Three rumors and a prediction for the Washington Football Team
By: Menachem Ickovitz (Twitter @menudo_man)
The Washington Football Team went 7 – 9 in 2020 to win the NFC East. They have made some improvements to their team but more will be needed as other teams in the division have improved as well.
The best thing Washington has going for them is a head coach in Ron Rivera who is stable and gets his players to buy-in. Additionally, they recently hired a new GM, Martin Mayhew, and a new executive vice president of football/player personnel, Marty Hurney, both of whom have years of NFL experience.
They also have a decent amount of draft capital. They have a total of eight picks, including four picks in the first 82, starting with the 19th overall pick in the draft. They have an extra third round pick that they acquired from the San Francisco 49ers in last year’s NFL Draft when they traded away longtime left tackle Trent Williams.
Rumor #1: The Washington Football Team will draft a quarterback
Washington signed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year deal to compete with Taylor Heinicke for the starting quarterback position. Head coach Ron Rivera has said seemingly inconsistent statements regarding the quarterback situation:
- He’s announced Fitzpatrick as the starter.
- He has said he’s looking forward to the quarterback competition between Fitzpatrick and Heinicke.
- He said that drafting a quarterback is not out of the question if the fit is right.
The top quarterbacks in the draft are not expected to make it to the 19th pick. Washington can use as many picks as needed to move up and try to get whoever is left between Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones but the better move for them may be to draft Florida quarterback Kyle Trask.
Trask had an excellent Pro Day and showed his ability to throw deep and move around a bit. Many scouts were impressed by what they saw. The best part of drafting Trask is they don’t need to use a high pick to get him. Trask should be available in the second or maybe even the third round. Washington can draft him and still get a difference maker like one of the cornerbacks or offensive linemen at #19.
2020 was a breakout season for Trask as he threw for 4,283 yards with 43 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. If Washington drafts Trask they could let him sit behind Fitzpatrick and Heinicke to learn and eventually he can be the starter. Fitzpatrick has a history of playing well for a few weeks only to be replaced by a young quarterback.
Washington has some very good weapons on offense in running backs Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic, wide receivers Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries as well as tight end Logan Thomas. All they really need to do is buttress the offensive line and Trask would be in a great situation to succeed.
Rumor #2: The Washington Football Team will trade for tackle Orlando Brown Jr.
Baltimore Ravens tackle Orlando Brown Jr. has requested a trade so he can play left tackle. In 2020 he played left tackle due to an injury to Ronnie Stanley, but with Stanley expected to be back, Brown wants to continue playing left tackle which will not happen in Baltimore. Brown played well in Stanley’s absence and could be the answer to Washington’s left tackle issue.
Washington can trade a few mid-round picks (this year and next) to acquire Brown, including the 74th pick in the draft, the one Washington got from San Francisco for Trent Williams.
Washington can totally change their offensive line by adding Brown to guard Brandon Scherff and drafting an offensive lineman at #19. They could go with Alijah Vera-Tucker the guard/tackle from USC or Christian Darrisaw the tackle from Virginia Tech and have a totally revamped offensive line.
Rumor #3: The Washington Football Team will sign another cornerback
Washington has already signed Williams Jackson III from the Cincinnati Bengals earlier this off-season but they are not done yet. There is still a good amount of cornerbacks available to be signed including but not limited to Richard Sherman, Malcolm Butler, Brian Poole and Xavier Woods.
By adding to the back end of the defense, Washington’s defensive line will be even better, which is hard to imagine considering that each year from 2017 – 2020 they drafted a defensive lineman in the first round, most recently, Chase Young as the second overall pick in 2020.
Additionally, a team can never have too many defensive backs. Guys get hurt and someone needs to step in. It would be a lot better for Washington if an injured cornerback is replaced with a player of Richard Sherman’s caliber as opposed to some back up whose primary role is on special teams.
This is technically a prediction, not a rumor, but I felt it was in the same vein as some of the rumors above and therefore I’m adding it.
The three rumors mentioned above are all things that would occur before the season starts. However, this one is for something that will not occur until next off-season, hence, the phrase “bonus rumor.”
This prediction is that both offensive coordinator Scott Turner and defensive line coach Sam Mills III will get head-coaching interviews next off-season and at least one of them will be a head coach in 2022. Turner is the son of long-time NFL coach Norv Turner and is considered a young rising offensive mind. As for Mills, with the greatness of the defensive line in Washington, many people in the league are taking a long look at Mills’ qualities and abilities to be an NFL head coach.
Both Turner and Mills have been assistants to Rivera for a long time. They have learned from some of the best in their careers and should be ready to take the next step in their careers. Some teams might want to wait on Mills until he has some coordinator experience but do not be surprised when a team hires him even without ever being a defensive coordinator.