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Revisiting the 2021 SBNation Mock Draft

NFL: NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Each year, representatives from the SBNation NFL blog sites host a mock draft in the lead up to the actual draft, in early April. The 2022 SBNation mock is just about a week away, and in the preparation for that event, I thought I’d go back and look at how the players that Washington selected in last year’s event panned out against the actual 2021 draft class. It’s not a perfect comparison, as, obviously, different players were taken in different orders in the mock versus the real thing, but think of it as a fanciful diversion a month before the real thing.

Round 1

As is generally the case, I was looking to trade back early in the draft. I found a willing partner in Cleveland and swapped Round 1, pick 19 and Round 2, pick 19 for Round 1, pick 22, Round 2, pick 11, and Round 6, pick 16.

Round 1, Pick 22 (Mock)

Player: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB)

Actually Available? (When Taken): Yes (R2, P52)

Approximate Value: 4

Notes: For his 2021 performance, JOK was named to the PFF All-Rookie Team:

PFF charted Owusu-Koramoah with just 168 passing yards allowed into his coverage on 300 coverage snaps this season. That rate of 0.56 yards allowed per snap ranked third among off-ball linebackers with at least 250 coverage snaps during the regular season.

The Washington Football team stuck at 19 and rolled the dice on linebacker Jamin Davis.

Round 1, Pick 19 (Reality)

Player: Jamin Davis (LB)

AV: 4

Notes: Many saw Davis as a late Day 2 draft pick. Washington’s front office disagreed. After trying to shoehorn him in at middle linebacker for much of the season, they eventually moved him outside where he seemed more comfortable. His year 1 performance was generally underwhelming as a top draft pick.

Round 2

Round 2, Pick 43 (Mock)

Player: Teven Jenkins (OT)

Actually Available? (When Taken)(If no, who was actually taken here?): No (R2, P39) (Trevon Moehrig (S); AV 5)

Approximate Value: 1

Notes: Jenkins lost most of his season to injury issues and only ended up starting two games for the Bears in 2021.

Round 2, Pick 51 (Mock)

Player: Sam Cosmi (OT)

Approximate Value: 4

Notes: Cosmi was arguably the brightest prospect of the entire 2021 Washington draft class. However, injury issues limited his play to nine games.

Round 3

Round 3, Pick 74 (Mock)

Player: Brevin Jordan (TE)

Actually Available? (When Taken): Yes (R5, P147)

Approximate Value: 1

Notes: Jordan was drafted by the Texans in the fifth round and caught 20 passes for 178 yards and 3 TDs in limited playing time.

Round 3, Pick 74 (Reality)

Player: Benjamin St. Juste (CB)

Approximate Value: 1

Notes: St. Juste had moments of interesting play, but 3 concussions in the middle of the season cut his playing time short.

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Round 3, Pick 82 (Mock)

Player: Elijah Molden (CB)

Actually Available? (When Taken): Yes (R3, P100)

Approximate Value: 3

Notes: Overall, the Titans’ draft class was not well rated, but Molden was the exception:

Best Value Pick: Defenders who get tagged with the “slot-only” label are often going to be overlooked, which was the case with Elijah Molden coming out of Washington. Molden will need to clean things up as a tackler (15% missed tackle rate in 2021), but he delivered a solid overall performance in his 671 defensive snaps. He ranked third in PFF’s WAR metric among defenders drafted in the third round or later.

Round 3, Pick 82 (Reality)

Player: Dyami Brown (WR)

Approximate Value: 1

Notes: Once Ryan Fitzpatrick went down, the deep ball threat’s stock cratered as well. The hope is that Carson Wentz’s style of play will be better for Brown going forward.

Round 4

Round 4, Pick 124 (Mock)

Player: Davis Mills (QB)

Actually Available? (When Taken) (If no, who was actually taken here?): No (R3, P67) (John Bates (TE)

Approximate Value: 7

Notes: Called into starting duty with the Texans for much of the 2021 season, Mills was probably the second most impressive rookie QB in 2021.

Round 4, Pick 124 (Reality)

Player: John Bates (TE)

Approximate Value: 2

Notes: Bates was one of the better rookie tight ends in 2021, and looks to have, at least, TE2 upside. He, like Cosmi, was a bright spot in Washington’s class.

Round 5

Round 5, Pick 163 (Mock)

Player: Marlon Tuipulotu (QB)

Actually Available? (When Taken): Yes (R6, P189)

Approximate Value: 0

Notes: Tuipulotu was essentially a non-contributor last year.

Round 5, Pick 163 (Reality)

Player: Darrick Forrest (S)

Approximate Value: 0

Notes: Forrest was essentially a non-contributor last year.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Round 6

Round 6, Pick 200 (Mock)

Player: Khalil Herbert (RB)

Actually Available? (When Taken): Yes (R6, P217)

Approximate Value: 3

Notes: Herbert rushed for over 430 yards and received for over 95 yards for the Bears last season.

Round 6, Pick 225 (Reality)

Player: Camaron Cheeseman (LS)

Approximate Value: 1

Notes: We found our long snapper. This pick was part of a trade involving Washington’s 2022 5th round pick.

Round 7

Round 7, Pick 245 (Mock)

Player: Jacob Harris (RB)

Actually Available? (When Taken) (If no, who was actually taken here?): No (R4, P141) (Tre Norword (DB); AV 2)

Approximate Value: 0

Notes: Harris was a non-factor for the Rams last season.

Round 7, Pick 240 (Reality)

Player: William Bradley-King (DT)

Approximate Value: 0

Notes: WBK was a non-factor for Washington last season. This pick was part of a trade involving Washington’s 2022 5th round pick.

Round 7, Pick 247 (Mock)

Player: Reed Blankenship (S)

Actually Available? (When Taken): No (went back to school before the draft)

Approximate Value: NA

Notes: Eligible for the 2022 draft.

Round 7, Pick 246 (Reality)

Player: Shaka Toney (EDGE)

Approximate Value: 1

Notes: Toney was a very limited contributor in 2021.

Round 7, Pick 258 (Reality)

Player: Dax Milne (WR)

Approximate Value: 1

Notes: Milne was a very limited contributor in 2021.

Summary

The total “approximate value” of the mock draft class was 19, with the lion’s share of the value falling on four picks: Davis Mills, JOK, Elijah Molden, and Khalil Herbert. The actual draft class, which included two additional picks parlayed from a 2022 5th rounder, had an AV of 15. One oddity of the comparison is the equivalent AV for JOK and Jamin Davis despite pretty divergent evaluations on other metrics (e.g., PFF scores of 76 and 46.8, respectively).

While several players were taken later in the mock than they were in reality, what are your thoughts on this comparative exercise?

Poll

What are your thoughts on this exercise?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    I wish we had drafted JOK.
    (304 votes)
  • 21%
    Martin Mayhew needs to read Hogs Haven more regularly.
    (113 votes)
  • 9%
    I’m happy with our actual draft.
    (50 votes)
  • 9%
    Mocks are for nerds.
    (50 votes)
517 votes total Vote Now