Grading Washington’s draft class at halfway point of 2021
By Jerry Trotta
It wasn’t that long ago when the Washington Football Team received rave reviews for their showing in the 2021 draft.
We know it comes with the territory, but giving a grade on a draft class before a player has even set foot on an NFL field is utter lunacy.
The process is based entirely based on projections from evidence provided during their college careers and performance at the combine.
It’s a flawed system, but the fact that it’s also a crapshoot is why experts like Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay are still employed by ESPN despite miscalculating on countless prospects through the years.
It’s too early to tell if Washington whiffed on some of their draft picks, but the early returns indicate the 2021 class has a long ways to go before it can live up to its consensus post-draft report cards.
Now that we’ve reached the halfway point of the season, we thought it’d be a good time to give our own evaluation of Washington’s rookie draft picks.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Washington Football Team 2021 rookie report card
We know Twitter can be incredibly toxic, but we’ve seen a lot of vitriol being unleashed in Jamin Davis’ direction for the slow start to his rookie year. Sure, we published a piece that highlighted a few players that were probably better fits with the No. 19 overall pick, but you could do that for A LOT of first-rounders.
Either way, the first half of 2021 has been tough sledding for Davis, who has 34 tackles, five missed tackles, 13 run stops and one QB hit. He’s also allowing a 122.8 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks in coverage.
The good news, though, is that Davis has seen an uptick in playing time following Jon Bostic’s season-ending injury. After playing 42.6% of the defensive snaps over the first five weeks, the Kentucky product has logged a 77.6% share, including an 88.5% share in the last two games before the bye.
Davis is only going to get better by learning on the job, so he better play no fewer than 70% of the snaps the rest of the way. While he was drafted as a development piece, he’s disappointed compared to players that were taken within his vicinity.
After drafting Davis with an eye on the future, Washington had to make sure they got a Day 1 contributor with their second-round pick.
They’ve gotten just that in Sam Cosmi, who’s already solidifying himself as one of the best run-blocking tackles in the league. He owns a stellar 88.9 grade in that regard, which ranks sixth among OTs, per Pro Football Focus
The former Texas star hasn’t been nearly as dominant in pass pro, but he’s handled his own for a first-year player. Over 179 pass-blocking snaps, Cosmi’s allowed one sack and nine pressures, while getting flagged for two penalties.
If you told us before the year that would be Cosmi’s stats through five games — he’s missed the last three with an ankle injury — we would’ve taken it in a heartbeat. You’re looking at Washington’s RT of the future, folks.