clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Mel Kiper Jr. gives Washington this week’s most popular pick

It’s draft month!

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

We are 16 days away from the 2021 NFL Draft! We’re getting a lot more rumors as we approach everyone’s favorite weekend of the year. There are a few teams that are rumored to be open to trading down(Falcons, Lions, Panthers, Broncos) which opens up some rumors for Washington to trade up to get their franchise QB. We get a few of those scenarios this week, but Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest 2-round mock(Subscribe to ESPN+ here) doesn’t have Washington selling out to move up.

Kiper gives the Washington Football Team something that is a huge need going into the 2021 season, a versatile LB to upgrade the position. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is the most popular pick linked to Washington this week, and it’s not even close. I didn’t even include at least 5 other mocks that had similar writeups for the pick. JOK has been the #2 LB behind Micah Parsons, and he continues that trend here. Some people(myself included) prefer fast-rising Jamin Davis, or even Zaven Collins, but JOK continues to be the #2 for many people, and a popular pick at #19.

The only other defensive position being mocked to Washington this week is one that they have been trying to lock down for more years than I care to type. Trevon Moehrig is considered the top safety in this year’s draft by a lot of people. He lands in Washington, and Peter Schrager has him as a top 10 talent in this year’s draft. A versatile safety that can also play CB seems like the type of player Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio could sell themselves on.

Offensive line continues to get some love this week, in the first, second, and third rounds. John Keim has been pretty vocal about Washington’s desire to address the left tackle position in the draft, and if they don’t get their guy at #19, it’s a pretty strong possibility they won’t wait until Day 3. Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood shows up this week as a player that could compete with Cornelius Lucas for the LT spot from Day 1. Alijah Vera-Tucker is a versatile offensive lineman that pops up again this week, this time from Daniel Jeremiah.

And for the give Ryan Fitzpatrick more weapons crowd(is that a thing yet?) we get one wide receiver option this week. Minnesota WR Rashod Batemen’s draft range has been all over the place. He seems like a guy that will go in the 2nd round and everyone will go how did everyone miss on him. We get this every year, and our own MattInBrisVegas wrote a great article on this issue.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

ESPN(Mel Kiper Jr.)

Washington could go a few different ways here, including offensive line or wide receiver. I like the fit of Owusu-Koramoah, though, as a three-down off-ball linebacker with cover skills. He’s extremely versatile — he lined up as a slot corner for the Fighting Irish at times last season — and fast. He must improve as a tackler, but he should slot in as an instant-impact player for a defense that is already one of the league’s best.

Davis Mills, QB, Stanford

Mills is an interesting case, as he played in only 14 games at Stanford, which would be the fewest by a drafted quarterback in the last 15 years. And yet, at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, he has some arm-talent traits and looked like a first-round pick at times. He also looked like a Day 3 pick at other times. He threw for 428 yards with three touchdowns and three picks in his final college game. If I were running a team, I’d feel much better taking him on Day 2 than I would on Day 1, and this is a Washington team that could bring him along slowly. He’s the type of quarterback talent teams bet on, though.

Pro Football Focus

Whether JOK ends up playing as the Nickel or the Will, there is a place for him on Washington’s defense. With the team’s signing of William Jackson III, there is probably some room to play more man coverage than the predominantly zone defenses the Football Team played last season. And that would probably mean a move inside to Will for JOK.

A more zone-heavy approach could see him stick at Nickel. Either way, Washington is getting one of the most explosive players in the draft. He has an NFL body, so he can fit in right away. He also has the playmaking skills to get the job done from any position they put him in.

Round 2: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

JOK classmate Liam Eichenberg is the second pick here to solidify Washington’s offensive line as one of the NFL’s best. The team is solid on the right side, so bringing in left tackle Eichenberg helps to balance the line out. You might not like taking a tackle without elite physical traits this high, but he makes up for it with wonderful technique. He didn’t allow a sack over his last two years of college action, which tells you everything you need to know about him. Notre Dame’s offense was as pro-style as a college offense can be, and Eichenberg excelled in all phases of it.

