4 targets for the Washington Football Team in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft

Washington Football Team, NFL Draft
NFL Analysis Network

The Washington Football Team is making strides in a weak NFC East. While their offense has some limitations, the defense is playing very well. Washington has a lot of great young talent.

However, the same could be said for many teams in the NFC East. Washington’s offense will have to improve if they truly want to compete in the NFC.

Washington has a very good young running back in Antonio Gibson. His versatility is what makes him some a unique player. However, Washington could improve their offensive line. This would help both the passing attack and the run game. There will be plenty of quality lineman available in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

While the offensive line could use some improvement, Washington is in need of a quality young quarterback. Ron Rivera has made it clear that Dwayne Haskins is not their future. Alex Smith is not the quarterback of the future for Washington either. There are a few quarterbacks who will be available for Washington.

Washington has talent. They have a very bright future with a solid young core. While the NFC East is the weakest division in the NFL right now, they will not be in a few years. It will be a very strong division with teams that have talent on both sides of the ball.

Washington must improve in the draft this season. Here are four potential targets for the Washington Football Team in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Samuel Cosmi – Tackle – Texas

While Washington is in need of a quarterback, they may want to stick with Alex Smith for another season. Perhaps they will try to build a strong team ready to compete and then select a quarterback that can come in and win now.

That process worked for teams like the Chiefs, Ravens, and Dolphins. Meanwhile, teams like the Bengals and Chargers are still struggling. Therefore, selecting a quality tackle would make a lot of sense for Washington if they opt to move in this direction.

Washington has a decent offensive line. But, there are holes at the tackle position. Those issues become more glaring when Washington goes against premier pass rushers. Therefore, Washington may look to draft Samuel Cosmi out of Texas. Cosmi is a very athletic tackle, and with proper training and coaching could grow to be an elite tackle.

He isn’t much of a power blocker, but his athletic ability will allow him to dominate in the zone blocking scheme. Cosmi will also be able to keep up with elite edge rushers.

The biggest factor in drafting Cosmi is his tremendous upside. He could grow into an elite left tackle in a few years.

Micah Parsons – Linebacker – Penn State

While quarterback is a pressing need, there may be plenty of talented quarterbacks in the second round of the NFL Draft. Washington may decide to draft the best player available at a position of need. If Micah Parsons is available with Washington’s pick, he would be an excellent choice.

He has the potential to take this young Washington defense to an elite level. A common phrase is that defenses win championships, and while the league may be evolving into a more offense friendly league, quality defenses are necessary to winning a championship.

Washington already has a very solid defense. They are very young and will only get better with time. However, they are missing a true star linebacker.

Drafting a quality linebacker will likely be a very smart decision for Washington. Middle linebackers are often called the quarterbacks of the defense. Parsons would be an excellent linebacker that could lead this young defense to greatness.

It would establish Washington as a dominant defense for years to come, and may establish the makings of a dynasty if the offense can build in future drafts and free agency.

Parsons is an incredible athlete with phenomenal instincts and loads of potential. He has all the makings of an all-pro linebacker. Washington may want to boost their defense to help shut down many of these strong NFC offenses.

Many teams like Pittsburgh, Miami, and New Orleans are some of the best samples of how an elite defense can carry a team. If Washington drafts Parsons, they could grow to be the best defense in the NFL.

Trey Lance – Quarterback – North Dakota State

The most logical choice for Washington would be to draft a quarterback. While there is still plenty that can happen, it is more than likely Washington will be picking around the 10th to 15th pick. There will be a lot of very talented quarterbacks available with this pick.

However, Trey Lance out of North Dakota State could be the best option for Washington. Lance is an incredible athlete, with tremendous production during his time at North Dakota State.

There are some questions surrounding Lance. He hasn’t proven that he can read an entire field, because many of the reads were only half-field reads in North Dakota’s offense. Another question surrounding him is how he will do against tougher competition.

He has been far more dominant at North Dakota State than former second overall pick Carson Wentz. He also has a much higher upside. Lance has incredible potential, and if he is available, Washington may want to select the redshirt sophomore.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Lance’s game is his athletic ability. Wahsington’s head coach Ron Rivera has shown he can succeed with an athletic quarterback in Cam Newton. Lance could even sit behind Alex Smith and learn from him during his rookie season.

This selection would show that Washington is ready to win now, and it would add a tremendous boost towards their offensive potential.

Jaylen Waddle – Wide Receiver – Alabama

Again, Washington may not want to take a chance on a quarterback early on in this NFL Draft. Instead, they may want to draft a wide receiver, and give their QB of the future some weapons to work with.

Terry McLaurin is an excellent wide receiver. However, most offenses need at least two consistent receivers, and Washington’s second-best receiver right now is Antonio Gibson. Drafting a receiver to compliment McLaurin would be a smart decision for Washington if they want to take a quarterback in the second round or sign a quarterback in free agency.

Jaylen Waddle is a big-play receiver with a tremendous motor. While he is not a big redzone threat, he is an excellent route runner with blazing speed. Waddle has shown he can be a complimentary receiver, because he’s been productive on Alabama’s roster despite other great receivers on the roster already.

Waddle has the type of big-play ability that is very hard to find, and he has the flexibility to line up in the slot or on the outside.

Often, one thing that can hinder a young quarterbacks development is a lack of weapons. Sam Darnold has loads of arm talent, but he struggles because his wideouts cannot get open. Washington may want to avoid this issue and select the weapons before they select their quarterback.

Waddle can take the short passes, make defenders miss, and find his way into the endzone on any given play. Perhaps Washington will draft Waddle in the first and draft Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the second round. That will give Jones a receiver he is familiar with and some very solid weapons their offense can build around.