Who the Washington Football Team could trade up for in the 2021 NFL Draft
There are several possibilities for Washington if they’re looking to move into the back-end of the top 10. Chief among them would be offensive line talents and also, receivers — should one of the top pass-catchers be available in the top nine or so picks.
Here are some options for the WFT to consider.
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama. All reports seem to indicate that it will be Jaylen Waddle, not DeVonta Smith, that is the first Alabama receiver off the board. If that happens, Smith could slip to the latter end of the top-10 and would then be in play for the Giants and Eagles picks at 11 and 12 respectively.
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If Washington views the Heisman Trophy winner’s production as translatable to the next level, they could easily envision him as a perfect complement to Terry McLaurin on the outside with Curtis Samuel in the slot. That would completely revamp the team’s receiving corps, so that move could certainly pan out.
Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern. Slater is viewed by many as the second-best tackle prospect in this draft class. Could that be Washington? If so, they could move up to grab him in the hopes of making him their long-term starter at left tackle.
They would just have to be comfortable with Slater’s lacking length — or they’d have to be willing to move him inside to guard if things don’t work out at tackle. Either way, Washington should be in play for a guy like Slater if they’re moving up.
Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC. Here’s another OT option for the team. Vera-Tucker probably won’t make it to 19, so jumping up to get him would make some sense. He has similar length concerns to Slater, but again, if a team is comfortable using him at tackle, he should have a chance to pan out there.
Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina. Could Ron Rivera want to add another cornerback to his defense to give him a triage of William Jackson III, Kendall Fuller, and Horn at the position? That would certainly help Washington as they look to build an elite defense.
Horn is a great man-to-man corner and would bring great physicality and size to the WFT. He could kick Fuller inside to the slot, where he has thrived, and may let Fuller play free safety in early-down packages. That could help fill two holes for the price of one.
QBs Justin Fields (Ohio State) or Trey Lance (North Dakota State). Just because some reports indicate that the team isn’t looking to trade up for a QB doesn’t mean that they aren’t considering it. If Fields or Lance falls enough, Washington could try to move into the top 10 to get one of them and give themselves a very bright future at the position.
Fields is the more polished of the two, so he’d be the ideal fit for the WFT. That said, the team has shown an interest in Lance throughout the process, so perhaps he could be the guy. Also pencil in Mac Jones as a trade up option on the off chance that the San Francisco 49ers pass on him with the third overall pick.