The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the opinion of the team.
Ron Rivera hit a proverbial home run with his first draft pick as the head coach of the Washington Football Team.
Chase Young, selected second overall, exceeded expectations by making the Pro Bowl, earning Defensive Player of the Month in December and becoming the franchise's first Defensive Rookie of the Year. His game-changing plays, combined with his "crazy unusual" leadership, immediately made him one of the faces of a team on the rise.
Rivera's second swing will be with the No. 19 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and he'll have a pair of new executives -- general manager Martin Mayhew and executive vice president of football/player personnel Marty Hurney -- helping him make that decision. They'll aim to add another valuable piece to help build a consistent winner.
In anticipation for that selection, which will be made April 29, Washingtonfootball.com will highlight one mock draft from a notable draft expert each week and delve into how that player would fit with Washington. Here are the analysts who have been highlighted over the past month:
Next up is NFL Network's Good Morning Football host Peter Schrager.
Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
Safety is not necessarily a position of need for Washington. It did lose Landon Collins to injury for the majority of the season, but the defense managed to find other solutions in Jeremy Reaves, a pleasantly surprising performance from Kamren Curl and a solid outing from Deshazor Everett, who started six games before being placed on Injured Reserve last season.
But even with Collins set to return next season, it would not hurt for the team to add someone else to the rotation and strengthen a secondary that allowed the second-fewest passing yards in 2020. That player could be TCU's Trevon Moehrig, last year's Jim Thorpe Award recipient for the nation's best defensive back.
"I had Moehrig as a top-10 prospect in the draft before the end of the NFL season," Schrager wrote in his first mock draft of the offseason. "That doesn't mean he'll go in the top 10, but I think he's that talented. A do-it-all safety who can play some CB if you need -- he's smart, talented and would be a fantastic addition to the back end of Ron Rivera's [defense]."
Moehrig does not have the size that Alabama's Patrick Surtain II possesses -- he is one inch shorter and six pounds lighter than Surtain's 6-foot-2, 208-pound frame -- but it is hard to argue with his results. He was named to seven All-American teams in 2020 because of his athleticism and ability to track passes in the air, which led to nine passes defensed and a pair of interceptions. It is also obvious that he is not afraid to tackle, as he was third on the Horned Frogs' squad with 47 stops.
One of the best examples of his exceptional eye for the ball came against No. 15 Oklahoma State last year. The Cowboys were in position to take the lead at the Horned Frogs' 9-yard line with about four minutes left to play. Quarterback Spencer Sanders' pass to the end zone slipped out Jelani Woods' fingers, but Moehrig tipped the ball to himself before it could fall out of bounds. The play ultimately helped secure the Horned Frogs' 29-22 win.
"Moehrig possesses the overall talent to play in a variety of coverages, including over the slot against big targets, but his talent might be best served as a high safety where his instincts and anticipation lead him to the football," NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote in his evaluation of Moehrig. "He's a talented ball tracker with soft hands and does a very good job of maintaining balance and positioning to make a play."
There are some, like Zierlein, who point out that Moehrig's film from 2019 is actually better than that of 2020. He did beat out Surtain and UCF's Richie Grant for the Jim Thorpe Award, but all of his number from two years ago -- 62 tackles, 11 passes defensed, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery -- were better than what he put together last season. He was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded safety in 2019, and PFF still ranks Moehrig as its top prospect at the position.
"No safety in college football has made more plays on the ball over the past two seasons," wrote PFF's Mike Renner. "He played a ton of split-field coverage in TCU's defense, which often left him manned up on opposing slot receivers, and he excused himself admirably. There's little to dislike about Moehrig."
Others, like Yahoo Sports' Eric Edholm, like Moehrig's ballhawking ability but believe he took some false steps in coverage, which put him in bad positions that he could not recover from due to a lack of top-end speed. Edholm also points out that Moehrig hardly blitzed at all in two seasons.
Still, there are many who believe Moehrig's athleticism in other areas will make up for his weaknesses and help elevate him to a starter in the near future.
"After I studied the tape on Moehrig, I fell in love with him," ESPN's Todd McShay said during a conference call. "First of all, he has length and great ball skills. His ball production is outstanding. He is 6-2, 200-plus pounds. He is long and plays long, and you love that for a safety. He is the only safety possibly going in the first round and one of the best defensive players in this entire class."
So maybe Moehrig would have some areas to improve upon during his rookie year, which means he would mostly serve as a rotational player. That should be fine, though, because that is what general manager Martin Mayhew expects from whoever Washington selects with the 19th pick. Perhaps he won't have the immediate impact that Young did, but he certainly has some traits that could make the secondary a deeper and more talented unit.
"You do want to pick a guy that's going to be, obviously, with you for a long period of time, a guy that's going to fit your scheme offensively or defensively," Mayhew told reporters in his and Rivera's pre-draft press conference last week. "You want to pick a guy with the right character that exemplifies what you want to represent. I think all of those things are really important."