Grading Washington’s 2021 draft class at season’s end
By Jerry Trotta
The NFL Draft process is something. At face value, the idea of spending hours upon hours reviewing college film and analyzing the combine to project how a player is going to fare at the pinnacle of their profession is insane.
Without experts and scouts, there wouldn’t be a pre-draft process, which is a driving force of post-Super Bowl content — when most fans refuse to accept the fact that football is over — so we have the utmost respect for them.
Another reason to commend their collective work? It’s pretty hard. Take the Washington Football Team’s 2021 class as an example.
It was raved about at the draft’s conclusion and to say it has major question marks after a one-year sample size would be a huge understatement.
That’s not to say Washington is alone in that regard. However, the pressure will be on the front office to deliver better results this time around.
But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. There’s still plenty of offseason to go before the draft arrives, so let’s dive into a player-by-player evaluation of Washington’s 2021 class now that the season is a wrap.
Washington Football Team’s 2021 rookie report card
Davis is very much a polarizing topic amongst Washington fans, and it’s easy to see why. As a first-round pick, he didn’t come close to living up to that billing and the criticism only grew louder with fellow rookie linebackers like Nick Bolton and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah shining as second-rounders.
All in all, Davis look overwhelmed serving as Washington’s mike linebacker. His slower-than-expected transition saw him benched in a lot of games, and he only played 56% of the defensive snaps despite playing 16 games.
The Kentucky product finished the year with 76 tackles (fifth-most on the team), three tackles for loss, two QB hits and a pass breakup. Again, not the impact fans expected from the NO. 19 overall pick and he graded out extremely poorly via Pro Football Focus, finishing with a 43.3 player grade.
With all that said, there’s reason to be bullish on Davis’ future.
While assessing Davis’ rookie year, Ron Rivera noted he plans on moving him to a weak-side linebacker next year to better accentuate his speed and raw athleticism. Davis gave us a glimpse of his potential in that new role when he blew up a jet sweep against the Giants in the season finale.
Taking everything into account, though, his rookie season can only be considered a disappointment.