As many of you know from past interaction, I hold a Value vs. Need draft philosophy. I do not subscribe to the Best Player Available, instead feeling that the player selected has to represent a value at a position of need for our football team. An example of this would be if a defensive tackle or EDGE were the clear-cut best player when we were on the clock. Should we draft that player?...Absolutely not, as we are currently loaded at those positions, and the value DOES NOT match up with the need.
There are many out there who preach a pure BPA philosophy, and I always maintain that does not exist. EVERY team’s draft board, which is usually finalized two weeks or so before the draft, is set by adding value AND need into the equation.
So please - spare me the pure BPA talk, and let’s focus on where the best value meets a significant need for our football team.
First, let’s define the team’s needs. With phase one of free agency now complete, and phase two still on-going up until the NFL draft, we can get a pretty clear picture of our team needs heading into April’s festivities.
I have broken our needs down into two tiers. Tier one being our top needs, and tier two being on tertiary needs. Both are still very important, but as you can see, some certainly take precedence over others.
Washington Football Team Needs:
QB - Not many people will argue that this is the team’s greatest need. It’s very hard to sustain any long-term success without stability at quarterback - something Washington hasn’t had for decades - and it’s very evident WHY we haven’t been able to sustain success without that guy under center. There is no long-term answer currently on the roster, and the only remaining question is WHEN we address the position for the future of this franchise.
LB - Last year’s defense really came on during the second half of the season, and we are finally beginning to see the fruits of years of high draft picks on that side of the football. One VERY glaring need, however, is off-the-ball linebacker. Seeing as how we did not address this hole in free agency, one can only assume it will be dealt with during the first three rounds of the draft.
OT - Morgan Moses is 30 years old and has battled injuries the past few seasons. We have a journeyman starter on the left side in Cornelius Lucas who played well last year, but is not the future at the position. Outside of these two, we have a lot of question marks with second year player Saahdiq Charles and Geron Christian, who has been a massive disappointment thus far.
TE - Logan Thomas surprised many last season with his gritty performance. He will turn 30 this summer, and he’s not running away from anyone down the seam. Even if he can give us another year or two of solid production, we need a young mismatch tight end to supplement him, and eventually take over.
FS - There are guys on this team capable of playing the position - just not at a really high level. Do we have enough fire-power on the back end to get by?...Sure. Would it be nice to have a young stud roaming center field?...Absolutely!
CB - Free agency saw Ronald Darby leave for Denver, and William Jackson III sign with Washington. Many will say that was an upgrade. Now, we don’t have a ton behind Jackson and Fuller, so a young corner in the draft to groom could be a welcome addition.
WR - We made a big move locking up Curtis Samuel as a priority free agent to add some pressure to opposing defenses. He and McLaurin seem to have two positions locked down for the foreseeable future. Adam Humphries adds a nice slot presence, but he’s on a one year deal. Adding either a true outside or slot presence at some point in April’s draft should be a priority.
If we take a look at where value could potentially meet need in the draft, we could be in a very rough area.
Washington is too far back to select a top quarterback(arguably our biggest team need) at the pick, yet trading up will cost a small fortune. Offensive tackle offers some interesting options, but it’s also very likely the top three(Sewell, Slater, Darrisaw) will be gone by number 19, leaving us looking at guys who could potentially be better fits at guard(Vera-Tucker and Jenkins) at the pick, and I’m not open to taking a guard that high - even if he can eventually slide outside in the future.
The only linebacker worth the pick at 19 is Micha Parsons - but he won’t be there. Owusu-Koramoah is a tweener to me, and both Davis and Collins are probably slight reaches at the pick.
There is one tight end(Pitts) who is worth a shot at 19, and he’ll be long gone by the time we are on the clock. There could be some interesting receivers out there, but we are too far back to have a shot at Chase, Waddle or Smith, and probably slightly high for Bateman or either Moore(Rondale or Elijah). Marshall Jr. is an intriguing prospect, but the later half of round one, or early second would be where his value best meets the need.
Patrick Surtain II and Jaycee Horn are the top two corners in this draft, and each is likely to go inside the top 15. Farley and Newsome both project later in round one, and being that CB is not considered a top need, it might be a reach to select either at pick 19. Free safety does not have a top 20 player this year, but there is some value after round one.
So you can see the possible dilemma Washington currently sits in...
Now, we all know players slip in the draft each year. It’s possible, yet still unlikely, a top prospect at a position of need falls to pick 19. We saw this exact thing happen in 2017 when Jonathan Allen fell into our laps at pick 17.
So, if someone on our board were likely to fall, who would that be and why?
Micha Parsons - Some have sighted “character concerns” as a reason he could slide(I don’t believe them, and have debunked them in the past).
*Likelihood of slipping to 19 - 1%
Justin Fields - The recent Dan Orlovsky bashing of this kid’s work ethic and love of the game are false, and the ESPN personality has recently back-tracked on these statements. This is the classic case of a team purposely giving false information in hope of creating a draft-day slide; and Dan took the bait.
*Likelihood of slipping to 19 - 1%
Trey Lance - Many feel he’s not a polished NFL prospect.
*Likelihood of slipping to 19 - 5%
DeVonta Smith - Smith had a tremendous 2020 season en route to a National Championship, but there are concerns about his size at just 6’1” 170.
*Likelihood of slipping to 19 - 5%
Christian Darrisaw - Some teams may view him as a fit for a zone blocking scheme versus one that incorporates more power.
*Likelihood of slipping to 19 - 25%
Would a trade either up or back represent the best situation for Washington?
Ron and company can sit back, play it safe, and hope someone falls into our laps at pick 19, but is that smart thinking?
In a trade-up scenario, there would really be three options I would consider:
1) Justin Fields - I’d consider moving to #4 if the 49ers passed on him, and we felt he could be the future face of the franchise. If he slipped to #7, it’s a no-brainer that we at least CALL the Lions.
2) Trey Lance - If he made it to #7, that’s where I’d consider making a move up.
3) Micha Parsons - If he falls outside the top 10, I’m on the phone...
To me, a trade-back makes a LOT of sense. There are a lots of prospects I feel would represent Value vs. Need in the back half of round one. I’d be looking to add an extra second or third in doing so.
- Teven Jenkins OT/G Oklahoma State
- Rashod Bateman WR Minn.
- Zaven Collins LB Tulsa
- Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
- Jamin Davis LB Kentucky
- Samuel Cosmi OT Texas
I would also entertain the idea of trading out of the first round entirely to gain a second this year, and potential second in 2022 - or a package of multiple picks in 2021.
With at least two picks in the second and third rounds this year, and maybe an extra second or third in 2022, the Football Team could really set themselves up for future success.
If we did trade out of round one this year, here are a few prospects I’d target in the top half of round two:
- Pat Freiermuth TE PSU
- Nick Bolton LB Missouri
- Terrace Marshall Jr. WR LSU
- Jabril Cox LB LSU
- Rondale Moore WR Purdue
- Kadarius Tony WR Florida
- Elijah Moore WR Ole Miss
What should Washington do in this draft?
This poll is closed
Trade Up - Go get your guy
Trade Back - Get better value at positions of need and some extra picks
Hang tight at 19