ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Football Team is building, and they have plenty of needs to fill. So, it's time to take a look at who we suggests the franchise should select. ... and what the rest of the NFL world thinks, too. Keep it here, and check in often. We'll keep you updated ...:
FEB 25: IS A CB A NEED? WalterFootball.com says it'll be Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia, at No. 19.
For this to happen, the NFL Draft needs to fall a certain way (where did all the QBs go?) and the WFT needs to agree with the website's logic about making a strength stronger.
The WFT has an "elite defensive line,'' the site writes, "which helps the secondary. Can you imagine how potent the defense would be with superior cornerback play?''
Campbell has a long frame at 6-2, 180 and a physical style of play. And yes, he would figure to help strengthen a strength.
FEB 24: NEW NAME AT QB You've seen a lot of names mocked to WFT at No. 19. Here's a familiar position ... but a name that falls in a different order.
The San Diego Union Tribune mocks Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State, to Washington.
"I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Taylor Heinicke isn’t the quarterback of the future for the Football Team. A showcase game against Central Arkansas didn’t really do Lance’s draft stock any favors, but there’s too much arm talent and playmaking ability to deny here. The measurables check every box. It wouldn’t be shocking if he is selected much higher.''
There are valid points in there. The conflict? We're hearing that the top five QBs are all going to go so high that WFT has very little chance of nabbing one at 19. But ... maybe.
FEB 22: STOLEN! Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is a name often mocked to WFT at No. 19. But ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum said Monday on “Get Up” that Jones might not even last beyond the No. 8 pick.
Who holds No. 8? Ron Rivera's old friends in Carolina.
Tannenbaum, a former NFL GM, said Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is a fan of Jones. Additionally, of course, Carolina's QB search includes probes into a trade for Houston's Deshaun Watson - at a price, by the way, WFT seems unwilling to pay.
Jones might be just the fifth-best quarterback prospect in the 2021 draft. But the names could fly off the board fast in the late April NFL Draft, with Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields and Trey Lance flying off the shelf ... and with five QBs going in the first eight slots.
FEB 16: BEEF UP Pick No. 19, according to the latest from NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock? It’s Christian Darrisaw, the offensive tackle from Virginia Tech. The NFL.com thinking? “Washington is going to address the quarterback position one way or another. I'm guessing the Football Team goes with a veteran addition to free them up to upgrade the offensive line with this pick.”
FEB 15: New ProFootballFocus (PFF) Mock Draft - With the No. 19 overall pick, the WFT selects South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn, per PFF's latest.
Says PFF: "Horn's combination of athleticism and physicality is rare for the cornerback position. He allowed just eight catches from 24 targets for 116 yards in the seven games he played in 2020."
In this mock, the first four picks are quarterbacks, including the Eagles jumping up to No. 3 with Miami to grab Justin Fields from Ohio State.
FEB 11: 3 TRADES, 3 QB’S "With Alex Smith, Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke, Washington has several short-term options at quarterback,'' writes draft analyst Dane Brugler at The Athletic. "But Lance would give the organization a young, high-upside player with the physical talent and football character that translates well to the pro level. With the competition for quarterbacks in this draft, it will likely take multiple draft picks, including a future first, to make this deal happen for Washington.''
So, Brugler's proposal for WFT to move from 19 to 7 ...
Washington Football Team receives:
2021 first-round pick (No. 7 overall)
Detroit Lions receive:
2021 first-round pick (No. 19 overall)
2021 third-round pick (No. 82 overall)
2022 first-round pick
And the prize is Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State.
Dane has trades galore in here - QB trades galore, as his WFT is one of three first-round moves for QBs.
FEB 10: IT'S UNANIMOUS! Florida’s Kadarius Toney is apparently somebody we all need to get to know, given that a whole bunch of mock guys are going there with the 19th pick.
In their latest mock drafts, as noted by The Athetic, ESPN’s Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. tabbed Toney at 19. So did NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah. Anyone else? Yes, my and The Athletic's Ben Standig.
Toney's numbers make the idea work; he caught 70 balls for 1,145 yards and 11 TDs. And in terms of the 5-11, 194-pounder filling a need? Well, you already know the answer to that.
FEB 8: 3-ROUND MOCK AND TRADE NFL.com has produced a new three-round mock draft ... and it's produced some interesting results for Washington.
First comes a first-round trade-up from 19 to Minnesota's spot at 14 to get 'Bama QB Mac Jones. (NFL.com writes, "To beat out competitors for Jones, such as the Patriots and Saints, new GM Martin Mayhew might need to give up a second-round pick in this draft and the next to move up.)
