The Washington Football Team, despite trading up for Trey Lance, has already managed to address linebacker, wide receiver, and safety. Now, after trading back out of Round 5, they have five more selections, which they can use to select potential diamonds in the rough. Here are the selections in Round 6.
With a few extra picks from multiple trade-backs, it feels right for the Washington Football Team to double-up at linebacker, and in Round 6, Purdue’s Derrick Barnes is a great addition. Barnes was a standout at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, showing nice fluidity and physicality in drills. At Purdue, he was a defensive leader, and if nothing else, he translates well as a solid special teams prospect with starting upside.
That starting upside is reinforced by Barnes’ testing numbers. Barnes is an incredibly explosive and dense linebacker prospect. At his pro day, he measured in around 6-foot-0, 238 pounds, and put up a 4.58 40-yard dash, a 37-inch vertical, a 119-inch broad jump, and an astounding 29 bench reps with 33.5-inch arms. This is about as low-risk, high-upside as it gets in the later rounds.
TaQuon Graham is one of my favorite late-round prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft. He certainly needs more refinement, but for the Washington Football Team, who needs more depth and long-term potential at defensive lineman, especially after cutting Caleb Brantley, Graham could be a steal in a similar ilk to Matt Ioannidis.
Graham plays with an all-out motor and offers excellent pass rushing upside, but the most enticing part of his profile is his athletic makeup. He compares very favorably to Sheldon Richardson, in terms of his 6-foot-3, 292-pound frame. And in fact, Graham is much longer than Richardson, with a wingspan over 85 inches. He also has better explosiveness numbers, with a 4.89 40-yard dash, a 32.5-inch vertical, and a 113-inch broad jump.
Those are very impressive numbers. But what might be most impressive is that Graham put up 32 bench reps — with 35-inch arms. Players with elite length aren’t supposed to be able to put up that many reps. But Graham did. It speaks to his natural strength and leverage, and only adds to his insane physical potential.