One thing fans of the Washington Football Team fans must understand is the plan of Martin Mayhew. And while Ron Rivera will hold power in the draft room, it's the first-year GM who will turn in the card.
During his time with the Detroit Lions, Mayhew never elected to trade up or down in the first round. Instead, he used the eight-year tenure to take the best player available.
Should that be WFT's plan once again?
Washington currently sits at the No. 19 pick following winning the NFC East. According to reports from The Athletic's Michael Lombardi, WFT could be willing to "risk it all" to move up for North Dakota State's Trey Lance.
All that said, it will be Rivera making the final call on who he wants on the roster. Looking at Mayhew and executive Marty Hurney, who have stayed put in the past that's likely the case once more.
Albeit Washington's need for a quarterback of the future, they have multiple positions that could use upgrades. The verdict is still out on left tackle following the second season of the post-Trent Williams era.
Cover linebacker, free safety, wide receiver, and cornerback also could use some competition for the season.
If Washington remains on the clock at the original selection, one of these names makes the most sense should Mayhew, Hurney, and Rivera follow the "BPA" approach.
NOTRE DAME LB JEREMIAH OWUSU-KORAMOAH
Jack Del Rio's defensive scheme implores the use of a big nickel to play the run. One look at the NFC East and it's clear the run will be an x-factor in helping a team win the division.
Dallas is looking for a rebound year from Ezekiel Elliott. The same goes for New York with Saquon Barkley. Is Miles Sanders the breakout star in 2021?
Owusu-Koramoah is another hybrid defender similar to that of Isaiah Simmons or Jeremy Chinn, a selection made by Hurney with Carolina. With the coverage skills of a safety but the hitting style of a linebacker, the former Notre Dame star just plays wherever he's called upon.
Playing both fast and physical, JOK loves to play the run. He also has shown his ability to cover tight ends, slot receivers, and targets bigger than him in both man and zone coverage.
JOK also shows the ability to create turnovers, forcing five fumbles and recovered four over the last two years. Del Rio needs both help in the secondary and on the edge at linebacker.
One look at the film and JOK knocks out both stones in one swing.
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VIRGINIA TECH OT CHRISTIAN DARRISAW
Washington must decide what to do at the left tackle role for the next decade. Cornelius Lucas played well enough last season as a starter. The same could be said for Geron Christian, who started six games in 2020.
Both are entering contract years and neither has shown they are top 10 pass-protectors. If that's the case, adding a blindside protector to help in the passing game is essential.
Darrisaw has been connected to Washington thanks to his ties down the road at Virginia Tech. During the last two years, he's shown the ability to be effective as a stand-up pass protector against some of the top pass-rushers in the ACC.
Where he thrives currently though is in the run game, showing comfort and effectiveness in both zone and man blocking schemes.
In a strong offensive tackle class, taking a "franchise" tackle this early might be a risk. Darrisaw though is a Day 1 starter in the NFL that could grow over the next two seasons to an All-Pro level.
Depending on the team's status with Christian and Lucas, the 6-foot-5 tackle should be on the shortlist of names come Thursday evening.
KENTUCKY LB JAMIN DAVIS
While the outside linebacker role is an immediate need, the need at middle linebacker is a long-term one. Jon Bostic is in a contract year and the hope would be for WFT to add a more cost-affordable option up the middle.
There might not be a linebacker who has seen their stock grow like Davis. The 6-foot-4 defender is a wall of muscle (234 lbs) that posses the rare speed inside (4.41 40-time). A sideline to sideline player, Davis has great closing speed and takes proper angles to the ball.
He also isn't shy in coverage tight ends, thriving as a baiter in zone coverage.
Getting used to NFL speed will be key after a mere 11 starts in college. However, the intangibles needed for Del Rio's defense crosses off a multitude of boxes. If building to the long-term, Davis is a smart selection.
MINNESOTA WR RASHOD BATEMAN
The additions of Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries solidify a need for 2021. Scott Turner wanted speed and with a 4.33-runner like Samuel being used in a multitude of ways, he'll have it in D.C.
The question will be can Samuel work outside of the slot. Humphries only works there, and the former Panther recorded 60.4 percent of snaps inside. On a three-year deal, WFT will easily keep Samuel on the field inside should he struggle on the perimeter.
Bateman's skills mirror near Dallas' Michael Gallup when coming out of Colorado State. A smooth route-runner with good speed, the former Golden Gopher works best in man coverage on the outside. With some of the strongest hands in the class, Bateman isn't afraid of competition in the open field.
Washington shouldn't be targeting a pass-catcher unless that's the top name on their big board. If that's the case, Bateman would fix a need for the future, making sure Washington possesses the best receiver trio in the NFC East.
CONTINUE READING: Can WFT Trade It All For Lance?