Entering the 2021 offseason, the Washington Football Team has a plan. They understand where are their needs and what positions need to be upgraded.
Martin Mayhew and Ron Rivera should look to pair a receiver with Terry McLaurin. They also could keep a close eye on the quarterback market. Paying their own will be essential, so names like Brandon Scherff and Ronald Darby shouldn't leave the building.
Only then will WFT have a clear look at what to do when on the clock in the NFL Draft.
Washington currently holds the No. 19 pick in April's NFL Draft. Should they look at drafting a quarterback, they'll need to move up. If they're content sitting still, most believe taking a receiver or offensive lineman is the best option.
Another need Washington could address is the cover linebacker role. The NFL is becoming faster, meaning players must be well-versed to play the run and excel in coverage.
If WFT address their major needs in free agency, Notre Dame's Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah should be on their short list of potential draft-day targets.
READ MORE: WFT 'Mocked' New Blood at CB
At 6-foot-2, 216 pounds, Owusu-Koamoah isn't the thumper that most players at the position are. Don't let that fool you, since he'll make up for size with speed.
A "hybrid player", spending time at both safety and linebacker, Owusu-Koramoah is simply a playmaker. Put him in coverage, let him blitz, play the run? Owusu-Koramoah excels.
In 12 games this year, he had 1.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, three passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Notre Dame's defense ranked 25th overall, allowing opponents to average 343.6 yards per game.
The knock some scouts will have on Owusu-Koramoah is where he best fits. It's a similar concept to that of former Clemson standout Isaiah Simmons. Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals last year, Simmons' role expanded by Week 7 once established as a "position-less" player.
Simmons took snaps at both linebacker roles, safety and in the slot for Arizona. His best spot, though, was in covering tight ends and playing the run off the initial snap.
A player of Owusu-Koramoah's skills will need to go to a defensive coordinator that can find creative approaches when using him. Jack Del Rio's 4-3 scheme relies heavily on the safeties changing roles. Both must play well in coverage. Both must be willing to play the run.
Kevin Pierre-Louis was the best cover 'backer for WFT in 2020. He's now a free agent and could be gone. Will WFT add his replacement in free agency? Earlier this month, we wrote of moving Landon Collins down as the in-house option.
READ MORE: Could Landon Collins Solve WFT Issue At LB?
Instead, Washington can have a nickel defender that plays like a safety and hits like a linebacker. That's Owusu-Koramoah all in one.
CONTINUE READING: Is Ronald Darby a must-keep for WFT in 2021?