The Washington Football Team is coming into the 2021 NFL season as a relatively unknown quantity. After winning the NFC East division last year and getting into the playoffs, the division got better around them. Washington is still going to be a contender in the division, but they will need their young talent to develop and will need a few X-Factors to step up throughout the season.
In at quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be looking to bring a strong veteran presence and leadership to the offense. Washington added some talent to the offense, especially with the move to sign wide receiver Curtis Samuel.
Defensively, the Football Team has the potential to be one of the better units in the NFC. They have a ton of young talent and a good mix of consistent veterans. Washington will be leaning heavily on their defense to lead them to another successful year.
All of that being said, let's dive in and take a look at two major X-Factors that the Football Team will need to see step up during the 2021 season.
2. Landon Collins, Safety
When the Washington Football Team originally signed Collins, they thought they were getting a superstar safety who would lead their defense. In his first year with the franchise, Collins was solid, but he wasn't a playmaker. Last season, he was only able to play in seven games.
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Looking ahead to the 2021 season, the Football Team will need Collins to play up to his full potential. They need him to stay healthy and they need him to produce at a high level.
Some have mentioned Collins as a potential surprising cut candidate for Washington. That isn't terribly likely to happen, but that shows just how much he has has struggled. If he can play to his full potential and ability, Washington will see their secondary take a big step forward in 2021, which would be a big step towards competing in the NFC East once again.
1. Dyami Brown, Wide Receiver
Secondly, we're going to take a look at the projected No. 3 wideout for the Washington Football Team.
We know that Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel are going to be productive. Both players will set the tone for the passing game with Fitzpatrick. However, they need someone to step up behind them and take some pressure off of the top two receivers.
Brown was selected with the No. 82 overall pick in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He was a standout at North Carolina in college and NFL.com actually compared him to former Washington Football Team wide receiver Paul Richardson.
Washington needs Brown to be much more productive than Richardson was. If he can come in and catch 40 passes for 450 yards and a few scores, that will be a major difference maker for their offense. Brown won't be the piece that decides their fate at the end of the year, but he is absolutely an X-Factor for the Washington Football Team this season.