And then comes a third-round pick, the result of another trade, netting WFT slot No. ... from Carolina, netting Clemson receiver Amari Rodgers. The 5-10 Rodgers played four years of college ball and as a senior caught 77 passes for seven TDs and over 1,000 yards.
Our thoughts? In terms of "filling needs,'' the selection of a QB and a receiver fit the bill. But ... while part of the fun of mock drafting is predicting trades, it's a bit early to think Washington has given a great deal of thought to two trades in three rounds netting two premium prospects.
FEB 4: MAC JONES TO WFT? Mac Jones was a Heisman Trophy finalist and a success in the College Football Playoffs National Championship. Could he also be a QB taken at the No. 19 overall pick?
In NFL Network draft insider Bucky Brooks' latest mock, Jones is projected to be selected by the Washington Football Team at 19th overall.
Writes Brooks: "Washington is still searching for a long-term answer under center. Jones is a pinpoint pocket-passer with the intangibles and leadership skills to act as Ron Rivera's top lieutenant for a team on the rise.”
That sounds promising, as do Jones' numbers: This year with the Crimson Tide, he threw 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns and had just four interceptions in 12 games.
READ MORE: WFT Hints - No Trade For Deshaun?
If WFT is high on Jones (6-3, 214), they can obviously, in their minds, afford to not overpay at QB in terms of a big-money veteran trade.
MONDAY JAN 25: 2 ON O Our friend Dane Brugler has produced his latest two-round NFL Mock Draft ... and he hands the WFT two players ... on offense.
At No. 19, Dane gives the Washington Football Team ... Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT/G, USC. Brugler's thoughts: Although Cornelius Lucas played above expectations this season, left tackle is a position Washington will consider upgrading. Vera-Tucker was graded as a second-round guard before the season, but he moved to left tackle and played at a high level, boosting his draft grade.
At No. 51, he projects Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU. Dane just released his top 100 prospects in the 2021 class and Marshall came in at No. 44 overall, with a comp being Denver's Courtland Sutton.
SUNDAY, JAN. 24: POSTINS ON SENIOR BOWL WFT, along with the rest of the NFL, should descend on the Senior Bowl, still expected to be played on Jan. 30 in Mobile, Alabama. The run-up to the game will surely be different, in terms of COVID-19 protocols. But, the WFT will be plugged in, looking at dozens of players that could be potential draft picks in April.
In fact, with the NFL Scouting Combine now basically canceled, the Senior Bowl may be the last chance NFL scouts get to get real, in-person face time with dozens of potential draft picks in one place before the draft.
Who do I think is worth watching - especially if I've seen the prospect play in person? Here are five players to keep an eye on this week in Mobile. (And by the way, Washington Football at SI has virtual credentials to the Senior Bowl, so keep us dialed up here!)
DB Tre Brown, Oklahoma: Brown is not likely to be a first-round pick. But he'd be a big-play guy for WFT. I’ve had the chance to see the Sooner in person several times throughout his college career, and his game has grown nicely during his time in Norman. But he showed a knack for making big plays at key times, especially in Big 12 Championship games. He wrapped up his OU career with a game-ending interception of Iowa State’s Brock Purdy.
He’s on the small side (5-foot-10), but he has 4.5 speed and is considered a Top 20 corner in this draft, which means he could be had in the fourth round. That’s good value,
LB Jabril Cox, LSU: I saw Cox when he played at North Dakota State (he transferred to LSU before the 2020 season) and even then he was already primed for the NFL. At 6-foot-3, 229 pounds, he may be undersized. But he proved this year at LSU that he can make plays at the Power 5 level, and I’m betting he can do the same in the NFL. He’ll probably cost a second-round pick.
DL Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina: The 6-foot-2, 260-pound edge rusher from the little-known Sun Belt Conference school impressed everyone this year while the Chanticleers were trying to worm their way into the College Football Playoff. The Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year had 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 2020.
Some scouts will downgrade him for not playing at a Power 5 school. Watch the film. The guy can make plays. And he won’t cost you a first-round pick, either. Does WFT have enough pass-rushers? Or is there any such thing as "enough'' in that department?
OL Alex Leatherwood, Alabama: Leatherwood projects as a Top 100 player in this draft, but he’s not going to end up going the first round. He can play guard or tackle, and taking Leatherwood in the third round doesn’t feel like a stretch.
OL Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater: A Division III prospect that I’ve seen in person a couple of times. Division III deferred its season to the spring, and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference canceled football entirely, so that allowed Meinerz to prepare to impress scouts this week in Mobile. He’s still a developmental player at the NFL level, but he has all the raw materials you’re looking for to take a late-draft flier, or even snag as an undrafted free agent. - Matthew Postins