So other than Owner Daniel Snyder, who exactly is in charge of things in Old D.C. when the annual Draft begins? Legacy exec team president BRUCE WILLIAMS, SCOTT CAMPBELL, HC JAY GRUDEN, VP of Player Personnel DOUG WILLIAMS, and a cast of … well, too many. All too often, this organization seems like a ship at sea with a full staff of officers on board, but only a skeleton crew to carry out all the orders. Let’s try to tighten things up a bit, and let Pigskin Paul make the Picks without having to fight for consensus within the crowded War Room. The team has multiple needs, so value at the Pick would indeed seem to outweigh purely picking for need, per se.
Round 1, Pick 15
NOAH FANT TE IOWA 6’4/249 PP#17
Some might say that FANT is too close to being another JORDAN REED for this spot. But let’s get real, size alone does not dictate a player’s position in the lineup, and REED is their best receiver, when healthy. REED might be best served in the slot, while FANT, with his 4.50/40-speed at slightly less than 250 lbs, can be lined up almost anywhere and get separation. He is definitely more a wideout, than an inline TE right now. Forget trying to pigeon-hole him. He’s an elite talent as an athlete, and cannot help but upgrade their receiver corps in many ways. JAY will find ways to deploy him out on the grass to good advantage.
Round 2, Pick 46
JUAN THORNHILL FS VIRGINIA 6’1/202 PP#46
Having cut loose SWEARINGER late last season, basically for mutiny, the team finds itself thin and under-talented at the deep secondary spots. As an ex-CB, THORNHILL has better ball skills and more speed, (4.44/40), than your average NFL S. In his first season at S last year, THORNHILL recorded 98 tackles, while also being credited with 7 PBU’s and 6 INT’s. IMO, he would be their most athletic S in D.C. since the late/great SEAN TAYLOR. Ourlads had him ranked as the 2nd most athletic S at the Combine. If time allows, he is also an accomplished Special Team contributor. Excellent value, and now 2-for-2 at picking immediate starters in this Draft.
Round 3, Pick 76
AUSTIN BRYANT OB/ER CLEMSON 6’4/271 PP#82
I am not making a tight comparison, but I will say that I see some serious comps between BRYANT, and the recently departed PRESTON SMITH. Some would call BRYANT a tweener, but in today’s NFL Defense, I would say he’s a versatile, multiple role athlete. BRYANT never had the overwhelming statistical season that gets the average Draftnik excited, but playing at Clemson, he had to share tackles and sacks with a group that had 3 First Round talents in this Draft. BRYANT recorded only 43 tackles in 2018, but please note that 14.5 of them were TFL. That’s basically, every third tackle of his, being behind the line of scrimmage. That total included 8 sacks and another 5 QBH’s. With a bit more functional strength, his 34 5/8″ long arms could really move some blockers around. He could go a long way in replacing PRESTON’s athleticism and versatility in their D, and at a Cap friendly price, for a while.
Round 3, Pick 96c
CHASE WINOVICH ER/OB MICHIGAN 6’3/256 PP#99
He was one of the major pieces in a dominant Wolverine Defense last season. I think he has physical similarities to ex-Packer CLAY MATTHEWS, and I don’t just mean his flowing blonde locks. He’s a good athlete, with a non-stop motor out on the grass. In 2018, he compiled 69 tackles, despite being banged up late in the season. Of those 69 stops, 17 were TFL , with 5 of those being sacks, and then add in 7 QBH’s for the heck of it. He’ll fill multiple roles, but I really do see him being athletic enough, (4.65/40), to stand up as a “LB” like MATTHEWS did, and chase the QB. He might also line up with his hand on the ground, and pass rush from the edge in long yardage situations. He’s not shy about defending the run. He’s a smart and alert young man who could become a real fan favorite, and a bright light in the team’s locker room. He’s a nice roster addition with their first Compensatory Pick of this Draft.
Round 5, Pick 153
DRUE TRANQUILL LB NOTRE DAME 6’2/234 PP#154
Even though several guys on their D play multiple roles in that Front-7, their roster looks a bit thin when it comes to traditional LB types. TRANQUILL would help fill in that group, with the added plus that, a few years and knee surgeries ago, he began his Irish career as a S. His athleticism is NOT elite, but his effort and energy are. His 4.58/40-time is at least average for a 234 lb. LB. Count on him to make an early mark on their Special Teams unit, and as a sound back-up LB. On a pretty talented and balanced Notre Dame Defense, TRANQUILL recorded 86 tackles last season. Pencil him in as a versatile, hard working addition to the bottom half of their roster.
Round 5, Pick 173c
TERRY GODWIN WR GEORGIA 5’11/175 PP#170
GODWIN is my second contribution to my upgrade of their receiving corps. Do not let GODWIN’s 4.56/40 time fool you. What he lacks in straight line speed, he makes up for in quickness and shiftiness. He attended the Shrine venue in January, and was the best looking receiver at catching quick-look passes and adding YAC. He is a smooth hands catcher, with pretty good sized mitts, (9 1/4″), for his frame. When opposing teams bring the heat on the pocket, GODWIN is the kind of guy who will make them pay, catching dump-off throws and getting the extra yardage. He does a lot of good work on the sidelines with his quick feet, sure hands, and initial separation. He’s a nice value here, as an immediate plus at the bottom of their receiving group.
Round 6, Pick 206c
CLAYTON THORSON QB NORTHWESTERN 6’4/222 PP#206
I’ve talked about THORSON before in these mocks because he’s a solid later round selection, with enough tools and experience to become a back-up QB in the NFL. He has a good arm and decent athleticism, and improved his play every year in Evanston. He did not have a great group of weapons to throw to overall, yet completed over 60% of his throws in his last 2 years in college. His biggest flaw is decision making when his early options are not open. His career 61/45, TD/INT ratio is scary, but I love those 9 3/4″ hands for grasping that NFL size football.
Round 6, Pick 227
ISAIAH PRINCE OT OHIO STATE 6’7/305 PP#230
It’s time to bolster a thin OL group that the team ended up with, after pruning their older depth players from the roster. PRINCE is not just a name, or throw away Pick for Training Camp depth. He’s a really long guy who helped protect a marginally mobile QB/HASKINS, as he threw with great success last season. He was a team captain in 2018. He needs more core strength to improve his overall play strength. You gotta luv those 35 1/2″ arms of his. He has to work on his knee bend, especially in pass-pro. When he stands up too straight, at 6’7, he’s easily controlled by edge rushers. Does he have a legit NFL future as a back-up and maybe a starter? Yes, he does. Good value here.
Round 7, Pick 253c
IOSUA OPETA OG WEBER STATE 6’4/301 PP#NR
I have to admit, this guy was not on my radar at all until he showed up at the Combine. He got my attention immediately by leading all players with 39 reps in the Bench Press, and that is with 33 1/4″ arm length. I look at him as a back-up for a year or two, but with ascending skills, which may really improve with quality NFL position group coaching. He is flat-out, country strong. His 5.09/40-time isn’t bad either for an Interior OL. He did play OT for Weber State, but his best bet is likely inside. He might be the long range replacement for SHAWN LAUVAO, who he reminds me a bit of, in pads.
I see a lot of good value Picks here, and many at positions just crying for fresh troops on that Washington roster. You are welcome, gentlemen.