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Washington Football Team mock draft 2.0

After a strangely successful 2020 season, the Washington Football Team has made strides this offseason to make a run at winning the NFC East in back-to-back seasons. The signings of Curtis Samuel and Ryan Fitzpatrick, they found a legitimate number 2 receiver and a band-aid at the quarterback position. 

Fitzpatrick showed that he could still play well and win football games, when he was allowed to, in Miami. With even better weapons at his disposal in Washington and a division filled with abysmal defenses (except of course his own) he could have a very successful year on the team with no name. 

This was of course a major signing for Washington, who will be too low in the draft to nab a top five QB we project as they look to recover from the Dwayne Haskins fiasco. With Dak Prescott coming back healthy and the Giants making major splashes in free agency this offseason (not to mention a healthy Saquon Barley), Alex Smith who had played well but not great was not going to allow them to compete. Taylor Heinicke played in the playoffs against the Bucs, but they could not enter into the 2021 season depending upon that same level of play from him. They made the best move available to them, while also doing their due diligence to explore a Sam Darnold trade with the Jets that didn’t pan out. 

So with all of the top QB’s off the board and a probable plan to take one later in the draft (maybe round 3), Washington sets their sights on the rest of their needs. 

In this Washington mock draft, they remain with the 19th and 51st overall selections in this draft.

19TH PICK OVERALL: CB CALEB FARLEY (VIRGINIA TECH)

With by far the most dominant defense in their division, and in the discussion for tops in the NFL, some might be surprised to see them go defense in this spot. However, Ron Rivera is a defense coach and their big need on offense is not available here. The front 4 of this defense is extraordinary, although they do appear to be losing Ryan Kerrigan. Even so, the weak spot of this defense is in the secondary, which is dangerous given the weapons that the Cowboys and the Giants now possess. 

Washington can grab what some do believe is the most talented corner in this draft in Caleb Farley, who drops to them due to his recent back procedure and the NFL ready talent of Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain II, both of whom we project to go ahead of Farley. 

He combines speed with size at 6-2 and 207 pounds, so he can match up with easily with Kenny Golladay and Amare Cooper. He isn’t quite as polished a prospect as Surtain or Horn as he is a converted wide receiver who opted out in 2020, but he also isn’t just intangibles. In 2019, his production matches his skills as he led the ACC is passes defended and had four interceptions. 

Washington’s current depth chart at corner is Kendall Fuller and William Jackson III, both of whom are 6-foot or shorter and had decent 2020 seasons with PFFs in the high sixties and low seventies. Farley steps in as the clear number 1 corner, who will be fast enough to cover area in zone well, yet big and physical enough to play man on the opposing team’s best receiver. He should be able to take full advantage of the pressure created by Chase Young and company.

51ST PICK OVERALL: LB JABRIL COX (LSU)

We follow up defense with some more defense due to the talent still on the board in this Washington mock draft. Cox is a versatile linebacker at 6-3 and 230 pounds who did nothing but produce in college. He’s fast enough to play outside and yet could bulk up to be in the heart of Rivera’s 4-3 defense.

Despite the outstanding play of the defensive line, it didn’t seem to help out the linebackers as much as one would expect. Their projected starting linebackers are Jon Bostic (PFF- 52.7), Josh Harvey Clemons (didn’t play in 2020), and Cole Holcomb (PFF-72.0). Cox would step in as a Day 1 starter in an excellent position to learn from a great coach and in a system where he could develop and not be asked to do too much. With his size and speed, he would match up well with guys like Evan Engram and Dallas Goedert, while also being able to keep up with slot receivers across the middle or even rushing the QB. 

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Both of these picks in this Washington mock draft are not picks of need or desperation due to their excellent roster construction over the past few years. They’re able to take advantage of falling talent, including taking a chance on a top-end corner who has had some injury history without setting themselves up for massive failure if he doesn’t pan out. 

They’ve added offensive talent during free agency and now can bolster their already monster defense in the draft. They can set themselves up for a playoff run in 2021 and even cement themselves as a desirable landing spot for an available veteran QB next offseason such as Russell Wilson or a Deshaun Watson.

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