Washington Football Team Mock Draft: 5 first-round targets for Washington
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Football Team is 2-5 entering a Halloween showdown against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High.
At this point, it’s tough to see Washington accomplishing much of anything this year. Even if they beat Denver on the road, they still have the Buccaneers, Seahawks (most likely with Russell Wilson back healthy), the 5-2 Raiders, and the scalding hot Cowboys (twice) waiting on the schedule.
Washington also has three NFC East games left vs the Giants and Eagles (twice). While those squads are nothing to write home about, they almost always get up for inner-division showdowns.
Those matchups could also have massive draft order ramifications.
Speaking of the 2022 NFL Draft, if the season ended today Washington would hold the No. 8 overall pick. In other words, the front office could have its pick of the litter, depending on how the first several selections unfold.
Seeing that Washington is headed for another losing season, let’s highlight some first-round prospects they could target next April.
5 first-round targets for the Washington Football Team
5. Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Let’s call it like it is, folks. If Washington’s secondary continues down this path, it would be insane to run it back with William Jackson and Kendall Fuller as the top two cornerbacks on the roster next campaign.
It would be a terrible optic to cut bait with one or both of them — Fuller signed a four-year, $40 million deal in 2020 and Jackson inked a three-year, $42 million deal back in March — but both players haven’t cut it.
This secondary would benefit from getting younger, and Kaiir Elam springs to mind as a perfect draft target. Widely recognized as the No. 2 cornerback in the 2021 class behind LSU’s Derek Stingley, Elam has shined on a Florida defense that’s underwhelmed given the buzz it garnered before the season.
Elam ran track in high school, so speed isn’t a concern. He has a great closing burst, which is vital in recovering on plays he misreads, which will happen early on in his career. Playing in the loaded SEC, Elam has vast experience playing against NFL prospects, so it’s not like he’ll be overwhelmed as a rookie.
At 6-foot-2 with long arms, Elam is a pass breakup waiting to happen. If Washington parts ways with one of Fuller or Jackson before the draft, we’d like them to target Elam to pair with Benjamin St-Juste as the defense’s CBs of the future.