The Washington Football Team turned out as a revelation in the 2020 NFL season as they managed to come out on top of the underperforming NFC East division. Not to mention that they also came close to running away with an upset victory against the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their NFC Wild Card round encounter.
With an applaudable performance in the past season, the Washington Football Team is expected to get even better and continue to reign supreme in their division come 2021. Head coach Ron Rivera is hoping that his new crop of young talent will be able to come in and contribute to their playoff aspirations for the 2021 season.
Here are the draft grades for each draft pick that was made by the Washington Football Team in the 2021 NFL Draft:
Round 1, Pick 19: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Prior to the draft, the Washington Football Team was hinting that they might prioritize either a linebacker or an offensive tackle in the first round. They eventually went with Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis in hopes of improving their defensive rotation next season. The 22-year-old Hawaii native recently concluded a three-year stint with the Wildcats and burst onto the scene as a potential first-round talent by way of a productive campaign in the 2020 season.
Washington gets an A- grade for this pick, considering that they managed to snag their top-rated defensive prospect without having to move up in the first round.
Round 2, Pick 51: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
After opting to select a linebacker in the first round, Washington was already expected by many to haul in an offensive tackle to add to their roster for next season. They chose to turn to Texas OT Sam Cosmi who emerged as a steal for them at the 51st pick, considering the stacked roster of linemen available in this year's draft.
Towering at 6-foot-7 and 315 pounds, Cosmi has a good chance to emerge as a force for Washington's pass protection unit next season. Though he will need to further polish his skills in order to succeed at the next level, no team could go wrong with the good combination of size, versatility, and tenacity that he has shown all throughout his collegiate career with the Longhorns.
Round 3, Pick 74: Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota
Another need that Washington aimed to address on their roster was the cornerback depth. This came after their former starting cornerback Ronald Darby recently took his talents to the Denver Broncos in the offseason while their backup in Fabian Moreau chose to sign with the Atlanta Falcons.
Based on his two-year amateur stint, St-Juste is more of a press cover corner who was used to playing on the perimeter for the Golden Gophers. It remains to be seen if he can effectively play on the inside as he has shown his potential to play at the No. 2 corner slot instead. Washington got a considerably low grade for this one, given that they could've prioritized their other needs and waited to grab him in the latter rounds instead.
Round 3, Pick 82: Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
Indeed, patience is a virtue as an absolute steal in North Carolina wide receiver Dyami Brown fell right into the hands of the Washington Football Team. It was a no-brainer to give the squad a high grade for this selection, considering that they managed to nab one of the best receiving talents in this year's draft in the second half of the third round.
Brown's speed will definitely serve as a huge asset for Washington's offensive attack next season. His expected pairing with WR1 Terry McLaurin can potentially develop into one of the more dangerous duos in the league if the incoming rookie can successfully translate his game to the next level. Here's to hoping that he can be the DK Metcalf of this year's rookie class and make everyone who passed up on him look silly.
Round 4, Pick 124: John Bates, TE, Boise State
Choosing to draft Boise State tight end John Bates in the fourth round seemed to be a questionable move by Washington. His talent has yet to be proven against legitimate competition and he still has to work on his receiving skills in order to be effective at the next level. Washington gets a low grade for this one, given that they could've gone with better options in the fourth round instead of opting to select Bates.
Round 5, Pick 163: Darrick Forrest, S, Cincinnati
Head coach Ron Rivera managed to address a need by selecting Cincinnati safety Darrick Forrest with the 163rd pick. He is a good tackler though he isn't quite effective at being a pass rusher and is expected to play away from the line in the pros. Forrest could potentially be an asset in the team's special teams department but the perseverance that he can show throughout training camp will ultimately dictate how much he can contribute to the defensive backs room in his rookie campaign.
Round 6, Pick 225: Camaron Cheeseman, LS, Michigan
Aside from his quirky last name, the Washington Football Team saw something from Michigan long snapper Camaron Cheeseman as they opted to select him in the sixth round. Usually, teams choose to wait and sign a free agent long snapper instead of acquiring one through the draft. However, Cheeseman's potential and level of talent persuaded the front office to think otherwise and ultimately use a draft pick on him.
Round 7, Pick 240: William Bradley-King, DE, Baylor
Baylor defensive end William Bradley-King's potential inclusion in the final 53-man roster will be affected by the looming decision of Ryan Kerrigan to return to the team next season. If the veteran chooses to do so, the incoming rookie defensive end may find himself settling in on the team's practice squad instead. Given his current skill set, Bradley-King can opt to transition to being an outside linebacker in hopes of getting a greater chance at making the final roster come Week 1.
Round 7, Pick 246: Shaka Toney, DE, Penn State
Like Bradley-King, Shaka Toney used to play as a defensive end for the Nittany Lions in his collegiate career. However, he may find himself shifting to be an outside linebacker due to his lack of size as an edge in the NFL. If he can successfully do so, head coach Ron Rivera may already be looking at the potential replacement for former linebacker Ryan Anderson who is now playing for the division rival New York Giants.
Round 7, Pick 258: Dax Milne, WR, BYU
BYU wide receiver Dax Milne may be a familiar name to many as he previously served as one of the main weapons of quarterback Zach Wilson who is now suiting up for the New York Jets. He is considered an above-average receiver who has excellent route-running skills and can use his hands to catch long passes. Though Milne can develop into a valuable threat for any other team, it remains to be seen if he can stand out and contribute to Washington's cause given their stacked offensive rotation, thus the C+ grade for this pick.