With the initial wave(s) of free agency passed, the list of “needs” for NFL teams, including Washington, has changed fairly dramatically. In our case, I think Coach Rivera and the front office have done a very nice job improving the area most weakened through the loss of free agents - cornerback - and the two most vulnerable spots on the team going into the offseason, quarterback and wide receiver. The offensive line is solid for the time being, but always needs long term consideration, and linebacker looks like the one position that needs immediate help in the draft. Let’s see what we can do in this simulation.
My next mock will be the final one of the season, conducted with representatives of each NFL teams’ SBNation blogs, starting on April 9th.
My prior three 2021 drafts can be found below:
As I have in my last two drafts, I used the PFF Mock Draft Simulator to make my mock selections. Unfortunately, PFF does not archive the full draft online. I’ve done my best to indicate the top players who were available when I selected in the first several rounds for some additional context.
As always, I was looking for an opportunity to trade back in the first. This time the Titans were happy to do business.
Round 1, Pick 19 (trade back)
Trade back with the Titan for #22 and #100 (Draftek Rich Hill trade value: WFT #19 = 278; Tenn #22 = 253, #100 = 32)
Round 1, Pick 22
Christian Darrisaw (OT)
Rashod Bateman (WR)
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB)
This worked out pretty interestingly. At #19, there were still several players on the board that I was interested in, including two tackles (Darrisaw and Teven Jenkins), so I figured the harm of sliding back 3 spots was well worth pick #100. After the trade back, the next three picks were Jenkins (#19), Asante Samuel, and Jaycee Horn. Jenkins was actually the player I was hoping for at #22, as I prefer him to Darrisaw, but Darrisaw is an absolutely worthy “consolation prize” here. I could have also had any non-Micah Parsons LB in the draft at this point.
Yes, the team has bigger immediate needs than tackle help right now, but when you have the chance to draft a potential starting left tackle at the 19th pick because the talent pool is so deep, you seize the moment. Darrisaw (or Jenkins) plus #100 is a coup.
Christian Darrisaw is one of the biggest draft risers over the last year, and he now ranks as TDN's OT2.@almansanarez on what Darrisaw hoped to prove at his Pro Day & how he uses being called OT2 instead of OT1 as motivation.#FrontOffice33 | #NFLDrafthttps://t.co/Q10AcFgaLz— The Draft Network (@TheDraftNetwork) March 27, 2021
Round 2, Pick 19
Elijah Molden (S)/Richie Grant/Ar’Darius Washington
Pat Freiermuth (TE)
Greg Newsome II (CB)
With several higher priority targets already off the board (Jabril Cox (LB), Terrace Marshall/Dyami Brown (WR)), the choices here were still very solid. Freiermuth is considered by many to be the best true TE in the draft (with Pitts considered an oversized WR). Grant is in the mix for the best free safety, and Newsome is considered a top talent at CB.
Here, I went a bit outside my comfort zone and selected Elijah Molden as Washington’s future free safety. When Lance Zierlein comped him to Tyrann Mathieu and described him as having a “legendary level of football character with a deep, passionate love of the game,” that sounded to me exactly like a Ron Rivera guy, and someone who could tighten up the back of the defense. His NFL.com profile also describes him thusly:
He’s a team leader with NFL-caliber play recognition and feel for the game. While he does lack plus acceleration out of transitions, he has fast feet and plays with good balance around the field in both coverage and as a steady, open-field tackler. Molden plays in the mold of a Washington defensive back: with urgency and a nose for the football. He is a Day 2 talent with the intangibles to help elevate a defense.
Highest-graded CBs in coverage since 2019:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 16, 2021
1. Derek Stingley Jr, LSU - 91.9
2. Patrick Surtain II, Bama - 91.7
3. Sauce Gardner, Cincinnati - 90.9
3. Elijah Molden, UW - 90.9 pic.twitter.com/bXu7LoD5yc
Round 3, Pick 10
Greg Newsome II (CB)
Jamin Davis (LB)
Brevin Jordan (TE)
This was a tough one. In reality, I would be very hard-pressed to pass on Davis here, given the linebacker need, but looking at the way the board laid out I was willing to take the gamble that he would still be there at Round 3, Pick 19, particularly with Newsome sticking around as a great value pick at a high position of need.
Newsome projects as an early potential starter at boundary corner, with great athleticism, high football IQ, and a willingness to be physical. If he slips this far in the draft, it will likely be because of durability concerns.
