Washington Football Team grades for Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft
Round 4, Pick 124: TE John Bates, Boise State
This is probably one of the more interesting picks of the draft for Washington. Bates wasn’t a big name, and he was expected to be a mid-to-late Day 3 prospect. So, the pick was a bit of a reach on paper.
That said, Bates has solid hands and is a good blocker. He’s not an explosive game-breaking threat, but he can play a role as a No. 2 tight end for Washington. The only question is about what his upside is overall.
Maybe tight end coach Pete Hoener will be able to turn Bates into a surprising weapon. After all, he did that with Logan Thomas last year. Still, this pick was probably the biggest reach they had in the draft, so it will be downgraded.
That’s not to say it won’t pan out. However, if Brevin Jordan or Zach Davidson become better multi-faceted threats than Bates, there will be questions about this pick down the line.
Round 5, Pick 163: S Darrick Forrest, Cincinnati
More from Riggo's Rag
- What will Emmanuel Forbes bring to the Washington Commanders?
- Highlighting the best Commanders 2023 NFL Draft betting props
- 3 late Commanders rumors drawing buzz ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft
- 4 bold predictions for the Commanders 2023 NFL Draft
- Commanders News: Chase Young trade, draft day, CB riser and Sam Howell
Forrest is the exact type of prospect that Ron Rivera will love. He’s experienced and played in 39 games during his Cincinnati career. He was a key special teams player and earned a captain role at Cincy.
Forrest also was productive and had 146 tackles with five interceptions in his final 23 college games over the span of two years. He is a high-floor player who will be a quality ackup and special teams player at the very least.
Is there anything not to like with Forrest? Well, he fits the strong safety mold more than the free safety mold. He admitted as much. With Kam Curl and Landon Collins already on the roster, it’s worth wondering how Forrest fits in, but he should make the team as a depth piece.
Round 6, Pick 225: LS Cameron Cheeseman, Michigan
The best long-snapper in the draft, Thomas Fletcher, came off the board just a few picks before this. That’s why Washington went out and drafted Cheeseman. They also needed a long snapper after letting Nick Sundberg walk.
There’s nothing exciting about drafting a snapper, but Cheeseman is 6-foot-4, has played in 39 games, and has one of the better names in the draft. That’s a solid combo altogether. Maybe they could’ve waited until Round 7 for a long snapper, but there were only 34 picks left in the draft at this point.
We won’t penalize them too much for the choice, but we won’t give it anything more than a C-level grade since the upside is low to non-existent.
The first half of Day 3 was probably the weakest part of the Washington draft, but they made up for it in its other phases.