The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the opinion of the team.
Head coach Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team's front office had a busy weekend, as they prioritized finding players who fit the team's culture and scheme, resulting in 11 new rookies on its roster. Washington's draft haul, which includes Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis, has been applauded by draft pundits for addressing needs and adding more weapons on offense.
With the draft over and new additions to all teams, here's where Washington stacks up among the rest of the league.
Dan Hanzus: "Ron Rivera knows the strength of his team is defense, and he set out to make that side of the ball even stronger with the first-round selection of Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis. The heart of Washington's D is in the front four, and Davis addresses an area of need -- a speedy and versatile linebacker who can go sideline-to-sideline and cover."
Pro Football Network
Matt Williamson: "Is it crazy to say that Washington doesn't have a weak link anymore? That is a bit extreme and probably too much of a leap of faith on Ryan Fitzpatrick's behalf, but this is going to be an entertaining year for The Football Team."
MMBQ Staff: "Washington is building the foundation of a strong team, particularly on defense."
Pete Prisco: "I think they are the team to beat in the NFC East with their nasty defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick is good enough to get them to nine or 10 wins, which will win the division."
NFL Staff: "There's reason to think Washington could better that [7-9] mark in 2021 and perhaps even be a force in the postseason. In free agency, the WFT addressed the departure (and retirement) of quarterback Alex Smith by becoming the ninth stop on the Ryan Fitzpatrick tour. Washington gave him a new passing-game target in wide receiver Curtis Samuel, replaced Ronald Darby with William Jackson III at cornerback and upgraded at inside linebacker with the selection of Kentucky's Jamin Davis at No. 19 overall. Washington has quietly assembled a roster that doesn't have any glaring holes. The defensive line might be the best in the NFL. The offensive line is stout. The Samuel signing gives Fitzpatrick a solid trio of pass-catchers alongside star wideout Terry McLaurin and tight end Logan Thomas. If Fitzpatrick can avoid back-breaking turnovers and Washington can stay relatively healthy, this roster is more than capable of 10-11 wins and a second straight NFC East title."
The Score Staff: "Washington remains our favorite for the NFC East crown."
Russell Baxter: "The team added veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick this offseason in hopes that he could bring a little more oomph to an offense that gained the third-fewest yards in the league this past year. But the reigning NFC East champions do have a talent-laden defensive unit that added linebacker Jamin Davis (Kentucky) in the first round in April. Head coach Ron Rivera now has former Panthers' offensive weapon Curtis Samuel at his disposal again."
Vinnie Iyer: "Washington won't be winning the East again with a 7-9 record. There's some promise for Ryan Fitzpatrick in a revved up offense, but here's to thinking Jones and Hurts will play better to give the Giants and Eagles' offenses a few more welcome dimensions. WFT's defense, however, is still a calling card the other three teams don't have."
The New York Post
Ryan Dunleavy: "Defending NFC East champs are fun to watch if you like nasty defense and roller-coaster QB play provided by Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will be Washington's fifth different starter in a 14-game span."
Sheil Kapadia: "Washington had the NFL's third-best defense in 2020, and though success on that side of the ball doesn't always carry over year to year, they actually upgraded their talent, signing cornerback William Jackson and drafting linebacker Jamin Davis in the first round. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the long-term answer at quarterback, but he should be fine for a year, and Washington can revisit its QB situation next offseason. This isn't a great team, but it should be a frisky team that competes for the NFC East crown."
Doug Farrar: "...Only the Steelers and Saints ranked ahead of Washington in Defensive DVOA, and former Bengals cornerback William Jackson III is a huge value addition in free agency. Another huge value-add was Washington's first-round pick -- Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis, who reminds me a lot of Thomas Davis, the 'backer Rivera worked with when they were both with Carolina. Speaking of Carolina, North Carolina receiver Dyami Brown was one of the steals of this draft in the third round, and Brown adds his name and talent to an already stacked receiver class. If Ryan Fitzpatrick can dial up more good YOLO than bad YOLO, the Football Team will a lot more interesting than their name, and possibly good enough for a playoff run."