The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the opinion of the team.
The Washington Football Team kicked off the 2021 NFL Draft by filling its biggest defensive need with first-round linebacker Jamin Davis.
On Friday night, Washington will have three picks, including two in the third round (74th and 82nd overall). Here are 10 prospects it could target:
Jamar Johnson, S, Indiana
There is one word that scouts and analysts constantly bring up when evaluating Johnson: versatility. Are teams looking for a defensive back who can tackle? His 43 stops last season were second on the Hoosiers' defense. How about one with exceptional cover skills? He had four interceptions last year, which tied the team lead, and seven in three seasons. The Sarasota, Florida, native also has four sacks in his career, including one on Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields in 2020. Johnson has starting experience at safety and cornerback, which is a trait Ron Rivera and defensive backs coach Chris Harris would love.
Shakur Brown, CB, Michigan State
What can Brown do for Washington? Create turnovers, that's what. He may be small (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) but size was not an issue for Brown in his lone season as a full-time starter with five interceptions. He led the FBS with 0.71 interceptions per game, and he knows how to flip the field with the ball in his hands. His 186 interception return yards rank eighth in program history. He is also another player with position flexibility, as he started as a nickelback and cornerback in 2020. Rivera likes players who will benefit the offense and defense; that's what he got in Chase Young last year. Brown is not as highly regarded as Young, but his ability to create turnovers and set the offense up with a short field would certainly be an asset.
Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
The 2020 season was not Wallace's best, but then again, it would be hard for many to duplicate what he did in 2018 with 86 receptions for 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award that year, given out to the nation's most outstanding receiver, but was beaten out by former Alabama wideout Jerry Jeudy.
Still, Wallace racked up a combined 1,825 yards and 14 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He is a crisp route-runner and knows how to win contested matchups, so he should be able to find a contributing role in his rookie year.
Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
There is no denying that Mills is seen as a project by many analysts, but there are plenty of tools to work with in his game. He doesn't have as much experience as other signal-callers in his class, but he did complete nearly 66% of his passes in two seasons as a starter. He is not the most mobile player, and yet he had three rushing touchdowns in 2020. And there are moments, like when he threw for 327 yards against Colorado, that show he can put his traits to good use. He is not the polished product that other quarterbacks are this year, but with the proper tutelage from veterans like Ryan Fitzpatrick, he could develop into a starter in later seasons.
Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
Surratt is still coming into his own as a linebacker after making the switch from quarterback in his junior season. That said, the decision to switch positions has clearly paid off. In his first season as middle linebacker, he had 31 pressures and was a runner-up for ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He's recorded 12.5 sacks and 206 tackles since making the switch, and while he does have some areas that could be polished, the natural ability he possesses could entice Washington to bring him in as a developmental player.
Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami (Fla.)
There is no beating out Florida's Kyle Pitts as the best tight end available this year, but Jordan would not be a bad substitute for any of the 31 other teams that will have to look elsewhere. A consistent starter since his freshman year, Jordan is a three-time All-ACC selection with 1,358 yards and 13 touchdowns under his belt. He was a semifinalist for the John Makey Award, given to the nation's best tight end, in 2020. What's more, his numbers -- 38 receptions for 576 yards and seven touchdowns -- are not far off from those of Pitts (43 receptions for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns). He may not be the top tight end available, but he still offers many skills Washington could use.
Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
Moses' collegiate career was briefly derailed in 2019 when he tore his ACL before the season. That did not deter the former High School Butkus Award winner, though, as he returned in 2020 and led the Crimson Tide with 80 tackles. He is not known for his pass coverage or pass-rushing ability, but he is a sure run-stopper who is not afraid of taking on blocks. Moses is not expected to be a Year 1 starter; however, with some development, he could become a key piece to a linebacker corps.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
Athleticism runs in St. Brown's family, as his brother Equanimeous plays for the Green Bay Packers and his father, John Brown, is a former two-time Mr. Universe bodybuilder. He's not in the professional ranks yet and might not be flexing on a stage, but St. Brown was a solid receiver for the Trojans with 2,270 yard and 16 touchdowns over three seasons. He is projected to be a slot receiver, which Washington already has in Adam Humphries. Humphries has been one of the more dependable slot receivers in recent years, though, so it would be a benefit for St. Brown to learn from a player like that.
Brady Christensen, OT, BYU
Christensen possesses a bevy of talents that teams would find appealing. He has quickness, solid footwork and is an above average pass-blocker. He was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded offensive lineman last season, receiving a 96.0 as the Cougars finished 11-1. Quarterback Zach Wilson was only sacked 11 times in 2020 and threw 33 touchdowns. Christensen had a role in keeping one of the top prospects upright all year, and while he does have some issues with his technique, he is a proven starter who could add depth to Washington's offensive line.
D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
It takes a lot of talent to be the only non-Power 5 player to be named a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, which is given to the most versatile player in college football, and that is what Eskridge has to offer. He only returned kickoffs during his senior year for the Bronco but was named the MAC Special Teams Player of the Year for his efforts with 432 yards and a touchdown on 15 returns. He also caught 34 passes for 784 yards and eight touchdowns, which helped him lead the FBS with an average of 213 yards per game. Washington likes to add players who are willing to play on special teams, and perhaps Eskridge's return skills could be of use at the next level.