Greg Newsome II: Lowest completion % allowed in single coverage in the 2021 Draft class (10.5%) pic.twitter.com/LALOA5E9Yz— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 17, 2021
Round 3, Pick 19 (trade back)
The gamble on Davis fell flat. He was taken a few picks after my prior pick. Without any “must haves” immediately on the board, I was willing to entertain a short trade back. The Vikings obliged. Pick #82 (54 points) was moved in exchange for picks #90 (45 points) and #157 (11 points).
Round 3, Pick 27
Brevin Jordan (TE) - Jordan is one of the top tight ends in the draft and projected to eventually develop into a TE1 in the pros. He’s incredibly athletic and a willing blocker, though needs to continue to work to refine his route running. He was described in one scouting report as being a potentially good fit with the Ravens. Given their perpetual success with developing tight ends, I take that as a very good sign.
Highest yards per route run among TEs last season:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 6, 2021
1. Brevin Jordan, Miami FL - 2.42
2. Austin Stogner, Oklahoma - 2.25
2. Kenny Yeboah, Ole Miss - 2.25
4. Kyle Pitts, Florida - 2.24 pic.twitter.com/JLwt0arFYC
Round 3, Pick 37
Cam McGrone (LB) - Given the miss on Davis, I was headhunting for an LB here. Thankfully, one of my favorites was still on the board. I profiled McGrone earlier in the year:
McGrone’s positional versatility, his relentless motor, and the prospect that he’s likely only begun to scratch the surface of his upside make him an intriguing prospect.
Cam McGrone (44, ILB) is the actual guy that people think Micah Parsons is. pic.twitter.com/svVfvbLo2I— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) March 23, 2021
Round 4, Pick 19
Amari Rodgers (WR) - Washington’s free agent acquisitions at wide receiver take a ton of pressure off having to reach for one in the draft. That having been said, Adam Humphries’ contract is a one-year deal, and he’s had injury issues in the past. Rodgers is a great prospect to groom in the slot and a good value here, given plenty of time to mature into the eventual starting role.
Most receiving yards after catch in college football last season— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) March 24, 2021
DeVonta Smith - 953
Travis Etienne - 646
Amari Rodgers - 613
Jaelon Darden - 571 pic.twitter.com/5JFVQKBXfF
Round 5, Pick 13
Brady Christensen (T) - The closer we get to the actual draft, the less likely I think Christensen will hang around this long. He’s got positional versatility, able to play both tackle positions (though better suited to RT) and capable of playing guard as well. He goes into John Matsko’s stable.
Only FBS OL with 90+ pass and run blocking grades:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 27, 2021
Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
Brady Christensen, BYU pic.twitter.com/DHq5ZN7i6M
Round 5, Pick 19
Jaret Patterson (RB) - Patterson has popped on the radar screen of many draft observers over the course of the past couple of months as a potential break-out “sleeper” pick. His scouting description here sounds like a near perfect match for Washington’s need and Scott Turner’s offense:
With his physical play style, he would perhaps be best with a team that operates a running back by committee approach. Patterson would be the physical complement to a faster back. The phrase “Thunder and Lightning” gets over-used when describing running back duos, but that’s exactly what Patterson could provide as the “thunder” element.
Leader in yards after contact since 2019:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 14, 2021
Jaret Patterson - 1,789
Will he be draft steal? pic.twitter.com/Rw4zh1DAw5
Round 7, Pick 17
Damonte Coxie (WR) - Coxie’s draft stock is going to be almost entirely dependent on his Pro Day performance, whose results appear to be a more tightly kept secret than the nation’s nuclear codes. Coxie is a physical receiver who is an enthusiastic run blocker, whose future as a pro will likely come down to his measured speed.
Damonte Coxie, WR, #Memphis— TheCover3Blog (@TheCover3Blog) March 25, 2021
Coxie is yet another victim to such a deep WR class. In 2019 he was maybe the best WR in G5. 6’3, 200LB frame makes it easy to for him to box out defenders. Portrays great body control on film.
Round 7, Pick 19
Isaiah McDuffie (LB) - McDuffie is a slightly undersized inside linebacker with great instincts and acceleration. He’s reported to have a great work ethic, toughness, and energy, and reading through his scouting reports gives me a bit of a “London Fletcher” vibe. Initially, McDuffie would be depth and help on special teams.
Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley says Isaiah McDuffie came in and learned a new system and a new position without spring ball or traditional fall camp and was incredibly productive.— Jon Scott (@JonScottTV) March 26, 2021
McDuffie was 5th in nation in tackles
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