Something about third-round picks and the Washington Football Team just clicks. Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson are just a few names drafted in that round who have made an impact for WFT's offense.
Now, coach Ron Rivera thinks they landed another rising star on Day 2.
Rookie Benjamin St-Juste out of Minnesota could be this club's next third-round gem. Since minicamp, there have been some positive reviews of the former Golden Gopher DB, and that positivity has continued during training camp.
Comparisons in the NFL are a way to easily "frame'' a prospect's talent and potential. St-Juste's "comp'' is a lofty one.
"He reminds me a little bit of Charles Tillman,'' the coach said.
Rivera considers St-Juste to be Tillman-like due to the rookie's size and athleticism. At 6-3 and 210 pounds, the native Canadian is easy to notice.
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Tillman spent 13 years in the NFL — 12 with the Chicago Bears and one in Carolina with Rivera as his head coach. He was one of the top corners in the league during his time in large part due to his ball skills.
He finished his career with 38 interceptions, nine of which were returned for touchdowns. On top that, his signature fumble-forcing "Peanut Punch" made him a star.
Tillman forced 44 fumbles in his career. He totaled a league-high 10 forced fumbles in 2012 during his All-Pro season. Tillman also finished with three interceptions that year and they were all returned for touchdowns.
The emergence of St-Juste would allow Washington to move Kendall Fuller back inside, where he is one of the league's top slot defenders. The rookie would lineup opposite William Jackson III in an already-improved secondary.
There's plenty of work to do for St-Juste to reach the level of Tillman, but the comparison could be an apt one. And so does the fact that something about third-rounders and Washington just keep making sense.
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