The Washington Football Team had a big need at the safety position entering the 2021 NFL Draft.
In the fifth round of the draft, the team finally took a chance on a player at the position. The selection was Cincinnati safety Darrick Forrest.
How Darrick Forrest fits the Washington Football Team
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Forrest is a highly experienced player that played a whopping 39 games during his time with the Bearcats. He has played a variety of roles for the team, including playing the safety position and serving as a key part of all the team’s special teams units. He is a high-floor player who will be, at the very least, a quality backup.
And if Forrest can reach his ceiling, he could become a solid starter.
Forrest racked up 106 tackles and three interceptions during the 2019 season, which ranked as the best of his career. He also earned a captain role for his strong leadership and tough play with the Bearcats, so he has high character. That’s something that Ron Rivera clearly values.
This offseason, Forrest performed very well at his Pro Day and that helped set his draft stock ablaze. The numbers he posted were eye-opening 4.41-second 40, 1.51 10-yard split, 39-inch vertical, 132-inch broad, and 6.91-second cone. He has the speed and agility needed to make a difference as a safety and the experience needed to be a contributor early in his NFL career.
Forrest could end up being a replacement of sorts for Troy Apke, but he’ll have more upside than the Penn State product at this point. Apke has been a fast special teams player during his NFL career, but Washington couldn’t trust him as a starter on the back end.
That said, Forrest’s experience at the safety spot vastly outweighs that of Apke. So, even though he is slightly less athletic than Apke, the fifth-round pick could emerge as a key role player for the team.
Washington had to add a safety at some point and while adding one earlier may have been preferable in the opinion of some, Forrest seems like a good wild card in the fifth round. If things don’t quite pan out, he’ll still be a special teams ace, so it looks like Washington has made a safe, solid pick.