Washington Football Team 7-round mock draft: Rolling with Taylor Heinicke

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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – OCTOBER 24: Rashod Bateman #0 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers carries the ball against the Michigan Wolverines in the third quarter of the game at TCF Bank Stadium on October 24, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Wolverines defeated the Gophers 49-24. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Round 2, Pick 36 – Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman

The Pro Football Network mock draft simulator was used again for this mock. Rather than actively trading up, this time around, I waited until the No. 19 pick came around, and chose to review the trade options presented to me. I already have my franchise quarterback in the great Taylor Heinicke, and since the draft class is deep at a lot of needy positions, trading back and acquiring more picks is an attractive option.

Trading back this far might not be what you anticipated, but take a look at the offer we got from the Miami Dolphins, who were eager to trade up for offensive tackle help. It was tough to pass up Christian Darrisaw, but given the Washington Football Team’s short-term stability at tackle, this offer felt good enough to take.

Also, I apologize that the trade graphic says “Football Team” instead of “Washington”. It’s a shortcode, so the team’s “mascot” is automatically coded in when a team is selected. Nothing I can do about that, unfortunately.

Dolphins Get
19th pick
82nd pick
Commanders Get
36th pick
50th pick
81st pick
92nd pick

Look at all those picks. Just look at them.

Passing up on an excellent offensive tackle prospect is a tough pill to swallow. Trading out of Round 1 from the 19th pick is an equally tough pill to swallow. But for this swap, the Washington Football Team gets three extra Day 2 picks. In a class that’s known for its depth at positions like wide receiver, offensive line, linebacker, and tight end, I’ll take three second-round picks and three third-rounders any day.

And when a player like Rashod Bateman drops to the 36th overall pick, it makes that proposition look even more enticing.

Bateman should go higher than this. He doesn’t have the flash of players like Jaylen Waddle, Rondale Moore (remember that name), and Kadarius Toney, and he’s not quite the elite run-after-catch threat that Scott Turner might crave for his offense. But Bateman is one of the safest high-level projections at wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Standing around 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Bateman has good size and density, and he’s also a fairly smooth athlete who accelerates well and uses crafty deception in and out of his route breaks. Bateman is tough and nuanced at the catch point, and he has the contortion ability to naturally make plays on less-than-precise balls.

Because Bateman’s production dipped in a quickly-deteriorating offensive situation, and because he might not test with the elite athleticism of other wide receivers, he may drop outside of Round 1. But in early Round 2, he’s a value deal that simply can’t be passed up. He’s been compared to players like Keenan Allen and Allen Robinson in this draft cycle, and that’s the type of talent Washington shouldn’t turn away.

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