The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the opinion of the team.
The 2020 NFL Draft is inching closer every day, and the revamped front office will soon have its opportunity to improve the team's roster with eight new players.
In preparation for the three-day event, which begins Thursday, April 29, Washingtonfootball.com is breaking down the team's picks in each round with prospects fans should look out for. (See all of Washington's picks, HERE.)
Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
In addition to immediately having one of the best names on Washington's roster, Atwell (5-foot-9, 155 pounds) would give Scott Turner's offense a "home-run hitter" whenever he has the ball in his hands. The two-time All-ACC selection averaged 16.5 yards per reception at Louisville and found the end zone 21 times. Atwell's frame does not traditionally translate to the NFL, but it can be done, evident by 2019 first-round pick Marquise Brown leading the Baltimore Ravens in receptions, yards and touchdowns last season. He would also be the third receiver on Washington's roster to run a sub-4.40-second 40-yard dash time -- making the unit one of the fastest in the league.
Spencer Brown, T, Northern Iowa
A three-sport star in high school -- he earned All-State honors in football and basketball -- Brown (6-foot-8, 311 pounds) has the size, athleticism and instincts to develop into a reliable right tackle behind Morgan Moses. He started 32 games there during his collegiate career and would have added to that number if not for the FCS season being moved to the spring due to COVID-19. Brown decided to opt out and focus on the 2021 NFL Draft, where he'll likely be a fringe Day 2 prospect. The level of competition will likely result in a steep learning curve for Brown, but with time, he has the tools to become a contributor.
Tyree Gillespie, S, Missouri
If you can cover Kyle Pitts -- one of the best tight end prospects in decades -- then you have a chance to play at the next level, and that's exactly what Gillespie (6-foot, 207 pounds) did this past season at Missouri. He didn't have an interception during his time with the Tigers, but he broke up 12 passes and recorded 146 tackles. His urgency and awareness need work, according to The Athletic's Dane Brugler, but he has the size, range and physicality to contribute in the secondary.
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
Hubbard (6-foot, 210 pounds) was the best running back in the country in 2019, averaging 6.4 yards per carry en route to compiling 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns. Unanimous All-American honors followed. Hubbard was not as effective this past season (4.7 yards per carry, 625 yards and six touchdowns), which partially contributed to him being viewed as an early Day 3 prospect. But he has the skillset to be a contributor in the NFL and could fit into a backfield that currently features Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic and Lamar Miller.
Tre' McKitty, TE, Georgia
McKitty does not have the elite production of a lot of tight end prospects -- he only made 56 catches for 628 yards and three touchdowns in his career -- but his 6-foot-4, 246-pound frame and athleticism project well to the professional ranks. If Washington adds McKitty, he'll have the luxury of working alongside veteran Logan Thomas and under tight ends coach Pete Hoener.
Zech McPhearson, CB, Texas Tech
McPhearson (5-foot-11, 191 pounds) starred at nearby Riverdale Baptist School in Maryland before going on to play at Penn State, where he did not start a single game his first three seasons. But once he transferred to Texas Tech in 2019, he made his presence felt by making 21 starts and recording 104 tackles, 15 pass breakups and four interceptions. He was also a team captain and one of the Red Raiders' best special teamers, blocking two extra points and returning a block field goal 90 yards for a touchdown. With Washington in need of depth behind William Jackson III and Kendall Fuller, McPhearson could be a worthwhile and versatile addition in the middle rounds.
A photo compilation of various league experts' predictions about what Washington will do with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
There's a chance Mond (6-foot-3, 211 pounds) could be gone by this point considering the high demand for quarterbacks, but if he falls, he could be an option to learn behind 38-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick. The four-year starter showed flashes of high-level play throughout his career but needs to improve his decision-making and overall consistency. A year to learn could go a long way for a signal-caller with the physical traits to make it at this level.
Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina
Another local product, Newsome (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) played at Hampton High School in Virginia before suiting up for North Carolina. His first two seasons were relatively quiet aside from a rushing touchdowns and a punt return touchdown, but he broke out in 2019 with 1,018 yards and 10 touchdowns on 72 receptions. Like Atwell, Newsome is capable of making big plays from a variety of different spots and could also add value as a punt returner.
Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami (Fla.)
Jaelan Phillips and Gregory Rousseau are seen as two of the best edge rushers in this draft class, but their Hurricanes teammate deserves a long look as well. Roche does not have the physical traits of those prospects, but he has been productive nonetheless, averaging 7.6 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss during his collegiate career. Roche spent his first four seasons at Temple and earned AAC Defensive Player of the Year by tying the program sack record (13.0) as a redshirt junior in 2019. He then transferred to Miami and fit right in, finishing second on the team behind Phillips in sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (14.5). He projects as a situational edge rusher, which bodes well for a Washington team looking for depth behind Chase Young and Montez Sweat.
Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State
Linebacker is one of Washington's biggest needs, and Werner (6-foot-3, 238 pounds) can play multiple spots. He was a three-year starter at Ohio State, racking up nearly 59 tackles and five tackles for loss per season. He might not develop into a starter, but he could be a valuable reserve while acting as a mainstay on special teams.