Round 3: Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee

Terry McLaurin and new addition Curtis Samuel form a top one-two punch in the NFL at receiver. The Football Team still need to round out that group, though, so they take Palmer here. McLaurin and Samuel give them something completely different from what Palmer does right now, so he’ll complement that duo right out of the gate. Palmer is a vertical runner and can take the top off the defense while McLaurin works the intermediate area and Samuel works underneath.

Osa Odighizuwa, DL, UCLA

With a player like this, you’re hoping his pass-rush moves eventually come along. For now, though, you are getting a plug-and-play run defender with some really nice speed and explosiveness. Odighizuwa is on the small side, which is why he’s not at least a second-round pick, and that might scare off some teams. It feels like he’s still learning what to do with his hands and how to have a counter move. If he figures that out, this is a steal in the late third round.

CBS Sports(Edwards)

Washington has a fantastic defensive line and an offense that can hold its own. It has some pieces in the back seven but starts to add more versatility with Owusu-Koramoah. He may be listed as a linebacker but he is going to excel on sub packages where he can flow in coverage and wreak havoc.

Round 2: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

Round 3: Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M

Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

The Athletic(Brugler)

Washington has invested numerous first-round picks in the front seven and could do it again with a talent like Owusu-Koramoah. Whether he lines up over the slot or in a more traditional stack role, the Notre Dame product, who grew up just south of D.C., is a dynamic do-it-all defender.

Round 2: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

Round 3: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami (Fla.)

Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa

*Ideal top 2 picks mock

Round 1: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

Round 2: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

Head coach Ron Rivera has an outstanding defensive line and now will work on building up the other two levels. JOK would fit in well in Rivera’s scheme to handle coverage responsibilities versus tight ends and slot receivers. He also wrecks outside runs when lanes open up to him. Eichenberg played left tackle at Notre Dame, a position Washington has been trying to sort out since Trent Williams last played for the team in 2018.

The Big Lead(Phillips)

Washington gets an immediate upgrade at linebacker with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who could fit into a number of spots. Owusu-Koramoah is incredibly quick and can diagnose plays in an instant. At 6-foot-1 and 211 pounds, he’s a bit undersized but doesn’t play like it. He’s also crazy athletic. Owusu-Koramoah ran a 20-yard shuttle of 4.15 seconds at his Pro Day, which would have been the second-fastest among linebackers at the 2019 combine. His three-cone drill of 6.81 seconds would have been the fastest and his 36.5-inch vertical would have been among the top 10. The 2020 Butkus Award winner and first team All-American is fast, excellent in coverage and can get to the quarterback on blitzes.

Bleacher Report(Gagnon)

The Washington Football Team has famously built up its defensive front in high-profile fashion, but the linebacker corps is underwhelming with headliners like Cole Holcomb, Jon Bostic, Khaleke Hudson and David Mayo.

The run defense was a much weaker link than the pass D last season but can help fix that right away. The Notre Dame product is an explosive, high-instinct linebacker who can immediately make an impact on all three downs.

According to 247Sports, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. called Owusu-Koramoah one of the “best pure football players in this draft” earlier this year. He’s quite simply a playmaker who could take the WFT defense to another level, and he shouldn’t need too much time to get acclimated after two strong seasons with the Irish.

With the top offensive tackles off the board, this makes too much sense.

Pro Football Network(Farabaugh)

With no quarterback on the board at this point, Washington must face the music and instead add a coverage chess piece in Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. There is no doubt that Owusu-Koramoah will fill a void that Washington has at linebacker. Additionally, he can help them out at slot cornerback and safety. A complete unicorn, Owusu-Koramoah should be making an immediate high-level impact.

Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky

Walter Football(Campbell)

Washington could use some young talent for the middle of its defense, and Ron Rivera could develop Davis into a star.

Davis had an excellent 2020 season for the Wildcats, totaling 89 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, two passes defended and two interceptions. He played better than the numbers illustrate, as well. Davis is fast, physical and strong, plus possesses the ability to make an impact on all threedowns. The 6-foot-4, 234-pounder has excellent size and quickly covers a lot of ground. He has a ton of upside and could be a steal. Some team sources think he is the best linebacker prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft and worth a top-20 selection.

