The Washington Football Team shocked the world by winning the NFC East and competing against a Super Bowl contending Tampa Bay Buccaneers team in the postseason’s Wild Card round. Now, in this 2021 Washington 7-round NFL Mock Draft, they continue their climb towards sustained success.
Despite using four different starting quarterbacks, having no real talent at wide receiver behind Terry McLaurin, with a head coach battling cancer, and several other off-field headlines, Washington managed to surpass all expectations. On top of their draft selection, Washington also has one of the best cap situations in the NFL. A strong draft class would be the cherry on top. In this Washington 2021 NFL Mock Draft, they get that strong class.
Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
He has a 6’5″ frame and a strong athletic profile. He’s a nasty finisher in the run game, and his physical skill set projects him to be an elite pass protector. He’s phenomenal in space and locates blocks exceptionally well. His ceiling is a multi-time All-Pro, and that alone will get him drafted in the top 20.
The value here is elite for Washington. Cornelius Lucas played left tackle for a majority of the 2020 season and exceeded expectations. However, he wasn’t good enough to warrant passing on a talent like Darrisaw should he fall to 19. Lucas has been a journeyman swing tackle to this point in his career and is best suited to that role for Washington in 2021 if they have the opportunity to get younger and more talented at the position.
Tackle isn’t Washington’s most significant need — why Darrisaw?
While I recognize that Washington has more pressing needs than tackle, at the end of the day, the team is at the mercy of the board. They don’t get to choose between every prospect at 19 — that’s the downside of making the playoffs. However, if you ask Ron Rivera which he’d rather have, a playoff berth or a higher draft pick, he’d laugh in your face for suggesting the question.
I’m using the PFN’s NFL Mock Draft Simulator with Trades to pick for the other 31 teams. This gives an authentic feeling towards the draft, and I’m not just assuming what players will be available at pick 19.
Players like Trey Lance, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Kyle Pitts, and DeVonta Smith were all dream scenarios, but none made it past the 13th pick. There’s a genuine possibility that Darrisaw is the best player available at 19, and that’s what happened in this Washington 7-round Mock Draft.
Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
This Washington 2021 NFL Mock Draft board may not have fallen ideally in the first round, but it did in the second round. After taking Darrisaw with the 19th selection, Washington adds a weapon to the offense on Day 2. Seeing Moore available made this selection effortless. Outside of Terry McLaurin, Washington does not possess a receiver that can separate consistently. Rondale Moore provides that ability.
Moore is an elite athlete. He is not just a good athlete but is possibly the fastest and most explosive receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft class. That includes names like Jaylen Waddle and Kadarius Toney. Moore is a better route runner than he’s given credit for and an elite YAC receiver. His presence alone helps take some attention away from Terry McLaurin, and if not, Moore will dominate soft coverages in year one.
Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
Washington adds another young player to its already impressive defensive nucleus. They found a star in 7th-round pick Kam Curl last draft. He’s the team’s future at strong safety, but the free safety position is still an important question.
Cover-1 and cover-3 looks are the most used in Washington’s defensive scheme. Meaning a single high safety operates the deep third and functions as a last resort. Ideally, this player can cover ground in a hurry and force turnovers at a high rate.
Covering ground and forcing turnovers is exemplified by Syracuse safety Andre Cisco. Cisco measures in at 6′, 209 pounds with excellent athletic ability to cover sideline to sideline. His most intriguing quality, however, is his rare ability to force turnovers at a high rate.
In three years at Syracuse, Cisco recorded 13 interceptions, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. If those ball skills can translate to turnovers at the next level, this could be the final piece Washington needed to create a championship-caliber defense.
Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
Rondale Moore was selected earlier in this Washington 7-round Mock Draft, but it shouldn’t shock anyone to see the team completely overhaul the unit with the WR corps’ current state. Rondale will be utilized as a Z, frequently in motion and making plays around the line of scrimmage. Scott Turner will use Rondale’s YAC ability as well as anyone in the NFL.
Elijah Moore would take over the duties as the primary slot receiver. A quietly elite route runner with good explosion and a YAC threat would fit perfectly in the offense. Instead of getting a jump ball receiver, Washington decides to invest in separating and winning in space. A direction the NFL has been trending in lately.
Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
After not getting a QB in the first round, it seemed unlikely they’d select one at all in this Washington 2021 NFL Mock Draft. However, Davis Mills sitting there with their first pick on Day 3 is hard to ignore. Quarterback is obviously Washington’s most significant need, and if the team decides to roll with Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen for 2021, it could make sense for them to add the best Day 3 quarterback.
In the coming weeks, expect to hear Mills in the same conversation as guys like Mac Jones and Kyle Trask. Mills possesses a far superior arm to both, and he’s substantially more mobile. Injuries have derailed his career a bit, but he shows excellent traits on tape at Stanford.
Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon
It’s hard to know whether or not Washington will need to draft a cornerback. Ronald Darby was excellent for most of the 2020 season, but he’s a free agent this offseason. Until Washington does or does not re-sign him, the team’s need for the position remains volatile. In this Washington 7-round Mock Draft, the need meets right in the middle.
Thomas Graham has the experience and skill set to start in year one if Darby was to leave in free agency. If Darby returns, Graham can function as a rotation boundary cornerback. Only 5’11”, but a pest at the catch point, Graham had 32 pass deflections and eight interceptions in three seasons playing at Oregon. With Jimmy Moreland starting in the slot, Graham functions as a rotational boundary corner.
K.J. Britt, LB, Auburn
Washington has ample athletic ability in the linebacker room and can go sideline to sideline. However, the unit is soft and struggles to recognize and fill gaps in the run game. They fly past the hole and try for an arm tackle. The linebackers’ inability to stop the run in the gaps is why Washington only yielded the 14th-best run defense in the NFL, despite the best defensive line in football.
K.J. Britt isn’t a great athlete, nor does he provide much to the defense on passing scenarios. He’s an old-school thumper at 6′, 243 pounds, and will bring some nastiness to the Washington linebacking unit. In the seventh round, you don’t have to find the next every-down player. Adding someone like Britt improves the unit because he diminishes their biggest weakness.
Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama
With their final selection, Washington takes Alabama’s backup running back Brian Robinson Jr. Obviously, Antonio Gibson is the featured back in Washington’s offense. J.D. McKissic is also used heavily, both as a rusher and receiver. However, Peyton Barber was the least efficient runner in the NFL last season, and he’s the team’s primary short-yardage back.
Robinson weighs in at 226 pounds and hits like a truck. He also possesses quality athletic ability, at least enough to occasionally break short-yardage runs into big chunks. Barber is sufficient for one yard, but he seldom allows you to get 15 or more yards. Taking someone like Robinson to complete a talented running back room would help alleviate some pressure off whoever is playing quarterback for Washington in 2021.
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