Round 2, Pick No. 51: Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
The selection of Radunz here addresses a position of need, and one that could end up turning into a steal. I know, not the tackle you expected but it may be the one you need. Per Pro Football Network Draft Analyst Tony Pauline, Radunz “fires into blocks, shows explosiveness at the point, and plays with a nasty attitude.”
Washington’s offensive line certainly needs an upgrade, but Radunz can provide depth as needed if he is not immediately ready to start at left tackle. Cornelius Lucas did a fine job when he took over the starter role last year, and don’t forget that Saahdiq Charles is still on the team. Before his guard experiment, Charles was seen as a potential left tackle.
Adding Radunz to this mix should only make this offensive line better. Worst-case scenario, Radunz ends up playing right tackle for the Washington Football Team for the next decade or so, as current starter Morgan Moses’ contract only appears to run through 2022.
For those who are not fans of small school players or just don’t prefer Radunz, the braintrust in this mock was tempted to go with Notre Dame OL Liam Eichenberg, Michigan OL Jalen Mayfield, or Alabama OL Alex Leatherwood. They either graded out lower, or were already selected. Radunz on the other hand fit the profile of what could be favored by Rivera and staff.
Radunz has positional versatility, toughness, and a willingness to mix it up. It also helps that GM Martin Mayhew and OC Scott Turner reportedly attended North Dakota State QB Trey Lance’s pro day in Fargo last month. Why does this help Radunz? If the Washington Football Team is genuinely interested in Lance, then they have obviously scouted Radunz plenty.
The good part about having a player like Lance on your team is that it gets the decision makers to see plenty of film which would showcase every player on the offense. If you’ve every watched Radunz film, you will see a guy who is nasty at the point of attack, and a player with a good foundational base that should only get better at the NFL level.
The selection of Radunz is another mixed one. Those who study these players for a living don’t hate it, but may be questioning the team fit with Radunz’s skillset. Fans are rushing to YouTube to watch his highlights, then immediately start feeling better about the pick. Moving on, with the 74th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Washington Football Team selects…