Round 2: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

Drawing on a strong class of offensive tackle and adding a long-term left tackle would make sense for Washington. The Redskins could land a nice value in Round 2.

Eichenberg won the left tackle job for 2018 as the replacement for Mike McGlinchey. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound Eichenberg was solid, but not overly impressive, for Notre Dame in 2019. He was wise to return for his senior year. Eichenberg was dominated by Michigan edge rusher Chase Winovich in the 2018 season opener, but after that, Eichenberg was much better for the Fighting Irish. Eichenberg possesses some physical talent, but he needs to improve his ability to handle speed rushers.

Round 3: Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State

The Redskins could use more offensive tackle talent.

With a lot of NFL eyes on Bison quarterback Trey Lance in 2020, Radunz (6-6 298) could have been a riser if he had a full season. As it stands, Radunz has good tape protecting Lance in 2019 and was an effective edge blocker for North Dakota State. Radunz could stand to get stronger for the NFL.

Rodarius Williams, CB, Oklahoma State

The Redskins could use more cornerback depth.

Sources from multiple teams say Williams’ play was massively improved in 2020, and they think he will be no worse than a second-day pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Williams did not produce a huge stat line in 2020, collecting 18 tackles and seven passes broken up, but scouts raved about the coverage ability he showed. The 6-foot, 195-pound Williams has quality size and will enter the NFL with significant experience after playing all four years for the Cowboys. However in his first three years, teams threw at Williams and his play was that of a late-rounder according to team evaluators. Williams’ draft stock could continue to rise.

Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

Yahoo Sports(Edholm)

Ron Rivera had Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs in Chicago, Shawne Merriman in San Diego and Luke Kuechly in Carolina. All were big, rangy, highly instinctive linebackers who can play big or small. Collins fits that mold, and he has fascinating potential in the right hands. Washington has put together a nice defense but has a few holes at linebacker and safety, another position WFT could fill here (maybe Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah?).

Worth noting: There’s also talk floating around that Washington loves Trey Lance and could make a big move up to grab him.

Draft Wire(Easterling)

Offensive tackle is a strong possibility here, but with Darrisaw off the board just before this pick, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Washington look elsewhere and target a tackle on Day 2. This defense is talented, but they could still use a three-down playmaker at linebacker. Collins has a rare combination of size, athleticism and versatility, giving him limitless potential.

Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

I had Moehrig as a top-10 prospect in the draft before the end of the NFL season. That doesn’t mean he’ll go in the top 10, but I think he’s that talented. A do-it-all safety who can play some CB if you need — he’s smart, talented and would be a fantastic addition to the back end of Ron Rivera’s D.

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

*Washington trades up with the Denver Broncos for Pick #9

Lance reminds me a lot of Cam Newton in terms of size and ability. And who was the guy who drafted Cam? Oh, that’s right: It was Ron Rivera. Lance learns behind a grizzled vet, Ryan Fitzpatrick, then takes the reins.

CBS Sports(Wilson)

*Washington trades up with the Carolina Panthers for Pick #8

Former NFL executive Michael Lombardi said last week that WFT loves Lance and that he could see the team moving up for him. We’ll know exactly how much Washington loves Lance later this month, but there could be a handful of teams in the bottom half of Round 1 that will be in the market to move up for a QB. Lance only has 17 starts, all at the FCS level, so there’s some projection to how his skills will translate to the NFL, but there is so much to love about his game.

Round 2: Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU

The Ringer

Projected trade: Washington trades nos. 19, 74, and 82, plus a 2022 first-round pick, to the Panthers for no. 8 overall.

This is a nice deal for both teams: After sending a 2021 sixth-rounder plus second- and fourth-round picks in 2022 to the Jets for quarterback Sam Darnold, Carolina GM Scott Fitterer recoups some valuable draft capital here by trading back out of the no. 8 spot. On the other side, Washington makes a big move to secure its quarterback of the future. Lance lacks game experience, with just 17 starts under his belt, but he’ll have the ability to sit and learn behind Ryan Fitzpatrick this season before taking the reins in 2022.

