartz is one of the fastest players in the college ranks, with speculation that he could run the 40 in the mid-4.2 range. That trait got him on Bruce Feldman’s 2019 “College Football Freaks” list, which is a group Washington has selected from in the past (James Smith-Williams, Bryce Love, and Wes Martin were all recognized at one point as well).
Round 5, Pick 19:
Daniel Faalele (OT)
Faalele is a former rugby player (6’8”, 400 lbs) with only two years of starting experience at Minnesota who makes Deonte Brown look like Charlie Brown. He has the tools to be an effective tackle but needs refinement of his technique. Another project for Matsko.
Round 5, Pick 22:
Charles Snowden (LB)
Snowden has a build and versatility that reminds me a bit of a poor man’s Isaiah Simmons. A late season ankle injury may cause him to slip some in the draft, but he would absolutely be an interesting addition to this young defense.
Round 6, Pick 31:
Bryan Mills (CB)
A physical and long armed CB, Mills played at tiny NC Central and opted out of the 2020 season. He deserves a close look.
Round 7, Pick 17:
Kylen Granson (TE)
The 2021 TE draft class is sneaky deep, and Granson, a converted WR out of SMU could be a potent weapon in Scott Turner’s offense. He, like virtually any TE drafted this year, will need a year or two to refine his blocking skills.
Round 7, Pick 19:
Mekhi Sargent (RB)
Sargent could be a perfect “thunder” to Antonio Gibson’s “lightning.” The stout back had a tough-earned 432 yards and 7 TDs in Iowa’s eight games this year.
In last year’s early mock, I took these two guys in the seventh round.
Round 7, Pick 2:
In my last mock here, I took two TEs, and the opportunity presented itself again. I sincerely hope that it’s not necessary for Jeremy Sprinkle to be on this 53 man roster when the season begins.
Round 7, Pick 15:
I would have liked to have picked up a WR earlier than this, but Gibson was the best of what was left. He’s an intriguing athlete with great hands and burst who can play WR, 3rd down RB, and special teams returner. I’d encourage you to take a look at his highlights.
How would you grade this draft?
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