The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the opinion of the team.
General manager Martin Mayhew and executive vice president of football/player personnel Marty Hurney's first offseason with the Washington Football Team will be a little different than what they're used to.
The NFL cancelled the Scouting Combine in its original format, which normally takes place in Indianapolis, instead electing to place more emphasis on the college pro days spread across the country. Kansas was the first school to have its pro day March 5, but the remaining schools will be hosting league scouts leading up to the draft in late April. Here are the schools that will be having their pro days this week: (check out the full pro day schedule, HERE, as well as the full list of athletes to receive a combine invite, HERE.)
- Kent State
- Middle Tennessee State
- Georgia Tech
- San Jose State
- Central Arkansas
- Louisiana Tech
- West Virginia
Each week, Washingtonfootball.com will be highlighting 10 players trying to impress scouts and improve their draft stock. The second batch of pro days feature some of the best defensive backs in the country, led by TCU safety Trevon Moehrig, who is widely regarded as a first-round talent.
(NOTE: Position rankings courtesy of The Draft Network)
Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU (Position rank: 1st)
When looking at safety prospects ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft, it all starts with TCU's Trevon Moehrig.
Moehrig, who entered college as a three-star cornerback, immediately saw playing time as a safety and was named the team's Special Teams MVP award. His impact in the latter unit waned the next two seasons, but only because he was so dominant in the Horned Frogs' secondary, racking up 109 tackles, 20 pass breakups, six interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles in 22 games. He earned first-team All-Big 12 honors in both seasons and is the reigning Jim Thorpe Award winner, given annually to the best defensive back in college football.
"Moehrig has adequate size, but excellent versatility and instincts," NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah wrote in his top 50 draft prospect rankings. "He can play in the deep post or cover in the slot. He is a smooth, fluid mover in man coverage underneath. He also possesses ideal anticipation and range from the back end. He has the ability to consistently match patterns and position himself for plays on the ball. The former TCU star does need to improve his finishing ability, having dropped a couple interceptions in the games I studied. He takes quality angles in run support and is a reliable, low tackler.
"Overall, Moehrig offers a complete skill set at the position. He will provide his defensive coordinator with options, which is exactly what's desired in 2021."
Washington already has Pro Bowler Landon Collins and up-and-comer Kam Curl at the safety position, but adding Moehrig would give defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio even more firepower as he decides how to configure the secondary behind a dominant defensive line.
Here are some other players to keep an eye on throughout the week:
Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia (Position rank: 8th)
When Jamie Newman participates in Georgia's pro day on Wednesday, it will be the first time NFL scouts see him in person since December of 2019 when he was at Wake Forest. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Newman accounted for nearly 3,500 total yards and 31 touchdowns for the Demon Deacons, then transferred to Georgia for his final year of eligibility. However, Newman decided to opt out before the season due to COVID-19 concerns and instead spent the fall preparing for the draft.
Davis Mills, QB, Stanford (Position rank: 7th)
Davis Mills only started 11 games over three seasons at Stanford but showed flashes of his NFL potential, especially towards the end of the 2020 campaign. After missing the start of the year because of a false-positive COVID-19 test, the 6-foot-4 Mills returned in mid-November and flourished, completing nearly two-thirds of his passes for seven touchdowns and three interceptions while posting a 139.9 passer rating. His success resulted in four straight wins to conclude his shortened college career.
Seth Williams, WR, Auburn (Position rank: 13th)
The former All-state basketball player has been Auburn's No. 1 receiver the past two seasons, using that skillset to box out defensive backs over the middle and outjump them in the end zone. The 6-foot-3 Williams averaged 708 yards receiving and scored 17 touchdowns in his three seasons with the Tigers.
Josh Imatorbhebhe, WR, Illinois (Position rank: 24th)
Josh Imatorbhebhe is an intriguing prospect not for what he is, but what he can become. The former four-star recruit and USC transfer caught the attention of scouts in 2019 when he averaged 19.3 yards per reception and hauled in nine touchdowns. And while he only amassed 297 yards in seven games this past season, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Imatorbhebhe has the pure athleticism that could make him a dangerous vertical threat at the professional level.
Walker Little, T, Stanford (Position rank: 11th)
NFL scouts will be closely monitoring how Walker Little performs at Stanford's pro day on Thursday. The consensus five-star recruit won Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Co-Player of the Year in 2017 and earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a sophomore. However, the 6-foot-7 Little has not played since the 2019 season opener when he suffered a knee injury that kept him out the entire year. He then opted out this past season to prepare for the next level, where he projects as a left tackle.
Tre' McKitty, TE, Georgia (Position rank: 6th)
Washington needs a No. 2 tight end, and Tre' McKitty could be a mid-round pick who develops into that role. McKitty was not as productive as some other tight end prospects -- he never caught more than 26 passes for 256 yards in his four collegiate seasons -- and in 2020, a knee injury limited him to just four games. But with a 6-foot-5, 245-pound frame and the athleticism to excel as a pass-catcher and blocker, his best days could be ahead of him.
Tony Fields II, LB, West Virginia (Position rank: 15th)
Tony Fields made plays all over the field in his three seasons at Arizona and during his final campaign with West Virginia. He recorded at least 88 total tackles each year to go along with 21.0 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and three interceptions. Fields' 6-foot-1, 220-pound frame works against him, but he has been able to overcome that with his instincts, aggressiveness and intelligence from the middle of the defense.
Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia (Position rank: 5th)
Eric Stokes was widely regarded as the fastest cornerback in college football last season, and he backed up that claim by running the 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.24 seconds at the House of Athlete pre-draft showcase event on March 5. That speed helped Stokes earn first-team All-SEC honors in 2020, but it certainly was not the only reason. The 6-foot-1 defensive back broke up four passes and hauled in four interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns.
Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh (Position rank: 6th)
Paris Ford was not an immediate contributor for Pittsburgh's defense, but after two seasons of proving himself, he finally earned a starting role as a redshirt sophomore. He then delivered a first-team All-ACC worthy campaign, recording 90 tackles and nine pass breakups. He also recorded three interceptions, forced three fumbles and found the end zone. Ford was having another solid season in 2020 before deciding to opt out in November to focus on the NFL Draft.