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Pro Football Network(Valdovinos)

Proposed trade: Washington sends picks #19, 51, 124, a 2022 1st and 3rd to Detroit for pick #7.

Multiple sources have said that Washington is interested in moving up for a quarterback. Justin Fields fits the physical thresholds Ron Rivera wants in a quarterback. Big frame, strong arm, outstanding running ability.

Fields also portrays the type of person Rivera expects of his players. He is an elite leader, a player willing to put his body on the line to win for his team; he is someone his teammates rally around.

Fields falls to No. 7 here, and Washington gives Detroit a package of picks for their rebuild. Fields will compete with Ryan Fitzpatrick to be the team’s Week 1 starter and take over when Rivera feels he’s the team’s best.

Round 3: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami

Caden Sterns, S, Texas

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

The Score

Despite a ton of buzz regarding Jones being selected toward the top of the draft, the Alabama quarterback finds his home at No. 14 after Washington makes a trade. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Heinicke, and Kyle Allen offer more questions than answers for Ron Rivera. If Jones can show the skill set that helped him flourish with the Crimson Tide, expect him to be a starter sooner than later. - Belbeck

CBS Sports(Fornelli)

*Washington trades up to the Detroit Lions #7 pick

I don’t care what anybody says; I don’t believe that Washington sees Taylor Heinicke as anything other than a solid backup option. The Football Team moves up to choose their desired QB of the future, who could supplant Ryan Fitzpatrick right away.

Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC

I liked that Washington kept guard Brandon Scherff (franchise tag), but the Football Team still needs to upgrade the offensive line. Vera-Tucker has the versatility to play tackle or guard.

Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

Walter Football

The Redskins have an elite defensive line. The offensive line is solid, but not at left tackle. There’s a huge hole there, which Washington could fill with this selection.

Alex Leatherwood, a former five-star recruit, has excellent strength to be a stellar run blocker and the athleticism to block elite edge rushers.

Round 2: Jabril Cox, LB, LSU

The Redskins have an elite defensive line and talented secondary, but their linebacking corps must be upgraded.

Round 3: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

The Redskins need a better No. 3 receiving option than Cam Sims.

Tylan Wallace doesn’t have great size and speed, but he runs routes very well. He tore his ACL in October 2019.

Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State

The Redskins signed William Jackson as an upgrade over Ronald Darby, but they could still use some cornerback help.

Asante Samuel Jr. is a small corner (5-10, 184), but he has great play-making ability.

CBS Sports(Trapasso)

Two years of clean film at Alabama and an impressive pro day workout catapults Leatherwood inside the top 20. Plug-and-play left tackle for the Football Team.

Round 2: Dyami Brown, WR, UNC

Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Pro Football Focus(Monson)

The Washington Football Team knew they didn’t have a great chance at a franchise quarterback who could win right away, so they signed Ryan Fitzpatrick — a player who ranks 15th in PFF passing grade since the start of 2018. That was only part of the mission, because if Fitzpatrick is going to take the team back to the postseason, he needs a great situation around him. So, Washington set about adding to an already good roster in free agency.

Rashod Bateman is just one more weapon, dragging even more attention away from Terry McLaurin as the team’s best receiver. Bateman doesn’t really have negatives as a prospect, and in a year without the likes of Ja’Marr Chase in the same class, he would be seen as the best receiver in the entire draft.


Which player would you pick if you were Washington’s GM?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
    (642 votes)
  • 7%
    Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
    (123 votes)
  • 15%
    Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
    (253 votes)
  • 5%
    Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
    (85 votes)
  • 15%
    Trade up for Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
    (252 votes)
  • 5%
    Trade up for Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
    (83 votes)
  • 1%
    Trade up for Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
    (28 votes)
  • 4%
    Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC
    (76 votes)
  • 3%
    Alex Leatherwood, OT/G, Alabama
    (56 votes)
  • 1%
    Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
    (25 votes)
1623 votes total Vote Now