Washington Football Team Pick Round 4: Elerson Smith, EDGE, Northern Iowa
I’m making up for passing on Northern Iowa’s Spencer Brown in Round 2 by taking his Panther teammate Smith here. Standing almost 6-foot-7, Smith is not quite as fast or as long as Montez Sweat, but he looks a lot like the Washington Football Team standout when rushing the passer.
Smith may never develop into a solid every-down player. There are concerns about his strength at the point of attack and his ability to hold up against the run. He has a very lean frame and it remains to be seen how much bulk he can add without sacrificing speed.
But as a pass rush specialist, he has tremendous upside. His length and his first step are elite.
Washington has similar players in James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill, but neither is a sure thing. Adding a player like Smith to that mix improves your chances of identifying quality depth behind Sweat and Chase Young.
Washington Football Team Pick Round 5: Christian Uphoff, S, Illinois State
This is becoming one of my favorite players in the upcoming draft. He steadily improved throughout his time at Illinois State and looks like he may have a lot more upside than most other safeties in a relatively thin year for that position. He is big enough (6-foot-2, 210) to play in the box and has enough speed to play deep.
Uphoff is a ball hawk. He seems to have a nose for finding the play. He is not the biggest hitter and that is what the safety position has become. But he can get people on the ground, and he can make plays as both a deep safety and as a kick returner.
Several years down the road, I could envision him teaming with the similarly versatile Kamren Curl to give Washington a very talented, young defensive back end.
Washington Football Team Pick Round 6: Trade
I want a number of other small school players, but none of them need to be selected in this round. So, I am going use the sixth-rounder I picked up in the Trey Lance deal to move back, acquiring a third pick in the 2021 seventh-round, as well as a 2022 sixth-rounder. That doesn’t exactly replace the 2022 first and third lost in the Lance trade, but it helps rebuild next year’s draft capital.