Washington Football Team: Three options in the first round in 2021

Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Tulsa LB Zaven Collins. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
Tulsa LB Zaven Collins. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1 – Trade back and select Tulsa LB Zaven Collins

Zaven Collins is called a “freak of nature” by just about every NFL Draft website, and rightfully so.

Zaven Collins, the 6’4″, 260-pound linebacker from Tulsa University, is as versatile as they come at his position.

From high-level instincts and supreme coverage ability to his effectiveness as a pass rusher, Zaven Collins would be extremely dynamic and valuable in the Ron Rivera-Jack Del Rio defense.

Collins projects to be a WILL at the next level, manning serious coverage responsibilities and schematic blitzes, but he can also contribute at MIKE.

He’s best in coverage, where last season he intercepted four passes, broke one pass up, and only allowed a 62.2 NFL passer rating when targeted.

While his redshirt junior season was fantastic, he’s become as polished and clean in coverage as they come. For his career, he allowed an NFL passer rating of 59.1, en route to breaking up nine passes and picking off five passes.

The biggest concern in the game of Zaven Collins is missed tackles, as through three seasons he missed 37 tackles total. While he produced 116 stops, combining for over 210 tackles throughout his career, he isn’t as consistent as you’d hope for as a MIKE LB.

While he played a lot of inside linebacker, as referred to earlier, he’ll be best accompanying a WILL role in this defense. He’s a pass coverage extraordinaire, who shows his gifts in that aspect of the position best.

Selecting Collins gives the Washington Football Team a significant upgrade and an answer at WILL going forward. While also being a savvy pass rusher, Collins is as talented as they come, both from a mental and physical perspective.

Though he’s gifted and is someone who is needed in the Washington Football Team’s linebacker room, Washington can likely select the three-year starter later in the first round. Thus, the organization should take advantage of a trade-back scenario, should one present itself.

A mock scenario where Washington can select Collins in addition to gaining draft capital will look something like this:

In this scenario, PFF’s Mock Draft Tool had the Browns trading up to select WR Rashod Bateman from Minnesota.

This is Washington’s best-case scenario here, as they gain a second-round pick for moving back seven spots, while still selecting their guy Zaven Collins.

Next. Five "don'ts" in 2021 free agency for Washington. dark

Washington should be a prime trade-back candidate in this draft, as they can select real talent later in the first round that seamlessly fits on either side of the football. Should a situation present itself where Washington can trade back and gain an extra second-round pick, the Washington Football Team must jump at the opportunity.