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2021 Draft Breakdown: Prospects Washington Could Target In Round 1


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, is breaking down the team's picks in each round with prospects fans should look out for. (See all of Washington's picks, HERE.)

Here are the rounds we have covered so far:

With the draft beginning Thursday, we wrap up this series with the first round, where Washington owns the 19th overall pick. Here are 10 prospects it could target:

Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Darrisaw only received one FBS scholarship offer after starting for three seasons at Riverdale Baptist, but he has made the most of his time with the Hokies by becoming one of the best offensive linemen in college football. Aside from being graded as the best run-blocking offensive tackle by Pro Football Focus in 2020, he only allowed six pressures all season. Darrisaw is exceptional with his technique, and he has enough athleticism to execute every block needed to be successful in the NFL. There are few holes in his skillset, and the expectation is that he will be a starter for whichever team drafts him.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

One of the most versatile pieces in this year's draft class, there are some who think Owusu-Koramoah is a better prospect than Isaiah Simmons, who was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals with the eighth overall pick last year. NFL Network’s Charley Casserly is a fan of the way Owusu-Koramoah can cover a multitude of positions, from running back to tight end and even receiver. His 2019 stats -- 79 tackles, 8.5 sacks and four passes defensed -- were better than last year's, but Owusu-Koramoah's flexibility is going to entice plenty of coaches who value position flexibility.

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Size, or lack thereof, remains the biggest question mark for Smith, who weighed 170 pounds at his Pro Day. If any teams are nervous about the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner's stature, his production should be able to put their minds at ease. Name a category, and Smith likely led college football in it last year; on top of 117 receptions and 1,856 yards, which helped him break the record for career receiving yards in the SEC -- he led the nation with 23 touchdown catches. Those numbers alone warrant consideration to be among the top five players taken Thursday night, but Smith's size might be enough to make him drop to Washington at 19th overall, putting him with Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel.

Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky

Davis was not on many teams' radars prior to the start of the 2020 season. But then again, tripling his tackles from 32 in 2019 to 102 in 2020 and hauling in three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, is more than enough to get scouts' attention. Anyone still doubting him should take a look at his Pro Day numbers, which included a 4.47 40-yard dash, a 40-inch vertical and an 11-foot broad jump. Davis has been praised for his coverage ability, which is an attribute Washington could use to upgrade its linebacker corps. He only has 11 starts in his career, but he would have plenty of opportunities to learn the position from former linebackers Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio.

Vera-Tucker first started as a guard for the Trojans in 2019 and was an immediate success, winning the program's Offensive Lineman of the Year award. He earned the award for good reason, too, as he was the best pass- and run-blocking lineman in the Pac-12 that season, according to PFF. Then he switched over to left tackle in 2020 and was just as impressive; he allowed only two pressures in his first five games en route to winning the Morris Trophy for being the best offensive lineman in the country. Analysts believe he is best suited as a guard at the NFL level, but his position flexibility could bring value to Washington's offensive line.

Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

Toney took a massive leap during his senior season with the Gators. From 2017-19, the Mobile, Alabama, native amassed a combined 606 yards and two touchdowns. He eclipsed both of those numbers -- 984 yards and 10 touchdowns -- in 2020 alone. Toney is listed as a slot receiver, but his skillset suggests he is a "do-it-all" type of player. He has rare acceleration, runs crisp routes and possesses a large catch radius. Toney is also an exceptional special teams player, averaging 22.1 yards on kickoff returns and 11.3 yards on punt returns in his career. Perhaps Washington is set with McLaurin, Samuel and Adam Humphries, but Toney could still contribute as a rotational player and compete for primary kick return duties.

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

If any quarterbacks tried to throw in Surtain's direction, they were usually met with disappointment. Surtain made a reputation out of being stingy for the Crimson Tide. Quarterbacks only completed about 48% of their passes when targeting him, and when their receivers did manage to make the catch, it was for little positive yardage. Surtain allowed 25 yards or fewer in 10 games last season.’s Lance Zierlein points to his man coverage, as well as his ability to run routes with receivers, as a strength, and that showed in the form of 27 passes defensed in three seasons. While players like Landon Collins or Kamren Curl can provide run support, Surtain has the talent to handle more cover responsibilities and make Washington's second-ranked pass defense even more formidable.

Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Washington has a number of strong cornerbacks in William Jackson III**,**Kendall FullerandJimmy Moreland.It might not seem like the position is one the team could address, but players like Farley might make it reconsider. Farley's background makes it clear he is an all-around athlete.He was a record-setting quarterback in high schoolbefore switching to receiver with the Hokies. After a knee injury sidelined him for the 2017 season, he moved to defense, where he had six interceptions and 19 passes defensed over the next two years. He opted out of the 2020 season for COVID-19 concerns, but he earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2019 with four interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Farley still has some work to do on his mechanics, but he would have great teachers in Fuller, Jackson and defensive backs coachChris Harris.

Michah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Parsons is another player who opted out of the 2020 season, but one could argue he did enough in the previous two to prove he is one of the best linebacker prospects available. He can tackle -- he had a combined 191 stops for the Nittany Lions -- provide solid coverage and rush the quarterback. And any player carrying the football needed to be concerned about Parsons' ability to force turnovers. He is tied for seventh all-time at Penn State with six forced fumbles. Rivera and general manager Martin Mayhew did say not having updated film on players can be a challenge, but Parsons has already convinced many that he can be a Day 1 starter for any team based on what he accomplished in just two seasons.

Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

There are some who believe Moehrig could fall to the second round, but take a look at how he performed for the Horned Frogs, and it is obvious the former four-star prospect has first-round talent. For starters, he beat out Surtain for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the best defensive back in college football, and was named to seven All-American teams. Next, he used his 6-foot-2, 202-pound frame to hold his own against slot and outside receivers. He also recorded 109 tackles in his last two seasons, showing that he isn't solely focused on providing lockdown coverage. Analysts like Casserly like his instincts and hand-eye coordination, and while he is not as highly regarded as Surtain in mock drafts, he could be available late in the first round for a team looking to add a versatile safety.

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